Hi! I’m Donna Reish, former sugar addict, blogger, curriculum author of seventy language arts and writing books, recipe creator and tester, mother of seven grown children, Plexus Ambassador, graduate from thirty-two years of homeschooling, private teacher/tutor, speaker, happy wife, Christian gal, and ballroom dancer. I am thrilled that you have decided to take a look at my blog, Donna Reish.com and/or my first healthy cooking e-book. I trust you will find help and guidance in your journey to health.
In my current books (Sugar-Free Solutions and Healthy Mixes: Sugar-Free, Flour-Free) and the blog, I am going to teach you incrementally (is there any other way to learn??? 🙂 ) how you can get rid of sugar in your home once and for all.
If you have tried to go sugar-free before and found yourself buying sugar-free candy (and spending the evening in the bathroom), you will appreciate what you learn here. If you have been cooking sugar-free for a while, you will likely still find some tips and tricks that are new to you—plus you will have graphics and charts right at your fingertips to refer to in your “sweet” journey.
This blog focuses on going sugar-free AND low carb, as opposed to substituting sweeteners that are still rather high on the glycemic index, such as honey, molasses, maple syrup, agave, etc. While those work fine for children, adults who want to avoid the highs and lows of “sugar,” lose or maintain their weight, feel great all the time, and truly achieve health are better off avoiding sweeteners with calories and carbohydrates.
That is where this “Sugar-Free Solutions” comes in. If you find yourself reaching for Splenda because it is easy, cheap, and doesn’t taste “funky,” you are in for a healthy awakening! If you have tried various stevia solutions (in an effort to be healthy in your sugar substitutes) and you, like me, could not bear the taste of it, you are in for a tasty awakening. If you have tried to create baked goods with liquid sweeteners or other “yucky” substitutes, you are in for a baker’s awakening.
Natural, healthy sugar substitutes have come a long way (from even four years ago when I first began this journey). You can “naturally” substitute for sugar, honey, maple syrup, powdered sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup (“Karo”), sweetened condensed milk, chocolate and caramel sauces, and much more!This guide will take you step by step (remember that “incremental” learning I mentioned?) in how to do that—with tested tips, tricks, and tidbits.
I began my healthy journey four years ago when I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and carbohydrate intolerance. Sugar was making me sick! I ate like a ten year old (who could eat whatever she wanted!), and I was paying for it with my health. I went through a period of time in which I had “night blindness” to such an extent that I couldn’t drive after dark. On days that I ate too many carbs and sugar, I would feel like I was in a “carb coma”—and have to take a nap to “sleep it off.” I am a public speaker (doing family and homeschooling workshops and health presentations with my husband), and I would randomly blurt out words when I meant something entirely different.
So I “tried” to go keto—very low carb (under thirty carbohydrate grams a day). Much like many yo-yo dieters, I would do fine for a while eating meat, green vegetables, nuts, cheese, and eggs—then I would fall off the wagon (in a big way!). I never really showed a net weight loss of much weight in spite of feeling like I was always “on that diet.” It was during this time that I began experimenting with baking using alternative flours and sweeteners. What followed was a couple of years of unsuccessful substitutions—and more baking fiascos than I care to admit to!
I had always been a fairly homemade cook. I had been a freezer cook for over twenty years (before it even became popular). Raising seven children on one salary for twenty-five years requires some serious cost cutting efforts. I found mine in homemade cooking.
Of course, the problem with homestyle cooking is that it is heavy on carbohydrates—casseroles, potato dishes, homemade breads, and sugary/floury desserts were a big part of our family’s life. I wanted to make bread, muffins, cookies, and desserts with healthier ingredients, but when I tried various recipes, they always tasted “off.” I couldn’t get anybody in my family to eat them.
Fast forward nearly four years later—and I now have a repertoire of sugar free, grain-free/low grain, delicious desserts that help me stay sugar-free all the time at home (and most of the time when I’m out and about—love my insulated lunch bag). And now the teacher in me is ready to teach others to do the same.
There are so many amazing blogs out there with low carb, healthy, family-friendly, sugar-free recipes. Of course, many of these incredible bloggers are true chefs and way more experienced than I am. And I love using their recipes. However, what I really needed at first (and maybe I just didn’t look well enough) was somebody to take me by the hand and teach me how to do this sugar-free lifestyle step-by-step.
That is what I would love to do for you! Through this Sugar-Free Solutions book, my healthy mixes cook books, the emails that follow signing up for my blog, and my blog posts themselves, I hope to take you by the hand and help you skip some of the mistakes that I made along the way. Let me know how I can help you become happier and healthier as you seek sugar-free solutions for your family.