Happy Sunday! I hope everyone had a great weekend, snow day(s), month… It has been a month since I have blogged! That was not my intention and it certainly will not become a habit. Although I personally don’t believe in excuses, I would like to share with you a little about our month.
I should start with telling you I am currently drinking a hot coco. judge away, I am judging myself and with every sip I know exactly how bad it is for me.
February may have been an unreasonable month to do our sugar detox. We were so fervent! We were willing to buy stevia sweetened organic cacao chocolate for valentines, make our own vegan grain free gluten free cake for our son’s birthday, “just say no” to the endless onslaught of cakes at the countless family birthdays we were to attend (no really, 10 family birthdays plus valentines day, I’m not even kidding). We had this y’all!
We kept our pantry dairy and processed sugar free, we mostly had fresh produce and vegan gluten free options for our home cooked meals. We said no, a lot.
But we also said yes. “Wellllll, it’s our son’s first biiiirthday.. we can’t expect our guests to drink Zevia (stevia sweetened organic soda, which is actually amazing), lets just make an exception.. just for today…” The first “exception” came on the day of my son’s birthday party (valentines day ironically), and one exception ALWAYS leads to more.
We did well compared to the average American diet, but for us, and our cleanse, we did not. I made my sister cheesecake stuffed strawberries for her birthday. Totally licked the spoon, and told no one, until now. guzzled coke at my son’s party. Ate cheese for the remainder of the week because it was in the fridge from the party and I hate wasting money. My husbands birthday came and he loves potato soup, with cheese and bacon, who am I to deprive the love of my life? Then came the snow days… and I caved for hot coco.
Also twice this month my husbands father brought dunkin donuts, I even specifically said no dairy or sugar. But he’s a grandpa, how can I be angry? He’s trying to spoil us.
But seriously people. Stop offering us sugar and dairy. Stop. It’s not funny anymore and It’s getting harder to resist. I’m telling you I am addicted to sugar no ifs ands or butts, I need a cold turkey detox and after the detox I need a strict sugar allowance, only in its natural forms. I am committed to this, for my health, my kids (whom I don’t want to become addicted later on) for my self image (its imperative I stick to this, I have serious insulin resistance and PCOS)
So whats next?
Originally we were going to begin the next detox today, the first day in March. Before we take away the next toxic item from our diet we want to spend the next 7 days (Monday-Sunday) completely abstained from the original two items we took out. We fully intend on sticking to this new lifestyle and have forgiven ourselves for the mistakes during this process.
So next Monday we will be detoxing from gluten (found in:), processed grains & potatoes (chips, bleached flour etc). I will get more into the research on this topic next week and want to go more into sugar this week.
Is Sugar Really addictive?
Yes. People do use that as an excuse, but yes it is actually addictive.
In the words of Dr. Mark Hyman, “Being addicted to sugar and flour is not an emotional eating disorder, It’s a biological disorder, driven by hormones and neurotransmitters that fuel sugar and carb cravings — leading to uncontrolled overeating. It’s the reason nearly 70 percent of Americans and 40 percent of kids are overweight.” read one of his articles here: http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/02/04/food-addiction-could-it-explain-why-70-percent-of-america-is-fat/
The fuel to this addiction flame is that sugar is everywhere. Trust me giving up processed sugars will not eliminate sugar from your diet! Your body gets sugar from every plant, vegetables, fruits, roots, beans alike… Don’t worry! you won’t run low! The problem is the high levels of the bad sugar is in everything, things you didn’t know it was hiding in.. your soup, that ketchup, your kids chocolate cow milk at school (which in one serving gives them more sugar than their daily allowance.. good job school system), the dressing on that salad, sprinkled on what you thought were innocently dried fruit…!
Sugar addiction causes an imbalance of insulin, Leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full) and fat-regulating hormones, triggering more cravings, hunger and food intolerance which affects your food choices at the next meal.
Watch this video on how sugar hijacks your brain:
This is a very serious issue in America. Addiction to sugar is a huge part of why 70% of America is overweight. Let’s stop and look at that.
More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese. More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity. Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese. The prevalence of obesity is similar for both men and women (about 36 percent) updated as of Jul 24, 2014.
