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Back in February, I wrote an entry about how I was cutting sugar out of my diet — both for Lent, and also for health reasons.  Aside from the fact that, post-wedding, I developed quite a stomach pudge (ugh), I spent a few weeks reading up all the ways that sugar is pretty much poison, or if it isn’t quite poison, it certainly isn’t doing you any favors.  So I decided to cut it entirely out of my diet.

I started small.  On February 22nd, I switched from white sugar to raw sugar.  (I know, I know — careful not to trip over that HUGE leap there, NH).  After two days of obscene migraines, I finally managed to go a whole day without feeling like I wanted to shoot myself or anyone who had the misfortune to wander into my office. 

It’s been about a month, and while I didn’t feel the need for sugar, I desperately felt the desire for it.  I had a Dunkin Donuts coffee on Sunday with cream and sugar (Sundays don’t count in Lent), and OMG, I had forgotten how delicious it was.  And what a freakin’ crash I got after having it.  Sunday was also the day of my friend’s bridal shower, so it was not the smartest day to cheat on my “no sugar” diet.  Back to the grindstone I went on Monday.  And then things took a turn for the more interesting.

My boss is obsessed with losing weight, and discovered Skinny Muffins on Dr. Oz’s website.  He cooked one up the other day and let me try it.  The recipe is simple — you mix all the ingredients in a mug, cook it on high in the microwave for 50 seconds, and then eat.  I hit up the grocery store yesterday in search of the ingredients that I didn’t have — ground flax, coconut oil, and Stevia.

Well, I seriously balked at the coconut oil ($8 a jar!), but relented when I remembered that people on a message board I frequent had been talking about its uses for skin and hair as well as consumption.  But Stevia was expensive, and came in a tiny little jar.  As I roamed the shelves looking for a substitute, I noticed blue agave nectar, and remembered that one of my friends had recommended it to me when I first gave up sugar.  I had made a mental note at the time to try it, but it had completely slipped my history-fried mind until yesterday.  It was also half the cost of Stevia, for about triple the amount.  So I threw it in the basket, went home, and made myself an altered Skinny Muffin.

Neophyte Historian-Altered Skinny Muffins
1/4 cup ground flax
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 – 1 tsp. agave nectar
1 egg
1 handful Craisins (or raisins, blueberries, any fruit)

Mix together in a mug, microwave for 60 seconds (I like mine slightly firmer).  You could probably eat it right out of the mug but I prefer to flip mine out onto a plate and let it air cool for a few minutes before eating.  It’s definitely filling, and is touted as an energy-booster.  I definitely felt the energy yesterday afternoon!  This is pretty delicious.  It looks like crap  but has the consistency of a slightly-denser muffin.

My feelings on agave?  So far, I LOVE it!  It’s sweeter than sugar, so you can get away with using a lot less of it.  I’m going to have to experiment with it in cookies and baking and whatnot, but for use in coffee and tea, I don’t plan on going back to sugar ever again.

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