Sugar, “My Own Personal Brand of Heroin”

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:

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:

found here:

Bottom Line

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%

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 (recipe below).

10 12 IMG_1786 IMG_1792

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!:

4 5 6


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!

-T @

The Quezadas

Other Resources

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.

Sugar’s not so Sweet Secret

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the big game if you chose to watch. If you’re just joining us we recently wrapped up our 31 day “dairy detox” and feel confident that our new lifestyle change will continue to hold strong.

Yesterday we began our “sugar detox”, during which we will be consuming “sugar” only in its natural forms; fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grain carbohydrates. Minimally processed Stevia will be the only non-sugar substitute we are allowing (I only drink it in my tea anyway) as it is not a form of sugar and actually seems to helps to regulate blood sugar according to professionals.

Don’t You Need Sugar in Your Diet?

Diet is a confusing topic in many ways.  It’s true that it is dangerous to get rid of the basic macro nutrient food groups entirely (fat, protein, carbohydrates).  However, contrary to what many believe, (thanks a lot for confusing us food pyramid) sugar itself is not a food group and has no nutritional value. Now, our bodies do need a small amount of sugar, glucose (found in every living cell on the planet), that we get from “good” whole carbohydrates naturally as our bodies process them, and if we don’t consume them our bodies produce it naturally.  However the sugar many people think of as the sugar we “need” is not found in a natural form and is actually found in a highly processed form that actually becomes poisonous to our bodies, there is no physiological need for it.

The media doesn’t help, movies depict people with crashing sugar drinking a soda or eating a chocolate bar to raise their “crashing sugar level”.  But a banana, for example, is very high in natural sugar and is converted very quickly to sugar in the bloodstream.  Even more confusing are the “sugar pushers”, like with dairy, ads went out telling people of sugars purity and wholesome nature as early as the 1920’s. The form they push however is the white processed form of sugar. for more (what I find to be) fascinating on sugar’s history read this article which extracts information from Sugar Blues by William Dufty.

Sugar’s Dangerous Form

Processed sugar is everywhere, bread, cakes, condiments, soup, dressings and sauces, peanut butter, juice, milk, cereal…  It was extremely difficult getting rid of it for the detox, 90% of the food items we had just purchased grocery shopping last month had it!

I’ll get straight to the point.  This form of sugar, at the levels American’s consume it, is toxic to the bodies. It’s extremely addictive much like any drug.  It blocks nutrient absorption and ages the cells.  It affects the body in a very similar way to alcohol, and is linked directly to heart disease, Insulin resistance & diabetes in the genetically prone (From experience this lead to ongoing addiction, PCOS and a brief period of infertility), and cancer.  Sugar is also, frankly, making us fat.

The science surrounding sugar in all its forms can be confusing and I urge you to do more research.  I will continue to go more in depth as the month progresses, as sugar is a big topic in our household.  See the cited works at the bottom of today’s article for a few scholarly resources, blogs and interesting articles on this subject. If you find any interesting research pertaining to this or any topic we’d love to hear it, please share it with us!

Something Sweet

I can read for hours on topics of personal interests, but I like to concentrate the research given in my articles, get the bad news out of the way so to speak, and get to the good news.

So here’s the good news, nature has provided us with sweet things. I’m the queen of sweet teeth so I understand it’s hard to kick a sugar addiction, but don’t let that be an excuse to eat fruit all day long! I like to have a fresh juice, smoothie, or piece of fruit in the mornings.  Full of macro nutrients and live enzymes it gives me the kick of energy I need to get going and feel good.


For this smoothie I blended a generous portion of frozen peaches and mixed berries.  I added a little lemon juice, flax, chia seed and raw green enzymes to boost the smoothie (which wasn’t lacking in nutrients to begin with).

This was my son’s first smoothie, and also his first time using a spoon by himself (his choice, I didn’t argue). Fun was had by all and the smoothie was delicious.



Next week I am practicing that batch of cupcakes and then my son turns 1??!!!.. wish me luck!!

Thanks for stopping in! 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!

The Quezadas “Is Sugar Toxix?” The New York Times, Gary Taubes, 2011 “The Dangers of Sugar” CNCA Health:

1. JAMA. 2010 Apr 21;303(15):1490-7.
2. American Heart Association June 11, 2012
3. Nature 482, 27–29 February 2, 2012
4. April 13, 2011
5. JAMA. 2010 Apr 21;303(15):1490-7.
6. Diabetes Care, Vol. 30, No. 3, March 2007: 561-567
7. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention August 2004;Vol. 13, 1283-1289
8. April 13, 2011 “10 things you didn’t know about sugar”, Huffpost, 2013, Kristin Kirkpatric, M.S. R.D. L.D. “Refined Sugar, the Sweetest poison” William Dufty, an article extracted from his work “Sugar Blues” 1975, reissued in 1993 “The Harmful effects of Sugar” health blog by ‘Wellness Mama’ Kris Gunnars

Dairy Detox day 30

Hey there! If you’re just joining us welcome! See “a reasonable resolution” and “the deal with dairy” to catch up on the purpose of this blog and research behind this month’s detox.

