Swapping out sugar for a healthier diet

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Happy New Year, friends! So far, 2016 has been a dud for me. I’ve been sick since the first (and no, it’s not the brown-bottle flu, either). I haven’t eaten a solid meal yet this year. In my mind, I’ve successfully turned my illness into “my diet is going great so far!”

Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?pouring creamer into coffee

I don’t do resolutions. I never have. They just don’t work for me. If I want to change something, I change it – at no particular time of year. There’s always a new ‘thing’ to try – a new diet, or improved way of living. “Be healthy: here’s how,” kind of things. “Eat this instead of that,” “Drink 30 cups of tea a day to lose weight,” blah, blah, blah. So, for all intents and purposes, this isn’t a New Year’s resolution… it’s just that the opportunity presented itself on January 1st, oddly enough. Yea, let’s go with that.

It’s a scientifically and medically proven fact (somewhere, I think, maybe), that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Judging by the size of the jeans I bought just before Christmas, I believe it (no snickering). They say that eating little-to-no white sugar will significantly reduce your waistline. It looks like I have a good start so far (no food, no sugar, right?).cereal with blueberries

But what happens when I get over this cold/flu? Well, I’m going to try real hard to omit the excess sugar I consume. Coffee with cream only, no sugar (yikes!); blueberries or banana on my cereal in the morning instead of the frosted corn flakes; more veggies. Lots more veggies. Like Butternut Squash Gratin (you’re welcome).

Oh, and No. More. Soda. Done. Cold turkey. I may die. Wish me luck!!

Go make something awesome,

Butternut Squash Gratin  (thanks to www.diabetes.org)

butternut gratinIngredients

  • 1 (2-lb) butternut squash
  • 1 cup water
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups fat-free half and half
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place it face down in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Pour the water over the squash and bake for 45 minutes.
  2. Remove the squash from the pan and drain the water. Coat the baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Remove the seeds and scoop the flesh of the squash out of the skin. Add the squash flesh back to the prepared baking dish, breaking it up into even sized pieces.
  4. Add oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook the oil and flour mixture for two minutes then whisk in the fat-free half and half. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently.
  5. Stir in 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, the ground black pepper and the thyme. Stir until cheese is melted.
  6. Pour the sauce over the butternut squash and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

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  1. Cut calories by making simple substitutions. Tune down the calories in favorite foods by using the lower calorie versions at restaurants or by substituting low calorie sweeteners at home. Cutting 150 calories a day alone over the course of a year could result in a five to ten pound weight loss.


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