I was at a wedding the other day and just about every woman I spoke to wanted to lose weight. They had tried all the diets and dropped a few pounds in preparation for the wedding but it wasn’t easy. Disillusioned with the prospects of the weight going back on they asked me what was the best way to keep weight off and I told them cut back on SUGAR. Now I know these days we are bombarded with the dangers and downsides that sugar can have on our figure let alone our health. No one likes hearing that the sweet treats you love are bad for you, but if you want to cut calories or shed those extra pounds, you have to kick the sugar habit, as the saying goes “you can’t have your cake and eat it.” Think of the upsides, no more dieting and finally fitting into those skinny jeans or lovely dress you want to wear.
The reason we find sugary treats so hard to let go off is because the mesolimbic dopamine system, an important pathway in brain, is a key detector of a rewarding stimulus. The limbic system controls our responses to rewards, such as food, sex, and social interactions. It activates the pathway that tells you to repeat what you did to get a reward. It also tells the memory centres in the brain to pay particular attention to all features of that rewarding experience, so it can be repeated in the future. So are we doomed to eat sugar when we have a group of neural structures in the brain that drives activity within the reward system? I am a realist and know how hard I found it to resist eating sugary foods when I started my journey. What I found worked best for me while I transitioned was making “clean” treats, healthier alternatives to the junk you buy in the shop that would curb my cravings. Also make a rule to keep these sweet treats for special occasions, not an everyday reward. Much as we like to think we deserve a treat each day or need a reward, treats and sweets should be used sparingly. Try these yummy truffles for those moments when you need an extra bit of TLC; they are the perfect antidote for the sugar blues.
During my transition and also as a health alternative to giving chocolate to my children and hubby I made these truffles regularly. My lot are a family of chocolate lovers so for these to get their approval I knew I was doing something right lol. This is probably the easiest recipe for truffles around. They are so simple – you just just mix the ingredients together. I use the blank screen that comes with my greenstar juicer, as it creates a tighter mixture that sticks well together but alternatively you can make them in a good food processor like a Vitamix. The skin of citrus fruit is actually the most beneficial part as it contains the most vitamin C and bioflavonoids so they are not only tasty but good for you too.
What you need
- 2 cups of pecan nuts, soaked and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, soaked and rinsed
- 1 cup dates, soaked in orange juice
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- Juice and rind of 1 orange
- Soak the nuts overnight and rinse.
- Grate the rind of the orange in processer.
- Add all ingredients except the shredded coconut to your juicer through the blank screen, or use a blender.
- Roll the mix into balls and coat each ball in shredded coconut.
- Refrigerate for 20 minutes – and try not to indulge too much, in other words don’t scoff the whole batch yourself.