Co-Dependency often puts me between a rock and a crazy place because I want to please everyone all the time. In the end, no one’s happy, especially me. Here’s my strategy for doing what I please first and not caving into others. (It’s a work in progress.)

A Mom’s War On Sugar

This week, I’m waging a war on sugar consumption. The American Heart Association (AHA) wants kids to eat less than six teaspoons of sugar a day. My son wants sugar laced cupcakes for every meal. I want to cut my son’s sugar without any meltdowns from him or me. (I might have enabled a monster.)

The old me, would have tried to make them both happy, but my recovery teaches me that what I want matters most. And I want my whole family to be free of sugar cravings. To make that happen, sugar is now making limited appearances in my grocery cart, the kitchen cupboards, and in my son’s lunchbox.

Covert Operation: Sneak Veggies Into Son’s Diet

My son loves peanut butter and will scoop it up on celery, carrots, apples, and bananas. A few weeks ago, I bought two 80’s style Tupperware relish trays. On Sunday, I spent almost an hour cleaning, cutting, cutting and filling one with our favorite fruits and one with veggies. This simple hour was a great way to practice self-care:

  1. Fresh cut fruits and veggies makes packing lunches a breeze, which means more serenity for me every morning.
  2. I have access to ready-made snacks, so I can H.A.L.T. when I’m either Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.
  3. When I’m in the kitchen focusing on this task, my family an hour of free time to do what they enjoy. Live and let live.
  4. I can practice mindfulness while I prep the food. Being “mindful” to me means I stay in the present by smelling the fruits, listening to the cadence of my knife, and paying attention to where all of my fingers are. This gives my brain a time out from my racing thoughts.

My Secret Weapon – Pec-Almond Butter

Even the “Natural” peanut butter I buy has almost one teaspoon of added sugar serving. My new favorite almond butter recipe tastes great and is sweetened with AHA approved honey.

Honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar and it doesn’t cause the same “high” as sugar. Honey doesn’t trick my body into craving more.

The nuts and coconut oil are high in healthy fats and Omega 3s. Healthy fats like coconut oil supports brain health. Pecans and almonds are high in Omega 3s, which have tremendous anti-inflammatory benefits.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup raw almonds
  • ¾ cup pecans
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • Dash of sea salt

Almonds have a natural sweetness, and the pecans have more natural oils. Put the nuts into food processor and chop. After 1 – 3 minutes, the nuts will be dry and mealy. Scrape the sides of your processor then keep chopping. Stop often to scrape the mixture back down.

After about 10 minutes, the nuts will release their natural oils and look more like a spread. Add the coconut oil, honey, and salt. Chop to blend ingredients then enjoy!

The pec-almond butter has thick consistency. It’s shape-able and not super sticky.  I make my own Reese’s cups by rolling the pec-almond butter into balls and dipping them in dark chocolate. Viola – a candy that’s lighter on mom-guilt and fully of healthy fats.


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Pam Carver

Pam is the author of two books: Co-dependent In The Kitchen, and Find Your True Colors In 12 Steps. She's also a contributing editor for Reach Out Recovery. She's a recovery advocate who likes long walks on the beach and chocolate.

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