Cutting down on carbs and sugar has had an interesting and very welcome side effect on my children. I’ve not bought or made biscuits for 2 weeks (I can’t have them in the house or they call to me and just have to eat them so safer to ban them altogether). Instead I’ve stocked up on breadsticks, homemade flatbreads, homemade pitta crisps (fraction of the price of tortilla chips, lower in salt and healthier if you use wholemeal pitta bread) for the kids – not me, can’t eat them as they’re carbs.
My 12 year old son had a muller corner the other night and after the first mouthful declared that ‘it was too sweet’ and didn’t eat the rest. The same thing happened with a bowl of Cheerios, one mouthful and the ‘urgh these are off, they taste funny, really sweet’, they were thrown away and he had a number of Weetabix instead without sugar. I’m seeing a bit of a breakthrough here….my son is going off sugar, amazing.
I made chocolate banana muffins by adapting my original recipe to include wholemeal flour, omitting the sugar and replacing it with agave but only half the amount of the original. My children didn’t notice, at all, *punches the air*, unless they read this of course. I’m now on a mission to find low sugar recipes that they’ll eat.
I’ve spent a lot of years avoiding fat and buying low fat stuff but now I’m switching it round and buying full fat ingredients but cutting out the sugar and it’s a revelation.
What do I mean by sugar?
Let’s just get this straight – produce of sugar beet or sugar cane, so caster sugar, granulated sugar, muscovado sugar, Demerara sugar, etc, golden syrup and molasses too. They are all what I refer to as ‘sugar’ rather than sweet things. In it’s place I’ve been using agave and honey, I’m about to start experimenting with Stevia too. I’m not talking about cutting out sweet stuff, just sugar and reducing the sweet stuff so you’re more aware of what you eat and what’s in the food.
Pizza – homemade pizza base doesn’t require any sugar. So why does Marks and Spencer margharita pizza have 20g of sugar in the base – that’s 1 heaped tablespoon of the stuff, in a bread base. I bought this before checking the sugar labels and both my younger children had one mouthful, declared that it tasted sweet and refused to eat it. For a low carb version here’s my cauliflower based pizza recipe
Yoghurt – my favourite yoghurts are Marks and Spencer low fat blackcurrant and blackberry ones, these are my staple breakfast food. May be low fat, but yep, shedloads of sugar, so much that if I eat one of these I blow my entire carb allowance for a whole day, around 25g of sugar, why?
Low sugar fruit yoghurt – easy peasy, take some plain yoghurt, low fat, full fat, Greek, whatever you fancy, whizz it with a stick blender with 100g blackcurrants and 100g blueberries and 2 tsp agave, ta da – low carb, no sugar fruit yoghurt. Sufficient for two days or transfer to a lolly mould and freeze it for delicious low sugar ice lollies.
Curry pastes – I’m going to be self righteous here, Saturday nights usually involve me making curry from scratch. It’s not rocket science, it involves making a ginger and garlic paste, chopping some onions and adding some spices. However, for a cheat I thought I’d buy some curry paste as a standby for a quick ’emergency’ curry. Off to Marks and Spencer (sorry M&S I love you and I don’t mean to specifically name and shame you but omg you have a lot of sugar in your food and you are the closest supermarket to me, so live with it) to buy some curry paste. Guess what? Yep, they all had loads of sugar in them.
I don’t add any sugar to any of my curries when I make them so why is it in curry paste. M&S Madras curry paste had sugar and molasses, Patak’s Madras curry paste has no sugar whatsoever. M&S get your act together, this is really poor but well done Patak’s.
I bought Patak’s the next day but went home on Saturday and made my own curry it was delicious.
I’ve now dropped 5lbs in two weeks and this is an example of what I’ve been eating:
2 scrambled eggs with smoked salmon or ham
Pack of ready prepared salad with half a pack of M&S ready to eat chicken slices, either chargrilled or BBQ but I’m now finding the BBQ very sweet.
or my Chicken salad with matcha pesto dressing
Dressing made from half lemon juice and half extra virgin olive oil (I make up a jar full and keep it in the fridge)
Sunday was roast chicken – I had roast chicken, a baby roast carrot, griddled courgettes and asparagus – 1 single, solitary roast potato.
Alternatively if I’ve made chilli or spag bol I’ll have it without rice or pasta and stir fry some courgette ribbons instead or whizz up some cauliflower as fake rice
Cauliflower base pizza – very filling, make one freeze the second base.
Curry and dhal with cauliflower rice, no bread or rice.
Snacks – examples not all in one sitting (!)
1/4 cucumber with hummus
3 brazil nuts
Spoonful of ricotta cheese (really low in carbs) with berries and a drizzle of agave
Yoghurt Berry ice lolly (as mentioned above)
Roast chicken, roast beef, poached salmon
a teaspoonful of crunchy peanut butter, off the spoon, in case of sugar craving emergencies (sad but honest)
Gin and slimline tonic has no carbs at all, delicious with lime and cucumber especially Hendrick’s Gin.
Olives, shedloads of olives, olives and manchego, olives and almonds, loving the olives
Edam cheese, manchego cheese, any kind of cheese, neat, on it’s own.
What am I missing?
Wine and beer, chocolate, granola and my favourite yoghurts, fresh fruit especially watermelon and mango, I can have them but will need forego something else for now.
I am not hungry, it doesn’t me wanting to nibble, I just nibble olives or cheese now and make my husband sit on the other sofa if he has crisps – that’s a killer when you can smell them.
I’m seeing the results and that helps heaps, 5lbs to go my target, I feel like I’m getting my body back at last.