Day 5 Sugar Free Sweet Treat- CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER DESSERT BAR

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Wow. Things are getting better and better in the healthy dessert world I am exploring.  Chocolate peanut butter cups have been one of my favorite desserts, and I’m now finding a way to make a HEALTHY version of this!! I am thrilled!

And, I’m learning to trust the process. This didn’t come out perfect, but I learned a lot along the way. And next time will be a little different, and probably a little better.  And lucky for me, it still tastes incredible.

Basically take homemade nut butter, and homemade chocolate, put them together, put them in the freezer, then cut them up!

Make your own nut butter.  Healthier and cheaper (I’m pretty sure) than the store alternative. And simple to make.  All you do is put a bunch of nuts into a food processor or high speed blender, and let it spin until it clumps and gets creamy (May take up to 15 minutes) I recommend roasting and salting plain nuts for about 10 minutes before putting them in the processor.  This time I used Whole Foods organic already roasted/salted nuts.  Only took about 5 minutes of blending until it started clumping. I added a little more honey, cinnamon and salt for extra flavor. If adding extra ingredients, take the nut butter out of the processor and fold in the ingredients with a spoon.  Otherwise the butter might get flakey. Try this website for more help on making your own nut butter.

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I put some coconut oil on a plate, then spread the peanut butter on the plate, about 1/4 inch thick? I put this in the freezer.

Now for the chocolate! I’ve been playing around with Emily’s chocolate recipe, from Rawsome Vegan Life. This time for the sweetener I used a mix of half coconut nectar and half maple syrup.  I put this in a glass measuring cup which I then put in hot water to help the coconut melt.  I ended up with what looked like caramel.  Amazinnng.  Since it’s a warm day the chocolate was very smooth, so I put it in the fridge for a few minutes to help it harden.  I then spread this mixture over the cold peanut butter slab and put the whole thing back in the freezer.

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When I went to cut the creation, I found the chocolate to be harder than the peanut butter.  This would be perfect it I had made little cups like the Reese’s ones.  However, for getting off the plate and cutting, this proved a little challenging.  If I do it this way again I’ll use only maple syrup as a sweetener, as this creates a softer chocolate.

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I ended up cutting the chocolate slab in half and making a sandwich.  I took the other half of the peanut butter slab, smushed it into a ball, and put it in the  fridge for regular use.  It’s not quite staying together when I cut it, but it’s good enough and will do. And most importantly, it still tastes amaziingggggg. Cheers! 😀

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Day 4 Sugar Free Sweet Treat

Maple sweetened granola.

With a little extra maple syrup and

unsweetened almond milk.

Yummm. 🙂

 

Committing to not eating sugar has been relatively easy. I’m now house sitting so to a large extent I have control over what food is in the house.  And I haven’t been out that much this week.  Without being tempted by it, it’s really not that hard.

Blogging every day has been more challenging.  And here I am, keeping up. 🙂

Day 3 Sugar Free Treat- Liquid Heaven

In this video I discuss:

Why is REFINED sugar tough on the body?

My new favorite thing in the world.

Why it’s worth it to buy ‘expensive’ food.

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Video

Day 2 Sugar Free Treat- Raw Honey

Raw honey on a spoon. Gorgeous texture, a comforting experience, sweet, tasty. And I feel good about putting this food in my body. Honey is full of vitamins, good for digestion, and soothing for the throat. Thank you bees!!

Having this conversation with Jordan got me thinking more specifically about sugars. Why is CANE sugar, or refined/processed sugar worse for me than sugar from honey or maple syrup? The cane plant is a plant… that’s all natural right? Is it the processing that creates the problem? Maple Syrup goes through some processing…. And I’ve heard of ‘beet sugar’, how does this one measure up? Something to look into….
If you have any thoughts or knowledge on this topic- would love to hear them!

Video

TamRaw Bars

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This is my FAVORITE snack.  Superfood. Healthy whole sources of energy. And DELICIOUS.  Replace any craving for granola bars, candy bars, chocolate treats. A sweet treat without the sugar crash.

This is my recipe.  Inspired by Emily from Rawsome Vegan Life.  Similar idea to a Larabar  I basically use what I have in the house.

Play around with your favorite ingredients!

TamRaw Bars

1 (overflowing) cup Raisins

1/2 cup + 1 TBS Sunflower Seeds

1/2 cup Walnuts

1/3 cup + 1 TBS Cacao Nibs

1 TBS Coconut Oil

2 tsp Maple Syrup

2 tsp Cacao Powder + Extra on Top

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Transfer to parchment paper and press/squish into a square block.
Sprinkle more cacao powder on top and press into the bar.
Freeze for at about 1 hour.  Cut into pieces.  Keep in freezer or fridge.

