Sugar Free Chocolate

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We have had a number of people ask if it’s Ok to eat “sugar-free” chocolate – i.e. chocolate that uses artificial sweeteners rather than sugar. The short answer is a very qualified “yes – but”.

Here’s why:
– It is allowed under the Rules of the Challenge that state you need to stay under 10g of sugar for every 100g and this chocolate is typically around 6-8g of sugar per 100g. But we don’t recommend ongoing consumption of artificial sweeteners for overall health.
– A key guiding principle of a healthy diet is to “eat real food” that our body evolved over many thousands of years to metabolise properly, and avoid industrial or manufactured foods that are new to the human diet. Simply ask yourself – do you want to be a human lab rat proving whether these new chemical compounds cause cancer or diabetes?
– There are some worrying results coming from lab testing of these sweeteners on both rats and humans. There is concern on several fronts. (1) That they confuse the amygdala and “reward centre” of the brain, which previously associated sweetness with calorie-rich foods, meaning your body now gets conditioned to no longer trigger a limit on food intake whenever it encounters sweet foods. In some tests rats actually gained more weight after taking artificial sweeteners and were less able to lose that weight, than rats previously fed sugar. This applied even when a natural sweetener like Stevia was used instead of a manufactured sweetener like saccharine. (2) Scientists have observed the development of “glucose intolerance” in both rats and humans which is a pre-diabetic condition where the body no longer responds as rapidly in metabolising glucose in the blood stream (3) Scientists have also observed a change in the intestinal gut bacteria in both rats and humans from the use of artificial sweeteners. When that same gut bacteria was introduced to other rats, they then developed glucose intolerance.

You can read more about this here:
http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/09September/Pages/Do-artificial-sweeteners-raise-diabetes-risk.aspx
http://chriskresser.com/the-unbiased-truth-about-artificial-sweeteners

– One key goal of the challenge is to re-condition your taste buds to accept a lower level of sweetness as the “new normal”. If you continue to eat sweet chocolate (even if its “sugar free) you will not do this.
– Almost all these chocolates are made with an artificial sweetener called “Maltitol” which comes with a general health warning that consuming more than 100g in a day can have laxative effects. Other reports indicate it can cause gas and/or abdominal pain. So if you are going to try it, please limit yourself to a small amount – e.g. a 35g bar.

Little Liter Deviled Eggs

Serves: 10 servings
Preparation + Cooking time: 25 minuets
Meal Type: / Low Carb High Fat
Source: www.fatsecret.com

Ingredients:

• 1 tbsp Light Mayonnaise
• 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
• 8 large eggs
• 1 tsp yellow mustard
• 1 tbsp sweet pickle relish

Instructions:

• Boil eggs.
• Slice eggs in half long ways.
• Carefully remove egg yolks.
• Mix egg yolks, sweet pickle relish, light mayonnaise, dijon and yellow mustard in a small mixing bowl.
• Spoon mixture into egg halves. Garnish.
• Let sit in fridge for 2 hours.
• Note: garnish as you please, both paprika and parsley are nice.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Serves: 10 servings
Preparation + Cooking time: 25 minuets
Meal Type: / Low Carb High Fat
Source: www.fatsecret.com

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
• 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
• 1 cup oatmeal
• 1/2 cup blueberries
• 4 oz pumpkin
• 1 packet sweetener

Instructions:

• Add all items in a medium bowl.
• Mix well.
• With a spoon, scoop out desired size balls onto non-stick sprayed cookie sheet.
• Bake for 15 min on 425° F (220° C).
• Note: you can use yogurt instead of pumpkin and add in apples and bananas, too.

Tuna Bites

Serves: 3 servings
Preparation + Cooking time: 30 minuets
Meal Type: / Low Carb High Fat
Source: www.fatsecret.com

Ingredients:

• 1/4 tsp garlic salt
• 1/2 tsp herb mix
• 2 cans tuna
• 1 medium egg
• 1/3 second cooking spray
• 2 tsps olive oil
• 2 oz gouda cheese
• 3 tbsps chopped onion
• 1/2 cup spinach

Instructions:
• Sauté the onion in the olive oil with a little bit of the spices and garlic salt, place aside when transparent or soft.
• Shred the cheese.
• In a bowl place all ingredients (including sautéed onions) with the remainder of the garlic salt and spices. Mix together until all is mixed properly.
• With a tablespoon, place the mixture in 12 even parts on an oven cooking pan previously sprayed with non-stick spray.
• Cook for 10 minutes, flip the cakes so they can cook evenly, and cook for another 10 minutes or until a little brown.

