What's a girl to do when the doctor says that her belly ache is being caused by sugar? But show that doctor-man what real belly aching sounds like. Oh, I thew myself a pity party there in his office! Then he one-upped me by adding, "And while you're at it, try to get dairy and gluten out of your system as well." A couple of years later and I learned to endure the belly aches. Most of the gluten was out, some of the dairy, but sugar never even tried to make a getaway. I held on to her like a wanton lover that left me bloated, pained, and on an emotional rollercoaster during long mothering days. Until 36 days ago, when I began this fast, and decided to throw dairy and gluten into the pot as well. I can finally say that refined sugar has been 100% (okay, I had some ketchup a time or two, a little barbecue sauce, and some store bought marinara one night) gone from my life.
Ask me how I feel. Go ahead now and ask me...
"Wendy, how do you feel?"
I feel great! Absolutely amazing. But the belly issues are only an added benefit. My emotional stability has been so much better, and therefore my mothering has been more calm and consistent than it has been in years. My energy is up, my body is fighting colds without the help of constant antibiotics, and I'm down a few pounds.
But the best part of all is my spiritual well-being. I have learned to turn to God with my cravings during this fast... and God is faithfully helping me cope better, love better, get me through each long afternoon without a handful of chocolate chips or a spoonful of Nutella. I am learning that the honey-sweet-goodness of His Word when I am weak, is much better than the sweetness of sugar induced highs and lows day-in-day-out.
And yet sometimes...
a girl just wants some chocolate!
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Ingredients: 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon Pinch of sea salt
Directions: 1. Put the almond milk, avocados, cocoa, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt into your blender and puree on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides with a spatula.
2. Transfer the pudding to glasses, ramekins, or jars and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
(Recipe courtesy The Blender Girl)
I will be absolutely honest with you. While I like this a lot, it is no chocolate truffle cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory! Still, once all that
marvelous terrible stuff is out of your system, you'll be able to find yourself satisfied by new sweets - albeit somewhat less-sweet sweets.
Chocolate Protein Bar
Another one of my favorite treats now is my homemade variation of the chocolate powerbar. I simply blend 6 pitted dates, 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey, 2 TBS. melted coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Once it's nice and smooth add in 1 and 1/2 cups almond meal, and four TBS Cocoa powder until it thickens, followed by about 1/4 cup oat brand. You may play with ingredients to find the consistency you like. Real soft and it's sort of like a spread, thick and it's more like an energy bar. I keep mine in a Tupperware and steal a spoonful in the afternoon, or anytime really.
Love these two recipes void of gluten, dairy and refined sugars. I'm still trying to go to fruit for my sugar fix, and Jesus for my "get me through" power each day... but these are a couple of recipes for when a girl's just got to have some chocolate.