Sugar Hangover and Snow Days

Look at me posting early in the morning. This is what happens when my professor is out of town and I don’t have class until 12:30, it’s a beautiful thing, that and the fact that I can’t sleep past 8:00 AM even though I went to bed at 2. Not the best combo.

I’ve got a straight up sugar hangover. Yesterday was a full on snow day with no class whatsoever and I fully enjoyed myself by staying in my yoga pants all day, not leaving the apartment, eating plenty of gluten-free brownies and doing absolutely nothing. It was glorious.

(Thanks Jenn!)

I can’t say I ate too many green things yesterday, but that’s okay because healthy living is all about balance. Sometimes you have to balance your greens with brownies.

Here’s a snap shot of my day, at least what I managed to get on camera, which definitely wasn’t everything.

coconut oil sweet potatoes

Best breakfast ever. I’m telling you, it will not get old.

baker's chocolate

Baker’s chocolate makes the best breakfast addition. Starting my day off with chocolate is the best.

broccoli zucchini and onions

Broccoli, zucchini, onions and a few spray’s of Braggs liquid aminos. These were the only veggies I had all day and I do not feel bad about it. Though this bowl probably is a full day’s serving. A day without veggies is a day without sunshine, kind of like burpees.

gluten free peanut butter coconut pancakes

Lunch dessert! My roommate made blueberry syrup and we all had pancakes for lunch, except mine was more of a lunch dessert because it was eaten after my big bowl of veggies. Recipe for the pancakes at the bottom!

Then imagine lots of afternoon snacking, that’s what happens when you’re trapped in your apartment all day.

Such as:

coconut milk with cocoa powder

Cocoa powder and coconut milk, and

apple and banana

Apples and bananas. Now that song is stuck in my head. I realized yesterday I got through a ridiculous amount of bananas in a week. I bought 5 at the store on Monday and I ran out yesterday. I’m a banana fiend.

trader joe's gluten free pizza

I wish I had a more attractive picture, that did this pizza justice, but, um, I don’t. I had a delicious Trader Joe’s gluten-free pizza that I have been hoarding in my freezer for a couple months now. I will even admit that I ate the pizza. It was absolutely delicious. And awesome because my roommates ordered Papa John’s and I actually got to eat pizza along with them.

And then one of my friends brought over cinnamon sugar scones, which weren’t gluten-free and I will be paying for today. It’s okay they were delicious and totally worth it, though I maybe be changing my tune in before the day is over.

pumpkin bread

Then this happened. My roommate baked a loaf of pumpkin bread, the mix has been sitting in our cabinet since October and she finally got around to making it. It was 100% delicious, even though I’m sure my stomach won’t appreciate that one either. If you’re curious, the mix is Fresh Market brand if you’re looking for a good pumpkin bread mix next fall, this one is a winner.

I think this is why professors bombard us with work 24/7, because when college students have nothing to do, we spend all day baking, they’re really just watching out for our health. Not long after the pumpkin bread, this happened:

bob's red mill gluten free brownies

Brownie cliff! I feel like that’s what it looks like.

I made gluten-free brownies using the Bob’s Redmill mix my roommate bought me for Christmas.

Three things about that, one, my roommate gave me gluten-free brownie mix for Christmas, how amazing is that? Two, Bob from Bob’s Redmill looks exactly like my dad, and three, these brownies were AMAZING. They didn’t taste gluten-free at all, even my gluten-loving friends thought they were amazing.

Cue this mornings sugar hangover. Oh sugar, you are so delicious but you leave me feeling so gross the next day. You know how to cure a sugar hangover? Pancakes. Well, maybe not but they are a delicious breakfast, or lunch, or lunch dessert.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Coconut Pancakes

Makes 2 medium-sized pancakes

gluten free peanut butter coconut pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • 1 egg (I actually used egg whites for my pancake but it didn’t hold together as well as I would hope, I think a whole egg would hold together much better)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • Cinnamon to taste

Directions

  1. Comine all ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Pour batter on to a greased pan cooking on medium heat until cooked on one side. You will know the first side is done when the edges begin to bubble.
  3. Flip and finish cooking on the other side
  4. Top with delicious things (like homemade blueberry syrup and peanut butter) and enjoy

What’s your favorite breakfast food?

How do you find balance?

Lessons Learned from 40 Days Without Sweets

For Lent this year I gave up sweets. Some people thought I was crazy for doing this, and maybe I was a little. I have the biggest sweet tooth, and absolutely no control around sweets, so I wanted to put myself up for the challenge. And you know what, I did it.

I think one of the hardest things was deciding what was considered a sweet. Obviously cake, ice cream, candy, cookies, and brownies all fell into that catergory. But what about muffins or scones or chocolate chip granola bars? My intention wasn’t to give up sugar, so where do you draw the line? For me I avoided anything that could be eaten as a dessert, and for my own sanity I didn’t count protein bars as sweets (I had to be able to have a little something). I did stay away from the chocolate-coated, candy bar-like ones and stuck bars with natural ingredients.

My other challenges were stress eating. The semester has been a crazy one for me, and there were bad days where I would have given anything for a chocolate chip cookie. But I reminded myself that giving into that temptation would only make me feel worse in the long run.

So here’s what I learned from 40 days without sweets:

  1. I don’t need them. Seriously, I feel much better without them. My diet has been much more focused on whole, clean foods and I don’t feel so controlled by a pan of fresh-baked cookies
  2. There are a lot of better options for satisfying that post-meal sugar craving. I had days where I just was NOT going to be satisfied without a small sweet snack after dinner, this forced me to get pretty creative. I mixed unsweetened cocoa powder into more things than I probably should have (oatmeal, cottage cheese, sweet potatoes – surprisingly good, don’t knock it). I also turned to things like fruit, yogurt, and granola bars to help satisfy this craving, and they worked. I haven’t kicked the post-dinner sweet treat habit yet, but now a banana or cup of Chobani is all I need.
  3. The longer you go without sweets, the less appealing the are. By the end of Lent I wasn’t even looking forward to eating sweets. I really don’t want them that much anymore. Sure sometimes cravings hit, but they are scarcer and wimpier than they once were.
  4. I CAN do it. This was the most important thing I learned. I’ve struggled with getting my sweet tooth under control for a longgggg time, and I’m proud of myself for sticking with this.
Don’t think I celebrated Easter without chocolate though!
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So. Good. Betty Crocker makes some banging gluten-free brownies.

Overall I really enjoyed this challenge, and it’s something I honestly want to stick to. Not to never have a sweet again, but to save them for special occasions (like the 21st birthday I have coming up in 8 days!) and not just eating a cookie because I’ve had a bad day. I’m in a really good place right now in regards to my sugar cravings and I want to stay there.

Happy Easter every one!

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