I am holistic health coach and therapeutic nutrition educator ready to share ideas, recipes and my adventures in the kitchen. I believe that at the core of every diet there should be organic, whole foods that are grown locally and sustainably. I believe that you can heal the body from the inside out and use food as medicine; I am proof that this is possible--I am a gluten free and veganish (I still eat, on occasion, veg fed, local, free range eggs and wild caught, low mercury fish) and food has never tasted better!
I too am doind a sugar free month of March... I’m calling it March Madness :) Your husband saw my blog entry and commented on my post saying that we might want to get in touch and commiserate. I’d love to hear how your month is going so far... and if you are interested, you can check out more about me on my blog:
I am vegetarian-ish, eating fish on occasion and land animals NEVER!
Well, I hope to hear from you!
the better bites girl
Well, I think I just defined the word “hiatus!” An unannounced and unexpected 5 month hiatus. Here’s the cocktail hour version of what’s happened since February. I’ll make this quick so we can catch up and move on to the regularly scheduled programming.
February 3rd was my last post. It is now July 5th. A solid 5 months have flown by and life has certainly changed quite a bit. After coming back from a quick visit to Brussels, Andy and I decided that it might really be time to think about settling down. While he loved working on his own and running Kruger Strategy Group--he is still running a bare bones operation--he decided it was time to enter the corporate world and took a job opportunity at the University of California San Francisco. You know what that means, a 3000 mile relocation. After careful consideration, we decided that I would finish out the lease on our house in Boston and make a smooth transition to the west coast. On May 31st, Paco and I followed Andy out to our beloved city by the bay. Andy and I fell in love here and are thrilled to be home after 5 years of bouncing around the country and the world.
Since there are apparently flight embargoes on pets as cargo during the summer months, Paco and I headed west via the road. I traveled 3200 miles and crossed the border of 13 states before making it out to my new home. We had a blast and were thrilled to make it out here! Paco even recognized the distinct smell of the sweet, eucalyptus trees and salty, sea air. I was here in California for 10 days with one mission, find a more permanent place to call home (our dear friend Rose is letting out her spare bedroom to the three of us as I write). On day 5 in the state, I made an appointment with our Realtor and on day 6 we had our offer accepted on our new home. On day day 10, I hopped on a plane and headed back east as I had previous engagements with my parents for an Italian holiday. I spent 14 days in the southern Italian sun! After 25 hours of airplane travel back from Rome to San Francisco, I realized two things: one, Europe is very far away from the west coast and two, it’s time to explore South America and the Southern Pacific... it’s closer!
So that brings us to the present day and my recent creation of mango nogurt.
Here’s the recipe:
1 whole trade, ripe banana
1 organic fresh mango or 1 cup organic, frozen mango cubes, defrosted
1/2 ripe avocado (scoop flesh with a spoon to get the maximum nutrients)
1 tsp organic apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp organic vanilla (or a splash of organic, unsweetened, vanilla soy milk)
place banana, avocado, mango, apple cider vinegar and vanilla in your high power blender or food processor. process until smooth and creamy. place in an air tight container and refrigerate for one hour. enjoy your fiber-filled yogurt substitute anytime and anyway that you would traditionally eat cow, goat, or sheep’s milk yogurt.
Over the next few months I would like to introduce you to the world of grains, focusing specifically on those that a gluten-sensitive person can tolerate.
Reader, meet Millet.
The millet plant very closely resembles that of corn. It grows about 15 feet tall and can grow in climates that wheat and barley otherwise will not. This grain is very small and you can see in the picture above that it is a round little bead of a grain. Research tells me that this grain can come in a variety of colors from gray to red, but I’ve only ever seen yellow (and I’ve bought this grain in a few different countries now), which is pictured above.
While Millet is not a staple food for most Americans, it is however for Indians, Africans, Chinese and Russians. The egyptians made flat pita bread from millet, incorporating stone-ground millet and brewed beer. Until corn and potatoes were cultivated en-mass in Europe, millet was the preferred grain.