In addition, before we get started, I’d like to share that we discovered today the gender of the bun in the oven, and we are going to have a baby girl this July! We couldn’t be more excited this year, with health improvements, the new baby and other opportunities that have presented themselves!


30 Days a habit?

So how did your first 30 days go? If you did a challenge, did you develop a habit?

I looked up the 30 day habit idea and found “a self-help book written in 1960 by Maxwell Maltz, a cosmetic surgeon, reported that it took 21 days for amputees to stop feeling phantom limb pain. Maltz then extrapolated that consciously cultivating a new behavior for just 15 minutes a day for 21 days could create a habit.” found

I don’t know if 21 days is the same for everyone.  I’ve always heard 30. Our dairy detox was not a 100% success in that we consumed no dairy.  That stuff is everywhere! On a few occasions we realized only after our meal that something else had hidden dairy…

However, we did form a habit of reflex.  We automatically request no dairy / cheese etc and discuss any questionable item.  It is not as difficult as when it started, and feels normal now for us.

Okay, we did eat dairy knowingly a couple times on special occasions with the family, but we’re human (: Our house however is and will remain dairy free. We even noticed a slight improvement in digestion!

Pizza as Promised


So I made a couple pizzas. A vegan, gluten free crust, not bad “Udis” brand. Next time I’ll try my hand at a scratch crust, but there are healthier organic options for crusts out there.

I topped it with diced tomatoes and caramelized onions and peppers.  This pizza tasted so sweet!

I’d like to try a variety of things with pizza, you can really get creative. I’ve had hummus, balsamic vinaigrette, sweet potato, cauliflower etc on pizza at the organic cafe (not all at once) which proved delicious every time.  I’d like to brave some of these daring ingredients myself and get creative!

What items do you like on your pizza that may seem strange? Let us know!

Sugar Detox

Tomorrow marks day 1 of our processed sugar cleanse. We’re ready for the next challenge and feel this months cleanse has adequately been added to our lifestyle. Our pantry is ready, and I know we’ll see a big difference at the end of next month.  I know I will especially feel a difference, I have insulin resistance and a complete addiction to all things sweet as a direct result. In the past when I avoided processed sugar I felt vitalized and free, I am ready to gain that again.

It’s going to be difficult, birthdays, valentines and other occasions will present to us all kinds of reasons to “cheat”. Plus, processed sugar is everywhere! it’ll be easy to miss! Monday I’ll lay out the dangers of processed sugars and how to avoid them during a cleanse. For our detox the sugar allowed into our diet will be natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables and other plants, and natural sugar from whole organic grains. Stevia is not a sugar and in its organic minimally processed form is a virtually guilt free substitute sweetener I love and am allowing also.


I plan to convert that cake recipe from the nourished chick into a batch of cupcakes, next week I’ll practice with a few and play with toppings. Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping in! 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!

The Quezadas

Visit and tell her the Quezadas sent you!

Dairy Detox Week 3

Hey there! If you’re just joining us welcome! See “a reasonable resolution” and “the deal with dairy” to catch up on the purpose of this blog and research behind this month’s detox.

Surprises from Chile

I hope all your lifestyle changes are going well and at your pace!

My husband had some family fly in from Chile over the past few weeks, and it has been wonderful visiting with them. Of course they brought presents, including Chilean chocolate and other dairy containing items… YUM….

Lifestyles changes and habits that need to be broken consist of a series of steps, decisions made every day as they arise. I’m proud to say we’re doing well, with just a few exceptions that we feel don’t hurt the bigger picture.

It’s also difficult for people to get used to your changes, a new you is an adjustment for them too.  Family will continue to offer us meat and dairy which makes the change considerably more difficult; we want to be polite and respectful but want to practice discipline and create life long change. Over time people accept the change and support you either way.

Tell us about your progress, the ups AND downs!

Spaghetti Squash

Today we ate spaghetti squash with an organic tomato sauce from the organic market in our neighborhood.  Very simple recipe we’ve had before and enjoy. The squash itself has the consistency of angel hair and pairs well with sauce or vegetables. We’ve also added garlic and chickpeas in the past which we find delicious.

The squash is very simple to prepare, cut into two halves and remove the seeds and loose strings. Place both halves into a baking sheet in an inch of water.

It is done when a fork can pass through the outside easily. The meaty insides (the “spaghetti”) scrape out easily all the way to the grind and 1 half = one serving. simple and quick!  Husband, 1 year old and picky sister approved!



Next week I’ll be making a pizza as well as testing out a cake for my son’s 1st birthday party in February, dairy free, whole grain, processed sugar free! I connected with a fellow blogger who is helping me with the recipe and will be featured along with the cake recipe! find her here at

Our kitchen is finally almost completely void of processed sugar and ready for February’s cleanse! We’ll dig into the topic more next weekend, in the meantime I’m gathering relevant scholarly articles and helpful resources for the detox.  My sugar levels have not been good recently and I’m ready to nix the processed culprit altogether and start feeling better and protecting my pregnancy!

