Recipe Index, Sugar Addiction, and “On the Menu”

I’ve had a lot of requests for something I should have been doing all along: an easy-to-access index of the recipes I post here You can find the permanent link at the top of the blog, labeled “Recipes.” Doing it as I went would have been much, much easier than what I ended up doing, which was searching my blog for all the recipes I’ve ever posted. I think I got most of them, but there are probably a few strays that I missed. Hopefully, I’ll find them and get them on there, too.

This week, I am testing out some new client-friendly recipes and I’m still on the “no sugar” thing. It’s much easier this week than it was last, and I can definitely feel a difference in my energy. Also, I’ve lost almost all  the weight that the crazy holiday sweets put on! One of my friends, who’s doing the fast with me, said she lost 8 lbs last week, which has been a great motivator for me to continue on faithfully (and not cover my croissant with Nutella yesterday morning!).

For those of you reading this thinking “What “no-sugar thing?” or “But, I thought you ate so healthy all the time,” let me explain. I don’t tend to eat a lot of sugar (a very occasional cookie or something, usually for a special event of some sort), for many reasons. One of those reasons is I get horribly addicted to it very, very quickly and another is there’s a rich history of diabetes (especially late adult-onset diabetes) in my family that has nothing to do with weight. During the holidays,  though, this is incredibly difficult to maintain because 1) I have friends who are amazing bakers, 2) when I get invited to parties by people who know I am a chef, they completely freak out that their food isn’t good if I don’t eat at least some of pretty much everything, and 3) Thadd bakes all kinds of lovely stuff and a girl only has so much willpower.

So, a few years ago, I quite deluding myself that I wasn’t going to eat the sweets over the holidays. I don’t gorge on sweets, but I do eat them. They put weight on my middle pretty much immediately (by-by hip flexors!), which is a great motivator to help me keep it relatively in-check; but, by the New Year, I am addicted to sugar. Knowing this is going to happen, I just prepare for it, and go into a 2-week phase where I work my tail off at the gym (even more so than usual) to help me curve cravings, and I don’t eat any processed sugars at all.

The first few days are awful, but it works. I am not craving sweets anymore, but I’ll be very careful for at least another week that no processed sugar sneaks into the diet via pasta sauce, etc. We generally make most of our food from scratch, but even canned goods, like beans, can have added sugar, so vigilance it is!

And, that brings us to our weekly menu:


Monday: Eggplant Rotel. Cottage & ricotta cheese, with spinach, mushroom, and herbs, wrapped in broiled eggplant slices (grilling the slices is even better, but it’s cold, and I don’t have time to start the grill), topped with homemade marinara.

Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf, with Brussel Sprouts. It’s Thadd’s night to cook, and he wanted to try making a recipe he’d never done before. Lean ground chicken with lots of spices, farm fresh eggs, and fresh bread crumbs, topped with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. I have no idea how he’s going to cook the sprouts, but I’d guess roasted.

Wednesday:  Turkey White Bean Chili. I have a go-to version of this that I use for clients, but I want to test out a new version that includes seared chilis and crispy brown onions.

Thursday: Barbacoa Pulled Beef over Spicy Baked Sweet Potatoes, with veggie. This slow-cooked beef has a bit of a kick, and I’ll serve it over sweet potatoes that have been baked once, split open and sliced (on the skin) into wedges, topped with my own seasoning mix, and broiled to make crunchy. The vegetable will be decided later in the week.

Friday: Leftovers, as always.

Saturday& Sunday: Unusually, we’re deciding on these later in the week because he has travel plans for his Vet school stuff.


3 responses to “Recipe Index, Sugar Addiction, and “On the Menu”

  • Stacie

    I totally get you with hidden sugars everywhere in American food. My mom struggled with debilitating migraines throughout my younger years, until she read a book (I think it was called Sugar Blues, but I can’t recall exactly) that suggested processed sugar could be a migraine trigger. She cut all sugar out of her diet and like magic, her migraines stopped! But our family became vigilant food label readers because of it, and it is sometimes discouraging or maddening to see how much sugar is added into our diet. And that people don’t realize what all the names of sugar can be. Honestly, one lady thought she was doing my mom a favor by finding her some canned fruit “without” sugar: uhm, hello…it contained high fructose corn syrup, which is SUGAR!!

    *getting off the soapbox now, thank you for your patience.*

    I hope you get back to your chipper self really soon!

  • Janine

    Shawn, thank you, these are some great insights, because I’m also got back from the Doc who told me to eliminate my sugar consumption.
    Did some research and many people reviewed the 21Day Sugar Detox so positively (for example: Do you have any experience with it? If so, would you mind sharing?

    • Shawn

      Janine, I’ve never done the detox. Generally, I stay away from anything labeled a “cleanse” or a “detox,” as so many are either just really expensive junk, or things I could do on my own without paying anything. It’s simple (but not easy) to get off sugars, and none of the clients or friends I’ve had do it/done it with ever really needed any of the fancy stuff to do it. Just the willpower (which is, admittedly, hard).

      It’s harder if you’re getting rid of fruits, too, and “Sweet” veggies like carrots and corn (but you can get a list of high-sugar veggies here: You’ll need to make up some of the nutrients you get from those things in other ways, mostly by eating more vegetables high in vitamin C and antioxidants, or by outright supplementing those things.

      Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

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