GF Lamingtons


Well after two gloriously warm and relaxing weeks in Australia I thought I would continue the theme into this week’s blog. ¬†I should mention here that I have been guilty of calling these little treats a Kiwi classic however after a trip to a Queensland museum it seems that I stand corrected and declare that Lamingtons are in fact born and breed in Australia …. unlike the Pavlova but then that is another story. ūüôā

Anyway I had a great GF sponge recipe given to me by a friend which when I replaced the sugar for honey turned out a little denser than hoped so waste not want not …. we made Lamingtons.

GF sponge

I have adapted this from a magazine cut out which a friend sent so apologies if it is yours and please let me know.

3 eggs – separated

50 gm runny honey

grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon

70 gm of potato flour or cornflour

  • Preheat oven to 180 c
  • Beat the egg yolks, honey,lemon rind and juice until thick enough to leave a trail for 8 secs when the whisk is lifted. This is a fair bit of whisking so electric is a good option.
  • Fold te sifted flour slowly into the egg yolk mixture using a metal spoon.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff, but not dry, and fold into the mixture.
  • Pour into a lined tin and bake until it is firm to the touch, puffed and golden – around 20 -30 mins for my oven.

My GF Lamingtons

  • Cut your cooled sponge into small squares
  • Get 2 bowls ready. ¬†One with desiccated coconut and one with runny SF jam (if you want to make it refined sugar free) or runny icing.
  • Dip each small square into some runny jam (I watered down my refined sugar free plum jam)
  • Dip each jam coated square into the coconut ensuring all the jam is covered.
  • Pop on a plate and …. Enjoy.

Hope this finds you creating your own sweet treats and enjoying life.



GF, DF, RSF Anzac Biscuits


So the Hungry Cub blog has done it again! ¬†Yet another yummy recipe without a hint of dairy, gluten or refined sugar in sight ūüôā ¬†Her blog is great, with loads of simple, good, healthy food so if you are into getting more recipes then I’d recommend following Hungry Cub so you can get them coming straight to your inbox ūüôā


Ready to pop in the oven!

Anyway even though we are in the midst of the last of the apple harvest and busy stewing up apples along with starting Apple Cider vinegar (details and results in a few weeks) her Anzac Biscuit recipe looked so simple, yummy and healthy that I couldn’t resist making it and sharing! ¬†You can find Hungry Cub’s ¬†original Anzac recipe here and keep reading for my version which, only through laziness to actually check the recipe, is slightly less blended and chunkier ūüôā

GF, DF, Refined Sugar Free (RSF) Anzac Biscuits

Makes 20 small biscuits

  • 1/2 Cup of dates soaked for at least 3 hrs
  • 3 Tbs cashew Butter (Pics is Awesome without other oil added)
  • 1/2 Cup¬†Slivered Almonds (I used a 70gm packet which was just over 1/2 cup)
  • 1 Cup of desiccated coconut

-Drain dates (liquid not needed) and blend with cashew butter until smooth.

-Add other ingredients and mix until blended well

-Roll into small balls and place on a baking tray. Then flatten slightly with a fork

-Bake at 180 C for 10 mins or until golden.

-Enjoy ūüôā

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and giving a thought for those who have gone before us.




Some sucrose facts to chew on


Been away for the weekend – yes another one ūüėČ – and still catching up on the household bits so thought I would re-post an old post from my old blog which I read before beginning a bit of a sugar-free challenge¬†¬†back in 2011.¬†Back then I just cut out the white stuff (including sugar in foods where labelled) while consuming heaps of honey and dried fruit so not sure how ‘sugar’ free is was ūüėȬ†


Anyway ……..¬†I found this interesting article in an old edition of ‘Her Business’ Issue 58 July 2005 which my sister had given me and it was the impetus to begin thinking more about the food I was putting in my gob.¬†

It all makes good sense no matter how delicious the stuff is – and how hard it is to give up!

