‘Whole foods, plant based, no refined sugar’ – that’s my goal for January this year.  Mainly the no refined sugar bit.  This came after the massive sugar ‘hangover’ I experienced on the day after Christmas Day, where I spent the majority of that morning in bed with a major headache.  I thought … something has to change.  So my goal is to eat mainly whole foods (very little to none processed anything), and no animal products as well as no refined sugar.  I’m basically eating just fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and a few grains (gluten-free of course!).

I originally was only going to do this for 21 days (the no animal products part for only 7) but after the first week, I just felt so much better and I couldn’t bring myself to eat any meat … I’m sure that will change eventually though!  Anyway, then a colleague at work mentioned he was going for January without any sugar as well, but following a Paleo diet – fruits, vegetables, meats and eggs, nuts (but not peanuts).  So we thought we’d have ourselves a little challenge.  Both of us without sugar for all of January, using two different methods, and seeing which of us stuck with it longer.  It’s not about weight loss, it’s about feeling healthier (although I have lost a little weight since my big splurge on Christmas Day!).

So here’s some of what I’ve been experimenting with … 

Vegan chocolate pecan cookies Chocolate pecan cookies – using cocoa, pecans, prunes, coconut oil, maple syrup, these cookies actually turned out pretty well.  But when I added a pecan/date/coconut milk frosting to it, these were amazing!  Rich, fudge-y, these went like hotcakes when I brought them to work …!
Vegan almond raisin cookies Almond raisin cookies – this recipe was on the back of the almond meal packet for vegan chocolate chip cookies.  I didn’t have any vegan chocolate chips, so I thought I’d be even healthier and use raisins instead.  I also added some nutmeg … again, when I brought these into work, they didn’t last long at all!
 Vegan oatless granola bars  A granola bar without oats – I took my really yummy no-bake oatmeal and raisin granola bar recipe (here) and substituted 1 cup almond meal for the 1 cup oats.  The texture is kind of like cookie dough (and hence I really REALLY like them!).  I also left the nuts quite chunky so the nuts and raisin taste dominate instead of the peanut butter.  Try them … please!
Vegan pumpkin & fruit-nut slices Two pictures in one here – on the left are some pumpkin pie granola slice and on the right is the fruit and nut granola bar (recipe here).  All with natural ingredients, no animal products whatsoever and absolutely delicious.  

And here’s where I’d like some audience feedback.  Apart from the two recipes that I’ve already got on this website, please let me know in the comments section below if you’d like to see any of the other recipes that have been really successful (in my humble opinion) on this website.  I’d love to hear from you!

So, until next time, enjoy cooking at home!

Sarah

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