Percent of children age 6-19 that are considered OBESE: 18% children age 2-5 that are OBESE: 12% http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm
These numbers are huge. And sad. We have to get real, get a grip and do something about this. My husband and I agreed to this lifestyle change for Sammy. And for Lilli (due July). We don’t want them to grow up like we did, addicted to toxic and addictive food like substances. So we decided simply not to let them have them. Don’t judge us, think about it, how often can YOU say no when you’re offered cake? we barely can. When they become adults their lifestyle is their choice, but as children we want to give them the resources they need to make good choices later.
My food choices for many years have been affected by addiction I have because I had chocolate milk and a sugary dessert every day at school, McDonalds for dinner many nights a week, Little Debbie snacks and Lucky Charms at my grams. But now I know better and I am fighting off this addiction. If my children grow up to eat a poor diet and non humane raised animal meat that’s fine, they will make mistakes, but their mistakes won’t be made (as much as it is possible) because of my bad influence.
The Good News
Enough of the harsh. Sometimes we need a harsh reality check. But we still have to be positive. I am not depriving myself. My husband is not depriving himself and we are not depriving our children. Because there are good natural foods out there!
We were able to serve guilt free cake, vegetable dressing, parfaits, pudding and snacks at my son’s birthday party (even if we caved on soda and cheese for the sandwiches), And the party guests were happy. Avocado Icing sweetened with dates, flavored with cacao topped a delicious tart recipe from http://www.thenourishedchick.com/ (recipe below).
And Sammy was happy, he’s 12 months, he can’t lie about something not tasting good:
Thanks for stopping in! Let us know how you’re doing! And If you come across any recipes, especially sweet ones for this month, share them with us below! As always stay healthy and best of wishes in all your personal endeavors! Now, look at a few pictures of my adorable kid, and feel free to use and share this tart / cake recipe!:
Crust- 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts (raw or roasted) 1 cup desiccated coconut 1 tbsp cacao powder 1 tbsp almond butter 15 soft madjool dates, pitted pinch of salt
Middle- favorite chocolate (or simple mix coconut oil cacao powder, salt and sweetener for a quick raw chocolate!) or other vegan chocolate
Chocolate layer- 2 cans of full fat coconut milk (placed in the fridge for a couple of hours) 1 ripe banana 3-4 tbsp cacao powder 2 tbsp almond butter 1/3 cup sweetener (maple would be lovely) 1/2 tsp cinnamon pinch of salt — 1/3 cup coconut oil,melted
in a food processor place hazelnuts, desiccated coconut, cacao powder and salt and process to a fine meal. add almond butter and one date at a time until a sweet sticky mixture forms, it should hold together when you pinch it between your fingers. place mixture in a fluted pie dish and spread evenly. with your hands press the mixture and compact it making sure to cover the fluted sides or the pan with the cake mix as well. once evenly spread and compacted melt/make chocolate, pour onto the cake base and move the pan around so that the chocolate could coat all of the base. (you dont need much we just want a thin layer).
Open the coconut milk (full fat!) and you’ll notice that the fat content has risen to the top while the water stayed on the bottom, this is good! scoop the creamy layer into your blender and add all ingredients except the coconut oil. Blend to a smooth consistency. taste and adjust sweetness if needed. Add the 1/3 cup coconut oil slowly while blending so that it could fully incorporate. if it looks like it’s seizing on you because of the temperature change keep blending as it’ll come back together. Pour onto the base and place in the fridge to set for about 3 hours.
this cake would melt very quickly but it is delicious and great for kids! you can top it off with some chopped nuts and shaved chocolate or some fresh strawberries!
Gearhardt, A.N., Corbin, W.R., and K.D. 2009. Brownell. Preliminary validation of the Yale Food Addiction Scale. Appetite. 52(2): 430–436.
Colantuoni, C., Schwenker, J., McCarthy, P., et al. 2001. Excessive sugar intake alters binding to dopamine and mu-opioid receptors in the brain. Neuroreport. 12(16): 3549–3552.
Volkow, N.D., Wang, G.J., Fowler, J.S., et al. 2002. “Nonhedonic” food motivation in humans involves dopamine in the dorsal striatum and methylphenidate amplifies this effect. Synapse. 44(3): 175–180.
Ebbeling CB, Sinclair KB, Pereira MA, Garcia-Lago E, Feldman HA, Ludwig DS. Compensation for energy intake from fast food among overweight and lean adolescents. JAMA. 2004 Jun 16;291(23):2828-2833.
Brownell, K.D., Kersh, R., Ludwig. D.S., et al. 2010. Personal responsibility and obesity: A constructive approach to a controversial issue. Health Aff (Millwood). 29(3): 379–387.