Eggplant Chips

Serves: 3 servings
Preparation + Cooking time: 30 minuets
Meal Type: / Low Carb High Fat
Source: www.fatsecret.com

Ingredients:

• 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
• 1 tsp leaves italian seasoning
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 unpeeled eggplant, thinly sliced

Instructions:
• Pre-heat oven to 375° F (190° C).
• Pour olive oil on cookie sheet and sprinkle with the garlic powder. Swoosh the cookie sheet around to mix and coat the sheet well.
• Slice eggplant into about 1/4″ or 1/8″ thick rounds, depending on your taste and kitchen tools.
• Place eggplant slices on cookie sheet. Rub each slice into the olive oil and garlic powder coated cookie sheet, then turn each slice over and rub around to coat the other side.
• Sprinkle lightly with half of the Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Turn over gently and sprinkle remaining Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese on other side of rounds.
• Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness, on each side. (Turn over when browned on the bottom).
• Note: this is a recipe you really need to watch cooking to see how well it is browning. They are done when they look caramelized on each side.

Angeled Eggs

Serves: 12 servings
Preparation + Cooking time: 15 minuets
Meal Type: / Low Carb High Fat
Source: www.fatsecret.com

Ingredients:

• 6 large hard-boiled eggs
• 1 dash black pepper
• 1 dash salt
• 2 tsps vinegar
• 1/4 cup pureed avocado

Instructions:
• Remove the eggs from the shells and then bisect lengthwise.
• Carefully remove and save the yolks.
• Blend all other ingredients with the yolks until smooth.
• Spoon equal portions of the mixture into the egg white halves.

Almond Butter Bark

Serves: 2 servings
Preparation + Cooking time: 20 minutes
Meal Type: paleo / Low Carb High Fat
Source: paleomagonline.com

Ingredients:

 1/3 cup coconut oil, softened
 1/4 cup almond butter*
 2 TBSP coconut flakes
 Sea salt
 Dark chocolate

Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Spread on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Use peeler to shave dark chocolate over the top.
  • Place in freezer for about 1 hour.
  • Enjoy!

Macadamia Nut Bars

Serves: 4-6 servings
Preparation + Cooking time: 20 minutes
Meal Type: paleo / Low Carb High Fat
Source: paleomagonline.com

Ingredients:

 8 Medjool dates, sliced in half, pits removed
 3/4 cup coconut flakes (or 1/2 cup finely shredded coconut)
 1/2 cup organic raisins
 3/4 cup macadamia nuts
 3/4 cup sunflower seeds (raw or roasted)
 1/2 cup dried cherries
 1/4 tsp cinnamon
 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend for about 1 minute or until everything is chopped into small pieces and starts to stick together. If you have a small food processor, you can mix ingredients in a bowl and process it in batches until it’s all combined.
  • Place mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. With your hands, shape into a rectangle, pressing and patting it until very dense and it sticks together nicely.
  • Wrap tightly and refrigerate for a few hours, until very firm. Slice into bars and enjoy!
  • Store at room temperature for up to 1 week; in the fridge for up to 2 weeks; or wrap bars individually and freeze until needed. To thaw, simply set on counter for about 30 minutes to bring to room temperature before eating.

Guacamole (Vegan)

serves: 1 servings
Preparation + Cooking time:30 minutes
Meal Type: / Low Carb High Fat
Source: www.Food24.com

Ingredients:

10 oz = 285 g organic Hass avocados, peeled and pitted (approx. 2 medium avocados)
1/4 cup = 60 ml Pico de Gallo
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice from organic limes
1/4 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
2 crushed organic garlic cloves

Instructions:

Place the avocado flesh onto a large plate. Mash the avocado flesh with fork.
Transfer the mashed avocado into a medium bowl.
Add the Pico de Gallo, lime juice, salt and the crushed garlic cloves and mix well.
Serve immediately.

Gluten-Free Low-Carb Crepes

serves: 1 servings
Preparation + Cooking time:30 minutes
Meal Type: / Low Carb High Fat
Source: www.Food24.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup = 60 ml organic coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons erythritol crystals
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla-flavored whey protein
  • 6 extra large organic eggs
  • 2 oz = 60 g unflavored, unsweetened full-fat cream cheese without food additives

Instructions:

  • Mix the coconut flour, erythritol and whey protein in a small bowl.
  • Place the eggs and the cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until there are no lumps of cream cheese.
  • Add gradually the dry ingredient mixture, beating all the time while adding.
  • Cover, and let the batter stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Heat a nonstick griddle over medium heat. Add a generous amount (1–2 teaspoons) of butter to the hot griddle and let the butter melt completely.
  • When the butter is not foaming anymore, pour about 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the batter onto the griddle, or until the bottom of the griddle is very thinly covered by batter.
  • Cover the griddle and cook the crepe until the bottom is light brown and there is no fluid left on top.