Chocolate Cheesecake Fudge

ChocolateCheesecakeFudge

Just another quick little recipe that I have featured on Instagram before but haven’t managed to post here.

In the past, if there was ever a choice of cake going around, my preference was always cheesecake. Not sure why, but it just hit the spot. The more I learn about good fats, blood sugar spikes with too much sugar and carbs and the rest of the havoc caused by wheat products (currently reading Wheat Belly by William Davis MD and having mind blown,) I am coming to understand more why my body would choose this high fat treat option. It knows best!

So now we are on a more healthy path, we can improve on the old recipes, remove most of the sugar and still have it taste amazing. So for those who don’t have an issue with dairy, time to cook!

Chocolate Cheesecake Fudge

¼ cup Philly cheese

1 TBS rice malt syrup

1 TBS cacao powder

1 TBS protein powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Soften philly cheese, mix everything together with a spoon.

Press into a lined tray, chill in the fridge and cut into squares when firm.

Makes approx 20 little squares.

These treats with nutrient packed ingredients are so satisfying that you only need one or two little pieces with your cup of tea and everyone’s happy. A far cry from the days when I was eyeing off the second huge piece, before even finishing the first! Arrrgh!

Happy days now,

Kristy xxx

Another fantastic book – Fat Chance by Robert H Lustig M.D.

candy

So I was reading something on Facebook mentioning Dr Robert Lustig, so I thought I would look him up in my local library. In terms of my two interests – weight loss and health, I hit the jackpot with this book:-

FAT CHANCE

– Beating the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity & disease. 

Right up my alley.

It was written with a little humour and case studies, which always makes it more interesting however don’t be fooled, this was a pretty heavy going book with lots of scientific terms and explanations of biological processes which made my eyes glaze over a few times. Cup of tea time!

However I wanted to highlight a couple of key points as it applies to us, as it’s pretty important stuff when it comes to obesity and weight loss. It features everything I learned myself by the way it felt for me, but now it was an endocrinologist explaining the how and why.

Straight to the meaty stuff… (but if you were reading the book you would have to plough through half of it first to get to this part – more tea required!)

Key point – “a calorie is not a calorie.”

Mentioned often in the book and detailed explanations about how your body handles each different food stuff and guess which one unnecessarily taxes your liver and is converted directly to fat?

Fructose!

That seemingly benign sweetener that’s in your fruit and other things, which everyone regarded as more or less the same as any other sweetener. But it’s not so.

Seems as though it’s been outed as a nasty piece of work where over-consumption can lead to all kinds of issues kind of lumped together under one term – Metabolic Syndrome. This is basically a collection of risk factors like excess fat around the stomach, raised blood pressure, low levels of the good cholesterol and a few other things, which all together point to increased risks of type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

So all the disease stuff is pretty scary but did you see the last part…”converted directly to fat?”

OMG! Straight to fat!

How’s that for those of us trying to lose weight or keep it off?

Your ‘healthy’ fruit juice – straight to fat.

Your smoothie made with bananas, mangoes, berries and pineapple – straight to fat.

Your ‘healthy’ desserts made with a bucket load of dates – straight to fat.

fruit

So let’s be clear here, eating one or two pieces of whole fresh fruit a day complete with its fibre and other nutrients is not the problem. It has it’s own mechanisms to slow down the delivery of the fructose to the liver and aids digestion and assimilation.

It’s the concentrated stuff without the complete fibre that’s the problem. Just when everyone thought they were being healthy with their fruit juices and fruit smoothies, turns out it just dumps more on the liver to process too quickly and adds to the problem. And that’s even before you get to the high sugar levels in processed foods!

Here are a few things it gets up to:-

  1. Fructose…”inactivates a key messenger of insulin action, leading to liver insulin resistance.”

2. The above means glucose goes up, potentially leading to diabetes

3. The liver insulin resistance causes the pancreas to release extra insulin potentially leading to obesity.

4. High insulin may also drive the growth of cancer.

5. High insulin blocks leptin signalling, this is the ‘I’m full’ hormone and thus causes you to eat more.

6. Fructose may also compromise the small intestine lining and lead to leaky gut

7. Fructose may also directly damage cells and contribute to aging

8. Insulin resistance has a direct causation for dementia

9. “Ghrelin, a peptide produced by cells in the stomach, is the ‘hunger’ signal… However, fructose intake does not decrease ghrelin; therefore caloric intake is not suppressed.”

