Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Sugar Free February is here! (And Jam Jar Dressings)

To everyone who is participating in Sugar-Free February- the big day (?!) is finally here. How did Day 1 go for you?

Around here, it was a pretty routine weekday. I'm fairly used to my twice-a-day sugar-free chai by now. It is not particularly enjoyable but it is a hot beverage and it has caffeine, so at least it checks off two important boxes. Instead of (lightly) sweetening my almond butter oatmeal the usual way with maple syrup or jaggery, today I sliced half a banana into it and that tweak worked just fine. Eating lunch at my desk, I doused my roasted vegetable bowl with hot sauce, then did a double take and quickly checked the ingredients on the bottle- and whew, no sugar there ;)

If you are looking for inspiration, might I suggest reading this Washington Post article- Ellie Krieger writes about why it can be hard to cut back on sugar and suggests practical ways to do it. I particularly like the couple of paragraphs that talk about the addictive nature of sugar. She has good tips about giving yourself a small sugar allowance per day and spending it wisely. But I must say that I don't much agree with her assertion that most of us should be eating more fruits and dairy than we already are.

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One of my favorite habits that helps us eat better is my "house salad mix" that I have described in this post. I make a big box of it every few days and we enjoy it in several meals with different dressings.

I've never found a store bought dressing that I like (which may be just as well, since most seem to have added sugar...) but we usually make a quick jam jar dressing for the salad- where you add ingredients to a clean glass jar and get your favorite five year old to shake it up for you.

Our usual jam jar dressing is equal parts vinegar (either balsamic or apple cider), olive oil, a dab of dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

Meyer lemons are in season now- they are sweeter, less acidic and more fragrant than regular lemons. They make a fantastic salad dressing. Regular lemon juice will work  here as well.

To make garlic lemon dressing: Into a jam jar goes the juice of two meyer lemons, an equal amount of extra virgin olive oil (just eyeball it), some grated fresh garlic (use a microplane zester), salt and pepper to taste- then shake up the dressing until well emulsified.


More jam jar dressing inspiration here (check out the comments). See you in a couple of days! 

20 comments:

  1. Day 1 was good! Actually, pretty routine now that I've been cutting sugar.
    To add to it, Dinner tonight is 'bajri chi bhakri '.
    I'm not a fan of salad, but am going to start eating them.
    Overall, happy with day 1 and confident that the month will pass well.

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    1. Manasi- Awesome- cheers to a great month ahead! Salads are again a matter of habit- my tastes have changed completely when it comes to salad. Some great tasting dressings did the trick for me.

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  2. Its challenging to be sugar free, but I am inspired because of your blog. Thank you :)

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    1. You're very welcome- let us know how it goes!

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  3. My first day was a success and fairly uneventful. Breakfast was kande pohe, lunch was palak paratha and garlic dal, dinner was cabbage sabzi, chapati and beet koshimbir. No added sugar in any of these, had my coffee without sugar too. Not very bad. I snacked on a handful of nuts and a bowl of plain homemade dahi.

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    1. 5 days and still going strong. Yippee to me :) Some meals I've had were rotis, dahi, sliced salad sprinkled with pepper and salt, upma, tomato omelet, thalipeeth, various subzis, dal, rassa, matar usal, all kinds of parathas, oatmeal. Phew!!! Sorry about the long comment.

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    2. Yippee to you indeed! All those meals sound delicious. Nuts are my favorite snack too.

      I'll try to write another post today or tomorrow so we can have regular updates going.

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  4. Thank you for the link to the energy bar, Nupir. I happen to have all of the ingredients to make it. As for the update from my end, I am still holding strong. I had a couple of dates when the urge to eat something sweet was overwhelming on the first day. However bread...that's a completely different story. It has been hard not to eat bread. Biscuits, cakes and all the rest of it? Not been tempted at all. These brots will be the undoing of me, I reckon.

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    1. Abhi- I'm with you- bread is much more tempting than sweets for me! I'm not making bread at home any more- it was getting too hard to not eat it all.

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  5. I drank a tiny bottle of Yakult and then realized it had 11 gms of sugar...aargh!

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    1. I had to look up this Yakult thing! :)

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  6. It's been four days and I've been holding up okay so far. I have two half cups of coffee in the day, but with palm jaggery. I just can't bear to have my coffee without any sweetener. Snacks have been raisins, dates, roasted makhana and groundnuts. Plus I've started going to the gym for half an hour and intend to go four times a week.
    I've also switched to brown rice during the day and stopped eating rice at night (I eat 2 chapattis with curry and yoghurt). Hopefully, I will lose at least some weight by the end of the month.

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    1. Good luck to you and I hope you have a great month!

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  7. i am holding up quite ok though i had a couple of brown bread slices with a dash of ketchup but apart from that no sugar. i am having brown rice instead of white. will try to reduce carbs over the month! just saw the comment about Yakult. No yakult as well this month from now on :-)

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    1. Am I the only one who doesn't know about this yakult ;) maybe that's just as well!! Good luck for a great month, Kejal.

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    2. I too came to know about this drink just six months ago, when I was searching up drinks with probiotics in them. The packaged bottles are also tiny and so were not easily visible in our grocery store dairy section.

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  8. Hi Nupur, Thanks to you and patting myself for having been sugar free for the last 6 days... Yep so far it has been good except for couple of bread slices and some rice... Millers and oats have come to my rescue and I have been consuming legumes and lentils more than I normally would... Actually there is no craving for biscuits or cakes... Managing snacking with fruits... Hoping this trend will continue... Good luck to you and everyone else participating... Enjoy the rest of your week folks...

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    1. Sounds like you are doing great! I too have lost the craving for random cookies and cakes- which feels like a relief.

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  9. It's going ok for me, I guess.I have been having unsweetened chai for the past week, and haven't had any kind of desserts. But, I also allow myself slices of wheat bread with cream cheese or ketchup for breakfasts. I didn't want to make it too hard on myself. :)

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  10. Hi Nupur, Its getting warm here and your salad prepping tips are just in time for me! :) How are the kiddos? Hugs to them.

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello!