Friday, January 06, 2012

Adventures in Sugar Free Valley

My Daily Banana #2 with yogurt and nut butter
I have discovered something about living gluten-free, processed-food free and low fructose. It is not impossible to do, but it can be inconvenient.  It takes organisation. Planning.

Yesterday I blasted out the door to do my groceries, in the usual careless manner, and after a few hours of shoppercise, was famished. No problem, I thought. I'll just eat my Lara ... uh oh.  Lara bars are mostly dates, which are a dried fruit, and therefore verboten during Junk Free January.

I poked my nose into the Coffee Culture food cabinet, not really expecting success, and therefore not experiencing disappointment.  Most things contained gluten, and those that didn't, contained sugar or nightshades.  What to doooo?

Feeling a bit desperate, I grabbed a can of coconut water. For all I know, it's exploding with fructose, but it sufficed until I could get home and attack the almond butter jar.

Obviously, if I'm going to succeed at this, I have to find some portable compliant snacks. Being inconvenienced is a sure way to switch on my 'can't be arsed' gene.

I'm thinking, things like:

Cacao beans
Raw Veges
Kitchen inventions involving protein powder and nut butter..

Any other suggestions that don't involve fruit or dried fruit (my usual 'grab and go' snacks) will be enthusiastically tested.

Then there was the issue of last night's dinner. Such a complicated little dish.

Yes. Soup.

The big pot of water was boiling away, and I was just unwrapping a Massell cube, when I thought I'd better check the ingreds.  Second on the list?  Sugar.  

But, how to make a soup without stock cubes?  *perplexity*

I studied the list: sea salt, palm shortening, sugar, dehydrated vegetables (onion, cabbage, garlic, spinach), yeast extract, rice flour, corn maltodextrin, natural vegetable flavours, dehydrated parsley.

Then I did my best to replicate it, using the items in bold, which I chopped finely or pummeled in the mortar and pestle. I added a large handful of mashed thyme, oregano, marjoram and tarragon. With heaps of sea salt, grated ginger and a dash of soy sauce, it worked wonderfully. The best soup of my life.

The prep did take half an hour longer than usual though.

The proteins were finely chopped pork and scallops, which cooked in my special brew along with onions, carrots and a little wakame seaweed.We have been on an Asian-inspired food kick since living on the stuff in Melbourne.

Until dancing naively into the land of sugar-free-ness, I was not aware of how often I would grab a handful of dried apricots, or a banana. I'm not saying doing that is unhealthy, but I'm enjoying the exercise in self-awareness. It reminds me of practicing Eat-Stop-Eat, the intermittent fasting protocol. I became quickly aware of how often I nibbled out of boredom or because I was feeling nervy.

As another welcome side-effect, I am truly relishing my daily banana.  Here is My Daily Banana #3. A banana smoothie with coconut milk, some almond butter, maca, and unflavoured WPC - the latter two swiped from the stock room (bwahaha). I drunk half before remembering to record the event via photo.

My Daily Banana #3 - smoothie

In the next few days I should find my stride with this Junkfree Jan business and look forward to reporting on exciting improvements in health and sexiness. Well, you just never know..


  1. Kerryn Woods11:44 am

    If nothing else eventuates, it's a good excuse to come up with new recipes and meal ideas.

    Re your soup - you need to go read my post on making stock. We ALWAYS have home made chicken stock in the freezer, in 2-cup portions. Of course, that too takes forward planning, but if you make a batch once every month or two, it's zero effort when you need the stuff. And it's easy. (Also: no nightshades, sugar or gluten)

    You're welcome. :)

  2. I am going to MAKE that chicken stock. I even looked for an organic, or even just free-range, chicken at the supermarket today, but they only had factory stuff. It's on the
    to-do, once I can find a chook that satisfies my requirements. :D


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