No sugar November, no problem

  • Just right: hot chocolate gets more tempting in cooler temperatures. Catherine Burns痴 recipe uses a plant-based milk

    Just right: hot chocolate gets more tempting in cooler temperatures. Catherine Burns痴 recipe uses a plant-based milk

Super Granny has landed and harmony reigns. I keep coming home to perfectly folded piles of laundry, reorganised cupboards, clean floors and well-behaved children.

Yesterday, she completely dismantled the vacuum cleaner.

I have no idea if we値l get it together again but I知 sure we値l feel confident after a hefty gin and tonic. There is a somewhat alarming, permanently raised eyebrow and a domestic to-do list as long as my arm.

I know I知 lucky and the trickle-down effect is definitely in play. I知 cleaning things as I go and putting things away properly (versus shoving them in a cupboard) most of the time mostly!

Often it just takes one person with better habits around you to help you improve your own.

I had a message today from one of our Beat the Couch crew who is away on holiday.

She has taken her running shoes and is getting it done via the podcasts. She痴 inspired by her coaches one in particular and that痴 what痴 driving the change in her behaviour.

The thing is, now she痴 running (even on holiday), she痴 inspiring her daughter too.

They池e going out together and training before the day really gets going. So the trickle-down effect is in full swing.

Similarly, years ago, I remember one of my clients saying, 釘ecause of you my mum in Wales is eating quinoa.

She was strictly a meat and potatoes lady before that, so quinoa was a pretty huge milestone. She痴 probably sprouting lentils and fermenting kefir by now.

With this in mind, we池e getting ready for No Sugar November at Natural HQ.

The idea is to get as many people reducing their sugar intake as possible, certainly to within recommended guidelines and ideally, to even lower than that. We have a seminar at the office on Tuesday next week (6.30pm) designed to help people understand why we池e in such a crisis mode when it comes to the white stuff.

We値l go through the mechanisms of cravings but we池e going to spend the most time sharing real-life, practical, affordable solutions. It痴 free for members and just $25 for non-members.

By joining in, you値l reduce your sugar intake massively and hopefully inspire others to do the same.

The more of us that are in it together, the better. So sign up online at and let痴 get started! Pre-registration is essential.

In the meantime, I知 sharing a hot chocolate recipe with you. The weather痴 just started getting chilly and this is Chloe痴 favourite thing to curl up with on the sofa.

Sometimes we cheat and just heat up a chocolate almond milk from the grocery store, but the sugar content is huge.

I rolled out this recipe again this week and got the big thumbs-up. I知 not sure why we ever slipped, but that痴 life I guess. You may have heard that chocolate is rich in antioxidants. Cacao (minimally processed cocoa powder) certainly is, but combining it with dairy runs the risk of inhibiting antioxidant absorption.

Choosing a plant-based milk works really well and of all of them, cashew and coconut milks are probably the most creamy.

The recipe includes vanilla and cinnamon, both of which add flavour and make it a little more sweet.

Cinnamon is actually pretty good for improving blood sugar balance, although you壇 probably need a bigger, more consistent dose to see a clinical difference.

You can add Stevia drops for extra sweetness or, if that won稚 fly, a little maple syrup. You won稚 need as much as you think because of the spices.

If you do add it and if this recipe becomes a regular one for you, gradually reduce the amount of maple syrup you add, letting your taste buds adjust over time.

This will be especially effective if you池e also reducing sugar in other areas of your diet.

It is hard to find things naturally sweet if you池e constantly overstimulating your taste buds with refined options.

For more recipes such as this and others that are sugar-free, join me for No Sugar November!

Details at

Antioxidant rich hot chocolate

Ingredients (per person)

1 cup unsweetened almond, cashew, coconut or flax milk

ス tbs cacao powder

1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil (optional)

シ tsp cinnamon

Few drops vanilla essence

1 tsp maple syrup or a few drops of stevia


1, Put the coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat and allow to melt.

2, Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until well combined.

3, Heat through until hot but not boiling.

Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. For details:, 236-7511 or, on Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda

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Published Oct 29, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 26, 2018 at 8:16 am)

No sugar November, no problem

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