Monday, February 23, 2015

Day 4 - Challenge Update - Mindless moments

It has been a couple days of no sugar and it has not been too hard. It helps to be able to have alternatives.  
But, I have to say I broke the challenge on accident! At work there was a Chinese New Year celebration with a lot of food. I decided to make some -unhealthy - cookies to bring to the party. As I prepared the dough I ate some of the chocolate chips out of a habit. I baked the cookies, brought them to the party and that was that. Then I at a little piece of a delicious white cake someone made. 

The funny thing?? I didn't realize I broke my challenge until about an 1,5 after the party. It hit me, right there. I mindlessly ate items with sugar in it. 

During my work week I eat dinners provided by my work. There are healthy options so that is not a problem.  Yesterday there was icecream for dessert with oreo cookies. I usually try to not eat any sweets but yesterday as I walked by I thought hmm I may try some. Luckily - I remembered the challenge this time. I did not eat any of it. Instead I ate a banana which is just as good I think!
  Afbeeldingsresultaat voor oreo cookies crumbled = ??

So even though I broke my challenge already, this does not mean I won't continue. To me it shows how mindless I eat at times and it gives me more reason to challenge myself to be mindful. I also noticed that this challenge is not a problem when I am at home because I don't buy sugar products. When I am at work there is more temptation to break it.

Day 3 - 40 Days Sugar Free - Granola

I make my own granola for about a year now. Store bought granola have too much sugars and additives in it. Besides I find it more affordable to make it myself. 
If you never made granola you will find that it is more expensive to make it at first. Believe me, it will be more affordable if you make it more often. 

For my version you will need:

  • 3 cups of Old Fashioned Oats 
  • 1,5 cup of roughly chopped nuts (any kind as long as they are raw)
  • 4 tbsp Coconut Oil
  •  Handful of raisins
  • 1/4 cup of dried unsweetened coconut flakes  (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of ground flax seeds (optional)

Sometimes I make this recipe with 2 table spoons of honey but for this sugar free challenge I did not want to use honey.

Preheat the oven to 375.
Add the cups of oats in a pyrex dish. Melt the coconut oil either in the microwave or au bain marie (double boiler).
Add the vanilla and cinnamon to the bowl of melted coconut oil. Mix this together. (if you wish to add honey in your recipe simply place 2 tablespoons into the melted coconut oil at this point)

 Mix the nuts into the oats and poor the coconut oil mixture in the pyrex dish. Make sure you stir it well because you want to make sure all the oats are covered in oil. Do not use any of the other ingredients until later.
 Place the dish in the oven for about 10 minutes. Stir the granola to make sure it will bake even and leave it in the oven for an other 10 minutes. After a total of 20 minutes in the oven it is time to add the raisins and coconut flakes. The reason you add these ingredients later is simply because they will burn if you it in the oven for too long. I use the coconut flakes that are really thin and they will darken quickly. Once the raisins and coconut flakes are mixed in place the granola in the oven for about 5 more minutes. When you out the granola the raisins will look puffy. No need to worry about this because they will cool down and look normal again. Last, I add in the ground flax seeds and the chia seeds. They are just to add extra nutrition to the granola. Allow your granola to cool down for a while. If it is cooled you can transfer it in a jar or plastic container.

This granola will be perfect in greek yogurt. You can even add some pieces of banana in or berries to give it some natural sweetness.

Day 2 - 40 Days Sugar Free - Grain Free Pancake

I love eating something sweet in the morning and this pancake satisfies my sweet cravings.
It is very simple to make 

1 Pancake

  •  1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp of liquid (milk, coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk) 
  • 1 tsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp psyillium husk
  • 1 tsp ground flax seeds
  • some cinnamon (1/4 teaspoon)
  •  1 tsp vanilla
  • some butter for in the pan (can use coconut oil)
For my pancake topping I used roasted cashew butter. 


Combine the egg and the tablespoon of milk in a bowl and whisk it with a fork. Meanwhile heat up a pan with some butter.

