LOW-CALORIE Grilled Chicken Fettuccine w/ Almond-Basil Pesto | nuPasta

low-calorie pasta

Last week, Mike and I went to the Ex. I really don’t like rides because they’re terrifying and I just end up feeling nauseous, but I promised I’d go on at least one ride, so I did. And it was awful and I felt nauseous for the rest of the night. So since I hate rides, the thing I usually look forward to at the fair is all the food! With Sugar-Free September in full swing, funnel cake, soft-serve and deep-fried Mars bars were obviously off limits. It was a bit of a bummer ūüôĀ¬†But the other thing I really enjoy about the Ex, are all the vendor booths selling all their As Seen on TV-style products. A couple years ago we got a great deal on our Vitamix, which totally changed my smoothie-making life.

This year, I picked up two new products. The first was a jewelry cleaner, which made my ring super sparkly, and the second is this super low calorie pasta called nuPasta.

low-calorie pasta

Since I’ve been calorie counting, I usually avoid pasta, since it’s such a calorie bomb. I’d much rather eat¬†spaghetti squash¬†or¬†spiralized veg noodles, since that saves me a whole lot of calories that are better put towards a nice sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan (or dessert).

I’d heard about “miracle noodles” before, some sort of super low-cal pasta that I’d also heard smelled pretty fishy. When I saw the nuPasta booth at the Ex, I was excited to try the sample they were dishing out. I gave nuPasta a try, and with no hint of fishy smell, I was quickly sold and I picked up a box of each: spaghetti, fettuccine, and angel hair. Continue Reading

Kicking off Sugar-Free September 2015

If you haven’t checked your calendar yet, it’s September 1st today! That means it’s the first day of Sugar-Free September. It also means that we’re now 4 months away from my wedding. Crunch time! We still have so much to do. Ahhhh!

Last year, I was a lot more organized going into Sugar-Free September, and I cleared my cupboards and fridge of all the foods that didn’t follow the guidelines. Remember the shocking amount of groceries that I had that contained sugar?

Sugar-Free September

This year, I haven‚Äôt gotten around to doing that, and it almost got be caught up. I was quickly throwing together a salad to bring to work for lunch, and I tossed in a packet of Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing. Hey, wait a minute! Even in my sleepy state, it fortunately occurred to me that those salad dressings definitely contain sugar. That wouldn’t have been a good start to Sugar-Free September. I quickly mixed up my own sugar-free Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing (2 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar, a little Dijon mustard). Ta-da! Quick and easy and absolutely no sugar required!

balsamic-dressing

Making my own salad dressings is one of those things that I get into the habit of doing until I totally fall out of the habit again. Here’s to 30 days of making my own salad dressings!

Happy (Sugar-Free) September!

Don’t think you can give up sugar for 30 days? Read some of my tips for¬†sticking to your diet (without really trying). Continue Reading

Sugar-free for 30 days!

It is completely blowing my mind that it’s already the end of August and September is just around the corner. Where has this summer gone?!

You might remember that last year, I went sugar-free for 30 days last September. It was a great experience because it caused me to pay close attention to how much sugar I was really eating every day in the form of sneaky hidden sugars. Since my last Sugar-Free September, I’ve kept up the habit of avoiding unnecessary added sugars in products like yogurt, pasta sauce and especially cereal.

I don’t think we’ve bought a single box of cereal with added sugar all year! Cereal is just one of the many products that contains added sugar, but it’s a great example of how a small decision to avoid added sugars can have a big impact on your overall sugar intake.

Before Sugar-Free September 2014, one of my favourite breakfast cereals was Quaker Oats Harvest Crunch Raisin Almond Granola Cereal. I knew it wasn’t the healthiest breakfast option ever, but I’d eat it pretty often.

Each serving contains 200 calories and 14 grams of sugar.

harvest-crunch-cereal-nutrition

I swapped out the Harvest Crunch for Post Shredded Wheat Cereal, which contains 170 calories and 0 grams of sugar!

I don’t eat cereal every day, but if I were to eat the sugary cereal 5 days per week,¬†that’s¬†3,640 grams of sugar per year. At 4 calories per gram of sugar, that’s 14,560 calories per year, which can equal 4 pounds of fat on your body! That’s 4 pounds just in the sugar from breakfast cereal. Just the small change of opting for sugar-free cereal instead of the cereal with 14 grams of sugar can shave 2 pounds off your body.

shredded-wheat-nutrition

While avoiding added sugars is a challenge, doing it for 30 days is an eye-opening experience. Last year I managed to for sugar-free for 30 days and even hosted a Sugar-Free Thanksgiving dinner complete with a sugar-free pumpkin pie.

Now I’m going to do it again! If you want to go sugar-free for 30 days, too, join me for Sugar-Free September. Who’s in?

sugar-free-september

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL GUIDELINES:  Continue Reading

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie for a Healthy Thanksgiving Dessert

100% sugar-free pumpkin pieIt isn’t Thanksgiving without¬†pumpkin pie, but when I hosted my¬†¬†Sugar-Free Thanksgiving, the pumpkin pie was the thing that had me a little stumped. I had plenty of ideas for other sugar-free desserts, but I¬†really wanted to serve my guests a delicious healthy Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Fortunately, this sugar-free pumpkin pie does not disappoint! So how does one sweeten a pumpkin pie without the use of added sweeteners? In addition to sugar, I was also avoiding maple syrup, which is my fav sweetener and so delicious in a pumpkin pie.

Since pumpkin is naturally quite bitter, I needed a good way to cut out all of the sugar, while maintaining the characteristic pumpkin pie creaminess and sweetness. The sweetener used here is 2 very ripe bananas. The key is to use very ripe bananas, because otherwise the banana flavour is too prominent.

I served¬†this pie with¬†Pumpkin Spice “nice” cream, but if you’re not avoiding sugar then you can feel good about enjoying that¬†scoop of french vanilla ice cream and fresh whipped cream with this healthy Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.healthy pumpkin pie

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Naturally sweetened with bananas, you'll want another slice of this sugar-free pumpkin pie. Served with Pumpkin Spice "Nice" Cream.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Pie
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 20 oz pureed pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 overripe bananas, well mashed
  • 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon/nutmeg)
  • 1 uncooked pie shell
Instructions
  1. Mash pumpkin and banana with vanilla
  2. Mixing well, add pumpkin pie spice and salt, to taste
  3. Add eggs and cornstarch and combine
  4. Fill unbaked pie shell
  5. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes and then reduce to 350F for the remaining 30-35 minutes, covering crust with foil for final 15 minutes if needed (test with a knife)

pumpkin pie - sugar-free


HEALTHY THANKSGIVING THAT WON’T BLOW YOUR DIET:

free-menu-download-thanksgiving

  • Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey
  • Turkey Stock and Gravy
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup
  • Thanksgiving Stuffing (Dressing)
  • Turnip Sweet Potato Mash
  • ……….and Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie