Monthly Archives: December 2012

NEW YEARS CHALLENGE 2013!

I started an annual sugar cleanse idea in 2011. 2 weeks with NO SUGAR. Sounds crazy right? (all the sweet tooth adults know what I mean) But Christmas was filled with so much food and sweets I knew I had to do something drastic. I am not going to lie, I had never been without sugar completely in my entire life so I didn’t know what would happen, and I was 7 months pregnant! Would I be sick? Desperate? Emotionally crazy? My husband didn’t even think I would last. Amazingly enough, it wasn’t near as hard as I thought. And it was eye opening to how many processed foods and condiments have sugar in them. There is the possibility of withdrawal symptoms like a headache, but if you are eating clean sugar sources like organic cane or coconut sugar, I will doubt you’ll even notice you’re without it. Just to entice you… I’ll share how it went.

A small group of friends did it with me. We all succeeded, with a few accidental blips here and there. For example, my sister made a stir fry and didn’t read the bottled sauce she purchased. It had added sugar, but she pressed on reading bottles carefully after that and even learned how to make her own sauce. Once I was finished I felt AMAZING! My skin was the best it had been my whole pregnancy and I had more energy. I also stopped gaining weight so quickly. (I ended with a healthy 8lb3oz baby from 36lbs gained) so this year I will see what it does while breastfeeding and getting back into shape! It also re-set my sugar threshold. Once the two  weeks were up, I barely needed any sweets to be satisfied. The unexpected benefit was the creativity while cooking and baking! I had to figure out ways to use fruit to make anything I wanted sweetened. Well here goes… three days left. I underlined all of the benefits I had, so if you see one you like I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU TO TRY THIS! What better way to start your year off than detoxing from your Christmas indulging? All 5 rules posted below:

1. NO SUGAR in any form may enter your body for 14 days, starting Jan 1st. This includes alternative sugars, cane sugar, coconut sugar, honey, molasses, or any other sucrose-like product. 
2. Naturally occurring sugar in fruit and vegetables are fine to eat. These come with enzymes and vitamins that supersede the negative effects their sugar has. Try to limit the tropical fruits that are the highest in sugar like pineapple, melons or mango. You can use these to bake and cook with for your sweetening needs. Expect some failure. Our sugarless banana muffins last year are going to be re-done with vigor this year!
3. Dried fruits are extremely concentrated in sugar so limit these as well, but they still are a natural form of sugar. Consider them a treat. I suggest removing all tempting “treats” from your house before you start. Much easier when you only see an apple and not a chocolate bar, bottle of juice and piece of cake beside it. 
4. READ THE LABELS! Glucose, fructose, corn syrup, sugar, liquid sugars, honey, stevia, extracts are all banished from your cleanse. The bottles that will catch you are dressings, condiments and sauces! Be prepared to have your eyes opened to the sugar craze.
5. If you slip up, don’t start over, just resolve to learn from it and keep going!!! I think this is also called “LIFE”. Post any questions/struggles you have and I will help along the way! You’ll be so proud of yourself after and if you lose a couple real lbs. = BONUS!

JanuarySugar

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As our food supply is increasingly tampered with by all the various forms of processing, it is apparent that no race in history has ever attempted to live on the diet North Americans are now eating. There is no scientific evidence that we can healthfully live on it. There is considerable evidence that we cannot.”

Allergies. DIsease in Disguise. Bateson-Koch pg 98

Easy Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce (Vegan)

This is one of my many random ideas I made up and fell in love with. I have some in my fridge right now! It is the simplest sauce and is perfect for kids since you can hide beans and all kind of veggies in it. Pick up some organic sweet potatoes and try it.. yams can work too but aren’t quite as delicious I find. You need that extra natural sweetness. I highly suggest the gluten free Ancient Traditions pasta from Costco. It’s white looking as well so, again, a good kid-friendly transition to healthier options. Enjoy!

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What you will need for a 4-5 person family (and where from):
2-3 good sized organic sweet potatoes (Choices/Extra Foods)
your favorite spices (I like Costco’s organic spice, mineral salt and cayenne)
2 cans of organic tomato sauce (cheapest at Costco)
1 can of organic chick peas or any white bean should work, optional (Choices sale)
optional: other veg in your fridge such as spinach, grated carrots, frozen peas, leafy greens, zucchini, cauliflower or fresh tomatoes
one bag of your favorite healthy pasta or spaghetti squash as a base (Costco has three inexpensive organic kinds including gluten free)

To make:

1. Peel and steam your sweet potatoes. Get out your blender while this is going on.
2. Drain and rinse your beans. Put in blender. Boil water for pasta and prep any other sides you wish to have (steamed chard in our case)
3. Add squash and some tomato sauce to puree well in blender, until smooth.

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4. Add pasta and veg sides to their pots and cook to desired consistency.

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5. Pour sauce from blender into pan (use water to get it all out of the blender if you need) and add the other can of tomato sauce. Add spices or just salt and pepper. Add any vegetables you want to mix in like spinach. We love cayenne or homemade ground up jalepenos for a little heat! Keep on low heat until sides are ready.

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***Variations include non-vegan options like adding sour cream, whole milk or butter to the sauce to make it richer ***
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Plate and garnish with grated veg or if you love cheese, vegan or raw organic cheese work perfectly too! Then tell your family it took you hours of slave-work to make it and reap in the compliments! It really is that simple.

