My Easy Sugar Free Taco Seasoning Recipe!

ugar Free Taco Seasoning Recipe

Taco seasoning was another one of those little things I didn’t expect to have such a problem finding in a sugar free variety.  I mean, it’s taco seasoning!  Who wants sugar in their tacos?  Apparently I did because the brand I had been buying for years had sugar in the ingredients list so I had to do a little experimenting to find one that was right for me.  So, the level of spice something has is absolutely crucial in my house because my wife doesn’t like anything spicy.  Over our marriage I’ve acclimated her to some degree to heat in her food but I think she just endures it instead of enjoying it like I do.  So this was what we finally came up with, not too spicy but with a hint of heat.  Of course if you like some spice, add a little more red pepper and you’ll be fine.

As for storage, we have the little tiny Rubbermaid containers that are too small for any actual food so it works perfectly for my taco seasoning.  It just stays on the counter mixed in with my other spices so it’s always within easy reach.  Also, I’ve found that it is a much more versatile spice than just tacos as I’ve been using it on a lot of different ground meat dishes and have been happy with how they turned out.

Hope you like it as well!

Author: 
Recipe type: Spice
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
MY Super Tasty Sugar Free Taco Seasoning Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix

 

Sugar Free Iced Coffee Recipe

 

ugar Free Iced Coffee Recipe

Sugar Free Iced Coffee Recipe

Summer in Texas means blistering hot days and nights that are almost as bad so we are always looking for ways to cool down and stay Sugar Free.  Here’s our delicious recipe for Sugar Free Iced Coffee.

Sugar Free Iced Coffee
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
A delicious drink for hot summer days!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee - strong
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 6 ice cups
  • Splenda to taste
Instructions
  1. Brew a cup of coffee as strong as you can
  2. Mix with milk and ice and sweeten to taste
  3. Top with sugar free whipped cream if desired

Sugar Free Whipped Cream
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
An incredibly easy Whipped Cream recipe. It works best if you can mix it in a cold metal bowl
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Whipped Cream
  • 1 tbsp Dextrose or Splenda
  • 1 tsp organic Vanilla (Just be sure it has no added sugar)
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients in cold metal bowl
  2. Wisk at highest speed until cream stiffens. You are looking for peaks that hold their shape.

 

 

5 Ways Fructose Damages Your Health Beyond Just Weight-Gain

5 Ways Fructose Damages Your Health Beyond Weight Gain

We’ve talked about how fructose will make you fat, but did you know it affects our bodies in other ways as well?  One of the more eye-opening facts that was in Fed Up was that up to 20% of Americans have health problems normally associated with obesity but are not over-weight.  There is strong scientific evidence that suggests that even if you are controlling your caloric intake enough to prevent weight-gain, fructose is harmful enough that it can cause problems anyway.  Here are just a few of the health issues that have soared in number as the amount of fructose we consume has climbed.

High Blood Pressure

In the last 3 decades, the number of Americans with HBP has climbed about 20% to include 73 million people.  This was the one that really struck home for me and made me realize what bad shape I was in.  My BP was a ridiculous 220/160 at one point; it was so bad the poor nurse that took my vitals hit the machine a few times because she was sure it was wrong.  I’ll never forget the look on her face when she realized it was accurate, if she had her way I would have been in the back of an ambulance almost immediately.  The good news is that after just a month or 2 of cutting the sugar out of my live my BO is 131/68.  Still high but a heckuva lot better.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type II Diabetes has risen about 35% since 1994 and affects about 20 million people.  The most stunning thing about this disease is that we have had to change the name to reflect a horrible new reality.  This disease used to be called “Adult-Onset Diabetes” because it was almost always found in people who took their entire lives to accumulate the weight needed to cause it.  Now it’s become so common among children and adolescents that calling it “Adult-Onset” was inaccurate, hence the switch to “Type II”.

Kidney Disease

In the last 25 years, the incidence of end-stage renal failure, or kidney failure, has increased by about 400%.  Meanwhile about 20 million Americans have mild to moderate kidney damage.  The horrible thing about this problem is that once you have damaged your kidneys, barring a transplant you will have damaged kidneys for the rest of your life.  Doctors may be able to slow down its progression but they can’t stop it and they can’t cure it.

Liver Disease

It used to be that if you had liver disease, you were most assuredly an alcoholic.  Now we are seeing a marked increase in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, or NAFLD.  Once almost non-existent, NAFLD now affects about 20 million Americans including about 3.5 million kids.   It has also become the most common reason for liver transplants.