  1. One can of Coke raises blood sugar to five times its normal level for four hours.
  2. The indigestibility of sucrose means the initial buzz you feel on chugging that coke down is simply the ‘fight or flight’ adrenal reaction of the body.
  3. Sucrose blocks digestion and¬†‘tricks’ the body into accommodating ever-higher levels of contaminants and sticks to proteins like meat, forming new complexes that enzymes can’t break down.
  4. Sucrose destroys the ‘good’ bacteria (flora) in the intestinal tract producing a half-digested carbohydrate mass that seeps into the bloodstream, causing problems in joints, muscles and organs.
  5. Sucrose disrupts the alignment between phosphorus and calcium, which can lead to osteoporosis, and permits calcium to solidify in the organs in the form of gall, liver and kidney stones.
  6. Sucrose is also a factor in asthma because undigested sugar can lodge in the bronchioles of the lungs.
  7. Sucrose depletes muscle mass because the body’s elimination attempts use up valuable calcium, magnesium, and chromium.
  8. Drugs, in the form of synthetic insulin have never cured anyone of diabetes: the only way to reverse adult onset diabetes – the most common type – is giving up all sucrose, alcohol included.
  9. Alcohol places an enormous strain on the body because it’s essentially refined sugar; bypassing the digestive system altogether, it’s absorbed immediately into the bloodstream and speeds up the ageing process.
  10. And finally, lest you thought is was safe to crack open the sugar substitute, consider this: two of the three core molecules that make up aspartame – the #1 food and beverage additive in the world – are aspartic acid, a major neurotoxin linked to a variety of neurological disorders and methanol (wood alcohol) which converts to formaldehyde in the body!

Hope this finds you all dry, warm, happy and healthy.




Eliminating emotional eating


Just back from an amazing weekend away in the beautiful Golden Bay region.  It was the first time I have been away overnight without themselves for a few years so it really was great, add to that 6 other fantastic women and learning a craft and I was on cloud nine. 

Before heading away for the long weekend I had decided not to be too strict with myself over sugar, mainly because much of the food was catered and because I really didn’t know how I would be with treats around and others eating them.¬† I had planned ahead a little though and made sure that I purchased sugar free snacks to share – corn chips, nuts and houmous – along with having breakfast goodies and also a few staples.¬† I needn’t of worried though as even when the delicious chocolate dessert came out on the first night I was happy to say ‘no thanks’ and leave it at that!¬† Morning teas, with baked and multi-sugared offerings, desserts and even chocolate snacks didn’t even draw me closer.¬† I KNOW!!¬† I’m as shocked as you!¬† I remember reading in ‘Sweet Poison’ that when the addiction lifted goodies wouldn’t be an issue however I half laughed when I read it thinking ‘yeah right mate!’¬† The thing is he was right.¬† There was no craving there at all, it was just another food on the plate rather than then great temptress it had been some 2 months earlier.


Baskets I made over the weekend.

Now here is the interesting part for me….. while I was away I wasn’t really craving anything – sugary or otherwise.¬† I ate my 3 meals each day,¬†¬†only had a snack late afternoon as I was genuinely hungry and tea wasn’t till¬†much later, and had no thoughts of eating more than that.¬† I guess I was busy¬†weaving and learning new skills in the day and then talking in the evening so maybe that was the reason.¬†¬†The thing is that as soon as I got home the ‘search¬†for food’ was on.¬† I wasn’t even hungry yet by walking through the home threshold I had reverted to old patterns of eating between meals and wanting second helpings. The difference, from the 4 days prior, shocked me and¬†reminded me yet again of the power¬†of emotions and emotional eating! In coming home I had come back to the little triggers in life that seeing me reaching for food rather than expressing my emotions in positive ways.

I have known for a while that my¬†overeating is linked to my emotions however after reading David Gillespie’s book I had secretly hoped that maybe, just maybe, eliminating the sugar would eliminate that emotional eating I had hooked myself into.¬† This weekend, and¬†coming home, as shown me¬†that¬†while changing foods and eating habits¬†are very helpful in getting you on the path of becoming healthy it won’t change much if you are still holding onto those emotional triggers that caused you to grab for the wrong foods in the first place. Sure the food I grab for is much, much healthier now that I’m not addicted to sugar just that in my quest for health and good habits around food it isn’t quite enough.¬† Clearing the emotional baggage is the only way, yes the only way to eliminate that emotional eating.


