Tag Archives: healthy living

oh sugar sugar

hands up, who else has a sugar addiction?

you may not be the blatant kind of addict who likes to put too much in your tea or snack on lollies/candy/bonbon all day or pour half the sugar jar in with your weet-bix in the morning.  or you might be.

or you may be the more discreet style of addict (like me) who snacks on pastries after lunch and pours streams of honey into her mint tea.  or maybe you enjoy a few lines of your favourite chocolate during the week as a little reward to one’s self for coping with… well, one’s week at large.  in fact, good quality chocolate is an intimate friend of mine.  although i try to stick to the dark, less sugary, less fatty kind and often opt for organic – green&blacks 85% is my absolute favourite – i still tend to binge on the less healthy kind far too often.

oh and if anyone has heard of angelina on rue de rivoli here in paris you will understand what i mean when i rant about the impossibility of passing by that place without stopping for one of their luscious ‘africain’ hot chocolates. but that deserves a whole other post entirely to itself.

my point is this: whatever your sweet drug of choice, if it’s derived from or includes any sugar you can be sure it is oh so bad for you.  i recently came across a post by sarah wilson, an australian journalist, and television producer/personality, who has an excellent blog about the betterment of self.  she will post an article on the topic of how bad sugar is for you on her blog in a five part series over the next couple of weeks.

she outlines that back in the day (around 200 years ago and earlier) humans barely ate sugar and only that which can be found in fruit or honey, which was scarce or difficult to come by until fairly recently on the scale of human existence.  so the body’s survival mechanisms are set to store as much of this kind of energy source as possible due to it’s belief in this scarcity.  so basically, we are biologically programmed to gorge on this kind of food if and whenever it is in reach… no wonder it’s so difficult to resist the little lemon tart in the window on the way home from work.

there’s so much more info on sarah wilsons’ post on the topic (found by clicking this link) than i can fit into one post but briefly:

the energy highs and lows of sugar addiction are damaging to not only your own brain but especially the developing brain of children and adolescents

there is more and more scientific evidence displaying that it is sugar and not fat that produces the excess unwanted fat in our bodies

there have been studies that show that sugar is more addictive than cocaine

sarah is bravely committing to quitting sugar entirely for a month.  i’m not sure i will be quite as saintly but i’m definitely going to lay off the sugary treats and when i next walk by the patisserie/boulangerie i will make sure i don’t go in. it should be especially beneficial after the holiday period!

maybe i can limit my sugar to the weekends and make sure it’s truly more of a nibble than a binge…



Filed under food, personal, recommendations

“mac doh”

image by don mac illustration

pronounced “mac doh” is the frenchy nickname for the worlds most loved and hated fast food outlet. these crazy parisians seem to love it.  i’m at the indifferent/hate end of the spectrum.  the grease is alright when severely hungover – but i certainly find better quality grease elsewhere.  and besides all the well known and publicised massive corporate, environmental, health, economic issues,

THE COFFEE IS SO SO SO SO BAD. why am i drinking it then? especially in a city where good coffee is abundant and cheap? you might ask.  because i don’t have any internet connection in my bleeeping apartment at the moment and the bleeeeping cafe where i might otherwise have connected and had a NICE coffee is CLOSED.  and i can’t sit here and use the internet unless i buy something from this godforsaken place.

IF there’s a next time
i’ll be opting for water.


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mint junky

just a quick, happy little post about mint:
mint makes me a very happy girl.

i like to share a cup of mint tea with my best friend amanda (who i miss terribly) on her kitchen counter and scoff baklava.

i like to put fresh mint in the tea-cup whenever i can because it looks beautiful, it tastes so much more lush and the slightly woody sweet aroma is so nice to bury your nose in.

it’s great in cocktails and perfect to add to some lemonade as a ‘nana’s tonic’ for nausea  – or just because.

i also like to add it to salads, especially in the summertime for its cooling effects.  in fact, i like it all year round.

and the best thing is that it will grow like a weed in your garden – even if you’re not careful.  i have to credit one of my other more beautiful friends, kel for teaching me that little factoid.

something extremely simple and relatively quite impressive to do with mint is to use it in the following salad from smitten kitchen.  i tried it at a dinner party once and despite the effort i made perfecting two other salads, fresh tuna steaks AND desert for eight of us, tout seul! (all on my own!) i gained the most compliments and “mmm” noises from this here little carrot salad.

give it a whirl (but please don’t leave out the chilli – the minty cool and chilli hot all at once is really delightful):

carrot salad with harissa, feta and mint
(courtesy of smitten kitchen)

3/4 pound carrots, peeled, trimmed and coarsely grated
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 crushed clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds or about half as much, ground (i substituted this with coriander seeds which i think worked on the ‘cool’ side, accompanying the mint)
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or about half as much, ground
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon harissa (for a solid kick of heat; adjust yours to taste, and to the heat level of your harissa)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped (i like to put more as i am a mint junky)
100 grams feta, crumbled or chopped into bits

in a small sauté pan, cook the garlic, caraway, cumin, paprika, harissa and sugar in the oil until fragrant, about one to two minutes. remove from heat and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. pour over the carrots and mix. add the herbs and mix. leave to infuse for an hour and add the feta before eating.

harissa: is a north african chile paste.
nb: can be substituted with sambal olek (almost its indonesian equivalent) or any other savoury chilli paste you can get your hands on.





Filed under food, personal, recipes