Thursday, February 28, 2013

Keep it Clean Mama!

My tip of the day!!! Keep your favorite toppings handy.
Today I tried to eat a clean but carbohydrate laden meal for lunch - Quinoa Sweet Potato Patties (a variation of my Hubby Approved Quinoa Cakes). Thought it would be nice to share a recipe that wasn't so low-carb and I know everyone is on the quinoa bandwagon. But I don't usually eat this many carbs. Well it was a good test because the sugar devil sat on my shoulder for the rest of the day poking and prodding me into wanting SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR. Every cell in my body was screaming for it.

I'm Chantel and I have a sugar addiction. 

Or a really severe blood sugar problem or candida overgrowth? I always thought it was just a lack of willpower that drove me to eat so much chocolate but its kind of comforting to know that its my body that's got the problem. So I will be back to a low-carb diet tomorrow. Other than the sugar devil taunting me for the rest of the day I also had VERY low energy. What a great reminder of how I used to always feel - crappy until my next sugar or caffeine fix. And motivation to keep trying to eat clean and low-carb even if it is a heck of a lot of work. 

So I'm not sharing my quinoa recipe. In my desperate for dessert haze I started throwing all kinds of things together to make a lemon poppy seed cheesecake type thing but without sugar and with hemp and chia. It was a hot mess. Baba M actually liked it (??), Hubby and I choked it down. I think that sugar devil was sorely disappointed. So another recipe that you are not getting today.

So I'm just going to leave you with a little tip on how to make eating clean snacks a little easier and a lot more interesting to keep you on track and from reaching for the crackers, chips or candy. 
I've started keeping my dry "toppings" in little baby food containers right next to my prep area in the kitchen. They are in a convenient spot so I can quickly jazz up a breakfast or an afternoon snack to make it more satisfying. They can make things look so good that you forget you are eating clean - remember PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING. 

My go-to dry toppings are:
  • Dried unsweetened cranberries, Raisins, Goji and Apricots - to sweeten things up naturally
  • Raw Sunflower, Chia, Hemp and Pumpkin - for crunch and some nutty flavor
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut - I put this on almost everything if its not savory - yum
  • Organic Cacao nibs - these don't taste great on their own but they add incredible crunch
  • Nuts - my favorite are pecans but I keep walnuts, almonds and peanuts handy.
  • Cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice - for presentation and a bit of flavour

Probably not a bad idea to have some of these containers on your desk at work too!
Figure out what dry toppings you love, put them in an easy to reach spot in easy to refill containers and use them. It can make the difference between an apple feeling like deprivation to it feeling like a dessert. 

Throw them on grain-free pancakes instead of syrup. Put them in smoothies. Throw them on hemp and/or Chia puddings and porridge. Use them on high-protein Greek yogurt. Sprinkle them on soup and salads. Get creative. You will see in my Sunday Week in Review posts that I have them on lots of my food.  Yogurt, nut butters, apple butter and fresh fruit are the other things I keep on hand and ready to go as toppings. 

Good luck and here's to a better day of eating and energy tomorrow!

Pumpkin seeds sprinkled on Plain Jane Cabbage and Ham Soup - suddenly sophisticated!
Cacao nibs, coconut and chocolate/sunbutter on apples.  From ho-hum to oh-yum!
Banana's, Goji, coconut and cacao nibs on Chia/Hemp porridge. Hot and Tasty!