5 years ago, I decided to quit eating sugar.
I had been experiencing panic attacks for a couple of years prior, I was highly anxious and my blood sugar levels were completely unbalanced. I was hypoglycemic and would get dizzy spells often. When my twin sister, Marlena, and I made the move from Mississippi to Austin we were both taking a little white pill each day that reduced anxiety (for me) and depression (for her). Even though we’d traveled around the world and the continental US, we had never lived in a city and Austin quickly became our new home. It was so easy to live here and follow a healthy lifestyle. So it was no surprise that a few months after we made the move, we decided to drastically change our diet in order to wean ourselves off of medicine.
FOOD is medicine and I knew that if I could control my body’s stress levels internally ( by balancing my hormones) that I could also be less reactive to my external situation.
So my first step was to quit eating sugar. I first wanted to know an average of how much of that white powder I was consuming. It was around 10 tablespoons a day! The average for most is around 15 TB a day. The first thing that I did was replace white table sugar with organic cane sugar. My body could barely tell the difference but for me to make this change, I knew that I had to do it gradually. So for about a year I made my sweets (like zucchini bread and cookies) with raw organic cane sugar. I very slightly cut down on the amount of sweets I was eating each day. That helped.
Fast forward one year and I was ready to take it to the next level. So I replaced all cane sugar with honey. Whenever I would bake a dessert, I would switch out the sugar with half the amount of honey, and desserts were always still sweet enough! I felt like I’d discovered a secret! I did this for about 7 months and REALLY noticed a huge change in myself. I gained a sense of clarity, my blood sugar levels were starting to stabilize and I felt more energized throughout the day. I did this for about a year.
My own foray into changing my diet led me to learn about the science of Ayurveda and our energy system. I discovered that my dosha is Vata; I have A LOT of energy and so for me, sugars that get into my system too quickly, make me feel anxious. So in my quest to reduce my sugar consumption, I discovered dates. My father is from Lebanon and they would eat dates growing up; I grew up eating a lot of Lebanese desserts that were based around this delectable fruit. So it was only natural that I began to replace all sugar with dates, or honey.
Over the last couple of years I have relied solely on dates and honey for any sweeteners in things that I bake and create. It has led me to formulate some extremely tasty concoctions and I am so excited to start sharing them with you!
I wanted to start with CHOCOLATE. If you’re interested in weaning yourself off of sugar, but you do have a sweet tooth, this is a a perfect place to start. You can make these little chocolates, keep them in your fridge, and snack guilt-free!
High in healthy fats and antioxidants, these sweets are a guilt-free treat!
1/2 cup coconut oil (liquid form)
1/4 cup unsweetened cacoa powder
1/4 cup roasted unsweetened almond butter
1.5 tablespoons raw honey
1/4 teaspoon himalayan sea salt
pinch of cardamom and cinnamon
chopped pecans or other nuts (optional)
OPTIONAL: to make this a superfood, add 1/2 teaspoon of maca or lucuma powder!
In a food processor, or blender, combine all ingredients EXCEPT nuts, and blend on high speed until it's combined and smooth (about 20 seconds).
Stir in nuts if you so please.
Transfer chocolate to small silicone molds (or tiny paper baking cups) and set on a tray. Chill in the freezer until solid (at least 20 minute).
Take the chocolate out of the mold and store in a container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks! Serve it cold; it melts fast!
Comment below if you make them, and let me know what you think!
Want to learn more about nutrition and how to eat right for your body? Click here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's chat!