Metabolic Syndrome

Someone is diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome if they have at least 3 of the following 5 symptoms; abdominal (central) obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides, and low high-density cholesterol (HDL) levels.  I have to confess that this was a disease I had never even heard of before I was diagnosed with it earlier this year.  It functions as a kind of “catch-all” diagnosis for all the issues that arise from Obesity.  In my research I found the one stat that really drove home how wide-spread this epidemic is.  During the 1990’s (That’s just 10 years!) the portion of the American population that had Metabolic Syndrome rose a whopping 25% to include 55 Million people.

I remember watching Dr Lustig say one time that fructose is a chronic, dose-dependent, liver toxin.  Chronic means it takes its time killing you, dose-dependent means that the more you eat the more damage it causes, and liver toxin means it will affect your liver first and foremost.  I implore you to consider how dangerous sugar can be to you and your family and to look at what you can do to reduce it or remove it from your diet.

Any questions?  Want to talk?  Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Data in this article can be found in Dr Richard Johnson’s excellent book, “The Sugar Fix” and Wikipedia

My Sugar Free Journey: Part Four

My Sugar Free Journey Part Three

So far I’ve shared how I found out I was overweight, and the many false-starts among my dieting journey and how I learned about the sugar free life style, now what?

So now I’m convinced.  I have seen the evidence and it is overwhelming, fructose is making us fat, so now what?  I needed a plan.

First step – Where is the sugar?

The first thing I did was spent a week paying very close attention to what I ate and figuring out exactly where the sugar was coming from.  It only took me a few days to realize that I had probably not had a meal in years that didn’t include some kind of sugar.  It was in the bread, it was in the spices, it was in almost every side dish I pulled out of the freezer, it was in a lot of the meat I was preparing, it was EVERYWHERE!  I was drowning in a sea of sugar and didn’t even know.

Second step – Freak out when you see how much sugar you eat everyday

I will never forget the day it was absolutely driven home just how prevalent sugar was.  I worked very hard to prepare a nice dinner for my family with no sugar and just as I finished up, I reached for a little garlic salt to season the fresh steamed broccoli.  It was only AFTER I sprinkled it on my veggies that I thought to look at the ingredients.  First ingredient – salt, second ingredient – Garlic powder, third ingredient? – SUGAR!  I couldn’t believe I had done that and I couldn’t believe there was a company out there that was putting sugar in garlic salt!  Clearly this was going to be an uphill battle.

Third Step – Get rid of the Sugar

It was easy to cut out the obvious things.  No more late night McFlurries when I picked my son up from work, no more non-diet soda, etc.  What I was having trouble with was when I ate food I didn’t prepare (which spawned my What’s Sugar Free at Restaurants series) and what did I do about all the staples and condiments that were now off limits?

Fourth Step – Buy a Bread Machine

The first hurdle I had to overcome was bread.  It is almost impossible to find bread made without sugar.  The closest I was able to come was carb balanced Mission tortillas which are great but sometimes you want a sandwich.  So I found a recipe for bread and made it a few times but hand-making bread is about the most time-consuming thing you could ever do.  So I scoured Craigslist and found a bread machine for $15.  If you are serious about kicking sugar out of your life, a bread machine is the most awesome thing you can ever buy.  Just substitute Barley Malt Syrup (a sweetener that contains no fructose) or Dextrose (Just pure Glucose) for any sugar in any recipe and you will be fine.  It takes all of 5 minutes to throw the ingredients in and then you just walk away for a few hours and come back to a loaf of delicious bread.

UPDATE – Having moved a little further along on my sugar free journey, I got to the point where the bread maker isn’t a part of our lives anymore.  As I continues to study I realized that grains are just as bad for me as the sugar.  I still bring it out on special occasions because the family likes it but I no longer eat bread.

Fifth Step – Learn how to make the basics Sugar-Free

Second up was condiments.  I will say this, for my entire life I have hated mustard.  I think it goes back to my childhood where Miracle Whip was the condiment of choice.  If you are unfamiliar with Miracle Whip, it’s basically Mayo with a ton of sugar added.  In fact, the whole time I was growing up eating Miracle Whip, my family called it mayo so that’s what I thought mayo was.  Imagine my surprise the first time I actually had mayo and couldn’t figure out why it was so bland…I was just missing all that sugar!  And of course mustard is light years away from Miracle Whip on the sweetness scale so I REALLY wasn’t interested in that.  That is, until I stopped eating sugar.  Now that my taste buds aren’t so screwed up, mustard tastes pretty good which is fortunate because it’s pretty much the only condiment available without sugar off the shelf.

