Tag Archives: healthy eating

Fig energy bites

Recipe: Fig Energy Bites

I first made these divine energy bites with Mickey, the creator of the AutoImmune Protocol. I was surprised at how just a few ingredients could pack such a flavor and texture punch. Since making the original recipe, I’ve experimented with adding additional spices and using different dried fruits.

Apricots are a perfect variation to this recipe. You could use half figs and half apricots, or do one batch with figs and another with apricots. You’ll never get bored! Cardamom also tastes great with these. It’s one of my favorite spices and I definitely add it to anything sweet that I make. Like cinnamon and vanilla, it adds a little extra sweetness without any sugar. Cinnamon and cardamom are also good for digestion. Cardamom is said to help eliminate gas and bloating, while cinnamon helps us digest fats by increasing enzyme activity in our bodies. Cinnamon may also lower blood sugar and it’s anti-inflammatory. Now that’s as good a reason as any for adding cardamom and cinnamon to our food!

These energy bites are also great for a quick snack, dessert or pre-workout treat.  Hello versatility! There’s lots of good fat in them from the coconut oil, and fiber from the dried fruit and coconut. The combination of fiber, fat and sweetness will help keep you satisfied longer without spiking your blood sugar (I’m sure we’re all familiar with the quick surge of energy we get after eating something sweet, that’s followed by the strong desire to take a nap).

Fig Energy Bites

INGREDIENTS

2 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 cups dried figs (unsweetened and unsulfered)
1/3 cup coconut oil
a pinch of salt
a dash of cinnamon and/or cardamom
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Make sure to remove any pits, seeds or tough stems from the figs or apricots. Roll into balls and store in the fridge. Because of the coconut oil, energy bites kept in the fridge will have a creamier texture. Room temperature energy bites will be a little more oily.

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Sugar is Sugar is… sugar?

Hey folks! It’s been a while since I’ve written here. Right now I’m in the middle of hosting a sugar cleanse with over 150 people! How awesome! One of the questions that keeps coming up is, can I eat fruit? So, I thought I’d share my thoughts with all of you.

Fruit is high in fiber, which keeps the sugar in it from being absorbed into your system as quickly. That means you don’t end up with that crazy sugar high and crash that I’m sure we are all familiar with. Fruit also has tons of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. But, that doesn’t mean all its forms are equally awesome or that fruit is good for everyone.

Dried Fruit:

Dried fruit is delicious, but it’s good to be mindful when eating dried fruit. Many dried fruits are coated with sugar. It’s always important to read your nutrition labels and ingredients, especially when buying “healthy” packaged foods. Additionally, since dried fruit is dehydrated, one cup of dried fruit will have way more sugar than one cup of the same fruit in its original form.

Fruit Juice:

Fruit juice is awesome, it’s also super sweet! And, fruit juice has very little to none of the great fiber that comes along with eating fruit (Did you know that adults should be getting at least 25 grams of fiber per day?). One serving of fruit juice often has as much sugar (or more) as soda. I’m not saying you should drink soda (really… I promise), but it’s just important to keep in mind that fruit juice does contain a ton of sugar. When buying juice, also keep in mind serving sizes. An Odwalla drink or similar type of smoothie usually contains 2 servings, with upwards of 25 grams of sugar per serving. That’s over 12 teaspoons of sugar per bottle.

So, what do you do?

There are tons of sweeteners out there to choose from, from aspartame, to maple syrup, to high fructose corn syrup. Some are “sugar free” or “calorie free”, some are unrefined, some have valuable nutrients, and some are just empty calories. So, what do you do? It really depends on what your diet looks like now and why you are looking to remove sugar from your diet.

I don’t eat sugar because all sugar feeds yeast, something I am quite susceptible to. If you’re in the same boat as me, then you might want to look at removing processed sugar, fruit, and simple carbs from your diet. I also avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame because I try to refrain from putting chemicals of any sort or anything artificial in or on my body.

If you’re new to healthy eating (which I define as eating whole, unprocessed foods and lots of veggies), then eating fruit is likely a very important part of your process. Whenever you’re making changes, you want to do it slowly and sustainably. Otherwise you end up on another yo-yo diet and beating yourself up for not sticking to it.

So, the good news is that you get to decide. What changes are you comfortable making? And remember, you can always try something for a few weeks and see how you feel, and then make a decision if you want to keep on that path. You know your body better than anyone else, and changing things up in your diet is a great way to learn even more about your body and what makes you feel good. I’d love to hear what you’re doing and how it’s going. Feel free to post in the comments section or send me an email!

With love,

Samantha

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