Bach Flower Remedies are great for clearing emotional triggers to eating.

Throughout this journey, and before, I have been using Bach Flower Remedies (BFR) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to help me when I have wanted to eat rather than expressing or releasing emotions.¬† I have even created EFT you-tube videos for it and documents about which BFR are good!¬† So it was a good wake up call to take my own advice and use the tools I know work so well to help me clear all those emotional triggers I locked in so long ago.¬† It is hard I’ll say that, harder than giving up sugar, as it is a life time of using food as a support system.¬† My aim is to eating healthfully though and in a way that nourishes my body rather than punishing it so it is important to deal with more than just the food going in.¬† I need to deal with the why.¬† Maybe you do to so, I thought I would pop in a few remedies that I have found useful.¬† Of course everyone is different so if you want to find the remedies which best suit you then check out my quiz¬†to get¬†the right one for you.¬†

Agrimony – if you find yourself comfort eating to stay happy and to stop thinking about your problems or uncomfortable feelings. It will get rid of your inner restlessness and express emotions easier.

Centaury ‚Äď to help you say ‚Äėno‚Äô to food you can‚Äôt resist or to ‚Äėkind‚Äô friends who offer a piece of cake to go with your coffee! If you don‚Äôt like hurting people‚Äôs feelings and eat to please others then Centaury will really help you.

Chestnut Bud ‚Äď if you are a yo-yo dieter. When you don‚Äôt learn from the past and keep repeating the same mistakes (like reaching for that chocolate bar!) then this is a remedy for you.

Crab Apple ‚Äď if you have poor body image and become obsessed with the details of diets.

Gentian ‚Äď if you are easily set back and become despondent if something goes wrong. Maybe you doubt your ability to eat healthy food or lose weight or you give up if you don‚Äôt have a good weight loss straight away.

Holly ‚Äď if you eat because you are angry, jealous or have deep hurts from the past.

Star of Bethlehem ‚Äď if your eating is for comfort after a trauma, shock, grief or fright.¬† This can be something that happened recently or in the past.¬†

Well there are a few to start you off and if you want to read more then check out my document ‘Creating a Vivacious you’ or complete the quiz.¬†

Hope this finds you all happy, healthy and full of energy for the week ahead.





What a week?!


Well we are now into week 3 and I think this past week has been the hardest by far!¬† Obviously my body was well adjusted to me lasting 2 weeks at something with the knowledge that by week 3 I’d be back into my previous habits so said body was happy to go along for the ride.¬† SHOCK HORROR!!! when I went into week 3 and no sugar or treats were coming its way!

The cravings for something sweet have driven me up the wall and I’m constantly thinking how crazy I am for starting this ‘no sugar’ way of life only a few week before Easter.¬† I haven’t been that hungry between meals though so have actually dropped having morning and afternoon tea as I really don’t feel like food.¬† Breakfast is all good afterwards and Lunch is so so, as far as wanting something sweet go however tea………..Oh my God?!¬† All I can think about all evening is having some kind of sweet treat which means that I have been having lots of other stuff instead.¬† Oats and rice milk – actually I do love this so not too crazy for me to eat breakfast food at any hour of the day ;), cheese, crackers, toast and nuts have all been consumed in copious amounts over the past week in a bid to curb the crave.

I have even been trying out a¬†recipe of ¬†Sarah Wilson’s for Raspberry Ripple (yes I finally got a copy from the library) which I turned into Berry ripple.¬† I think¬†my little one¬†summed it up nicely with his ‘hmmmm……. it is kind of yum and kind of yuck’.¬† Yep that sums it up nicely though it has to be said that I didn’t have any rice malt syrup so used glucose syrup and in lieu of raspberries we used mixed frozen berries so maybe¬† Sarah’s is actually a whole lot more ‘yum than yuck’. ūüėȬ†


