Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life

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Got a fussy eater in the house? 5 ways to smuggle healthy options into their food

How to be a Smuggler

Making healthy choices is usually not a top priority for children ( or some adults either). People who refuse to see the faults of the white stuff really shit me but it’s their health, eh? And by white stuff, I mean refined foods like white flour, pasta, bread, rice and sugar.

I do try to eat less sugar but that doesn’t mean I never have it or  the other whiteys (and sometimes that shits me but nobody’s perfect). Thankfully, I raised my son on wholemeal bread so when he gets white bread he knows it’s a “treat”, kind of like a chocolate bar. He also readily eats brown rice, wholemeal baking and pasta sauce with vegetables. But aside from the bread, he didn’t  always accept the healthier options (wholemeal or vegetables either). At first, I had to be a bit sneaky about it. My advice is to ease into a change and don’t ban the white stuff for good. I used to think moderation was unachievable but my choices seem to sway towards that notion these days.

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How to eat less sugar

Do you feel hyper, on edge, scattered, moody and hungry for most of the day? You may want to consider eating less sugar.

photo from Kraft Canada

photo from Kraft Canada

On April 9th, I made a 3-week commitment to eat less sugar  because I was feeling too addicted to it. I wanted to eat cookies for breakfast.

I was meant to have NO sugar but I failed last night when I ate a large piece of chocolate cake that my son made. It was his first cake and I wanted to be supportive. See what I did there? I came up with a great excuse why I had to eat that cake.

Never mind the cake. It was rich and delicious but it’s gone.

Now, I want to share some of my strategies for eating less sugar. Not NO sugar but LESS. We all know that our foods are too sweet but there are ways to get away from refined sugar – yes, I’m talking about refined sugar, the white stuff. Having less or no sugar does not mean you can’t have anything sweet. I think some people get confused by that. If you replace refined sugar with other sweet foods, like fruit or honey, the ride will be much smoother. But remember, they both have fructose in them so don’t over do it.

Start the day right

Eat a decent protein-based breakfast. I love to have free range scrambled or poached eggs on one piece of grain or wholewheat toast for breakfast. Trying spreading the bread with avocado instead of butter for a nutritious and delicious change. If I’m pressed for time, just a thick piece (or 2) of toast with sugar & salt-free peanut butter will do the job. Winter is fast upon us here in Australia so I’ll soon be having oatmeal or quinoa porridge with dates, nuts, seeds and banana.

Get fruity

Eat low sugar fruits like green apple and berries. But don’t be afraid to eat other fruits too. Don’t listen to people who turn their banana upside down (into a frown). A banana a day won’t kill you, in fact quite the contrary. Bananas have many benefits.  A banana packs a punch with potassium, energy, ability to regulate blood sugar, fills you up, low in salt, high in fibre and contains high amounts of tryptophan, which coverts to serotonin. *high 5*


Drinking water not only hydrates your body, aids bowel movements and gives you an internal wash, it keeps you full. Aim for at least 3 litres a day. Add lemon or apple cider vinegar for an added boost.

Tea Time

As well as water, I find drinking more tea (unsweetened) helps curb my cravings for sugar. For me, sugar consumption is linked to emotional eating, procrastination and boredom. Stick to herbal teas like: rooibos, peppermint, ginger, chamomile or any caffeine-free teas. You don’t want to replace your sugar addiction with a caffeine one or insomnia.

Replace it

There are myriad forms of sweeteners today. I use coconut sugar, raw honey or rapadura sugar if I have to have it. Be careful of alternatives like commercial honey, agave or stevia. Stevia has a chemical taste to it (in my opinion) so try it before you spend lots of money on  the powdered version. Agave goes through a process that basically turns it to something similar to high fructose corn syrup and store-bought honey gets heated to high temperatures that renders it toxic. Please stay away from artificial sweeteners. They are poison to your body.

Think ahead

Be prepared. Avoiding refined sugar means eating less processed foods and to do that, you must plan your meals and snacks. If you don’t, it’s much easier to sway towards to boxed dinner or a high-sugar snack for afternoon tea. Have a prepared salad, cut-up veggies, nuts & seeds; hummus & guacamole dips; crackers (check the ingredients for sugar) and cheese on hand to snack throughout the day. When planning your meals, keep it simple: protein, vegetables and a starch like potatoes or rice if you must. Pasta is a quick and easy meal, just be wary of store-bought sauces – they almost ALL have added sugar.