Add the rest of the ingredients in the mixture and whisk it. The batter will  get thick quickly so make sure your pan is ready to place the mixture in.

 Poor the batter on the pan and spread it out with a spatula. It needs to be flattened out by hand because the batter is too thick to spread by itself.
 Once the pancake seems to be able to flip, flip it. Let it bake a little longer until the bottom looks good.
 Here I added some cashew butter on the pancake but you can use peanut butter or dried coconut. Whatever you would like!

I hope this will inspire you to enjoy your food without sugar (and flour)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Day 1 - 40 Days Sugar Free - Larabar Snack

Healthy Chocolate 'Larabar" 

This recipe is very simple and cheaper than store bought Larabars. 

  • 1 cup of raw cashews(140 grams)
  • 6 medjool dates (about 100 grams) **
  • 1/2 ounce of Baker's unsweetened chocolate bar *
*This chocolate bar contains no sugar - let's be clear on that!!
**use medjool dates rather than any other kind because they are more juicy and this will work much better for the recipe. 
You will also need a food processor and some tinfoil to wrap the bars in. 


Grind up the cashews in a food processor.

 Once the cashews are mostly ground add the chocolate in.

 Make sure to take the pit out of the dates and add all of them to the mixture.
 Blend all the ingredients for a little while until it looks like this
 Easiest thing to do is to use a ziplock bag and transfer the mixture into the bag. This will make the process less messy.
 Use a rolling pin to make the dough flat - press well so all ingredients stick together.
 Unwrap your square of dough
 Cut them into the desired size. I make 6 bars out of this recipe but you can make them smaller or bigger.
 Last thing to do is to individually wrap the bars. I store them in the fridge until I need them. In the fridge it can last quite some time. Usually mine are gone within 2 weeks !


 Here is the information you may be interested in when it comes to nutritional value.
The bars contain sugar but...this is all natural. My sugar free challenge means I can eat sugars from fruit therefore this is no problem.

 Price breakdown:

I buy  the cashews and dates at Trader Joe's
For a pound of raw cashew pieces I paid $6.
A pound of medjool dates is $4.50
I was able to find the 4 ounce bar of chocolate at Grocery Outlet for $0.99 yet in the regular stores it would be about $3.50
Keep in mind that you can use cocoa powder also instead of the chocolate bar which will save you money.

140 grams of cashews = $1.87
100 grams of dates = $1
1 ounce of chocolate = $0.12

Total cost =  $2.99

Price per bar only $0.50
Compare this with the price for a larabar in the store which ranges between $1.25-$1.50

40 Days Sugar Free Challenge

Many people like to do 40 days challenge in preparation for Easter. Instead of fasting I would like to challenge myself to not eat any refined sugar for 40 days. I've known about the bad affects sugar has on your body for a long time but lets be honest.. Sometimes I get tempted and it is hard to get back on track once you give in to sugary food items.

Hopefully you will join me during this 40 day challenge and reap the benefits of it.

Let me explain what this challenge consist of because sugar can be tricky to define.
This image shows that sugar can be called different yet it still means the same. Anything that is labeled with any of these names are not allowed during this period.

This image does not even contain all the different names for sugar but I make it simple for myself.
Best thing to do is to not eat convenience food ( if it is made in a plant don't eat it). For me this is not that hard because I love to make my own food anyhow rather than store bought items. Hopefully I can show you some great alternatives along the way to get inspired to eat healthier.  I love sweets and my birthday will be within this period of time so do not worry I will come up with some treats made of whole foods.

Veranderingen / Changes

Het is alweer 1,5 jaar geleden sinds mijn laatste blog post. Iets meer dan een jaar geleden ben ik getrouwd met een Amerikaan en ben ik verhuids naar de Verenigde Staten. Ik zal vanaf nu alle recepten in het Engels schrijven zodat ik een breder publiek kan aanspreken.

It has been about 1,5 years since my last blog post. A little over a year I married a US citizen and moved to the US. I will continue my blog in English to reach more people with my posts.