Finding Meaning in Life’s Activities Plus My Tofu-Based, No Sugar-Added Chocolate Mousse

Another crazy week draws to an end! Lately, I’ve been realizing that I don’t mind being busy as much as I used to and the difference now is that I’m doing things that I believe in. In the past, I have had jobs or pursuits that I didn’t believe in 100%, and I’m realizing now how important that is. Even something as significant as making a healthy meal for Alan and me or taking an hour to go to the gym feels significant because it fulfills my goal to live a healthy, balanced life.

I’m not sure how this is related, but I felt like changing my appearance lately and doing something drastic so I chopped off my hair (with the expert skill of a hair stylist, that is)! Here’s a picture taken just a few weeks ago when I was in San Diego visiting my best friend and her new baby and then with the resulting new haircut yesterday afternoon:

It’s one of the most significant changes to my appearance I’ve ever made and, fortunately, I like it! Yay!

The post I wrote earlier this week on using sweeteners in my diet got the most comments I’ve ever had on my blog (you can read that post here). I knew I was taking a risk by sharing this information because I have a lot of readers who are devoted to Dr. Fuhrman’s program. I will just repeat that I struggled with my decision to make this change, but I feel compelled to experiment and I want to be honest in my thoughts and habits. I had some e-mails from readers expressing true concern that I am only feeding into my need for sugar by using sweeteners. While this is likely true, a side benefit is that I’m re-evaluating some of my habits. For instance, I have a goal for next week to make a savory breakfast instead of a green smoothie. I already have a recipe in mind (using the pressure cooker!) and will blog about it as soon as I try it. Another great suggestion was to reduce the strong-flavored greens in my smoothies so there is less bitterness to mask with dates or sweeteners.

Whether I’m using sweetener or dates in my diet, I realize I’m still fueling the taste for sugar. I’m starting to think that to truly get “off” sugar, I would have to eliminate both and truly, truly commit to only eating fresh fruit and not even any dried fruit at least for a certain time period. I’m not ready to take that step yet but now I know what I would have to do. <—–it will be interesting to see if and when I re-visit this topic.

That being said, I wanted to post this recipe for the no sugar-added version of my chocolate mousse recipe (the version using dates is here). It feels a little funny to post recipes using sweeteners, but I know a lot of you readers DO use them and at least for now, I am too. I promise my next recipe will be ETL-compatible, does that sound like a deal? :)

This version of chocolate mousse starts with these ingredients: a 12.3 box of silken tofu, two large avocados, cacao powder (not pictured), vanilla extract and ZSweet (this is a product made primarily of erythritol plus a little stevia according to an e-mail I received from the manufacturer in response to my question):

If you’re curious about the safety of erythritol, I urge you to watch this video.

I used a high-speed blender to make this recipe, but you could probably get away with using a food processor since we aren’t blending dates this time. I didn’t take any progress pics, but here is the resulting mousse. Oh my, it is delicious. The tofu fills out the mousse and makes it not nearly as heavy as the other version I posted. It looks like this:

Here’s the recipe:

Does anyone shop at Vitacost.com? I love that site! I buy virtually all of my beauty products and many food products there now. If you have never bought from them before and want to, e-mail me at carrie on vegan @ gmail .com (one word, no spaces) use this link found here, because I’m part of their “refer a friend” program where we each get $10 off our orders! So far nobody has taken me up on this offer but I’d love to save both of us some $$$. :)

See you tomorrow, have a great Friday!

Comments

  1. Gina says

    LOVE the new haircut, Carrie!!! I had mine pretty short for the past couple of years and am now trying to grow it out (such an awkward phase to go through). Seeing your new cut makes me want to just stop trying to grow mine out and just cut it again. :)

    • says

      Hi Gina! Thanks for the message! The growing out phase is the worst, isn’t it? I love the low maintenance of short hair so I doubt I’ll ever grow it long again. Plus, it’s so much easier to do yoga with it short, there’s no flopping of the hair in the face every time I do a down dog. :)

  2. says

    Has Dr. Fuhrman actually SAID you can’t have stevia on his plan? I just have a really hard time believing it. He wouldn’t restrict any other herb, so why stevia? Just because the sweet taste might reinforce sugar cravings? It just seems like he’d see the value in having a treat with no effect on blood sugar over a date-/glucose-filled sweet.

    You’re rocking the new ‘do! Love it.

    • says

      Hi Amber! Thanks for the message. Yeah, Dr. Fuhrman isn’t a fan of the sweeteners for the reason you mentioned in that they could reinforce sugar cravings. He prefers using dates or date sugar for treats because they incorporate the whole food including all of the nutrients. Thanks for the compliment on my haircut, I’m having fun with it! :)

      • says

        Well, I knew that about his plan, but stevia is so different from other calorie- and SUGAR-filled sweeteners. Stevia seems to me like a viable exception to any sweetener rule because it’s an herb with no sugar calories – or any calories! For me personally, eating dates or date sugar spikes my blood sugar and causes far more sugar cravings to ensue than sugar-free stevia does. I just find it interesting that he lumps in stevia with other caloric sweeteners! That surprises me about him,.

