|Coconut Cream Vanilla Chai Tea|
The hardest decision I made was cutting out refined sugars and flours. Oh, believe me. The irony isn't lost on me. It doesn't mean I won't be using them to make treats for others...after all, it is a joy for me to bake and come up with interesting new ideas or attempt others' creative ideas. It's also a great challenge to come up with nutritionist-approved versions of the treats I love.
Of course, as soon as I give up sugar I crave sweets that are not only on the naughty list, they're virtually impossible to find. Like the Bali Hai Chai.
My first Bali Hai Chai at a Borders Bookstore (may it rest in peace) was possibly my first encounter with euphoria. It was eyes-rolling-into-the-back-of-my-head magical. I've never been able to reproduce that glorious sweet, creamy, coconutty, spicy flavor swirl and I cannot find the ingredients list online...though I didn't search very deep. I have a 3-page Google limit if you know what I mean.
So desperate to fulfill that sweet memory I grabbed:
- some homemade vanilla chai concentrate and
- a can of coconut cream.
My chai concentrate is neither sweetened nor caffeinated - good list - (I don't add the tea until I'm ready to make a cup, but in this instance didn't add any) and coconut cream, though high in fat it's the good kind of fat your brain craves. Coconut milk would be fine too. But I only had the cream in my cupboard.
Feet up. Cozy blanket. Pinterest-ing healthy food. Sipping my Bali Hai Chai -ish.
If you're in a similar place - making dietary changes for the better - I highly recommend these resources in order:
In Balance Lifestyle Management - Brenda Wollenberg (also has a book out for kids which is great for anybody, not just kids). Brenda has taught me a great deal about nutrition. All the things I thought I knew about nutrition were tossed out the window. She's an amazing resource. Pick this lady's brain about body typing...it will revolutionize your world.
Balanced Bites - Diane Sanfilippo (holistic and Paleo education) Diane seems to have a balanced approach to the slightly controversial Paleo diet. She's more of a "hey, see if it works and make adjustments as you go" than a "my way or the highway" kind of gal. I appreciate that.
The Mood Cure - Julia Ross (fueling your brain to recover from anxiety, blahs, depression etc.) A great resource to learn how to recover from the blahs with high-protein, healthy fat and veggie rich diet and amino acids. I've read this book three times and have had amazing results following her suggestions.