There are many nutritional benefits to this tiny grain as well. While all plants are complete proteins, this grain does have a large percentage of protein, with up to 10-20% of the content coming from protein. This make millet higher in protein than wheat, corn, and rice. Millet is also a good wource of phosphorous and magnesium (2 minerals many Americans need much more of), as well as B vitamins.
Millet also hapens to be gluten-free. It is generally thought to be hypoallergenic as well. If you have food sensitivities this grain should be stocked in your pantry. I buy it at Whole Foods Market in the bulk department.
OK. Enough history. I’m sure what you all really want to know is what to do with this little pearl.
To cook millet, add 1 part millet to 3 pots boiling water (or a combo of boiling water and low sodium veggie stock). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. This technique makes a nice fluffly cooked grain. For a creamier consistancy, add water to the grain a little bit at a time and stir frequently (if you’ve ever made risotto this will be a familiar technique).
Any time you cook rice, replace it with millet. Due to it’s nutritional benefits, it’s a great addition to any plate.
Use millet at breakfast, following cooking directions above and adding fruit, walnuts, and dried fruit to sweeten.
Millet flour (ground millet) is a grea addition to breads and can even substitute wheat flour in any traditional biscuit recipe.
You can add cooked millet to soup (if you cook the millet in the soup make sure to add a lot of extra water... )
Toast the millet in a dry sautee pan, prior to cooking, to give it a more nutty flavor. Just make sure you stir often and are careful not to burn it. This adds depth to the recipe.
Now that you have a few ideas of how to incorporate this grain in your life, try it out. In general, the typical American diet is overloaded with wheat. Even if you do not have Celiac’s Disease, are not gluten intolerant or even gluten sensitive, it will most likely benefit you to start incorporating a variety of whole grains in your diet. Try shaking things up a little bit and see if you notice a difference in the way you feel or digest your food. I’d love to hear back from you on all the ways you have been able to incorporate millet into your diet.
Each month, I’ll feature a different grain, providing you with a little history, some of the nutritional highlights and benefits, as well as recipes. During that month, give some of the recipes and suggestions a shot and before too long you’ll have a much more varied and healthy diet.
Please feel free to ask me any questions and I love comments too!
This morning I read an article on huffington post’s health page about 9 foods that are commonly thought of us evil that may not actually be all that bad. Click here to read the article (it’s quick and has pictures). And I’d like to share my thoughts on these selected items because I feel there was a lot of important distinctions that need to be made in order for the reader to understand how these items would be healthfully consumed and why they might be considered healthy. So, if you didn’t click on the link above, no worries, I’m going to pull directly from the article and comment on all 9 “health” foods.
So here we go:
The article states that beef gets a “bad rap” due to it’s very large amounts of saturated fat, which it does have. (It’s also important to note that beef is also high in dietary cholesterol, omega 6, which is way too abundant in our over-processed diets, and void of any fiber and phytochemicals.) It then goes on to make the claim that eating lean cuts of beef is perfectly healthy and that you should choose wisely (just as Indiana Jones did at the end of “The Last Crusade”)! This is true, there are healthier cuts of meat, but they are just that, healthier, not healthy. This is an important distinction. It’s also good to note that how the animal was raised directly contributes to the quality and health values of the meat. When selecting beef, not only do you need to choose the leaner cuts, such as the fillet, sirloin, or flank, but you also need to pay attention to the feed of the animal-you want grass fed for as long as possible, and the where the animal lived-you want pasture raised as long as possible. Both the type of feed, grass vs. corn, and where the animal was raised, on the pasture or in confinement, greatly effects the amounts of saturated fat in the beef that you eat as well as the omega 6:omega 3 ratio. When purchasing beef, ask your butcher where the meet comes from and the type of feed, if he doesn’t know the answers, then don’t buy it. Farmers Markets, Cow CSAs, Whole Foods Market are excellent sources for pasture raised, grass-fed beef. The amount of meat you eat is also important to comment on in this section. You want to make sure that you are not eating more than 3.5 oz every 2-5 days. (And this serving size recommendation actually refers to all animal products, including dairy and eggs). So, while the right type of beef can be included in a healthful diet it is not a necessary part of a healthy diet.
