I quit sugar (almost entirely!)

So I decided to quite sugar! Here’s why..

Although avoiding the foods that came up on my York Test intolerance test, I was still experiencing flare ups every few days, although they weren’t as bad, it was a bit disheartening after following the advice of the nutritionist. I was still convinced that it was food related though. The first few weeks of the diet I’d seen a big improvement, then things seemed to plateau and I wasn’t getting the really clear spells in between the flares, that I had been. The only thing I could think of was that I’d switched to maple syrup as my sugar substitute and was baking more sweet treats than I had been. Also I’d been drinking a lot more coffee than I used to (which I was sweetening).

During my last flare up I decided to go super strict and cut out the sugar substitutes, lower the caffeine, only have one or two pieces of fruit, and up the water. The result was this:

  
The first photo was the 4th of June during the last flare up, the last photo a couple of days ago, the other two were in-between but I didn’t make a note of the dates!

These are photos of my face when I first started the diet and the first clear skin period since starting, the flares up until the 4th June weren’t as severe as this so cutting the other food was helping, but since quitting sugar, my skin has been like the last photo with no flare ups, I’ve even been able to switch to a thinner moisturiser!

  
I’m now feeling better than ever, cutting sugar hasn’t only helped my skin but made me feel a lot happier and healthier generally! Surprisingly I haven’t felt like I miss any of the banned foods, apart from the odd time when I can smell chocolate or buttered toast!

I’m still getting a chocolate fix from a hot cocoa – I use oat milk and cacao powder and find now that its sweet enough just as it is! Another good sweet treat is a banana milkshake – frozen banana blended with oat milk (I tried it with a couple of dates and found it too sweet!)

This is me today! (Ps how flippin’ cool is my vest from Truffle Shuffle?!?! Thank you to my gorge chap for getting it for me!)

  

If you suffer from a skin complaint and have tried the usual triggers – wheat, gluten, dairy etc I’d definitely give the no sugar thing a go!

‘No no’ chocolate flapjacks!

  This was a bit of an experiment but I’m really chuffed with how they came out!! I’d been using this recipe for flapjacks (swapping nuts for dates), so thought I’d have a go at modifying it to get a chocolatey treat!

Ingredients:

250g oats
3 big bananas
3 heaped tbsp unsweetened cocoa
80ml oil (I use rice bran, could use olive)
80ml agave or maple syrup (or honey)
50g dates
pinch of salt

Method: Preheat oven to 180C. In a food processor, pulse all the ingredients except for the oats. (I blend until it looks like mashed banana, so still a bit lumpy with chunks of dates, as opposed to blending until smooth) Or mash bananas and add dates chopped. In a large bowl combine the oats with the chocolate mixture. Line a tin with greaseproof paper, push mixture into tin and up to edges and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, lift out onto wire rack and cut into squares, drizzle with honey if you like, leave to cool. Enjoy!

Nut Butter Blondies

 

I’m liking this recipe! I had to make a few adjustments and I’d like to try adding other ingredients – it’s definitely a keeper! 

Original recipe:  http://ifoodreal.com/flourless-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-blondies/

I switched peanut butter for almond butter, omitted the coconut sugar, honey instead of maple syrup, used dates instead of chocolate and whizzed them with the main ingredients.

Next time I think I’ll try adding vanilla or maybe get some cocoa nibs or perhaps just some cocoa powder! 

Hot drinks!

So now I’m dairy free, I obviously can’t have milky tea. I was advised to steer clear of other animal milks and soya is out too so I’ve been using oat milk which I don’t fancy in tea!

After reading a few articles about benefits of hot water with lemon juice first thing in the morning, thats what I’ve been drinking when I wake up (with some honey). I can stomach black tea (really weak, literally dunk the tea bag into the hot water and take it out again) and oat milk is ok in coffee (I use agave as a sweetener as I have sugar in my coffee!)

Until now I’ve been a fan or fruit or herbal teas, I’ve tried various shop bought ones and just didn’t like them.. until a friend recommended teapigs! You can actually find them in supermarkets and although they’re expensive, they’re totally worth it! I’ve only tried one flavour so far – peppermint and liquorice but I love it!!  

Then in the evening I’ve been getting my chocolate fix via hot chocolate! Again using oat milk, some good quality unsweetened cocoa powder and agave syrup or honey. Perfect!

A new way of eating..

Hello! Been a while I’m sorry, been a bit out of the blogging loop! But I’ve got something new to blog about now which kind of works with the ‘keep it simple’ tag only applied to food!

So lets go back.. for a couple of years or so now I’ve been suffering more than usual with my eczema. Mainly on my face which seems to have taken on a cycle of flaring up every few days. The same patches go very red and puffy and sometimes sore, then as quick as it came up it went down again. I’d have a day or so of clear skin before I could feel it starting again. It had started to get me quite down to the point where I’d start avoiding socialising when it was at its worst day in the cycle.

