Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

My sugar free column in the IHPA (Virginia Commonwealth University Inter Health Professional Alliance) Newsletter for November 2017:

IHPA Nov 2017 Newsletter

*Original article wording (newsletter has edited – for space – version and recipe):

Sugar Free Holidays?!?! Are You Serious?!?!

It is a week before Thanksgiving and I am on a drastic liquid only diet. Call me crazy, but I know I have to get a jump start on my diet before I go overboard during the holidays.  Thanksgiving is a time for family, counting your blessings … and eating way too much food!  So how do we have self-control and still celebrate?  I want to give you a couple tips on how to get through Thanksgiving without increasing your blood sugar, over-eating, and having to buy new pants because you ate too much:

  1. Eat a good breakfast with protein.
  • My family doesn’t eat until 1pm so I am really hungry when we finally sit down causing me to pile up my plate. If you eat breakfast then you won’t be starving later in the day.
  1. Don’t fix so much food.
  • Do you need 12 types of meat, 5 types of potatoes, and 72 types of vegetables? Limiting your menu will help with less temptation to over-eat, less dishes to clean, and less food that gets wasted.
  1. Stay away from bread.
  • Stuffing is a big deal for most families at Thanksgiving, but my family makes like 4 different kinds and then bakes rolls on top of that. The less bread you have, the less you will eat.
  1. Don’t “taste test” everything.
  • Of course you want to test the mashed potatoes to make sure there is enough salt in them… but that doesn’t mean you have to test it 4 times.
  1. Drink water.
  • You will already be getting enough calories and sugar that day, so sticking with water helps you stay full and healthy.
  1. Put half the amount of each food on your plate … or use a smaller plate.
  • You can always go back for seconds if you are still hungry. I feel like if I put it on my plate I have to eat it, so if it isn’t on my plate I won’t feel like I have to stuff myself.
  1. You don’t have to try everything.
  • Grandma Gertrude and Aunt Agnes won’t actually disown you if you don’t try their dish. You are an adult and can make decisions for your health.
  1. Only have one type of dessert or try sugar free options.
  • I know it may seem like blasphemy to ask you to not have pumpkin pie AND sweet potato casserole … but your body will thank you later!

I have already limited my menu for this year, and have substituted some desserts for sugar free options. Hopefully the recipe below will satisfy your traditional tastes with a little change toward the healthy side!  Have a great Thanksgiving and know that I am thankful for you.

For more tips visit Melissa’s website where you can read her blogs and connect with her social media accounts:


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Resurrection Sunday – Guest Blogger: Martin Dorgan

Resurrection Sunday – Guest Blogger: Martin Dorgan

Resurrection Sunday.

To some it sounds so religious, so historical, so staged. It requires a crisp new suit and a knee-length dress. We frame it in formality, and determine its success by how far we can contrast its stilted recitations and repetitions of worship from our everyday living. Easter sounds joyous, celebrative, fun. It mandates candy, play, and a mindset of being carefree for the purpose of demonstrating the innocence of children at play. We want to live there everyday.

And as we complete the activities of yet another Spring holiday in which we verbally attempt to interchange the terms (which in reality reflect more our appreciation of fun and less our understanding of holiness), I sit in my office and wonder…

There is a major historical significance behind the name ‘Easter’, as well as behind the concept of ‘Resurrection Sunday’. We have made an attempt to redefine both, for the purpose of rendering them to be synonymous, and in doing so have marginalized the significance of each. It is like trying to mix oil and water, no matter how hard you stir, the two will never bond. Still some will protest against the need to be more selective by simply suggesting that it is all in fun, all in good nature, and all for the sake of making the holiday more appealing and more inclusive.

If we totally ignore the historical significance of Easter as it pertains to its origins, I still have to ask why we would want to use any form of celebration that detracts from what Jesus did? And if I wanted to be less tolerant, I could ask why we would use historically identified symbols of pagan worship to celebrate the resurrection, knowing that the cause of the death was first due to our misplaced worship?

We live in a culture that necessitates preemptive apologizing for spoken words that have the potential of causing offense. I do not intend to offend, or put anyone on the defense. I simply discuss ideas, and values. And on occasion, I will talk about the One who died for me. And I do not apologize for taking a position that preserves the highest and most selective honor for Him.

Happy Resurrection Sunday.

Martin Dorgan