I totally agree with the article in the fact that bread has gotten a totally bad rap and that it does not need to be that way. Instead, what needs to be given a bad rap is ALL highly processed foods, including wheat bread and white bread. The word that you are looking for when purchasing ANY bread or grain product is WHOLE. This is so important! If the word on the ingredient list is WHOLE wheat then you are safe. If, however, it just says wheat, with no descriptor, then you need to put the loaf, or the crackers, back on the shelf. Whole grains are not nearly as processed as their poor, stripped-of-their-nutrients cousins. White grains, like white flour, white rice, white cous cous, have all had their outer layer removed which takes with it all of the health benefiting qualities, like the fiber and nutrients. So remember to check those ingredients and buy WHOLE wheat or WHOLE grain products, including bread, crackers, and pasta (note: if you don’t like whole wheat pasta, check out the quinoa pasta, it’s fabulous).
I think that this was put on the list for the simple fact that the writer of this article was gobbling up a bar of dark chocolate and didn’t want to have to feel guilty about it! But in all seriousness, dark chocolate is not healthy. Does that mean I don’t eat it every now and then, of course not, but it’s important to distinguish the difference between what is healthy and what won’t hurt you. So, while it dark chocolate does contain flavanols, which can be of great benefit in our diets, it also contains extremely high amounts of saturated fat, which are a great detriment to our health. We just love the stuff so much we close our eyes to the obviously bad and search for anything that might be good.
Here’s what the article has to say about coffee:
“Studies show that compounds in coffee -- including but not limited to caffeine -- may reduce the risk of dementia, diabetes and liver cancer. Most benefits are associated with drinking two to four (8-ounce) cups a day. That said, coffee can make some people jittery -- and if this is true for you, you should cut back. You should also limit caffeine if you’re pregnant -- the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises no more than two cups a day while expecting -- or nursing.”
So, while I am not an expert on coffee or the studies that are conducted on it, of which there are many as we so badly want it to be healthy, what I can say is this: it’s good for you one day and terrible for you the next, so you drink coffee, you better drink lot of it and fast because come tomorrow it might be back on the BAD list!
Three cheers for corn being on this list! Hip, hip, hooray! Corn is an excellent source of nutrients and fiber and helps fill you up for few calories. Corn chips, fried or baked in oil, covered in salt, are NOT! So boil the last of that summer corn and gobble it up... but put down the butter knife and the salt shaker. This stuff is super sweet and super delicious all on it’s own.
The “bad rap” is that eggs are very high in dietary cholesterol. This is true. It is also the case that the cholesterol is located in the yolk. The egg white is the protein (and too much animal protein has it’s effects on our diet as well as too much cholesterol). The article states that the good news about eggs is that “Medical experts now emphasize that saturated fats and trans fats are bigger culprits in raising blood cholesterol than dietary cholesterol is.” This has nothing to do with whether or not eggs are good for you. It may be the case that saturated fat and trans fat, two of the most dangerous nutrients for you to consume, are worse for your blood cholesterol levels than dietary cholesterol, but does that necessarily make dietary cholesterol OK? To me it seems like a case of “would you rather be shot or hung?” Just because saturated and trans fats play a bigger role in raising cholesterol that doesn’t mean that dietary cholesterol plays no role. It still has great effects on your total cholesterol level.
The article also states that “eggs are super-satisfying: in one study, people who ate a scrambled-egg-and-toast breakfast felt more satisfied, and ate less at lunch, than they did when they ate a bagel that had the same number of calories.” But what if I gave those same subjects of the study a big bowl of oatmeal and a piece of fruit? I would be willing to bet that they would be just as satisfied, if not more so, than if they ate the egg, toast, and the bagel combined! They would then be more satisfied for fewer calories! And our country is in need of a little fewer calories these days for sure.
