Alisa shares her recipes for healthy treats and tells us the secret to using alternative sweeteners
Poorly-managed blood sugar is the root of all hormonal health issues. I have yet to meet one woman suffering with PMS, low libido, infertility, or painful periods who had her blood-sugar levels balanced out. That’s because it’s impossible to have well-controlled blood sugar without making a conscious effort.
Imagine a chart with a flat horizontal line running across. My goal is to have you, and all women, see only gentle undulations from that ideal blood sugar stasis and not the dramatic peaks and troughs that most of us will experience if we don’t keep an eye on what we eat. Those peaks and troughs are what make us soar and then crash in our moods and they spell disaster for our hormones.
Make friends with your sugar gremlins
The great news is that this goal can be met without you having to take an austerity approach of cutting out all sugar entirely. Phew! That’s right – it’s just one reason the Flo Living way is better than all those elimination-based diets!
The fact of the matter is that it’s normal to have sugar cravings. Our bodies need glucose to function. It’s your brain’s primary source of fuel. Without some, you’re going to feel miserable. So, I’m not here to tell you to stop eating cake, brownies or pudding completely. I promise!
Even I have certain times of the month when I crave sweet treats. The difference is that when my sugar gremlins come calling, I’m ready for them with smart and healthy choices to satisfy their needs!
Hidden sugars in healthy diets
Did you all see the documentary Fed Up? It’s a must-see! One really important takeaway from that movie is that even those women with the best intentions don’t realize just how much sugar they’re consuming on a daily basis. The average American diet is full of hidden sugars. One serving of many packaged foods is giving us our sugar allotment for several days. The so-called “healthy” packaged foods are the worst for this.
Another crucial point made in the film is that although we may think that we’re eating well – having lots of juices and smoothies, for example – those fruit sugars without the fibre pairing are actually no different to eating a brownie or a piece of cake! Eek!
So what do I give my sugar gremlins to keep them quiet? I’m going to let you in on my favorite recipes for sweet treats. I’m already working on my daughter’s first birthday cake recipe and I’ll fill you in on that when it’s perfected!
Alisa’s favorite sweet treat recipes
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
3 ripe avocados
4 soaked dates
1/4 cup coconut nectar plus 2T maple syrup
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt
Add all to Vitamix or food processor and puree until smooth
taste and adjust for sweetness and texture with more sweetener and milk
serve on millet toast for breakfast or have in a coupe glass for dessert!!
Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies
1 raw medium sweet potato (purple skin/white flesh) – 2 1/2 cups when grated
2 whole eggs
½ cup melted coconut oil
⅓ cup honey or coconut nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2½ tablespoon coconut flour
¼ tsp pink himalayan salt
Preheat oven to 375 °F
Combine wet: grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, honey and coconut oil oil in a large mixing bowl and stir together until well incorporated.
Mix dry: cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and coconut flour.
Combine wet into dry and mix well.
Pour the mixture into a 9 inch square baking tin lined with parchment paper.
Cook for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before carefully removing the brownies from the tin.
Serve with raspberries or strawberries and maybe some coconut yogurt to be extra decadent.
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1.5 cups oat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Mix wet into dry, pour mixture into a parchment lined loaf pan, bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min and let cool completely.
4 pears, cored, sliced
½ bag of frozen blueberries
juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp cinnamon, pinch of salt
2 T coconut oil
1 tsp arrowroot
Combine all the ingredients in a 14 inch casserole baking dish.
Sprinkle gluten free/sugar free plain granola on top (Udi’s or Elizabeth’s).
Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake at 350 for 30 min covered.
Let sit 15 minutes uncovered and cool.
Serve with fresh mint and coconut yogurt or a drizzle of honey.
The secret to sweetening
Now I’ve made you hungry with all of those yummy recipes, I want to share the secret to using alternative sweeteners. Anything that isn’t the white (or brown) stuff, as in pure sugar, is a better choice, but not all sweeteners are equal.
Here’s the SWEET TRUTH: When it comes down to it, sugar is sugar is sugar. And a paleo/vegan/gluten-free cupcake is still a cupcake!
It’s key to approach everything sweet with moderation in mind. None of my recipes contain much in the way of sweetener and that’s because your body doesn’t need much to feel satisfied. They certainly contain less than even the healthiest recipes you’ll find in most books or online. Aim instead to only use ¼ of cup or 4 tablespoons for any recipe you come across.
Regardless of which sweetener I use, my body reacts to it. Remember that flat line on the chart I mentioned earlier? Well, all the alternative sweeteners out there will make that line move up and down somewhat and change how you feel in the hours after. All of them will impact your hormonal health. So let’s keep things moderate and balanced!
The best sweeteners
The two sweeteners that do the least to disturb my blood sugar stasis are honey and coconut nectar. Both of which happen to be great for baking!
I also recommend date sugar as it’s very natural – it’s literally just crushed-up dates! Date sugar is also a great substitute that actually acts and works like sugar, if you’re into baking cakes and other serious confections.
Molasses has excellent medicinal properties, you just have to keep in mind it’s specific and strong flavor (like that found in gingerbread).
If you’re looking to use a sweetener outside of baking, say to sweeten your tea, then agave and honey are better than stevia (which, by the way, has pregnancy-prevention properties) but Stevia is great if you’re not trying to get pregnant.
Lose the processed white flour and dairy too!
It’s actually really easy to also avoid processed white flour and dairy when baking sweet treats along with the sugar. Give it a try, you might be surprised about what you don’t need!
My baking tips
Oat, brown rice or buckwheat flour are the best alternatives to the white processed kind.
Coconut oil is a great butter substitute.
Almond milk will replace any dairy requirements in recipes.
A substitute egg can be created simply with water and flax seeds – it’s called a ‘Flax Egg’
So, yes, you can eat cake! Just not every day…;)
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, what do your sugar gremlins crave? When do they appear?
Second, which one of my recipes are you going to try? I’d love to know how it works out and share your photos with me!
Third, you know every one you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social by clicking the buttons below
Need more Hormone Help?
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I’ve designed a 4 day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly what’s out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.
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