my sugar-free raspberry ripe!

Posted on April 27th, 2012

I made this a while back and shared the recipe with my friend Renee. In passing.

It’s the kind of recipe I’m packing my forthcoming I Quit Sugar Cookbook with. Simple, moorish, minimal-ingredients-required “assemblages”, brimful of nutrients and wholesome sweetness. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some sneak peaks…on Instagram, my IQS Facebook page and Twitter. And to be sure:

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook is out next month.

To receive an early-bird discount and a gift, feel free to sign up here.

Meantime, back to the Raspberry Ripe.

During the week I got this text from Renee:

And this….

It’s seductive stuff. But I’ll tell you the interesting thing. If you ever find yourself indulging in this kind of sugar-free Read more

try this: two commitment weekends

Posted on April 26th, 2012

Far too many of us get our weekends wrong. We don’t rest. We try to catch up. Catch up on emails, chores, with people.

Image by Christoph Niemann

As I’ve said soooo many times before, the biggest challenge we face now is pushing back commitments. Life used to be about chasing and finding and accumulating information and ideas and commitments.

Now, the true art of living a good, full life lies in pushing back.

Creating boundaries, preserving your energy, keeping a piece of yourself for yourself. I’ve been concertedly practicing this art for a few years. It takes bravery and boldness. But as I start to master it I can see the benefits.

You might like to read this musing on the need for space, and this one on the need for rest, and this one on email boundaries.

And so it was I came across this idea of a “two commitment weekend”. I have a friend who mentioned this idea to me recently. He says yes to two things only on a weekend. The rest of the weekend has to free-flow. Years ago, my beauty editor at Cosmopolitan would not take on commitments on a Sunday. Read more

going gluten-free? some hiccups you need to know about

Posted on April 25th, 2012

Gluten’s got a grimy name just now. I’ve previously outlined my thoughts on going gluten-free (who should, why it’s not a “fad” etc). It’s worth a read if you’re a little unsure about the whole debate. If you’ve already made the move, or have contemplated it, then you might learn a lot from this rundown of the tricky things that might stump you in your tracks along the way.

image via food delights

Steph Osfield is a great freelance writer who used to write for me at Cosmopolitan eons ago and she sung out recently to say she’d had all kinds of dramas going GF and offered to share her thoughts. She and her family went GF due to broad-based health issues, not due to celiacs per se.  I very much appreciate what she outlines here. It’s clear, concise and has helped me with my own dance around the pesky little protein:

I was prepared to become a Lego Grand Master and tadpole wrangler when I became a mother, but I didn’t count on becoming a medical expert too. My gorgeous kids (son 12 and twin girls aged 10), have been sick so often over their young lives that our doctor says they are working their way through the medical dictionary. Whole terms often pass with only a week where they are all at school.

Our household ailments read like a medical dictionary; anaphylaxis to peanut, vulvadynia (stinging, sore vulva), multiple food sensitivities, a virus called molloscum contagiosum (four years and counting) and the last two years – nocturnal epilepsy and a sleep issue called periodic limb movement disorder. But in their younger years it was the eczema, glue ear and diagnosis of asthma that led me to take the quantum diet leap to a gluten free diet. Out went the rye bread and porridge and wholemeal pasta and in came the big surprise – we didn’t then live happily every after. Several weeks into eating gluten-free, health issues like their eczema got worse. So I become a foodie super sleuth and here’s what I learned about going gluten-free:

1. It’s not just gluten…

Corn, corn, corn – when you’re swearing off gluten, corn-based options like polenta and tacos shells and corn tortillas are usually on high rotation. Bear in mind that people sensitive to gluten are often sensitive to corn as well. If you do have this issue then increasing your corn intake may ramp up your health symptoms, which will then counter any benefits you might be getting from eating gluten free. This was the case with my kids.

Tip: Make up your own mix of flours for baking with tapioca, brown rice and buckwheat flour to avoid corn.

Here’s some other foods. You may also have a problem with: Read more