Sugar Free Chocolate – Sugar Rehab

Aloha chocolate lovers! Today’s blog post is not quite what the title says – so no, it is nothing about sugar free chocolate (sorry!), but, actually is about me (chocolate girl) going sugar free! So, for those of you who already follow me on facebook, you may have seen last Thursday that I posted a status stating that I was momentarily going sugar free, since then a lot of people have actually asked me what I meant by ‘sugar free’. Does this mean I am not going to eat fruit anymore? Is it just refined sugars I am giving up? Why am I doing this? Should other people be doing this too? Etc. etc. So, further below I will expand on this whole new, little venture of mine.

 

Going ‘Sugar Free’:  Okay, so this was the biggest question, what does being sugar free actually mean? For me personally, the term ‘sugar free’ means that for however long I decide to do this I will be giving up sugar and anything that contains sugar. Any sugar that is obtained from a source, e.g. fructose that you can buy in packs, refined, unrefined sugar, brown sugar, molasses. Biscuits, cereals, foods, protein bars, desserts, literally anything and everything that contains sugar. However, I will still be eating fruit, dried fruit (sugar in it’s natural resources) and natural sugars – all of which I will list below.

Permanent or Momentary? 100% momentary, I do not plan on giving up sugar, or definitely not to this extreme forever, at this particular moment I haven’t decided how long I will be doing this, nor, have I decided what my final realistic goal is concerning sugar. I prefer to make a well informed final decision and currently I am still in the process of researching all the pro’s and cons of this delightfully sweet substance that seems to be in every item on the supermarket shelves nowadays.

Why oh why? So the main reason I decided to give up sugar, was because of my personal problem with sugar. My personal addiction. Since giving birth in December 2014, I became a sugar addict – like no joke, a real sugar addict. Stemming from the tiredness of being a new mother, my body naturally inclined to something sweet, some chocolate, some cake – for all kinds of weird and wonderful reasons that a new mother’s body goes through. Tiredness being the main one, sugar is a fast release energy source, so when my beautiful little baby entered this world, I discovered sleepless nights, consuming a crazy amount of calories to provide nutrition for my baby (breastfeeding), learning so many new things in order to raise my little bundle of joy one day at a time, raised cortisol levels, so on and so forth  – that naturally I was left in a super tired state, the state where my body in turn screamed for chocolate. So, as it started there, all of you probably know it is a well known fact that sugar has the same effect as any other known drug on our body, and apparently, according to my body this is very true. The more you eat, the more your body feels it needs the substance, and so as the story goes, over the past year I have became more and more addicted to eating sugary foods to the point that I couldn’t go a day without eating chocolate and it was at that point I decided that I had to do something about it. And so like a drug taker in rehab, the only way to cut an addiction is to completely abstain until the body gets used to being without the substance…and this, is why I have decided to momentarily quit sugar.

Other reasons why I think it is beneficial to my health. Setting aside my crazy addiction to sugar, after doing some research and also the changes I feel in myself over this past week, I do believe that quitting sugar does have other benefical effects to our bodies and minds;

  1. Sugar makes you gain weight: Sugar forces the pancreas to produce elevated levels of insulin, in turn, other hormones are neglected, those that are responsible for digestion, metabolism, stress etc. When these systems are not in balance, we experience fatigue, mood swings and high levels of cortisol, meaning that our bodies then go into conservation mode, storing fat instead of burning it.
  2. Sugar is not liver friendly: Juices, syrups, fizzy drinks, all filled with sugar and all require the liver to work double in order to process them. Eating too much sugar can cause the liver to become fatty, which could cause further problems such as insulin resistance or liver disease.
  3. Not so skin friendly: sugar is highly acidic, acidic foods are known to cause inflammation in the skin, sugar being one of the worst. As a sufferer of atopic dermatitis, I’ve noticed this past week how it has cleared up and is now almost non existent! 

Refined Sugar substitutions: I am however still eating sugar in 4 natural forms. 

  • Honey (contains flavonoids and antioxidants) 
  • Maple syrup (contains essential  minerals, especially manganese and zinc) 
  • Agave syrup (low glycemic index – no sugar rush!) 
  • Fruit 

You may also see a lot of people substitute artificial sweeteners and/or stevia instead of sugar. I never use artificial sweeteners in my diet, as research shows they are probably more damaging to our health and our bodies than actual sugar itself. As for stevia, there are more and more forms of this on the market, it’s the newest ‘natural sweetener’, however I personally don’t really like the taste, I have bought some in powder form, but I’m still yet to experiment and use it in a recipe. 

Should I give up sugar too? It is each individual’s personal choice to give up sugar, I see more and more people nowadays join the natural side and quit refined sugar from their lives. I don’t plan on being refined sugar free forever (I love cheesecake too much- guilty pleasure, oops), however, when I do reintroduce sugar to my diet it will be in drastically smaller amounts compared to previously…everything in moderation. If you do feel that you somehow have any kind of dependency on sugar and want to be able to ‘reset’ then I do think this is the best way. Momentarily abstain until your body and mind no longer feels as though it needs sugar and from there you can reincorporate it back into your diet if that is what you wish. 

That’s about all today on sugar, or better said, no sugar. Have any of you previously quit sugar, or are currently sugar free? I’d love to hear your reasons and experiences – let me know! 