Mayo is Work!

Dian and I devoted last Saturday afternoon to experimenting with trying to make a palatable mayo out of an egg and some olive oil.  We will put the recipe up later but it taught me the importance of experimentation to try to find things that work for you and taste good.  It took us a while but we finally got something that tasted great in tuna salad.  We will be putting that recipe up soon and then we get to work on figuring out ketchup.

Make your kitchen Sugar-Free

I have to admit it was difficult at first.  The day we went through our shelves throwing away things with sugar made the frugal side of me a little sick.  (Before anyone asks, if it was unopened, it went to the shelter)  However, it’s really opened my eyes to how much fructose I was eating every day and what great lengths you have to go to in order to avoid it.  The cool part about this is that now I’m adding recipes back into my repertoire that contain no sugar which means I get to experiment and have fun when I cook.  I’m not the best cook in the world but I somehow managed to get 4 kids through to adulthood so I can’t be that bad.  (Alright I had a LITTLE help from my lovely wife, Dian Smile)

Last step – Reap the Rewards

Of course the other thing that has been great about this is the health benefits.  I’m only 6 weeks into the experiment but having seen how easy it has been to lose weight and keep it off and the MASSIVE drop in my blood pressure, (220/160 to 131/86 at my last doctor’s appointment) Dian and I have decided that this is what our lives will look like for the rest of our lives.  It’s the first time I have been comfortable saying that about any change to my diet, I’ve always assumes that any changes would come to an end and I would be back to pints of Ben and Jerry’s before too long.  Not this time, this is too easy and the benefits are too great.

Thank you for reading about my sugar free journey.  I would like to connect with you, please leave a comment or use the icons in the top right hand side bar to follow my on Facebook or Pinterest or you can sign up for my daily email.

What is Sugar Free at the Grocery Store: Beverages Edition

What is Sugar Free at the Grocery Store: Beverages Edition

What is Sugar Free at the Grocery Store: Beverages Edition

It’s tough to know exactly what to buy at the grocery store so we are starting lists of products that contain no added fructose.  There are a few sugars that are on our “Acceptable Sugars” list and if a product contains one of those sugars, it’s listed in parenthesis.  Most of these products can be found at Walmart (because that’s almost my second home) and if you’d like, you can search for coupons for them here.  If you see a product I missed, let me know and I’ll add it.

Keep in mind that there are some “no brainer” items not listed on this list like water, milk, ground coffee and tea bags.

Drink Mixes

  • Crush Orange Sugar Free singles to Go
  • Hawaiian Punch Sugar Free Singles to Go Flavored Water
  • Clear American Flavored Water
  • Clear Choice Ice (Sucralose
  • SoBe LifeWater
  • Glaceau Fruit Water
  • Dasani Sparkling Waters
  • LaCroix Flavored Water
  • Fruit2O (Sucralose)
  • Perrier Grapefruit Water

    Non-Dairy Milk

    • Great value Lactose Free Whole Milk
    • Great Value Almond Milk Unsweetened Original
    • Great Value Almond Milk Unsweetened Vanilla
    • Silk Almond Milk Unsweetened
    • Silk Almond Milk Unsweetened Vanilla
    • Silk Organic Unsweetened Soymilk
    • Rice Dream
    • Rice Dream Vanilla Enriched
    • West Soy Organic Unsweetened Soymilk
    • Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Organic Almond Milk Unsweetened

     

    Sports Drinks

  • Powerade Zero (Sucralose)Muscle Milk
  • Propel Zero
  • Gold Leaf Diet Tea (Aspartame)
  • Sugar Free Red Bull
  • Lo Carb Monster Energy (Glucose and Sucralose)
  • Monster Energy Ultra Blue
  • Monster Rehab (Glucose and Sucralose)
  • Rock Star Sugar Free (Sucralose

    Tea

    • Milo’s Famous Unsweet Tea
    • Red Diamond Unsweet Tea (Sucralose)
    • Great Value Sugar Free Sweetened Tea (Sucralose

    Tomato Juice

    • R. W. Knudsen Tomato Juice
    • Great Value Tomato Juice