Tag Archives: gluten-free

Christmas Berry Trifles with Orange Custard (Sugar-free and Paleo)

I love Christmas, and my enthusiasm has been further invigorated by having a three-year old who wakes up every morning and asks; ‘Is Santa coming TODAY?’ For me, Christmas is mostly all about the food. In the past this has meant indulging in a lot of over-processed sweets, so I’m genuinely excited about my first sugar-free, real food Christmas. A Christmas about good food with lots of flavour.

This Christmas is all the more exciting because my husband will be home – as a shift-worker in emergency services he’s worked every Christmas since we had our first son. Mr 3 is right at that age where he is very caught up in the magic of it all, and it’s our littlest baby’s first Christmas too – so I’m very happy that their dad will be home to enjoy it!

I made these individual trifles to have when my Mum came over for lunch, on the day we put up the Christmas tree. I always have a very romantic notion of ‘putting up the Christmas tree’, and the reality is always far more chaotic, with this year being no exception. But these trifles are fructose-friendly, and by happy coincidence also grain, gluten and dairy-free, so they are also suitable for those living a paleo lifestyle. They are also very adaptable, so take or leave or change whichever layers you want to! 🙂 For vegetarians, the jelly could possibly be substituted with a berry chia pudding – noting that I haven’t tried this. Continue reading

The link between my physical and mental health – and a recipe for Hazelnut Nut-Ella Biscuits

I’m starting to realise how much my physical health affects my mental health. I wrote previously about considering coming off my anti-depressant medication, which I take primarily for anxiety, although I consider anxiety and depression to be different sides of the same coin. I have taken this medication for over six years, and it has only been this year – in my busiest, most sleep-deprived year yet – that I have felt in a place where I am ready to *try* living without it. I put this down to cutting out processed foods and fructose. I have felt so much healthier this year, and my frame of mind has followed suit. I feel more optimistic, happier, more resilient and able to cope with daily challenges, and had less mental exhaustion.

Comparatively, when I’m sick my mental health declines too. I am a terrible patient. If I get a cold or flu, ALL HOPE IS GONE. I am miserable. Pessimistic. A total negative nancy. The negative self-talk, self-loathing and paranoia goes into overdrive, and along with it, the need to indulge in unhealthy comfort food. I realise now that this once served to keep me trapped in a cycle of mediocre physical and mental health. Continue reading

Fructose Free! Salted Popcorn Brownie Sundae with Almond Toffee

While my husband and I were doing the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program, I kept seeing salted caramel popcorn sundaes, EVERYWHERE. They seem to be the dessert of the moment. I wanted one. I promised myself that once the program was finished, I would get one.

But as the program progressed and I adjusted to life with minimal fructose, I started to think about how much sugar must be in such a sundae. When a local restaurant published the recipe for their incredibly popular caramel popcorn sundae, I couldn’t hide from the truth – one serve contained a whopping 15 TEASPOONS of sugar (7.5 teaspoons of fructose), plus extra liquid glucose, waffle cones which probably also contain sugar, and even extra icing sugar to serve. Suddenly it didn’t seem so appealing anymore. Continue reading

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