January: the “I’m going on a diet and going to be healthier” month. Endless crash diets, calories cut, and sugar abandoned. No, thank you, I’ll pass on this vicious cycle. Food shouldn’t be feared; rather, it should be viewed to nourish our bodies and to give us energy to power through the day. It is only when we grab the wrong foods that we pay the price. Animal products, processed sugar, white flour, chemically-ridden foods with ingredients that we have difficulty pronouncing, highly refined processed oils, GMOs, the list goes on and ON! These “foods,” which shouldn’t even be classified as food at all, are going to wreak havoc on our bodies, cause weight gain, diabetes, and so many other health endangerments.
A healthy, plant-based lifestyle centered around eating real food and moving your body is the key to your health success. If you are somebody who craves sweets, that is perfectly okay (I am certainly a sweet-over-savory person!) It is quite simple to make your own dessert that is constructed with healthy, plant-based ingredients! Some healthy swaps for processed, refined sugar are:
- Dates: contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and fiber that will facilitate not raising your blood sugar.
- Maple syrup: contains manganese, zinc, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, antioxidants, and is anti-inflammatory.
- Coconut Sugar: is an UNrefined sugar that contains iron, zinc, calcium, 16 amino acids, and is full of antioxidants and inulin, which is an indigestible carb that acts as a prebiotic in your gut that ferments and is used as food for good bacteria that lives in your gut.
- Fruit: nothing better! Fruit is full of fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and natural sugar. There is absolutely NO need for fear of fruit!
- Baked Chocolate-Frosted Donuts (pictured)
- Apple Pie Bites
- Chocolate Banana Layer Bars
- Healthy Breakfast Brownies
As I released a donut recipe in January, I was a bit hesitant at first, as I know many of us can look only at salads and “clean food,” as the New Year means “strictly healthy.” Nonetheless, I quickly realized that there is not a single ingredient in those donuts that any of us should be ashamed to enjoy!
Furthermore, let’s all jump off of the bandwagon that says that we have to starve our bodies; and rather, fuel our bodies with the correct foods that will be health-promoting rather than health-demoting. Stop counting calories and macros, and just eat a well-rounded, plant-based diet. If you want a donut, then have a donut! As long as the ingredients are plant-based and nourishing, there should never be any guilt that creeps up. Real food that is plant-based is meant to nourish us, even when we make it taste like a donut.
Enjoy life, and eat a donut!