The “last supper”

Dark, floured hands holding fresh pasta next to pastamaker

Photo by Jorge Zapata, via Unsplash

I am currently nursing a rather large food baby and I am not sorry.

My friend Hollands (taking the sugar-free challenge with me) and I decided to indulge one last time before we begin our sugar-free journey. This meal did not disappoint. She introduced me to Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar and I will definitely be going back after September.

Being the visual person I am, I wanted to document what my last sugary meal looked like. The lighting in the restaurant wasn’t the greatest, but I did my best with my crappy cell phone camera.

First up on the menu was the Charity Bread. As the name indicates, the net proceeds of the house-made bread go to a local charity. Obviously, I felt very good about eating this bread. Also, SO much garlicky goodness .

Bread on plates on wood table

Choosing a cocktail was almost as difficult as choosing a main dish, but I found the perfect gin drink to toast my last night of sugary goodness: the Lemon Rosemary Smash. The perfect summer beverage with gin, lemon, cucumber and rosemary.

Cold yellow drink in crystal glass with straw and rosemary garnish

After a lot of back and forth I finally chose my main: the Shrimp Spaghetti. The pasta was delicious and the sauce was great, but I could have done without the lemon and capers.

White bowl of pasta on dark wood table

For the finale, I chose the simple but ever so rich and velvety, vanilla gelato.

Square red bowl of vanilla gelato on dark wood table

Okay September, come at me!

A

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Sugar-free? ME?!

Mouth open with sugar cube between teeth

Photo by Mark Webb, via Free Images

I’m about to do something I have NEVER once attempted. I am going to give up sugar COMPLETELY ALL added sugars and sweeteners for one month.

Starting September 1, I am taking the plunge into full sugar detox! I got the idea from a non-profit and thought it would be a great test of my willpower, not to mention a good way to jump-start more healthy living choices.

I LOVE sugar, and it’s in almost everything these days. I would go so far to say that I have a serious sugar addiction. That being said, if I’m being realistic, I don’t expect to completely cut all sugar or added sugar out of my life. I hope that by having a realistic approach, I can complete this challenge and gain a better understanding of how sugar makes my body feel and try to look for better alternatives. I’m  a work in progress, what can I say?

To make the challenge more fun and as an appeal to my competitive side, I invited my sister and one of my friends to join me in this challenge. At the end of each week, I’ll write a summary post on how I’m feeling, if I had any problems, and I’ll share some of the foods I ate.

Here’s a basic list of what I cannot consume for the month:

  • Baked goods, desserts, candies or sweets
  • Sweetened hot drinks (hot chocolate, sweetened/flavoured coffee and tea, etc.)
  • Sugary condiments (ketchup, tomato sauce, salad dressing etc.)
  • Sugary drinks (soda, chocolate milk, etc.)
  • Commercial, processed cereals (if it comes in a box, it likely has sugar)
  • Alcohol (beer, mixed cocktails, etc.)

I also need to avoid the following ingredients:

  • brown sugar
  • cane juice extract
  • corn syrup and corn syrup solids
  • demerara or turbinado sugar
  • dextrose
  • evaporated cane juice
  • fructose
  • glucose
  • high fructose corn syrup or glucose-fructose
  • honey
  • lactose (no problem, since I already do that)
  • maltose
  • molasses
  • raw sugar
  • sucrose
  • maple syrup
  • treacle
  • white sugar

Wish me luck!

A

Intolerant of lactose intolerance

young blonde woman lying on side with a shirt on, in a tub of milk

Photo by Averie Woodard, via Unsplash

Are one of those people whose body turns on them after consuming even the tiniest bit of dairy? Does your gut feel like it’s going to explode after eating the smallest bit of cheese?

SAME HERE.

There are many factors to consider when your tummy goes looney after consuming dairy. In my case, and possibly in yours, blame LACTOSE INTOLERANCE.

I’ve been lactose intolerant for about eight years, but I wasn’t officially diagnosed until about four years ago when I finally got the blood work done. I’m not sure it was even worth it to get the test done though, because I was already pretty sure  and I had to pay for the test out-of-pocket.

When I first realized I was lactose intolerant, there were hardly any food alternatives out there, which was super depressing. Do you have any idea what it’s like to grow up eating cheese, pudding, yogurt and ice cream, drinking milk and shakes just to have it taken away?! It’s a nightmare. I realize there are far worse problems I could be having, but that doesn’t make my problem go away.

Now, after several years of suffering through soy-based garbage among other things,  companies are finally selling yummy DAIRY products that are lactose free! Seriously, a lot of that vegan crap that claims to be a good alternative to milk, ice cream, etc. is disgusting. It tastes like plants. If I wanted to eat plants, I would munch on some f*cking spinach. While lactose free products are generally more expensive, I say they’re worth it, and my gut agrees with me 🙂

For you, my lactose intolerant friends, a list of my favourite lactose free brands. Yes, they are Canadian, but when I move to the US in a few months I will seek out the American equivalents and share those with you as well.

Chapman’s lactose free ice cream. This stuff is the real deal. They offer several flavours and my ultimate favourites are Peanut Butter Crunch and Mint Chocolatey Flake. So. Damn. GOOD. Real dairy without the blowfish effect.

ALL President’s Choice  lactose-free products. This company has been stocking up on the lactose-free products and they’re all fantastic. They taste like the real dairy products they are and have the same texture as the regular dairy products. Perfection. I’m just waiting on them to make a lactose-free cream cheese.

Activia lactose free yogurt. I’ve always loved yogurt and this product is no exception. It’s creamy and delicious and comes in a bunch of different flavours.

Natrel lactose free products. Perfection. I’m a cereal eater, I bake, I like milk in my coffee and tea. Natrel’s lactose free products are delicious and have a great shelf life! Imagine enjoying a tall glass of creamy chocolate milk without the consequences of blowing out your pants later. Magic.

Finally, for those foods that don’t have a lactose free option and you’re in a tight spot, don’t starve! Buy some pills to take with your food and they should curb most of your symptoms. I recommend Weber Naturals Lactase Enzyme (extra strength). Costco sells big bottles of 120 capsules; I take two any time I’m eating regular dairy. Of all the pills I’ve tried, this brand works best for me. You can find other brands at any pharmacy, but you should know that Lactase enzyme pills are not cheap. If you’re not using them regularly, a bottle should last a while.

NOTE: It’s usually quite easy to tell when you’re lactose intolerant because the symptoms are obvious and almost immediate. Having a dairy allergy is not the same thing,  FYI. If you’re concerned about having any kind of food allergy or intolerance, it’s always best to seek advice from a medical professional before taking any next steps.

Go enjoy some lactose free goodies, my pretties!

A