Sarah Wilson’s Raspberry Ripple

Which brings me onto another topic of replacing sugar with glucose syrup and dextrose.¬† I’m not a big fan of overly processed foods yet I did actually buy some glucose syrup the other day because I happened to see it while shopping in my craved state and used it to create our substitute chocolate dessert.¬† Glucose syrup is used extensively in the food industry as a substitute for sugar as it gives food a better¬†texture and shelf life.¬† It¬†mostly derived from corn and it also has sulphites (which¬†people can react to)¬†as a preservation which is the part I keep wondering about.¬† There is nothing on the container to say where the ingredients originate from, aside from ‘Packaged in Australia from imported ingredients’, and I keep wondering just how modified the corn is and just how much processing is needed to make corn into a syrup.¬† Even on a gluten free site it tells followers that glucose syrup is so highly processed that any gluten that was there is sure to be ‘null and void’ by the time the syrup is consumed.¬† Not that reassuring really.¬† I have e-mail Queen products (the makers of the glucose syrup I purchased for less that $5 NZ) and I’m waiting for a reply from them about the origins and state of the corn they use.¬† Dextrose fairs no better on the processing stakes and even the beloved Rice Malt Syrup, while available in organic forms, as had its share of controversy when a 2012 US study stated that consumers were ingesting potentially harmful levels of arsenic via rice and rice malt syrup.¬†Others have had similar findings too while studying Organic Brown Rice Syrup.

So if we know that fructose is harmful to our bodies it makes sense to me to limit the intake of fructose however there are ‘issues’¬†around these substitutes for fructose¬†such as over processing, sources of the ingredients and the state of the ingredients which cause me far more concern than having natural, fresh fruit and honey coming into our bodies.¬† Sure there is up to 40% fructose in honey and varying amounts in fruit however the fact that I can obtain these without any processing (ok, technically the bees process the nectar into honey and who knows what is on fruit that is non-organic) by people makes them far safer options for me and my family¬†in the long run.¬† We still haven’t used honey as I did feel that we were over-dosing a little on it, ¬†even prior to reading David’s book, and I’m¬†also enjoying the reduction in the shopping bill at not having to buy it each week – yes we really did power through it.¬† So far I have managed on fresh fruit in our baking¬†or simply omitting the sugar from the recipe, with the exception of my craving-crazed bid to make ‘fake’ chocolate ūüėȬ†


Our ‘Ugly Muffins’ as my youngest has named them

Well that is my ‘food for thought’ or ‘thoughts for food’ this week.¬† I’d love to hear your thoughts, options and links to good research as I’m really enjoying learning more about what our family is ingesting.

Hope this finds you all enjoying a sweet and delicious day – with or without sweeteners.





A bit of clarification


I thought as we enter into our second week without sugar that I would clarify how and why we are doing this, or more to the point why I am doing this and how I am ‘imposing’ it onto my family ūüėȬ† I have not had any sugar, honey or dried fruit now for 11 days.¬† The kids have had one biscuit (given by someone else after a group while I wasn’t there) and one toasted marshmallow (well that really was a treat – toasting marshmallows on the beach bonfire).¬† The kid’s tastes are changing, I can see already, as are mine and things seem sweeter or more full of flavour than before.¬† It does feel a little harder this week in some ways as I have had more cravings for sweet things due to a certain cycle occurring however I’m hanging in there ūüėČ

There seems to be a lot of hype over Sarah Wilson and her book however I haven’t actually read it yet so this decision was based more on the fact that what I read in David Gillespie’s¬†book seemed to be the missing piece of the puzzle for me.¬† For a long time we have been conscious of the amount of sugar we have in our food and of the ingredients in our food.¬† I read labels and opt for the ones that have the least ingredients and ingredients that¬†I understand – no I don’t remember any of the additive numbers or codes so it is the real food I’m looking for.¬†I make the majority of our food and we have a pretty ‘back to basics’ approach to food. It hasn’t always been this way though as I come from a long line of¬†sweet toothed ancestors!!¬†¬†Himself on the other hand had very little sugar while growing up and has always talked about the lack of need for it.¬† Slowly but surely as I have wanted to improve my own health, have healthy pregnancies, healthy births and then healthy children we¬†have¬†chosen to minimise the amount of additives in our food, sugar included. ¬†

