Sugar-free treats for Valentine’s Day

Local Mum and holistic therapist Evi shares her two favourite healthy sweet treat recipes just in time for Valentine's Day.

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Dear Local Mums,

As Valentine's Day is approaching I am sure most of us are tempted with those beautifully presented, luxurious chocolate hampers, boxes and sweets to express our love.

Although chocolate can make us feel satisfied and relaxed it also slows the body’s ability to regenerate itself leading to ageing.

Eat for energy not for comfort
Despite the wealth of positive media coverage that dark chocolate has received for its myriad of health benefits, an article in USA Today states more research is needed before you start overindulging in this treat.

Milk chocolate contains large amounts of sugar, butter and cream and can trigger a range of serious degenerative diseases including diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and arthritis. Sugar has been shown to shorten lifespan, hence its nickname ‘The White Death.'

It’s important to remember that refined sugar contains no vitamins, minerals, proteins or fibre. In fact NO nutritional elements at all. It's also the most ageing food of all.

Can sugar really reduce your lifespan?
When US  PhD  biochemistry and biophysics professor at the University of California, Cynthia Kenyon, gave sugar to lab roundworms she'd genetically tweaked to live much longer than normal,  she found it dramatically shortened their lives. Kenyon has since eradicated processed sugars from her diet. 

It’s now clear that our genes are remarkably porous and constantly responding to changes in our environment. Diet, micronutrients, toxins, love and affection, trauma and loss can all affect them. In fact, if you could see the genes in your body as points of light as they turned on and off, you would look like a firework display. This has huge implications for anyone trying to improve their chances of a healthy old age by changing their lifestyle. 

No longer is genetic engineering something confined to research labs packed with millions of dollars of high-tech equipment, it is something that you can literally do on the kitchen table. The way to change the behaviour of your genes, even some of those inherited heart-attack ones, is with a good supply of omega-3 fats, healthy levels of vitamin D, eating a low calorie diet that keeps your blood sugar down and taking exercise.

Ageing effects of bad sugars:
Lack of muscle  tone, back and muscular pain/Sciatica

Aching joints




Digestive disorders

Puffy eyes

Sagging skin

Wrinkles and lines

Flabby belly

Spots and acne

Weight gain and inability to lose it easily 

Hormonal imbalances

Migraines and headaches

Tooth decay

Lowered mental alertness

Energy boost and improved health
Reducing refined sugars from your diet can help you achieve good health, youth and longevity. Replacing them with 
slow-released complex carbohydrates (from wholegrain, pulses, vegetables and fruit) instead, you'll  stabilize your long-term blood sugar levels and gain the optimum fuel for your body. 

You'll also nourish and repair your system, have better resistance to age-related illnesses, and experience a boost of energy with increased motivation and vitality.

There are lots of healthy recipes with alternatives to sugar and chocolate which you can try out at home with your loved ones and make it fun this Valentine Day…Here are two of my favourites below:

1) Energy balls


* Please note: This recipe is not suitable for people suffering from nuts allergies   


200g almonds (1 cup)

400g medjool dates (2 cups)

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 ½ tablespoons almond butter

2 tablespoons coconut oil


Begin by placing the almonds in the food processor and pulsing until they are nicely crushed.

Add the medjool dates and coconut oil and pulse until it’s fully mixed.

Add the almond butter and cacao and then mix again in the food processor. 

Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Continue doing this until the mixture has finished. 

Place the rolled balls into the freezer for around 1 hour, then remove and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy a healthy, sugar free energy boost!

Here is another great recipe I normally use for my breakfast energy boost...

2) Mango, coconut and chia seeds pots



200ml coconut milk

50ml almond milk

4 tablespoons chia seeds 

2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided 

2 small mangoes (peeled, stones removed and cubed)


Combine the coconut milk, almond milk, chia seeds and 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup. Whisk for 1 to 2 minutes. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Stirr occasionally.

Combine the cubed mango and remaining tablespoon of maple syrup in a food processor or blender. Blend till smooth.

Spoon the chia mixture into serving glasses. Top with the pureed mango. 

Enjoy straight away or chill till serving…

For more information or advice, please contact:
Evi Achillea 
Handy Therapies
Tel: 07528337068

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