Bye bye booze

Sorry, but if you want to make a real change to your sugar intake, you will have to give booze a miss. Not forever, if you don’t want to. I go through cycles of drinking and not drinking. When I want to make conscious decisions about my health and diet, I always get on the wagon. Like I said, it’s not about forever. It’s more about changing your mind-set and taking a break. If you must have a drink, say at an event or party, go for spirits like vodka or gin. Try it with sparkling mineral water and lemon or lime. This makes a good low sugar alternative to beer or wine.

Think like a caveman

By now, everyone out there has heard of the paleo or caveman diet. I’m not a subscriber but I understand some of the benefits. They eat more animal products (great source of protein), more fresh produce like vegetables and fruit, honey, nuts and seeds and they eat little to no processed foods. If you stuck to this eating regime, there is virtually no option to have refined sugar in your diet. This article on Harvard Health Publications says protein is an important part of our diet. It’s used for building and repairing cells, muscles, and skin. I’m not one for eating huge amounts of meat, especially red meat, but eating nuts, free range chicken, eggs, legumes, fish and sometimes dairy products are a good way to get your daily intake (which is recommended to be %15 of your food). Click here for paleo recipes.

Are you trying to reduce your sugar intake? Do you have any other suggestions to add? Please share!

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Recipe of the week: Buckwheat pancakes with blueberry sauce

Growing up in Canada meant pancakes every Sunday morning. It’s a tradition I’ve brought to Australia. Although I’m not living gluten-free anymore, I still like to try alternatives. Plus, I have 2 sisters who are Coeliac so I like to try out recipes to pass on.

I can’t imagine going without pancakes for the rest of my life and luckily I don’t have to – and neither do my sisters or anyone who has a health reason for not eating gluten. I’ve tried gluten-free pancakes in the past but the recipe I’m about to share is by far the best one ever!! I’ve adapted it from a recipe I saw in the February 2015 edition of Women’s Fitness magazine. Enjoy!!

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Another reason to read food labels


berry pack

Hear about the frozen berry scandal in Australia? Ten people have now contracted Hepatitis A from consuming a variety of frozen berries that were imported from Chile and China. Of course, the brands blamed are ones I buy frequently.

Health and food experts commenting on the situation say that hygiene and standards are different (lax) overseas, especially in China where human faeces in the waterways is common! Hep A is transferred through poop.  This is lovely to hear after years of eating frozen berries coming from that country!!

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How I’m tackling my food obsessions

Enjoy 2015

Since I went to Bali and did a mini juice detox, I have felt very much in control of my health and wellness.

It’s no secret (just read this blog!!) that I am a bit mad when it comes to food and control. It’s always been all or nothing. But lately, the pull to control everything that goes in my mouth has waned. And it started around Halloween.

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Prediction: 2015 will be my best year yet

It was around this time last year that I read Kelly Exeter‘s ebook, Your Best Year Yet. 

I loved it and felt myself nodding in agreement on many pages; having a-ha moments.

But I didn’t put it into practice.

Then later in the year, after a mini-melt down, I read it again but still didn’t figure out that I needed to change my attitude and way of thinking before I could create MY best year yet.

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4 ways to keep your immune system healthy

Almost everyone over does at Christmas and New Year. All that booze, cheese, crackers,  chocolates and celebrating can really suck you in and before you know it you’re eating everything in sight (well, I hope it’s not just me!!).   But why not overindulge? Everyone deserves a little down time and enjoyment at the end the year. But too much enjoyment often results in not really enjoying anything (when you need up ill).

As you know, I am constantly battling food to see what works and what doesn’t. But at this time of year I don’t fight it. I eat whatever I want, when I want and don’t feel guilty about it. But, I don’t throw away all my good sense!! There are still a few things I continue to do that I know keeps me healthy amid all the chocolate covered chaos.

These immune boosting habits are great all-year round, but especially when you know your body needs a kick up the keister.

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Detox in Bali: Breaking the fast

detox day 4 koi

Okay, I survived a 3-day juice cleanse in Bali. Sure, I was hungry sometimes but it was worth it!! I feel amazing!! My bloated belly is gone, my skin is clearing up and I feel a great sense of accomplishment. Now, I must return to solid food. Slowly but surely.

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