Doctors won’t test for ranges of food intolerances, rather they’ll test for one thing or another if they suspect a certain trigger. I’d looked into York testing in the past but not gone ahead with anything but then my husband found out a lady he worked with had gone through the testing (different symptoms) and had found intolerances, cut them out, and felt back to normal. So I decided to go ahead and get tested. Turns out I’m intolerant to a whole heap of things! Main ones being dairy, wheat, gluten, egg, beef and then coconut, sugar, carrot amongst a few other things are on the borderline list. After the testing you have a phone appointment with a nutritionist to go through what you can do next. In my case the plan is to cut out all triggers for three months whilst taking probiotics to get my gut back into shape, then after three months I can try and introduce one food per week and look for reactions. I’m half way into the third week of the new diet and have had one flare up!

Its been a challenge cutting out all the triggers, I have a very very sweet tooth and love my cakes/biscuits.sweets/chocolate BUT I haven’t found it as hard as I thought I would. The first week was a little tough, I had a couple of headaches and felt tired but now I feel much much healthier and have a lot more energy! My husband has been doing some of the diet with me, cutting out sugar and wheat, and he too has felt the benefits as well as losing some weight!

Breakfasts I’ve been having smoothies, lunch has mostly been soups and dinners we’ve been basing meals on rice and potato as opposed to pasta with lots more vegetables.

I’ll start posting recipes I’ve found and adapted in separate posts, it’s been a bit tricky as a lot of the substitutes for butter and dairy are coconut based which I can’t have! But for the most part I’m not missing sugary things, apart from when I’ve been breaking chocolate easter eggs for the children, the smell!

Off to make some lunch, might try hummus today!

Lots of vdubs were seen today!

  1. Webby cuddle. Skin playing up again today. Got a doctors appointment next week, can’t remember if I’ve mentioned. Sometimes it gets me quite down and today I had a little weep. But then Webby gave me a cuddle and made me feel much better. Lucky to have him 🙂

  2. VW show.. At Stanford hall, Lutterworth. Been a few years since we went to a Vdub show! It’s grown a lot since last time we were there! Started off cloudy but sun broke through turning the sky a gorgeous shade of blue and making the cars shine! Kids loved it and have now decided they want a camper van!

    Lots of vdubs were seen today! :: keep it simple Lots of vdubs were seen today! :: keep it simple Lots of vdubs were seen today! :: keep it simple Lots of vdubs were seen today! :: keep it simple Lots of vdubs were seen today! :: keep it simple Lots of vdubs were seen today! :: keep it simple Lots of vdubs were seen today! :: keep it simple

  3. Family. We met up with some of the Webb family at the VW show! Including one who is visiting from Australia so that was great! Been a while since we’d seen some of the others so turned out to be a lovely day 🙂
  4. Food diary. Been meaning to start a food diary but has been one of those things that keeps slipping my mind but since it’s been sore today I’ve just started one. Probably encourage me to be a bit healthier too! Must try and keep it up!
  5. Nose in a book. Just been up to say goodnight to Millie and Xander and Millie has got her nose stuck in a new book! It’s House of Secrets by Chris Columbus (Goonies!) and Millie seems to be really enjoying it! Think I’ll read it when she’s done!

I just noticed something I forgot.. your mole!

Still feeling rubbish, and now skin playing up too but could be worse, so here’s my five positives today!

  1. Smiling. Woke up feeling positively dreadful however this photo Webby sent me made me smile 🙂IMG_0107
  2. Lazy. Due to feeling rubbish, and Mr. Webb being at a footie match most the day, the kids and I had a very lazy day of DS playing, film watching and a spot of painting! 
  3. Painting! Millie painted this picture of me! Isn’t it fabulous?! She realised after that she’d forgotten my mole but that’s easily rectified!

    Painting <3
    I've just noticed something I forgot.. your mole! :: Mama of Three Mia Blogs

  4. Baking & not getting take away again! Baked a couple of batches of biscuits earlier! Wanted to try and use wholemeal flour instead of plain and they turned out ok!Mr Webb offered to get us chippy chips when he got back from football, and had we not of had them already this week I’d of snapped the offer up, but I was good and got chopping veg instead for a much healthier sweet ‘n’ sour. Figured I need the vitamins to fight off this damn cold! It’s so colourful 🙂 I used turkey ins tea of chicken.

    Sweet 'n' sour turkey!

  5. Oat bath. Never tried one for soothing my skin, don’t really know why but thought a nice relaxing bath would help me feel better! I think it has soothed so I shall be trying it again in the future!