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Beets 2 Ways

Beets:

-super low in calories (45/100g)
-high fiber
-good source of many vitamins and minerals like folates
-plant derived anti-oxidants
-greens are high in Vit C, A, carotenoids and flavanoids. (always use the greens!)
-naturally sweet

Bonnie holding the mega beet!

Bonnie holding the mega beet!

I’ve heard this too many times: “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THESE?” and “WILL THEY DYE MY HAIR?” Ha. Aren’t they so beautiful inside? Not only are they inexpensive when in season, but they are super healthy. Don’t beet afraid, two simple dishes are here to save your beet blues:

1) QUICK STEAMED BEET WITH GREENS

Ingredients: As many beets as you want.

High heat fry pan (or boil water in a pot with a steaming tray inside)
Wash the exterior well, and cut off the greens (keep aside).
Slice into quarters, french fry sticks or cubes (bonus points for creativity).
Add to pan with minimal water and close the lid. Reduce heat.
Wipe your now fushia counter down and wait 3-5 minutes.
Add greens to the beets. I prefer them quite soft but test it out to your liking and check water levels so they don’t burn. Re-cover.
Try putting a fork through in another 3-5 minutes (thicker=more minutes)
Serve alone, as a side or baby finger food style. I suggest some salt and cayenne pepper sprinkled atop.

BEET-UTIFUL.

BEET-UTIFUL.

2. BEET HASH

Ingredients: equal onions to beets (in size and quantity)

Heat fry pan to medium.
Slice onions in half and then into thin rainbow like slices. Cut the rainbow in half and throw into warm pan. Reduce heat to low-med.
Grate all of the washed beets, just like you would grate cheese. Feel the burn after 4+ beets! Throw into the pan with the onions. Stir together.
Cover for about 15-20min on low-med, stirring every 5 minutes or so to rotate the bottom section to the top.
Serve and enjoy! This dish often requires second helpings!

Simple sweetness to them, but perfect to add to any meal.

Are you addicted to sugar? How to cut the cravings!

Ironic that I post this as I just ate another dark chocolate covered pretzel. Oops. Tis the season??? My husband dared me? I didn’t want the baby to find them? My dog is allergic? (Right, I don’t have a dog)

I’m learning all about allergies and it’s been an eye opening read so I knew I had to share some of it, although I must say treating allergies are extremely unique and should be left to those who can create individual plans. BUT they can be fixed so don’t ever lose hope. Anyways back to the good stuff… SUGAAAAAAAAAR.

FIRST MAJOR SIGN OF ADDICTION: Obsession. Do you think about food all the time? (YES) Do you plan the next time you will eat it? (ALL THE TIME!) Do you get excited when it’s close to eating time? (I’M EXCITED JUST READING THIS!) Do you arrange your life in ways to facilitate obtaining food? (OK MAYBE A LITTLE FAR…)

If you said YES to any of those, welcome to the club! There are three more cardinal signs but only the first one made me stop and laugh at myself, then text my friend the excerpt, to which she wrote back “Me too!”. Trust me, you aren’t alone and you probably aren’t truly addicted, so much as caught in what I call “the refined food trap”. Intrigued how to fix it? It’s really simple… and once you are aware you will always remember this! Keep reading.

Why sugar and refined foods cause you to crave more: “A refined food has lost its normal protective ratios of synergistic vitamins, minerals and enzymes either by removal or destruction. This alters the way it is metabolized in the body. For example, sugar acts more like a drug in the body than a food…In its natural state, as cane sugar, it supplies B vitamins and many trace minerals including chromium.” (Dr. Bateson-Coch, p. 60) Then the nutrient stores you have are used up to try and make up for the lack that is created. Imbalance in the body occurs, mixed signals to the brain follow and this leads to more craving and addiction in an attempt to fill the void! (think of the film Supersize Me as a prime example) Also makes sense to why pregnant women may have cravings.

DUN DUN DUUUUN! ENTER THE SOLUTION: EAT WHOLE FOODS IN THEIR NATURAL STATE. As in, intact with correct ratios and a full supply of nutrients. This has clinically been shown to the fastest, easiest, simplest way to eliminate cravings. You now have a glimpse of my glory I learn about everyday. Eat food as close to the ground, as close to home, as least cooked, as clean as possible and ENJOY EVERY BITE OF IT. Once you start to crave vegetables, you will get a long-distance high five from me.

SO every January 1st I have a tradition of a Christmas Sugar Detox. And I will be inviting ALL OF YOU TO JOIN ME! Eliminate what’s in your house in the next couple of weeks because you won’t want to miss this. You will feel amazing after and probably start off the new year in your skinny jeans. Downsides? None. Stay tuned… details will pop up before it begins. Need a little motivation? Scroll down this until you reach the word Cocaine.

Scary facts...

Scary facts…

“The next time you shop at a farmers market, think about what it cost me to grow it. Don’t ask me to take less and then tell me you can get it cheaper at a big-box store. I know you can — but it will not be as fresh or as good as what I have.” Amen sister.

Read more: Feeling grateful yet? Teenage poultry farmer dishes straight talk – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/ci_21967690#ixzz2FZnOT5ub
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