Hi! I’m Jessica Serra Huizenga, your resident sugar free chef 😉

While I spend most of my time making confetti as head honcho over at The Confetti Bar, co-dreaming with creative women through Monarch Workshop, and writing love stories, I decided to start Simple Unsweet as a way to chronicle my journey to a (mostly) more natural, purposeful, and sugar-free life — all while keeping things colorful and happy!

Simple Unsweet is a happy health and wellness blog that is focused on pursuing a more clean and balanced lifestyle. Here you will find recipes, tips, information, and products that are all focused on being simple, natural, and nourishing.

You can read more about my story here, but after curing my anxiety through battling an evil candida overgrowth in my body I have changed my entire outlook on nutrition and diet. I’ve taken it as a personal challenge to find and create delicious recipes that are reminiscent of some of my favorite foods and figured it can’t hurt to share. Most of the recipes you will find here are free of dairy, eggs, sugar, and wheat/gluten/starches, but overall the focus will be on clean, wholesome, natural ingredients. I might even toss in a few of my favorite products, strategies, and ideas for overall happiness and wellness.

Let’s keep it real, though – changing our habits is hard, especially when it might take more time and money to do so.  But if I’ve learned one thing recently, it’s that feeling healthy and happy is an excellent reason to invest in yourself. Until I found myself completely overwhelmed – both physically and mentally – by not feeling in control of my mind + body, I didn’t quite realize just how much what we put into our bodies affects how we feel, both inside and out. But now it seems oh so obvious, no? Eat good, feel good, do good. Rinse and repeat.

While I hope my tips and tricks can be used as a guide, it is important to note that every single person is different. Just because something works for me, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone, but I really encourage you to listen to yourself and find your own balance. I am not a doctor, nor is any of the information contained on this blog meant to be professional advice, just my two cents thrown in the mix. Here are my main tips for living a happier, more purposeful life:

  1. {Read} One of the simplest things you can do is just start really paying attention to food & product labels and the list of ingredients. You’ve probably heard this a million times by now, but most of the time if you can’t pronounce something, it probably isn’t great to be putting into your body. If you don’t know what all the ingredients are in something, look it up to see what it is so you can make more informed choices based on what something is, where it comes from, and what it does for your body.
  2. {Research} You will always find differing opinions on just about every single subject, so I highly encourage doing lots of your own research before deciding what is best for you. Read the good, read the bad, and try to make an informed decision on the proposed risks vs. benefits.
  3. {Be Committed} If you really plan to change your lifestyle, you need to be committed to making changes for the long haul. Only you know how bad you want to change and how committed you are willing to be. Is it more expensive to eat healthier? Seemingly, yes (although there are some caveats to this point!). Is it more time consuming to prepare your own food fresh than grabbing some fast food? Absolutely. Is it hard to make time to exercise a few times a week? For many, sure is. But you have to decide for yourself if your health & overall well being (and maybe that of your entire family) is worth making a few sacrifices. Think about your current habits that you set aside time and money for (shopping spree? watching a favorite tv show every week? going to the movies? eating out three times a week?) and evaluate how you can make adjustments to accommodate new ones.
  4. {Be Patient} There is no “quick fix” for health, so you need to make sure you can see it through to really start feeling and seeing the benefits. Is it hard? It can be. But the more you stick with eating fresh, the less you crave the sugary, processed, chemical-laden foods and prefer things that are natural, flavorful, and nutritious. The more you stick with developing healthy habits the more you look forward to them as an integral part of your life. And the more you become aware and informed of the things around you, the more you feel in control of your own happiness and well being.

I will be the first to admit I am in no way perfect, nor do I expect everyone to go along with what I say. In a strange way I was lucky that I felt so completely sick and awful, as that was a really strong motivator to drastically change my habits. I don’t ever wish anyone to have to feel that way, though, so if I can offer some ideas for prevention, I’m all for it! Sometimes we don’t even know how sick we really are until it’s too late, so making changes even when you think you feel fine can turn out to be greatly beneficial in the long run.

I really want this to be a place that we can share, learn, and discover so that we can all benefit from feeling happy and healthy! Because only great things can come from that, right?

Photo by Victoria Gloria Photography