Is that a hair in your bread? Probably!

A super healthy and super easy breakfast favourite around here is baked avocado eggs. Simply pre-heat the oven to 425F, halve the avocados and crack an egg inside. Add some salt and pepper and bake on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes, until the egg is cooked to your liking.

Do you know how to know if an avocado is ripe? My go-to trick is looking under the stem and looking for that yellowish-green to light brown colour.

baked avocado eggs

I’m working from home today, so I woke up thinking I might go out for a quick breakfast at our favourite greasy spoon. I figured eggs and bacon are sugar free, right?

While still lying in bed, I started Googling, and it turns out that sugar is used in most bacons as part of the curing process. Ok, so bacon is out. What about toast?

I knew most breads contain sugar, but then I wondered optimistically if rye bread might be sugar-free. Of course, as I expected, it’s not.

I decided to give up on going out for breakfast since I’d been lying in bed for too long anyway, but then I came across a disturbing fact. Did you know that commercial breads contain HUMAN HAIR? And if it’s not human hair, it’s duck feathers! I don’t know what you think, but I think that’s pretty revolting too!

If you thought that yoga mat Subway bread was disgusting, then this might just have you giving up commercial bread forever. Have you ever noticed L-Cysteine in an ingredients list? I have, but I never actually looked into what it was. The truth could make me puke:

L-Cysteine – an amino acid used to prolong shelf-life in products such as commercial bread – can be found in duck and chicken feathers and cow horns, but most that’s used in food comes from human hair. It has been reported that most of the hair used to make L-Cysteine comes from China, where it’s gathered from barbershops and hair salons. [The Guardian]

It’s gross enough when I find one of my own foot-long hairs in my food, but the fact that the food industry thinks this is acceptable pisses me off. Stop messing with our food!

Hey, an added benefit of avoiding sugar is avoiding some of these other gross ingredients since I’m sticking almost entirely to fresh, whole foods. Do you eat commercial bread? Go check the label for me, and let me know if it contains this yucky ingredient!

Want to know more? Check out these 10 gross ingredients you didn’t know were in your food 🙁

Ready to go hair-free? None of these breakfast options contain human hair!

 

I just created a Facebook page for Home at Six, so head on over and ‘like’ it! Thanks all for reading and supporting me with this blogging project!

Mushroom Kale Spring Rolls | Beauty Detox Challenge

kale mushroom spring rolls

This week’s Beauty Detox assignment was to create a variation of Kimberly Snyder’s Warm Kale and Mushroom Beauty Salad. I made my salad over the weekend and then I used the leftovers in spring rolls for dinner last night. I didn’t photograph my salad on its own, so here I’m sharing my Kale and Mushroom Spring Rolls. I enjoyed them with a bowl of miso soup and a small salad topped with sauerkraut and black sesame seeds. So my entry for this week’s challenge is a salad in a spring roll, ok? Yeah, let’s go with that!

I recently made spring rolls and cooked them with a quick shallow fry. They tasted great but a couple didn’t hold together that well and I thought they might have soaked up a bit too much oil. This time around, I baked them in the oven and it was a lot easier that having to stand over the stove while avoiding getting burned by hot oil.

baked spring rolls

I sautéed my vegetables first since they were originally made for the salad, but another option is to coat the raw veg with a tablespoon of oil before wrapping. That might increase the bake time a bit.

Usually in a stir-fry salad like this, I would add some tamari. But since it’s Sugar-Free September, I’ve been avoiding most sauces. To give this salad flavour, I loaded on the spices, and the flavours worked really well in my spring roll version, too.

Mushroom Kale Spring Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: vegan, vegetarian
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 6 rice paper wrappers
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1" ginger root, minced
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced carrot
  • ¼ cup chopped zucchini
  • ¼ cup chopped broccoli
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • ¼ tsp crushed chili pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Place a wire baking rack over a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with small amount of oil
  3. Heat 1 tbs oil over medium heat
  4. Add mushrooms, kale and onion and sautee for 3 minutes
  5. Add remaining vegetables, garlic, ginger and spices
  6. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, until kale is softened and onions are translucent
  7. Working one at a time, prepare rice wrappers by placing in a shallow dish with warm water for 30 seconds
  8. Transfer to a clear surface and place ½ cup vegetables in centre
  9. Fold over sides and roll, placing seam side down on baking rack
  10. Brush each roll with remaining oil
  11. Bake on rack over sheet for 20-30 minutes

kale mushroom spring rolls

 

Make sure to check out Kimberly’s warm kale and mushroom salad. And for my other Beauty Detox assignments, click here.