Here’s another one that we so badly want to justify. Nuts are very, very, very, very, very, (you get the point) calorie dense. One small handful can be loaded with a few hundred calories, easy. That being said, they are necessarily bad for you, if you buy the ones that are dry roasted without salt, you just need to eat them mindfully. And if you are looking to lose weight out the jar back on the shelf.
8. Peanut Butter
The same goes with peanut butter as any nuts. It’s very calorie dense. Good thing a little goes a long way. So yes, this can be healthy, but it can also be AWFUL! Make sure that you are buying dry roasted peanut butter, be mindful of the sodium content because it can creep way up there, and be very aware that conventional peanut butter, like JIF, may be loaded with trans fat, even if it says 0g on the Nutri-Facts Label. It’s important to read your labels here and avoid anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils! This is where trans fat comes from and if it has this type of oil, it’s got trans fat in it, no matter what the Nutrition Facts say!
I may have saved the best for last! I totally agree that potatoes get a bad rap when they should not at all. It’s important to think about how we usually eat potatoes... think about it... a little longer... OK... if you envisioned yourself eating a dry baked potato, you are probably kidding yourself. The majority of us eat our potatoes either deep fried in oil, or loaded with sour cream, bacon, butter, and cheese. The potato has become a delivery mechanism for fat and calories, but the potato itself is very healthy! The article also raises a good point, many people think about the potato as being high on the glycemic index, however, that is a very flawed rating system (in what world is chocolate healthier than a potato?), and if you eat your potato with anything else on it, that glycemic index rating goes right out the window! So eat your potatoes up... eat them baked with salsa on top or roasted with rosemary, or sliced in thin strips and baked in the oven and dipped in ketchup! The way to enjoy the potato without loading them with junk is endless!
Life is good when you eat good food; make it healthy food so you can be healthier longer and eat even more good food!
I woke up cold last night. Half awake, but mostly still asleep, I stumbled around my house in search of the winter blankets I happily stashed away many months ago. In the middle of this sleepy hide-and-seek, I smiled; I smiled because I realized that this was the first chill in the air I had felt in quite a while. We’ve had a stifling summer in Boston this year and this cool breeze was more than welcome-feeling cold and shivering slightly was definitely welcome.
This colder air will eventually bring with it the fall. And though this is a brief preview of what’s to come, I woke this morning reminded of my favorite season; full of anticipation.
The fall, autumn, automne, otono.... I always welcome the fall.
Autumn is synonymous with harvest and perhaps that’s why I enjoy this season so. I have never been a farmer or involved with a harvest and therefore it’s easy to romanticize all that comes along with a harvest. . All of the previous month’s hard work comes to fruition; crops are bountiful and it’s a time filled with gratification . And perhaps, just perhaps, the accomplishments that are so often associated with the fall are what makes the season so lovely. It is a time to celebrate, to shake off the old and prepare for what’s to come (in New England, I now know that a wicked winter is headed our way).
For me, it is the fall, more than any other season that always welcomes change. The cool breezes and chilly air wake me up out of my warm, summer daze.
I know that last night and this morning were just a glimpse of this much anticipated season and that there is still a bit of time left before we can embrace our down blankets and sweatshirts on a daily basis, but I just couldn’t shake that feeling of excitement....
So what did I do this morning? I celebrated the the first glimpse of fall with a delicious bowl of Banana and Mango Quinoa. Hey, it is still technically summer so I threw some mango into the mix!
This dish is delicious, healthy, and full of fiber. And it’s no more difficult than making oatmeal. If you are ready to change things up in the morning, try this sweet quinoa recipe out and I’m sure you’ll soon be adding it into to your weekly rotation.
Banana and Mango Quinoa
I make mine in huge batches and if it doesn’t all get gobbled up in one day, I eat it for breakfast the next morning.
