A great analogy as to why I began this blog

Play into consumers’ existing behaviors and expectations

In my day job I peruse articles on marketing, sales, social media, philanthropy, etc….so much so that sometimes my head could explode with information. I read this article today and it describes the exact reason why I started this blog. I believe the I Quit Sugar program is fabulous; however, I think it’s difficult to sustain for the majority of human beings. I believe in meeting people where they are and I wanted to develop no- to low-sugar recipes that are quick, easy, and budget friendly as well as not so radically different that the majority of the American population, including my family, would give up after just a few days.

Pseudo Tacos & Chewy Chocolate Walnut Brownie Bites

Today was my first day back on the I Quit Sugar program. In the first week you just try to avoid blatant sugary foods like donuts, cookies, cakes, etc. I didn’t make food yesterday, so I ended up at Harry & Izzy’s for lunch. I wanted bread so bad, but compromised and ate a delicious beet and green bean salad with goat cheese and one filet slider. I’ve found it takes about three days to reduce the sugar and carb cravings. Mine are so strong right now I just had to start from day one again.

For dinner I made tacos with ground beef, seasoned with a packet from Trader Joes that does not include soybean oil. If you’re trying to avoid soy as well, you’ll be amazed how soy is in EVERYTHING. Read your labels.

For dessert, I made local raw food chef, Audrey Barron’s, Chewy Chocolate Walnut Brownie Bites. Every recipe from her that I’ve made has been delicious, including these brownie bites. But a note of caution, use only a true, tiny pinch of salt. I made them way too salty with my overestimation of a pinch. These took maybe 15 minutes to put together and they’re better after being refrigerated.

Pseudo Tacos
(because that’s what my dad calls them when you break up tortilla chips)
-1 tablespoon pure olive oil
-1/2 onion, chopped
-1 lb. ground beef
-1/2 packet of taco seasoning (no soy preferred)
-1 can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (or a real tomato!)
– ½ cup black beans (optional)
-corn tortilla chips or corn taco shells (no soy preferred)
-shredded lettuce
-avocado or guacamole (optional)
-salsa (optional)

Put the olive oil in a saute pan on medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the grease. Return the pan to the stove on low heat and add the taco seasoning and cook for 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes.

Crunch up some tortilla chips on a plate. Layer ground beef mixture, beans, lettuce, avocado/guacamole, and salsa. Voila!

Chewy Chocolate Walnut Brownie Bites

Makes 20 to 30 bites if you make them tiny (not like my giant ones in the photo)

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• 2 ¼ cup walnuts
• 15 pitted dates, chop them and soak in ½ cup water

• 6 tablespoons cacao powder
• 2 pinches of salt
• 1 tablespoon granulated coconut sugar

1. Process ¼ cup walnuts and pinch of salt in food  processor until coarsely chopped.

Put into small bowl and mix in coconut sugar. Set aside.

2. Process 2 cups walnuts in your food processor until finely ground. Drain dates

(save water) and add to walnuts and process until combined. Add cacao and one pinch of salt and process until completely combined. Use a tiny bit of the date water if needed to combine in the food processor. Not too much.
3. Roll brownie mixture into small, tiny balls then roll in walnut coconut sugar

mixture.
4. Chill in refrigerator to firm.

These treats are low glycemic, gluten free and free of trans fats and processed

sugars. The perfect healthy chocolate fix! Store in freezer for longer shelf life and for a delicious frozen chocolate treat!

Recipe by Audrey Barron with Be Bliss Healing Therapies: http://www.beofbliss.com/

Hello. My Name is Alyssa and I’m a Sugar Addict.

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Recently I self-diagnosed myself as a sugar addict. It took a while to come to terms with it. I know what we eat affects our overall health in so many ways so I was already thinking about changing my diet drastically. But it’s hard to figure out what you should do with all the hype out there. I’ve suffered from digestive issues for at least 10 years. Doctors have told me that I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but I know it’s more than that and I also think that IBS is a bullshit disease labeled to sell pharmaceuticals. I once asked an old allergist how I would know if I had a food allergy and he just said that it would be obvious. Over five years ago I found a nurse practitioner that better understood food allergies. She did some blood test called an Igg as well as others. I was diagnosed with having little to no good bacteria in my gut and an allergy to turkey, cod, and sesame. Random! She put me on a 30-day allergy free diet and started me on Ortho Biotic probiotics. But I never knew what to do to figure out my allergies once I stopped the diet or how to slowly come off of it. So, I lost 12 lbs. in a month, which was great, but monthly yeast infections started with a vengeance after I began eating a regular diet again. Those yeast infections lasted for years. In fact, coming off sugar has helped them to go away. Another integrative doctor years ago told me to cut out gluten and dairy, but I only cut out dairy because I wasn’t quite convinced that gluten free wasn’t more than a fad. An allergist tested me a couple years ago and I was diagnosed with an allergy to soy, salmon, shrimp, tuna, and scallops. But no allergy to turkey, sesame, or cod. Soy is difficult to avoid, but the shellfish et al was pretty easy. I’ve learned to listen to my body over the years and figured out some things in the process, so I know that the majority of dairy does not process well in my system. But that’s been the most difficult thing to give up.

I’ve also dealt with horrible mood swings most of my life. I’ve tracked the changes in my hormones for a while now and I know that is the culprit. I have no idea how I’ll ever get pregnant since I’m a terrible bitch when I ovulate in addition to regular PMS. My boyfriend can confirm the level of bitchiness. I tried going gluten free for a week and had the most terrible gas, so I gave that up for a while. After discussing what I ate with a friend, we realized it was the vegan cookie I would buy from the coffee shop. It had some processed sugar substitute that my body rejects…in a bad (and totally embarrassing) way.

When my headaches started getting severe these past few months on top of my ups and downs, I knew I had to do something. Acupuncture and herbal formulas were helping and I became more interested in traditional Chinese medicine the more sessions I went to and the more I studied Yin Yoga. After reading more about Qi and speaking with my acupuncturists, I realized that I also needed to change my “quQi” or “grain chi”, the food energy that I consume. During this inquisitive time, I somehow stumbled upon Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar website and 8-week program. When she mentioned that she became a “much nicer person” I was sold. And while I still believe my hormones are a bit disrupted, Sarah’s program made sense. I lasted four weeks on the program and felt great. Then, one night I waited too late to eat and had the tiniest bit of fast food since that’s all that was open and my cravings started slowly coming back. I made the Chocolate Coconut Nut Balls from the I Quit Sugar program and added some stevia as the recipe suggested because they tasted so bland. Then, I didn’t want to throw them out and be wasteful so I ate them every day for a week. They weren’t that great, but they were sweet and it satisfied me. But my craving persisted and then I couldn’t resist some cherry pie at a family gathering. And before I knew it my hands were in my parents’ cookie jar again…my mom just zipped her lips knowing I totally fell off the no sugar wagon.

I know why I only lasted four weeks. Only part of it was beginning to eat some sugar here and there. The other part was not having meals, snacks, etc. prepared. I did well for four weeks, but then I got busy and many of the recipes were so time intensive or asked for tons of different ingredients. I told my boyfriend that if I ever wanted to share this way of life with my parents or others, it’s going to have to be easier to maintain. So, as I begin this program again, I’m going to work on making and/or modifying recipes that take less time, have fewer ingredients, and taste delicious and I’m going to share them on this blog. Maybe by the end of my 8 weeks, I’ll have something that I can share with my loved ones and help them be healthier too.