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5 Days Sugar-Free

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I had an amazing weekend with lots of activity and exercise.

Annnd…. I ate many peanut M&Ms, sugary granola bars, sugary trail mix, cookies, brownies, cheesecake, annd visited and indulged at Ben&Jerry’s factory in Vermont.

I feel okay right now.  The balance of exercise and a diet of mostly veggies/grains makes a difference.

And, I’d like to eat less sugar.  So, for the sake of actually taking a break from sugar, I’m declaring myself addicted to sugar.

Yes. I am sugarholic.
I can’t have just one cookie, just one handful of M&Ms, just one spoonful of sugary peanut-butter. It always ends up being 2, 3 ,4 or more.  When I am indulging, a very powerful story takes over.

It’s okay to be eating this.  My life is just fine. Eating this sugar doesn’t have much of an effect.  I’m happy I eat sugar. It’s a part of my life, a part of my culture. Relax Tamreh, no big deal.  Stop trying to control yourself, just eat the sugar.

Ugh.  So powerful. Like an alcoholic who can’t have just one drink, I can’t have just one cookie.  If I want to change my relationship to sugar- I believe I need to make a clean break (at least for a while).

Eating sugar does not support my highest goals! I want to be as healthy and thriving as possible. I don’t need sugar! I can satisfy a sweet craving in many ways that do not involve sugar.

So-for the sake of feeling awesome I will NOT eat sugar for 5 days.
Monday June 16-Friday June 20 I will not eat sugar or anything that has sugar in it. 

This is totally possible for me.  I start with 5 days to show myself I can do it, to see what happens, and find out how I feel.
To support myself in this commitment I am: posting here, putting it into my icalander, telling my friends and family, and having a yummy sugar-free alternative already available for myself.  I will also post on this blog a sugar-free sweet treat every day for the next 5 days.

Yay! Wish me luck 🙂

Transformation at Festivals

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 Bonnaroo 2007 was my first music/arts festival as an adult.  My mind was blown. I was filled with inspiration.  People smiled and looked me in the eye.  People wore whatever they wanted.  People danced and moved in a variety of ways.  Strangers became quick friends.  People brought whatever gift they had and shared it.  People were doing things differently, and it all looked and felt so beautiful.

For the past 7 years I have attended several music/art festivals around the country.  My perception of what’s possible as a human being has expanded.  The greatest gift I have received from the festivals is permission to experiment with other ways of being.  By exploring different ways of showing up in the world- I have come closer to a way of being that is fulfilling for me.  THANK YOU festivals for this most potent gift.

By 2013 I found myself at smaller ‘transformational’ festivals.  These co-creative events have equal emphasis on music, art, skill sharing, healing, and workshops. It was in these environments, that I felt most alive.  I also started to wonder… what’s my gift? What workshops can I teach? Or piece of art can I share? What is it that I have to offer?

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Meanwhile, my experiences with Coby Kozlowski, and living yoga, has mirrored what I’ve learned from the festivals.  What am I being called to? How do I want to show up in this world? What IS the life I want?

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I’ve taken a good look at my life and have decided it’s time to take a break from the festivals. It’s time to integrate what I’ve learned. I now have a clearer picture of what I love and how I want to spend my time on this planet.  Now I go deeper into my interests (hooping, yoga, food, coaching), and get more grounded . And perhaps return to festivals with even more to share…

When I graduated college I had no idea what I wanted.  Job, hobbies, friends, location…. it was all pretty fuzzy.  I didn’t know how and where to focus my energy.  So I jumped into the party of life.  I started with one thing I knew I wanted (move to Amherst!) and just started putting myself out there.  I met lots of different people, took different classes and workshops, traveled to different places…. As a result- I’ve come to realize things I love. All that wandering, all those experiences, all that time getting by with little income… it’s brought me where I wanted. I am so excited to be alive 🙂

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Below are some festivals to check out.  Festivals change and evolve each year.  Last year Rootwire, Gratifly, and Electric Forest were most potent for me.  Go where you are called.  Pay attention to what works and doesn’t work for you.  Have fun and find what feeds your soul.

Unifier*June 5-8*Connecticut

Imaginarium*June 13-15*Michigan

Rootwire*July 17-20*West Virginia

Gratifly*July 24-27 *South Carolina

Envision*February 26-March 1*Costa Rica

Burning Man*August 25- September 1*Nevada

 

MORE INFO

The Bloom Series on YouTube

Transformational Festivals on Facebook