1 banana, sliced
1 mango, diced
2 cups cooked quinoa
splash of WestSoy Unsweetened Vanilla Soy Milk
1 Tbsp fig paste
a little vanilla, cinnamon, and/or nutmeg-to taste
Start by cooking your quinoa according to the directions on the package. When the quinoa is close to being fully cooked add a splash of soy milk (a few Tbsp should do) and season to taste with vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make sure the heat is on low and add the fig paste. Stir until the fig paste has dissolved completely. Add the banana while the heat is still on and stir. Remove from heat and add your mango. Voila! It’s that simple, I promise.
In the food processor add unsweetened dried figs and water. Process until a thick paste forms. This natural sweetener will keep in your refrigerator for a few weeks as long as it is properly sealed. Use any time that you would use sweetener when cooking. If you don’t like figs, try apricots or dates... whatever you like works here.
I love sweet potatoes. I think they are great in soups, casseroles, steamed, baked and even sauteed. And who doesn’t love sweet potato fries?! (They are hardly healthy, but oh so delicious.) Recently I discovered the most delicious sweet potatoes I have ever had. Seriously. I can’t get enough of them. I’m not sure if it’s because they are organic or if they are simply a different variety, but they are fabulous and I will never buy conventional sweet potatoes again.
There’s a lot of back and forth between the benefits of organic vs. conventional products... and here’s the way I look at it:
1. The fewer chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other “cides” I willingly put into my body the better (just living on this earth I am already ingesting plenty that I don’t know about).
2. I don’t at all like the idea of eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Most corn in this country, whether being fed to the cows or to your kids, has been genetically altered. Scientists have yet to conclude what this is doing to our bodies. But I figure the closer to “natural” the better.
Organic food just tastes better.
3.The flavors are more full and well rounded. Sweet potatoes are more sweet, blueberries are more tart, and tomatoes are delicious.
There are plenty more reasons to stick with organic produce, meat, and dairy products, but these 3 reasons are enough for me to stick to organic whenever possible! Not too mention that in the nutrition world it is believed that you get more vitamins in nutrients from organic than conventional products. So buy organic and no longer be afraid to eat the skin of your apples.
If you can’t buy everything organic, there is a list, known as the DIRTY DOZEN, of fruits and veggies that are important to buy organic. I am sure you can guess why they are called the dirty dozen--they are either the most susceptable to chemicals, absorbing every drop in their skin and flesh, or they are farmied using very high amounts of chemicals.
“THE DIRTY DOZEN”
3. Bell Peppers
Buy yourself some organic sweet potatoes and try out this recipe today... or save it for a tasty Meatless Monday dinner.
Organic Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
6 medium, organic sweet potatoes
½ cup onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large organic red bell pepper, diced
3 large organic carrots, diced
8 oz mushrooms, baby bella or white button, sliced
1 can salt free adzuki beans (white beans can also be used), drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups cooked quinoa, follow directions on the package for proper preparation
1 bag, precut, prewashed kale
2 Tbsp, plus extra to taste, curry powder
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Sea salt to taste
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, optional
Organic pea or alfalfa sprouts, for garnish (and taste!)
1 Tbsp Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (this is a healthier alternative to olive oil which can become rancid at high heats)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce the skin of the sweet potatoes and put in a casserole dish. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
Meanwhile, dice all of your veggies. Sautee the onion and garlic in the coconut oil over medium-high until the onion is transparent. Add the mushrooms and a splash of water. Sautee for 5 more minutes. Add the carrots, bell pepper, curry powder and salt, to taste, and sauté for 5-7 minutes. Add the beans and tomato and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Turn off the heat, cover, and keep warm until the potatoes are ready.
In a large pot, steam the kale until it is dark green in color. This should not take very long at all. Be careful not to overcook this delicate vegetable. Strain and sprinkle with nutritional yeast, a pinch of salt, and parmesan cheese.
