The next instalment in our healthy living blog series, written by (self-confessed ‘health nut’) Lana Love, owner of Ibiza’s favourite healthy cafe, Passion Cafe.
Believe it or not, life without sugar is sweet! Sure, you may be asking yourself how that can be possible. If someone had told me – the biggest cake lover out there – that only a few weeks ago, I would have told them: impossible!
However, I hadn’t been feeling great for a while, yet I have a healthy café and a very healthy lifestyle. Eating superfoods and so on wasn’t helping with all the emotional and stressful crap that was happening to me. My energy levels dropped, I was bloated all the time and just not excited about anything at all… I was scared when I felt my passion disappearing and I just could not allow that to happen. Because without passion in my life, without that drive and stimulation, I just don’t function. I just don’t enjoy my life without it.
As I am lady of action, I was eager to find what could I do to make my old happy self return, get my energy back and make that tummy flatter again! A consultation with an alternative medicine doctor suggested I remove all the sugar from my diet… even fruit! No sugar whatsoever.
I felt like a five-year old who’d just been told she couldn’t have a new Barbie. Bottom lip stuck out, sad puppy eyes, big sigh… But then I snapped out of it! It was a new challenge!
I haven’t been consuming white sugar for quite a while, I use dates as my sweetener, sometimes agave or maple syrup. But I ate lots of fruit. Lots and lots of fruit. Whole honeydew melon for breakfast, papayas and mangoes are my absolute weakness.
The first few days were hard as you just naturally reach for sugary things purely out of instinct. You chop fruit in the cafe, you eat a piece, you are frosting a cake, you lick the bowl at the end, you are about to blend a smoothie and first thing you reach for is a banana…
If anyone out there thought getting of wheat, gluten or dairy from your diet was difficult… try getting rid of sugar! Bad habits are like comfortable beds – easy to get into and difficult to get out!
Sugar is also everywhere!
I went to the health food shop to buy some snacks that were sugar free and also gluten free (I don’t consume that either – nasty stuff). In the biggest health food store in Ibiza I couldn’t find one single product that was gluten AND sugar free. When you take the time to read the labels you notice sugar and other sugar substitutes are everywhere! Plain, gluten free bread even has sugar in it! Why?
So I turned to my own kitchen and tuned in to my cooking skills. I was not going to let this stop me from enjoying my food and I was determined to find solutions and to create my sugar and gluten free desserts! I’m proud to say that I have succeeded and not only were some of them a success with me but also with Passion customers!
All the gluten and sugar free chocolate chip cookies I baked disappeared in just one day! They do say the proof is in the pudding… or cookie as the case may be!
When your diet is sugar free, it’s easy to reach for artificial sweeteners, but that utterly horrible stuff is just not going to pass my lips. To me, the only option is Stevia, a 100 per cent natural sweetener that takes time to get used to, because if you overdo on it leaves very strange overpowering sweetness in the mouth. I use it rarely and sparingly when I need just a little bit of sweetness in a dish I’m preparing.
Stevia can help lower blood pressure and is a digestive aid that also reduces gas and stomach acidity – it is even used for treatment of obesity.
So after the initial shock of my sudden break up with my lifelong partner, sugar, dealing with living without him, and finding a suitable substitute… the most amazing thing happened. I started to glow like almost never before! It was like, this is the formula for me!
I have given up on all kinds of stuff in my life, many times, such as dairy, coffee, gluten, white sugar, all boxed and canned foods and more, but never sugar entirely.
I’m no longer bloated, my skin is glowing, weight is dropping off, my eyes are clearer, I have more energy and just overall I feel fantastic! So you can imagine after feeling terrible for so long how sweet it is to feel this way!
Of course, I’m not suggesting you all cut out sugar completely but try to reduce it to absolute minimum that you can, to get real results.
Ignite your spark and live like you meant it!
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