Healthy sugar-free apple muffins

breakfast

Two sugar-free weeks down! Woohoo! I’m halfway through Sugar-Free September and I’m feeling great. Although I haven’t felt very deprived at all, I’ve actually lost 4 pounds without even trying. I didn’t think I was eating that much sugar, so it’s pretty crazy that cutting it out has helped me drop a bit of extra weight. I’m not even sure what the biggest change in my diet has been. Other than avoiding store-bought salad dressing and steering clear of the candy aisle, I don’t feel like I’m missing all that much.

sugar free healthy muffins

But I guess usually I would have eaten a few store-bought baked goods, and I would have probably eaten out at a restaurant 2 or 3 times. Maybe some all-you-can-eat sushi or thin-crust pizza. There might have been a bowl of ice cream, maybe a few handfuls of chips. Definitely a chocolate bar. Then there would have been that drizzle of maple syrup on my granola and those extra bananas in my morning smoothies. Even a pumpkin spice latte.

I guess that all does add up!

Having cut all those things out, what has my typical day looked like? Thinking back to the last two weeks, here’s a sample of my recent meals:

Breakfast: low-sugar green smoothie

Snack: a piece of fruit (apple, grapefruit, peach)

Lunch: large salad of kale or mixed greens, lots of veg and topped with a sweet potato quinoa patty, avocado, or grilled chicken

Snack: salted nori or blueberries

Dinner: pasta primavera or a big bowl of spaghetti squash or a millet bowl

Late-Night Snack: sugar-free granola with almond milk, raspberries and cocoa nibs or chopped veggies and hummus or chia pudding with chocolate coconut mousse or a slice of sugar-free peach pie

Eating like this has left me feeling light, but energized. I’ll admit though, I have been fantasizing about the Nutella crepes I’m going to be enjoying next month while in Paris!

While I definitely won’t be avoiding sugar for ever, I am realizing that there are lots of places I can cut it out. Like these super easy healthy sugar-free apple muffins, which are perfect for ushering in the cooler fall weather with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Unsweetened apple sauce and a flax egg make for this easy muffin recipe that is vegan and contains absolutely zero added sugars.

I went with a pared down version, but these muffins are the perfect base for loads of fun mix-ins. Go crazy with blueberries, raisins or chocolate chips or add a smear of sugar-free chia jam and you won’t be missing any of the sugar or eggs at all.

basic muffin recipe

Healthy sugar-free apple muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: healthy, vegan, muffins, sugar-free, gluten-free
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 egg: use flax egg for vegan option (3 tbs warm water + 1 tbs ground flax seed)
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • ½ vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup gluten-free oatmeal
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In a small bowl, mix ground flax with water and set aside to thicken for 2-3 minutes
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine coconut oil, vanilla, apple sauce
  4. Stir in flax egg
  5. Mix well
  6. Add remaining ingredients except apple and mix until smooth
  7. Gently stir in chopped apple
  8. Fill greased muffin tins ⅔ full
  9. Sprinkle small pinch of oatmeal on top
  10. Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean

sugar-free muffins

 

Spicy Indian Roasted Chickpeas

Today marks the completion of week 1 of Sugar-Free September!

Overall, I’ve been feeling great. I’ve managed to avoid all added sugars, mostly by preparing nearly all my meals at home. Fortunately it was one of those rare weeks where we didn’t have some type of birthday/retirement/going away celebration in the office, so I wasn’t faced with too much temptation.

Mike and I visited my sister since she moved away to start grad school (so proud!), but we chose a raw food restaurant that was vegan, gluten- and sugar-free, so it was definitely easier than going to your typical restaurant. I had soft tacos with a walnut ‘meat’ filling. So tasty! We all enjoyed out meals.

jill-laura-guelph

I have been feeling energetic enough for the most part, though both Mike and I had an energy slump one afternoon and we wondered if it was because of the no-sugar thing. We still went for a run later on, so it couldn’t have been that bad!

mike-jill-guelph

I’d say that so far the main benefit I’ve experienced is that I’ve felt great about my food choices all week. In addition to avoiding sugar, I’ve just been trying to make good choices and have been eating heavily plant-based meals. I’ve also been relying on seeds, nuts and nut-butters to keep me full. I definitely do find that I get hungry much more quickly only a couple hours after these sorts of meals, but the good part is that when I get hungry, I can just go eat more of the healthy stuff, but I’m still left feeling light.

spicy roasted chickpeas

My favourite snacks this week have been veggies and hummus, chia pudding and this batch of chickpeas I roasted up. This is basically the crunchy snack version of chana masala. So easy! Just use chickpeas out of the can, toss them in spices and roast.

If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, then try these Rosemary Garlic Roasted Chickpeas.

Click through for the recipe!

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