Stuff the potatoes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and make 3 slices, lengthwise. Stuff some mozzarella cheese in the slits and close the potato back up, allowing the cheese to melt. Next, pile some of the cooked quinoa on top of the potato and grate some parmesan cheese on top. Finally, put a scoop of the sauté on top and top that with the sprouts.
Serve with the steamed kale.
Not too long ago, I was sitting in the coffee shop at Barnes and Noble, studying for my midterm (halfway done, yahoo!!!) when I noticed a little old lady sitting at the table next to mine. She didn’t look so old actually, but you could tell by looking in her eyes that she was no longer completely “with it.” I watched her husband slowly and carefully explain to her that he was going upstairs to buy a book and she should not, no matter what, leave the table until he came back to get her. She mindfully respected his request and waited patiently for him to return. I got back to work and did not look up again until he was back by her side, again carefully explaining their next few errands and what they had in store for the remainder of their day. I watched this man lovingly guide his wife to the front door of the bookstore, he didn’t hold her hand and she didn’t grasp on to his arm, but every few feet he looked back behind him to make sure that she was still there; she was following him and stumbling every step of the way.
It was right then that I realized why I am so passionate about nutrition. I am not in search of the secret for immortality. I am not in this field because health is the latest craze. No. I am studying nutrition and the healing powers of food so that each moment that I have on this planet can be the most desirable and pleasurable moment as possible.
Let me elaborate. I do not want to be a burden to those I love and I do not want someone else taking care of my every need. I want to be as independent and as strong for as long as I am here. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t want a little help every now and then, nor does it mean I don’t expect any mental or physical trauma in my life. What it does mean is that I will do everything in my power to keep myself in vital health for as long as possible. I am sure that most people agree that they too want these same basic things in life. We are here, in this life, under these particular circumstances, just this once... I know I want to take care of myself so that I can enjoy it. What about you?
So that’s it, that’s why I choose a plant-based diet. My decision to eat a mostly plant-based diet is based on my desire to live as healthy a life as possible. This is not to say that my diet is completely balanced all of the time. In fact, my relationship with food is one that is always changing and evolving. Sometimes I eat for pleasure, knowing completely well what it’s doing to my body and that my choice might not be the best for my health, and occasionally I eat for recovery, trying to heal an ailment or ease pain, but most of the time I try my best to eat for health.
Eating for Health (an idea created by Ed Bauman in the 1970s) is a diet plan that is not a diet at all. It is a lifestyle. It is the consumption of food that is nutrient rich in order to achieve optimal health. I’m sure Dr. Bauman wasn’t the first person to think up this idea.
The idea is that:
you can eat towards optimal health,
food can be both cleansing and healing,
if what you eat can effect your health in a negative way (we’ve all heard the news about what too much dietary cholesterol and trans-fatty acids can do) than what you eat can also effect you in a positive way, preventing disease,
Dr. Bauman does, however, articulate the idea particularly well:
“The outcome of health is to actualize one’s potential, physically, mentally and spiritually, based upon education, behavior, and a restoration of our personal and natural environment.”
I choose plants because I desire optimal health for myself. I encourage others to choose plants because I desire optimal health for those I love. I educate other on the benefits of a plant-based diet because I desire, as I’m sure we all do, a population that lives longer and healthier lives. If we do so, we can work longer and take care of ourselves longer, becoming less of a burden to our loved ones and even to our society.
More and more research shows that the more plants you eat the healthier you will be. To me, and many other nutritionist, dietitians, doctors, and scientists agree, if you want to be healthy you need to change your diet. If you change your diet you will not only gain physical health but you will also gain a more positive mental and quite possibly even spiritual well being as well. There is a pattern that has emerged in modern science, namely: “whole, plant-based foods are beneficial, and animal based foods are not.”
