Whether you’re trying to lose weight, clear up your skin, reduce pain and inflammation in your body, sleep better at night, or simply get healthier, you might have the idea that excess sugar (and your cravings for it!) is getting in the way of achieving your goals. Sugar cravings are extremely common and can often be explained by relatively simple things, like the side effects from certain foods that have made their way into your diet or simply fact that reaching for that sugary snack has become a habit in its own right.
But the truth is, refined sugar contains no fiber, no minerals, no protein, no healthy fats, no enzymes, only rapidly digested, and empty calories. It suppresses our immune system, triggers mood swings, and amplifies pain and inflammation. Sugar wreaks havoc on our bodies. Let me validate this for you: your initial instinct to read this article to learn healthy swaps to satisfy and reduce your sugar cravings to feel better, lighter, happier, and healthier is spot on.
Here's a great recipe for avocado brownies that will satisfy your sweet tooth and get more healthy fat into your diet:
1 Avocado (medium, ripe)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Monkfruit sweetener (Note: I use Lakanto for 1:1 replacement to sugar. For other brands, check comparison to 1/2 cup sugar)
3 tbsps Ghee
1/2 cup Almond Flour
1/2 cup Cacao Powder (or cocoa powder)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/3 cup Organic Dark Chocolate Chips
Avocado: One medium avocado is equal to approximately one cup of mashed avocado.
No Ghee: Use coconut oil or coconut butter instead.
Pan Size: For 12 servings, we used a 9 x 9-inch pan.
I don't mean to brag, but I make the BEST butternut squash soup. In fact, it's so good that I don't even have a decent picture of it. As soon as a batch is done, we sit down to eat it so quickly that I don't bother to take a photo. Pair it with a gluten-free grilled goat cheese sandwich - heaven!
If you follow me at all, you know I'm not really a recipe person. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants and cook by instinct. But this is the general recipe for the soup in an InstantPot:
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 red apples of your choice, peeled and cubed
3/4 yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
1 TB ghee
3 to 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (enough to almost cover the squash and apples in the instant pot)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 to 2 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 can of coconut cream (or all of the cream out of a can of full fat coconut milk)
Set the InstantPot to saute and add the ghee, onion & garlic. Stir and saute until translucent. Add a handful of apple chunks and a handful of butternut squash chunks and lightly brown.
Pour about 1/2 a cup of the veg broth into the pot and scrape the bottom to deglaze. Add the remainder of the apple and butternut squash. Add veg broth to not quite cover squash/apple. Add seasonings and give a little stir. Seal and set the InstantPot to cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release the pressure when the time is up.
Add the coconut cream and blend with an immersion blender. Alternatively you can transfer in batches to a blender - but be really careful of the steam!
Serve with a little sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Enjoy!
Did you know that men go through their own form of menopause? Their hormones fluctuate, they gain weight, they suffer a drop in libido (Viagra anyone?), and suffer the same mid-life health issues as women. But men aren’t made to feel like they’re defective or crazy. Why is that?
It’s time to take back mid-life ladies. Have the conversations. Drop the shame. Claim your power and let’s get on with living.
Reach out to me if you need help balancing your hormones or getting your health back. Mid-life is YOUR time to THRIVE.
I've tried a lot of gluten-free pizza crust recipes - cauliflower, brown rice flour, almond flour, cassava flour (my usual go-to). But this one is the clear winner. Nice slightly chewy texture and holds up even with all of these toppings. (Plus a serving of veggies) I usually have to eat gluten-free pizza with a fork, but I was able to pick up a slice of this and eat it with my hands, as pizza was intended.
Here's the recipe that makes two 8" pizza crusts:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Cook the sweet potatos. 2 cups is about 2 large sweet potatoes. You can cook them in the Instant Pot (my preference) for 20-25 minutes, or roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour and half until they are soft.
2. After the sweet potatoes have cooled a bit, remove the skin and mash or whip. You can whip with a hand mixer if you want super smooth dough. I'm a bit lazy and just mashed with a fork, which left some small chunks of sweet potato that I don't mind.
3. Mix the sweet potatoes with all other ingrendients and mix well.
4. Line your baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper.
5. Divide the dough into two balls and shape into pizza crust. You might want to wet your fingers to keep the dough from sticking. It's a very sticky dough, but you are able to shape it.
6. Bake the pizza crust for about 30 minutes, until the edges start to brown.
7. Top the crust with your desired toppings and return to the oven for about 15 minutes (depending on your toppings). Sometimes I just put the oven on Broil and cook with the toppings for about 5 minutes - you can use whichever method you prefer.
Cathy McCann is a functional nutritionist, coach, writer, speaker and meditation teacher, who is passionate about health and guiding people through the journey of healing.