We are no saints however despite all the research I had read, the interviews I had heard and the articles I had studied.¬†As the kids have gotten older and we have moved down South I have noticed that while many of our ‘healthy’ habits remain there were more and more sweet treats occurring.¬† I don’t know if it was that my attention was more on home-educating or that the kids were just older and going to more things¬†but either way over the last 2 years the sugar content of our lives has increased. In reading David’s book it was a good reminder for me to get us back on track and eating a little more health-fully not to mentioned saving a bit of dosh through me not visiting the local 4-square for chocolate!!

So how are we doing it?¬† One thing I am really conscious of is that I’m setting a good example around food for our kids.¬† I want them to see that natural unprocessed food is best and that food is there to nourish us. I don’t want them to get hung up on calories or omitting important ‘building blocks’.¬† We talk a lot about healthy eating that is true.¬† I do this mainly because they ask and also to educate them as to what a healthy balanced¬†meal is like.¬† Carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oils, water along with minerals and vitamins are the basic nutrients we need for life.¬† Sugar isn’t in any of these.¬† Sugar and honey are¬†additives, yummy ones I know however additives never the less.¬† They are¬†great for special treats and parties as long as that is how they are used.¬† My big concern was that the ‘party food’ and ‘treat food’¬†was becoming very regular food.¬† Not everyday but pretty close to it hence my decision to take a bit of action.

I’m a label reader for sure however I’m not a patient one.¬† If I can’t understand it fairly quickly then the item will be back on the shelf pronto.¬† Likewise I’m a fairly lazy cook so if I can’t just use basic ingredients or get things to eat easily I hardly even make an effort to do so.¬† Below is what I have done so far and how we will be approaching things in bullet point – yeah lazy and impatient¬†in the old blog posting too tonight ūüėČ

  • We cleared out the cupboards of anything with sugar listed as an ingredient on the label. Most condiments gone :/
  • The most processed food we have left is Vita-brix (weetbix type breakfast food) and canned beans which will be used up and not replaced.¬† We have heaps of dried beans and personally I can’t stand anything that resembles Weet-bix – sorry Little Miss 7!
  • We have left fresh fruit there and tend to limit it to one or two pieces a day.¬† We are also¬†opting for fruit other than bananas and grapes.¬† Bananas hardly even got eaten anyway and grapes are a bit of a hit and miss expensive gamble in our supermarket.¬† Apples are still with us for Himself.¬†¬†The kids actually prefer the pears and oranges more.
  • Our baking is now free of honey, sugar or dried fruit.¬†I’m trying out recipes without¬†sugar rather than¬†replacing it with dextrose (as in David’s recipes) at the moment.¬†We don’t have dextrose in the shops here and I haven’t¬†made an effort to get any via the internet.¬† Himself¬†may though as he¬†uses it for his homebrew and then I’ll may try out a birthday cake with it.¬†I do still use whole banana (got a ton in the freezer from them not being eaten in time!) in muffins at the moment.
  • We have always made our own bread so the only change there was to omit the honey in the recipe of one and sugar from the recipe of another.¬† Honestly it tastes no different at all.
  • Our breakfasts are pretty much the same as always – oats and milk, toast with butter and the occasional porridge being made – apart from the honey, that I used to drown everything in, now being removed.
  • Snacks are based around crackers and cheese, nuts, popcorn and any sugar(dried fruit or honey) free baking I have done.
  • I’m trying to keep life and our eating pretty much the same really.
  • We have actually saved money on the shopping as dried fruit (which I was the main consumer of) costs a bomb as do bananas and grapes.

Can’t think of anything else to say except this is how we are doing it and it is working for us at the moment.¬†Changes may occur as I’m fairly flexible about finding a balance that works and feels natural. ¬†I’m aware that it may seem drastic to others however when I think about how we were eating and our over all philosophy to food it really is only a small step we have made.¬†

Hope this finds you all happy, healthy and feeling great.