“Plant based foods are linked to lower blood cholesterol; animal based foods are linked to higher blood cholesterol. Animal-based foods are linked to higher breast cancer rates; plant-based foods are linked to lower rates. Fiber and antioxidants from plants are linked to a lower risk of cancers of the digestive tract. Plant-based diets and active lifestyles result in healthy weight, yet permit people to become big and strong” (excerpt from the China Study).
I am, of course, not suggesting that everyone become vegan or even vegetarian all of the time. What I am suggesting is that everyone should introduce a little preferably a lot more plants in their diet. Don’t count on chicken for your protein every day. Try rice and beans instead. Don’t let milk be your only source of Calcium. Give kale and sesame seeds a shot. Dont’ be afraid of fats, just eat the right kind (try avocados or nuts and oil). There is such a large variety of nutritious options in the plant world, mix up your diet and every Monday try giving chicken, pigs, and anything bovine a break.
“Good health is about being able to enjoy the time we do have. It is about being as functional as possible throughout our entire lives and avoiding crippling, painful and lengthy battles with diesase. There are many better ways to die, and to live.”
--T. Colin Campbell, PhD
I have been craving sweets and sugary treats more than usual lately...
You know what that means, it’s time for a cleanse.
After the sugar-coated holidays and a few too many months of telling myself “just this once” or “it’s a special occasion,” it’s come time for me to detoxify my system and get rid of these nasty sugar blues.
It’s day four of my 31 days of March Madness, and I’m desperately missing the honey in my herbal tea, the raisins in my yogurt, and my after-lunch dark chocolate fix. I do know, however, I’m doing what’s best for this over-sweetened body of mine.
I figure anytime you start to crave one particular food item it’s time to detox.
I’m not eliminating any other foods from my diet (not yet anyway, that will happen during my upcoming Spring Cleaning Cleanse), just sugar. I am still eating plenty of dairy, root vegetables, and fruit all of which contain naturally occurring sugars; these foods however are accompanied by fiber and other nutrients which help the body process and break them down. They don’t do to the system what other simple sugars do. The items that are officially off limits include: white, refined sugar (this is actually always off limits because it’s so super-duper processed), brown sugar, turbinado sugar, raw sugar (all of these are processed as well, but a little less so), honey is out and so is agave, maple sugar, molasses and Stevia too. I do not disagree that some of these sweeteners are OK in small amounts, but I have to stop the cravings and that will never happen while I’m still eating sweet things. I guess I should also mention artificial sweeteners, you know, the pink, blue and yellow packets that don every restaurant table top in the country... if I did ever consume those nasty little poisons (excuse my extreme hatred for those so-far-from-natural items) I would eliminate them from my diet as well because they too confuse the brain and the body and keep your cravings for sweet foods high.
I had a talk with someone on Tuesday and she was telling me that she has been off sugar for nearly 2 years!!! Now that’s dedication that I’m not sure I am ready for, but imagine how liberated she must feel to not physically and chemically desire chocolate coated and icing covered confections. She did mention though that while she no longer craves cupcakes and candy bars she has to ocassionally remind herself of how she would feel if she were to give in and consume them. Kudos to her because that is some serious self-control. But self-control in the food department is something that most of our culture seems to be lacking these days.
Throughout the rest of the month of March, I will be testing out my own self-control and I would love it if you would join me on this sugar free adventure.
The benefits of a sugar detox program include:
Clear the body of toxins
Gain more energy
Re-regulate your blood sugar level (to do this it is also important to stay away from refined flour products, so read those labels!)
Rid your body of excess carbohydrates
Revitalize your body’s digestive organs
Shed some winter layers and jump start your weight loss program
For the rest of the month I will be posting about different types of sugar, simple vs. complex carbohydrates, and how they effect you in your day-to-day life.
Please join me on a little sugar free adventure and let me know how you are doing by posting in the comments section.
Oh, one little tip, keep a diet and activity journal, I promise, it helps.
1, 2, 3, DETOX!
Flatbreads from around the continent
Beyond a supporting role
The great Sicilian-Neapolitan kitchen rivalry
Five ideas each month for eating better