Signed, 

Sugar free chocolate girl 💋

   
    
 

Monday Morning Nutrition 

A quick Monday morning nutritional breakfast idea to kick start your week with a burst of energy and health! 
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Simply; Alpro coconut milk, oats, teaspoon of ground flax seeds, walnuts & a teaspoon of honey. 

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Have a bad ass week everyone! 

R x 

My 5 fave fat burning foods. 

Before listing my all time favorite fat burning foods, let’s just quickly remind ourselves of what exactly is a ‘fat burning food’. Fat burning food doesn’t mean that you can sit there eating those foods all day and the fat somehow will burn and melt off you, no, fat burning foods accompanied by a fairly balanced and moderated diet alongside a healthy lifestyle can aid in efficient and faster weight loss.

What are we really speaking about here? Thermogenic effects and metabolic boosters! 

Without getting too science-sy, this basically means that certain foods have a higher energy  expenditure above the resting metabolic rate due to the cost of processing the food for both it’s uses and storage. In other words, it takes more energy for your body to process and break down these foods, resulting in energy usage of the body and fat loss! Yes, that’s right! Foods that make our bodies work hard in order to break them down, resulting in calorie usage (energy expenditure) a.k.a fat loss.

So, in no particular preferential order, these are My five fave fat burning foods! 

  1. KEFIR

A fermented hybrid of milk and yoghurt, super high in probiotics and protein, it has become my alternative to yoghurt! (Oh and by the way due to the beneficial bacteria that pre-digests the lactose, it is also 99% lactose free, so lactose-intolerant people, this way please)

2. AVOCADOS

High in mono-saturated fats (the healthy kind), avocados are such a versatile ingredient present in my kitchen, you can literally do anything with them! On their own, with fish, in omelettes, in quinoa recipes, the options are endless!

3. WILD SALMON

Rich in Omega-3, so a brain food as well as a burning food, salmon is included in my diet every week without fail!

4. COCONUT OIL

Rich in medium-chained-triglycerides, which our bodies prefer to use for energy, coconut oil is an ingredient I always have in my kitchen and one which I use everyday. I use it in desserts, a teaspoon on my oatmeal in the morning, for frying, sauteing, baking, you name it, I use coconut oil. Cold pressed coco – the best!

5. OATMEAL

One of the tastiest, quickest and versatile breakfast ingredients, 90% of the time my breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal (with almond and coconut milk) topped with whatever I can find in my kitchen e.g. honey, nuts, fruit (see, told you it’s versatile). Oatmeal is a whole food, using a bigger amount of calories to break it down and giving me enough energy to kick-start my day!

 

What are your favourite fat burning foods? Any new ones out there that I should try? Let me know! 

 

Burn that fat like a furnace! R x

 

 

The Post Festive Fitness Program

As we’re 10 days into the New Year and it’s probably a lazy Sunday for most (have you all got back into the flow of normal routine and work yet?) I’ve barely got the hang of getting back into it all, the work, the routine the constant rush of life, time is going so quickly that it already seems that Christmas and New Year is a distant memory so long ago. The only thing I do have in check, is my fitness goals for the next couple of months… Today I’ll just be running off to the gym for a quick 1.5 hour workout, then a busy day to prepare for the week ahead, you guys at some point during the day can take a quick read below. 

Seven days into the New Year I started my post festive fitness program, after gaining 6/7kg (About 1 stone) over the winter period (I know right!!!) I have embarked on a short 8 week, light program to get back into the normal flow of things.

So, what are my main fitness goals for these 8 weeks you ask?

  • Reduce body fat
  • Drop some weight
  • Regain muscle strength 
  • Improve Cardio Vascular Strength 

Further below, I will attach some images for a visual on how I’ve started, then throughout the program I will write blog updates and upload progress pics – visuals, visuals, visuals for motivation and improvement!

For those who want to know more about the 8 week programme, you can contact me by email: reema.moldovan@hotmail.co.uk

Anyways, enough about me, tell me about you? Do you have any health or fitness goals this year? Have any of you started anything new this year? Any new sports? I’d love to hear about them!

Best Wishes, R.

  
   
 

A Happy New Year 

For many of us the New Year is a new chance, a new chapter. A time to make new resolutions, new aims and new goals.  For me, this is my favorite part of the year… The beginning.

 I perceive the New Year as another chapter in my storybook adventure, a chapter which I can’t wait to discover with all the new things it will bring me, the obstacles I will have to cross, the goals I wish to achieve and all the wonderful things I will discover.

So with all this excitement and anticipation, every year on the 1st January I write down a list of all the things I wish to achieve and complete throughout the year, and at the end of the year I love to look back at this list and tick off everything I have actually managed to achieve. Some years have been good, some have been bad, however, in the year 2015, not only did I achieve everything I wished to but I went beyond that, 2015 being my best year so far! So with this success and motivation I will note down my goal wish list for 2016 and work to make it an even better, happier and healthier year! With some funny goals, some more serious ones and just those little points to make my year a better one in every single way! 

I wish you all a very Happy New Year, filled with much love, happiness, health and prosperity. I wish you the strength to cross any obstacles this year may bring you, with ease. And to achieve everything your heart has set out to achieve this year! 

Happy New Year! 🌟