Lynne and Heather embark on the Eat to Live diet developed by Dr. Joel Furhman. The adventure begins with an initial 6 week diet to re-energise and detox the body. Follow us as we discard our favourite high calorie/low nutrient foods for a nutritional, disease-free diet!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

"COOKIES! Nom..nom...nom" - Cookie Monster

Let's talk about cravings. This week has been the first week I've been really really strict with the Eat to Live diet. The first couple of weeks I allowed myself a few slices of pizza with friends here, a drink or a birthday dinner there. But this week is the first week I went completely nutritarian. I don't regret it in the least. I feel healthy and not bloated or lethargic after a meal. But I'm not going to lie...I have been craving sweets the past couple of days. Before going on this diet - I always made sure I had something sweet to eat every day (yes, I know this is horrible and didn't help anything but at times I felt like I was addicted to the sugar. If I didn't have it one day I would be irritable. I guess if I lived on Sesame Street I would be the blue lunatic on a sugar high ranting about the chocolate goodness.) Dr. Furhman mentions that most people will spend the first week or two feeling the withdrawal effects of all the unhealthy foods that you normally consume. I like to think of it as a detox. My body is flushing all the sugar out of its system but in the meantime it doesn't stop me from craving some chocolate.

Temptation - although on second thought, it doesn't look as appetising as my Black Bean Brownies!

Today was no exception to my sugar cravings but this time I had temptation. I had a staff meeting at work so we had plenty of biscuits/cookies for everyone. I resisted the whole day (it wasn't worth it) but when I got home - I couldn't resist having something sweet. I decided to make Dr Furham's Black Bean Brownies. They smelled divine!!

Black Bean Brownies
1/2 c dark cocoa powder
2 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 can of salt-free black beans (drain liquid)
1 T ground flaxseed
1 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce 
2 c pitted dates (chopped)
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 c walnuts

Put the first six ingredients in the food processor. Turn it on then gradually add the 2 cups of chopped dates, a few at a time until blended. Add the flour and continue to mix until everything is well blended. Turn off the machine, remove the blade and stir in the nuts. Spread into a 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F/180 degrees C for 20-25 minutes.

Note for my next batch: I did the cheap option (as I still have yet to get a food processor. Although I do have my eye on this beauty!) and only chopped the dates instead of throwing them in a food processor. I recommend not skipping this step as it allows for the dates to mix in well throughout the brownies to ensure the date's natural sugar sweetens the mixture. I'm also thinking about the possibility of throwing peanut butter (the only thing allowed in the peanut butter should be peanuts - no oil, salt, sugar etc) into the mixture. I'm a fool for peanut butter and chocolate so if I have to go cold turkey on Reese's and peanut butter M&Ms I might as well find a wee loophole!

The great thing about this dessert is that you're ensuring that you're getting much-needed daily Omega 3 (in the 1T of flaxseed and the walnuts). A balanced diet including Omega 3, an essential fatty acid, will help treat and prevent chronic diseases (p 160 Eat to Live book).

I hope these brownies help you when you have your sweet cravings. If all else fails, I recommend listening to Jimmy Cliff's "You Can Get It If You Really Want" before you reach for those Reeses, Cadburry's and all other unhealthy delights. x h


  1. Haaa!!! I love that tune! Great post on fending off temptation from the sugar beast! It looks like the only natural sweetener comes from the pitted dates, so...nice chocolatey goodness, without dumping tons of oil and sugar into the recipe. Nice!
    Another great thing about these recipes, you can add or substitute an ingredient here or there, and make it to your taste (peanut butter, etc). Good job on taming the Cookie Monster!

  2. thanks mom! hope you've had a great first week on eat to live! have managed to get through the weekend without compromising the diet. no wine, cheese, sugar - cookie monster gone!