Hi, I’m Caroline! I’m a french registered dietitian living in Saint John, New-Brunswick. Here, I share the wholesome vegetarian recipes that I enjoy on a daily basis. All the treats you’ll find here are sweetened with fruits and filled with healthy ingredients. In addition to being sugar-free, many of my recipes can be made gluten-free and allergy-friendly. I include ingredient substitutions when possible, as well as nutrition and allergy information to help you choose the best recipes for your needs.
There was once a time when I had uncontrollable sugar cravings.
It started around 2010 when I was 16 years old. At the time, I ate a good balanced diet with the occasional treat. However, as the year went by, those treats became bigger and they came more often. By the end of 2010, I went from being satisfied with one chocolate bar to eating a whole bag of chocolate chips and needing more. Almost every day after school, I’d go to my room and secretly eat anything with sugar until I felt sick. This included anything from breakfast cereal to granola bars to chocolate. Sometimes all in one night. I went to the gym every morning, hoping to undo what I’d done the night before, just to find myself bingeing again that same night.
It escalated like this until the summer of 2011, when I was at my worst. I was thinking about food every minute of every day. Food controlled me. Naturally, I had gained weight. I went from being about 110 pounds at 5’2, to 140 pounds in a year. The only reason I didn’t gain more weight was because I exercised and restricted my calories to undo most of my bingeing. I wasn’t comfortable in my own body, feeling self-conscious everywhere I went.
At the end of that summer, something happened. I got a new perspective and I regained control of my eating habits. Food wasn’t the enemy anymore. I saw food as fuel instead of trying to eat the lowest number of calories possible. In a few months, I had lost 20 pounds, and I felt confident again. That confidence, along with my new found love of healthy food helped me keep my good habits for 2 years. When I graduated from high school in 2012, I even decided to study nutrition.
During my second year of university, in 2013, my cravings slowly came back. It was bound to happen at one point. I used food for comfort in periods of stress. At that point, I was hopeless. I didn’t know why I lost control over food and I was scared that I always would. What scared me the most was that I was gaining weight from bingeing and I was studying to become a dietitian. How could I help others eat healthy when I wasn’t even able to help myself?
My bingeing went on for a few months before I went for help in September of 2014. That’s when I decided to stop eating sugar. It’s not something I would recommend to anyone, but for me, it works. Having sugar in moderation never seemed to work for me. The thing is, sugar was my drug and the only way I could overcome this was to stop eating it for good. Not just for a month or a year, but for LIFE. It was either living without sugar or living for sugar.
So here I am now, more than three years without sugar. Was it hard? Yes. Does it get easier? Definitely! I no longer obsess over my weight or the calories I consume. Instead, I focus on the way my body feels when I eat. I also exercise because I learned to love it, not because I’m punishing myself. I now live in an apartment with my fiancé Shaun and it gives me control of my environment. Being able to stop any food that causes cravings to come in the apartment is a big help!
With time, I’m gaining more control. Over three years without sugar and I’m now comfortable baking a sugar-filled dessert for my family or keeping chocolate in the house when I’m buying Christmas presents. I’m so used to living without sugar that I never even consider eating it anymore. Yes, I do get cravings sometimes (I’m still human!), but I’m able to satisfy them with fruit-sweetened desserts or even just a piece of fruit or a small piece of unsweetened chocolate (you get used to it). I’ll always have to be careful not to go back to my old ways, but it does get easier. It really does!
I don’t follow a restrictive diet, but there are certain things I try to avoid. I don’t eat any added sugar. This pretty much excludes any processed food. I limit myself to homemade desserts sweetened with dates, raisins, bananas or any other fruits. I avoid having any refined wheat at home, including white bread and pasta, but I won’t stop myself from eating some at the restaurant once in a while. Also, I need to avoid eating too much salt and fat since these can become as addictive as sugar if I’m not being careful.
What do I eat? I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Although I do eat fish, dairy and poultry occasionally, most of my meals are vegan or vegetarian. I also treat myself with fruit-sweetened treats. I don’t believe in restrictive diets, I believe in a healthy, balanced lifestyle.