I want to share with you today a favorite recipe of my family. Here is a confession. I love a good treat every once in a while! I know, I know. This is a blog by a health coach so shouldn't I be sharing something like kale salad, or a dessert made from crushed nuts and avocado, instead of a sweet treat? Maybe. But, you know, it is ok to have a treat every now and again and we will go over that in a bit.
Let's talk a little about sugar. It is kind of a scary word these days. Yes, it has caused a lot of harm, such as obesity, tooth decay, premature aging, addiction and the list goes on. However, sugar wasn't always such a problem, so why is it now? Sugar became a problem when it started to be put in EVERYTHING. We consume sugar in excessive amounts. Our drinks contain sugar, our cereal contains sugar, our marinara sauces and canned fruits contain sugar. It is everywhere. So what do we do? Cut out all sugar??
1. Check your labels. If there is a lot of added sugar, try a different brand. For example: when I buy my kids applesauce I look for sugar free. This means no artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup. How about breakfast cereal? That one is tough because there is a lot of sugar in most. You will be amazed once you start looking.
2. Drink your water. When you are thirsty I know a soda sounds so much more appetizing (that's the sugar and caffeine talking), but reach for that water instead. If you need some flavor in your water try cutting up some oranges or lemons and putting a pitcher in the fridge. I love the citrus flavor! Get creative.
3. Eat a balanced diet. Get those veggies in every day. Veggies are a hard one for me, but making sure I have chopped fresh veggies on hand makes it so much easier to add to a meal. Let's not forget fruit, protein and the healthy fats. As you cook, use the ingredients that don't have the sugar. You will feel so much better by eliminating those extra sugars.
After going over what sugar can do us, why would I still give you a treat recipe? Simple.
If we are eating a balanced, wholesome diet, really being mindful, we can have our treat. This doesn't mean every night, but once in a while. Make it fun and totally enjoy it. If you feel you need some extra sweet more often, grab that delicious fresh fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. As you cut out all the extra sugar, you will most likely notice that the treat you do eat is really too sweet, and you only handle it once in a while. Super plus!
Enjoy and eat mindfully,
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Blend butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Add eggs, beat well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Blend into egg mixture. Spread in a 9x13 greased pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until brownie starts to pull away from the pan. Cool and frost with creamy frosting below.
6 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. honey
2 cups confectioners sugar
6 Tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
2-4 Tbsp. milk
Cream butter, cocoa, honey and vanilla in a small mixer bowl. Add confectioners sugar and milk. Beat to spreading consistency.
(Recipe given to us for our wedding from a neighborhood cookbook)
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
I have been thinking a lot lately about expectations and how they can affect us. My thought on this subject started when I took my oldest, who is in junior high, to a meeting with his counselor to help in the decision of choosing classes for ninth grade. As she was going through what he needs to do to stay on track for graduation, and what he could be eligible for, I realized he has a lot on his plate. He has always been someone who likes to do well in all that he does, but is part of that because he is feeling added pressure and expectations from his parents?
I was talking to a friend about this, and about the stresses I have seen him go through and also others his age who are dealing with stress and anxiety. Some much more than just stress. My friend immediately asked if she could send me a link to a great article she had read on a teen counseling website. The article, titled “Pressure to perform, how the pursuit of excellence is killing our kids” has some great suggestions. (link to full article below)
Let them know you care more for them, rather than the outcome of what they are doing. Ask if they had fun, or how they felt, rather than for what grade or score they got. Let them share with you what they have been working on. Help them know how they can use what they love later in life. Another thing we can do is be their example. We can show them it is o.k. to not be perfect in every single thing we do in life, just doing our best is great! Also, celebrate both the successes and the “failures”. Having a little of each helps us to learn.
Sound advice! This advice is not only great in helping our youth, but for each of us as well. Let’s take a moment to think……………(thinking)……………………….. How much pressure, and what kind of expectations do we put upon ourselves each day? Do we feel the need to have the perfect house, the highest paying job, and the healthiest eating habits?? Are we letting the expectations of others, or our own unreasonable expectations for ourselves run the show? I know I sometimes can be guilty of this, and it’s not fun. All of the added stress and anxiety of trying to achieve ultimate perfection is unhealthy. I don’t think expectations are bad. In fact, they can lead us to do great things. Why not keep our expectation realistic? Why not work toward a goal where our expectations are set by our personal desires, interests and talents we possess?
Let’s start pushing away the ideas of what we think we should be like, or what others think we should be like, and focus more on our individual strengths and how we can succeed in being us. We can do it.
To your healthier happier life,
link for article :
Wife, mom and Health Coach. Lover of life and learning. (and my dog Steve)