Think Fresh: Sugar Free

We don’t eat a lot of sugar around here. Not for the calories, not for weight loss, but for the sheer reality that sugar is dangerous to our bodies, creates an environment for bad things to grow inside us, messes with our natural cellular functions, and stresses our immune system. I can completely tell in my body too when sugar is more present. If I eat poorly, I feel every painful detoxifying second in the Bikram Yoga hot room I practice regularly in. If I don’t have sugar in my system, I feel great! To be honest, when we don’t eat sugar, I don’t miss it or even notice it. But it has a way of creeping back into our lives. It is just EVERYWHERE, and it can easily become a habit for me, to have it around. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the odd dessert or special treat. But when it becomes that I am consuming some amount of sugar, every day, it’s too much. Let’s be honest, it’s not a treat if you have ice cream every day. So every once in a while I feel the urge to eliminate sugar completely from our lives, just for a week or two to get back on track. I like to think of it as spring cleaning for the body!

That’s where we’re at this week. Sexy Husband and I are off sugar for a couple of weeks. Thankfully we eat healthy enough that it’s not too dramatic(although he is a chocoholic so it’s a bit more painful for him;). HOWEVER, life is meant to be enjoyed and there are so many amazing and natural sweet things out there that are sweet simply because they were made to be that way, not because they’ve been chemically manufactured for sweetness.

Honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and fruit, are all great sugar alternatives. Once you get used to the more natural taste of sweet, refined sugar can seem too cloying.

So here’s an idea. I made this as a little pre-class snack for one of my bff’s who is pregnant with baby number 2, baby number 1 just turned 1 and she’s a full time university student(so she’s busy and needs healthy snacks!) So simple, took 2 minutes to prep:

Slice one pear into paper thin slices. Divide between two bowls. Pour 1/4 cup of whipping cream into a standing mixer. Add 1 tbs of maple syrup and 1 tsp of cinnamon. Beat until whip cream is lightly whipped. Place a couple of spoonfuls of spiced whipped cream on the pears and serve. So yummy!

The bottom line is this: I have kids, we like sweet things. I’m not going to pretend that eating ultra healthy things that taste like dirt are satisfying. But there are many ways to make small changes, decreasing the amount of sugar we eat. Hopefully I can give you some ideas this week!


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heather
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 14:48:46

    Yum, that looks delish! Now, if only I could figure out a way to make whip cream dairy free (and not have Cool Whip). I wonder if Coconut Milk would whip….


  2. Heather
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 14:50:06

    Answered my own question:

    Totally trying this.


  3. Colleen
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 14:58:27

    Thanks – I could use a little less sugar in my life!

    I’ve appreciated the introduction to so many great sugar alternatives through your various recipes. I want to incorporate sugar alternatives into my family’s life more and I find myself standing in the grocery store trying to decide if I should buy the agave nectar or the brown rice syrup, etc. Can you recommend any sites where I could see a comparison of the sugar alternatives and be a little more informed about how to replace the sugar in recipes with the alternatives?


  4. figandfennel
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 16:22:45

    WHY have I never thought to use coconut milk as it is a staple around here. What a great idea. Anticipate a recipe to come! Colleen, I don’t know of any specific sites, in fact even the healthy food blogs I follow, don’t seem to be super committed to sugar free(as you can see from most my recipes, i still use some raw or cane sugar in cakes etc…) I have never used brown rice syrup…I think it’s a try as you go and see what you like kind of thing…If I find anything brilliant, I will definitely let you know!


    Apr 05, 2011 @ 09:49:22

    and it was a delightful snack, thank you!!! xox


  6. Rachel
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 13:00:26

    Heather – I don’t know if you or anyone you know has a Bamix handblender. I have one and it will whip skim milk! But you do have to use it right away as it will ‘fall’ after a little while. Regular handblenders won’t do it though; I’ve tried them to no avail. I too want to try the coconut milk … brilliant idea ……


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