So there are all kinds of issues it causes and two different ways it keeps you eating more of it. There was way more technical information on how exactly the fat cells react and keep wanting to fill themselves up, thus working against you in your efforts to lose weight.

Robert said it best – “every successful diet in history restricts sugar.”

So how much is too much?

Opinions vary, some say 50g of fructose is ok (9 tsps), others say 25g is the healthier level while others citing low as 15g per day the limit for anyone presenting any of the symptoms outlined above.

I say be mindful of it and see how you are feeling. Lots of processed foods have it, like sauces and packaged foods, watch the fruit consumption and added sweeteners. This is why I stick to stevia and rice malt syrup mostly because neither of those have fructose in it. I like a bit of organic maple syrup every now and then because it has a different flavour and it is about 35% fructose. If you are making a smoothie, make it mostly veggies and add only one piece of fruit.

Reducing your sugar intake may just be your next life-changing step.

Sunshine & stevia.

Kristy xxx

Macadamia Protein Bites

macadamiaproteinbites

I’ve noticed something. If I eat three small pieces of this recipe or any of the good fat and protein combos like my white chocolate fudge or peanut butter balls, for breakfast, I am totally not hungry again until well after 12 noon.

That’s super awesome because in the past when I had fruit or oats for example, I would be hungry again an hour later. Such a pain when you have things to do.

So in the interests of super delicious and satisfying, here is another recipe for your repertoire:-

Macadamia Protein Bites

Base
½ cup vanilla protein powder
½ cup macadamia nuts
2 TBS rice malt syrup
¼ cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping
inch x inch square cacao butter
1 TBS rice malt syrup
1 TBS tahini

Whizz the nuts in a food processor until all stuck together. Throw in the rest of the base ingredients and keep whizzing until one sticky ball.

Press into a tin lined with baking paper and chill in fridge.

For the topping, melt cacao butter in a double boiler over low heat. Add the RMS and tahini, mixing until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the base and keep in the fridge.

Lately too I have been subbing out rice malt syrup for stevia in part or all of my recipes. When I feel like I need to reduce my carb intake I do this because if you don’t mind the taste of stevia, it is a calorie free wonder sweetener.

Happy healthy cooking!

 

Kristy xxx

Enough nutrients from food?

healthyfood

I was wondering if anyone had put together an ideal daily food plan that ensures you get your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of all nutrients. Every vitamin, every mineral, everything, every day.

Is it out there? Has anyone done it?

So I went off in search and wondered how my diet fared with this theory and envisaged trying to work out all nutrients in everything I eat. Long laborious task – not enough time – really couldn’t be bothered – and while I was interested in the outcome, I didn’t want to have to do it. So I thought, there must be an app/website that does this and preferably for free, and indeed there is.

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White Chocolate Nut Fudge

weight loss

This recipe was too yum not to post on here asap.

So I may have hit on something I like even better than raw cacao chocolate – if that’s even possible? I wondered what would happen if I just left out the cacao powder and coconut oil when I was making my chocolate tweets (‘cos the coconut oil and cacao can be kind of overpowering) and ramped up the butter and nut butter content.

Well, it’s kind of awesome.

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How many calories do we use just living?

girlinbed

When researching the post on exercise for weight loss, I came across this piece which showed why the hour a day or 3 times a week exercise regime that most of us are doing, isn’t doing much for our weight loss goals.

It’s partly to do with what happens for the rest of our 23 hours per day and also the fact that poor eating choices do far more damage than can be rectified by moderate exercise.

It has to be something like 90 mins of intense exercise daily to have any effect on your weight and many of us can’t keep that up – or like me, I don’t want to, it’s just not the life I want to lead.

So let’s check out this daily calorie usage just by living thing…

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Sesame Tahini Bites

sesame

I was remembering the chewy Sesame Bar and wondered if I could make the same thing with less sweetener and maybe raw too, so I gave it whirl and while it’s not the same, it’s still yum and deserves a place in the Slim Birdy line up.

Just for fun, I found the ingredients of the standard commercial Sesame Bar and get a load of this…

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