        • says

          Hi again! Oh, I see your point, good question! I went on his member site and searched for stevia and found that he said that “I think a minimal amount of dried stevia leaf is okay, but he also said “It is just that I suspect every sweetener has a stimulating effect on insulin secretion by the pancreas, just from the neurologic messaging from the sweet sensors in the mouth. Therefore still be careful and only use small amounts even if it not necessarily dangerous, glucose raising or caloric.” So, there you go! :)

          • says

            Ah ok, that’s a good answer! That’s why I <3 Dr. F :) It's true about the insulin secretion…though of course, the pancreas secretes insulin when we even THINK about food, so it's unavoidable to an extent! But it's plausible that constant exposure to large amounts of sweet stevia could make our pancreas more trigger-happy with its insulin secretion.

          • says

            Hi Amber! Wow, that is CRAZY that the pancreas is so sensitive to glucose triggers, I had no idea that that was the case. I’d like to read more about that, do you have any resources you would recommend. I find this discussion so interesting in light of my issues with sugar. The good news is that I think I’m making progress, I just decided last night that I’m going to try not eating any sweet things for awhile and see if that helps. Thanks for your awesome advice and input, Amber!!!

  3. says

    LOVE the haircut! You look beautiful!

    I’m curious to know how Dr. F justifies tofu. It’s processed so how does that fit into the whole foods approach?

    Also, I might hit you up for the Vitacost thing. I need to order some chia seeds!

    • says

      Thanks Prathiba! In regards to the tofu/soy issue, Dr. Fuhrman is cool with minimally processed soy foods like tofu, tempeh, soy milk and edamame. He cautions against using soy protein isolates though. I will e-mail you the refer-a-friend Vitacost code. You’ll be my first referral! :)

  4. says

    Loving the new do! You look gorgeous :)
    I think on the sweetener issue you may well be feeding your sugar addiction but that’s your call to make. Personally dried fruit and artificial sweeteners are out and fresh fruit is my sugar fix but thats because I can’t seem to use stevia in moderation. If I was able to use it without wanting more and more then I may be doing the same as you but alas, I am a sugar addict through and through and even dates get me craving sweets.
    To each their own! We still have stevia/natvia in the house for my hubs who’s perfectly normal and able to eat it in small amounts so there may be hope, you never know?
    I’m curious, do you limit your soy intake at all? (tempeh, tofu, edamame, soy beans, soy milk etc)

    • says

      Claire, you have no idea how helpful your comment was to me. I realized in the middle of the night that you were absolutely right: I was only fueling my sugar addiction with sweeteners. The answer became obvious that I can’t use dates OR sweeteners. So, thank you for helping me down this road, it is much appreciated!!!

      • says

        I’m so glad I could help! I know the difference it’s made for me and I just hope you find your balance and enjoy your fruit & veg that much more :)… I know when I eliminated sweeteners my celery for instance began tasting sweeter. I think a little dried fruit/stevia in desserts occasionally makes them a lovely treat but when you can see the cycle of sugar cravings that come with them you don’t really want to jump down that rabbit hole anymore. All the very best xxx

  5. Robyn :) says

    I love the new ‘do, Carrie!!

    I will probably need to start buying from Vitacost as there are some things I am having trouble finding at the healthfood stores and sections. Like raw cacao (or any cacao) powder.

    I have a question about the sweeteners, such as Stevia. I am very reluctant to try it as I am afraid it is going to taste bad like aspartame or the like. I know that is completly artificial, but I do not want to invest money in something I will not like. So, my question is, do the sweetners actually taste like sugar OR do they have that bitter taste? I have tried zevia soda and it tasted like diet soda.

    Oh, btw, I refered your blog to a coworker today. She has commited to eating vegetarian for a year and I told her that you had fantastic recipes :)

    • says

      Thanks for the note, Robyn! So I just wrote a new post about sweeteners where I talked about trying to eliminate them (I know, I know, I just started using them). After some soul-searching in the middle of the night, I realized that I was just tricking myself by relying on the sweeteners. The problem for me is that I can’t seem to moderate my use of sweet foods, so I think it’s best to try and avoid them. Some people seem to be able to have sweet things in the house and not overeat them, but I’m just not one of those people. So, I guess my advice to you regarding sweeteners would be to ask how you are going to use them? If you are going to replace sugar in your diet with sweeteners, then it will likely lead to weight loss (if that is your goal). But as far as getting rid of sugar cravings, I don’t know if that will be the answer. It isn’t for me. Let me know if you want to discuss more about this! And, thank you for the referral of my blog!!! :)

      • Robyn :) says

        I would be using the sweeteners in place of sugar in recipes. Right now I try to use raw or turbinado. I can’t remember the last time I used refined white. It would be to help with weight loss and have a healthier alternative.

        So far I am down 12 pounds. I am also reading Eat To Live and it is very inspiring.

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