The hidden ingredient lurking in your fridge

I’m coming clean to let you know I have a real addiction.
I’m obsessed with condiments and sauces.

In fact, until recently my fridge was stocked full of condiments and completely void of food. Let’s get real, what’s a meal without the sauce?

condimentsAs I headed down the road of the Conscious Cleanse, I realized that I would have to start to rethink my beloved sauces. All of my favorites were filled with some form of sugar – organic cane sugar, sugar in the raw, cane syrup, fructose, maltose, beet sugar, barley malt, molasses, and even agave. All of these forms were hidden in my sauces, a.k.a. my crack – even the so called “healthy” stuff.  It’s no wonder I loved them so much, this is how I was getting my sugar fix.

Most of us know that sugar doesn’t do a body good, but we don’t realize how much it’s wreaking havoc in our bodies. It feels so good to eat because sugar actually releases the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, which leaves us feeling good temporarily. Even more shocking, the chemicals released by sugar actually travel the same pathway as heroin! As a result, when we are tired, sad, stressed out or anxious – the bottom line is that sugar has a magnetic high that can make us temporarily feel better.

It’s no wonder why type II diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. Overconsumption of sugar is almost exclusively to blame for the explosion of both obesity and diabetes, not to mention hypertension, heart disease and many types of cancer, rampant in our society. Excess sugar, especially refined sugar, has been linked to suppressed immune system, hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, depression, ADD, premature aging, obesity, weight gain, arthritis, headaches, asthma, allergies, and even insomnia.

Although scary, the good news is there is a solution to many of these health challenges! While sugar can have a nasty hold on us, once out of its grip, we feel and look better than we ever have!

But, isn’t the life of sugar-free sauces, condiments, and salad dressings just plain boring?

In some cases there is an adjustment period, a recalibrating of taste buds, before we start to taste the bursting flavors of our sugar-free foods. I’m also a bit of a rule breaker, a scofflaw as my dad calls me, and so I went on the mission to find the very best sauces, condiments and salad dressings that could replace and even surpass my old sugary friends.

Below is one of my all time favorite salad dressings. I hope you give it a go!

Leave a comment below and share with us what your “crack” is in your diet. We’d love to make it over into a new healthy version.

With just as sweet sugar-free kisses,



East-Meets-West Dressing

Yield: 2 cups


  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas
  • 1 tsp. honey (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a high-speed blender, combine lime juice, garlic, cilantro, chickpeas, and honey (if using). With the blender running, gradually drizzle in olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Refrigerate in a glass container for up to 3 days.


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Showing 3 comments
  • Amy Galvis

    Jo – I am addicted to ranch dressing, and am convinced it makes the world a better place.The miracle condiment, if you will. I realize this is AWFUL for me. I would love to know how to make a healthy version that actually tastes ranchy!


  • Shayne

    I absolute love teriyaki sauce and sweet asian sauces to go with my stir fry. Can you point me in a cleanse friendly direction?

    • Jo Schaalman

      I feel the same way Shayne! I used to be a condiment junkie. I use garlic, ginger, coconut aminos, and a bit of honey to replace my asian sauce fix. Let me know what you think!

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