I’ve also connected with the owner of Absolute Organics, an organic local produce delivery company in our area, and plan to start our service back up and feature an interview with her over the next couple weeks so stay tuned! If you’re in the Charlotte and surrounding area you can find her services here at

Thanks for stopping in! If you come across any recipes share them with us below! As always stay healthy and best of wishes in all your personal endeavors!

The Quezadas

Dairy Detox Week 2

If you’re just joining us welcome! See “a reasonable resolution” and “the deal with dairy” to catch up on the purpose of this blog and story behind this month’s detox.

Bumps in the Road

Nobody is perfect and mistakes will be made. Sometimes a server will get an order wrong, such as the cheese free burrito we ordered that was served to us smothered in cheese this week.

Week 1 was almost a complete success of will power.  I’ll admit I caved once for chocolate. Knowingly.

My husband made it the entire first week, then today on day 2 of week 2, ordered an item he forgot had dairy baked in. Whoops.

A Protein Salad

Its difficult ordering salads if restaurants don’t offer a “build your own” option. Many salads are pre-mixed with cheese, and many dressings, including my former favorite Caesar, have dairy. We did find at our local organic marketplace a brand of dressings that are tastier than their dairy counterparts for when the usual vinegar and lemon juice isn’t quite doing it for our taste buds:

Salad-MAIN3 I highly recommend this brand along with the soy free Vegenaise.

I enjoy salads anyway, but pregnancy causes me to avert my nose to baked foods and crave salads even more than usual, so I’ve been making them a lot lately.


For today’s salad I cooked chickpeas for protein and tossed with dark spring leafy greens, ground flax, chia seeds, apple cider vinegar and Himalayan sea salt.

The ingredients I used are packed full of benefits, such as macro-nutrients that feed your cells, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and other goodness. I’ve attached some useful resources that go deeper into the benefits of today’s ingredients in the references.

Filtering through the Research

Scientific studies are always being conducted on the effects of the food we eat. Correlations can be made, benefits and dangers discovered, every day. For example, researchers go back and forth on whether or not to eat eggs and soy so much it gives many of us whiplash. So we need to do the best with the knowledge we have.  My basic rule of thumb I feel I can trust, if it is a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.

I want to stay focused on this months cleanse, so in regards to dairy my husband and I have discussed what our rule on dairy will be after the detox. I’ve also heard from many people this week on their feelings and research they’ve found on the topic. Personally, I’ve found the right substitutes to be able to just keep dairy out of my diet after this month is through. When I am craving pizza we have the local restaurant Sprouts that offers vegan pizzas as well as the frozen Tofurky pizza we enjoy.

For those who are not ready, or convinced, to completely give dairy the pink slip, keeping it in moderation seems to be a safe alternative.  From what studies are showing, dairy in moderation (cited less than 5% of overall diet, as opposed to every meal), minimally processed & from local organic sources isn’t correlated with the high risks that are attached to high consumption of dairy processed in factory farms and dairy product processing plants (I’ll discuss deeper into animals on a different month) . These risks do not include allergies and intolerance, which are present in many people in regards to animal milk regardless of amount or type of consumption. (references and more information below)

Interestingly, the type of animal the milk comes from seems to affect human reaction to it. Camel milk, for example, seems to be the easiest animal milk for humans to process, digestible even for the lactose intolerant. The reason for this seems to be the different biology of the animals, such as cows having 4 stomachs to the 1 stomach of the other. there are no camels near us but Ill continue researching the different animal milks to try.

If you find a credible and interesting resource on this or any topic discussed, please share in the comment section!

Reader Challenge

Did you decide to take a mini challenge? What was it and what substitutions did you try? Let us know in the comment section!

Thanks for stopping in! As always stay healthy and best of wishes in all your personal endeavors!

The Quezada Family


Chia seeds benefits, Dr Lisa Samuel, 3-4-13,

Flax seeds benefits, reviewed by Megan Ware RDN LD, 8-30-14,

Chickpeas benefits, reviewed by Megan Ware RDN LD, 9-15-14,

“The health benefits of dark leafy green vegetables” Ingrid Adams, University of Kentucky, doc. 5-2013,

The Deal with Dairy

Isn’t Dairy Good for You?

Dairy is long believed, and advertised, to be the “perfect food”.  The USDA campaigns began in the 1920’s in America, the accepted idea was that the Calcium would prevent osteoporosis and cow milk itself was better than human breast milk.

In fact dairy is the perfect food, for baby calves, that is until they’re weaned. The Casein in dairy is highly addictive, great for baby calves, meant to help calves to drink more and increase in body weight; but not for humans who consume increasing amounts of processed dairy foods.

Research now shows Calcium from dairy does not help strengthen bones, and countries with high dairy consumption have a higher corresponding rate of hip fractures and Osteoporosis.

Dairy is also inflammatory and acid forming in the human body. It is shown to block nutrient absorption, such as Iron and is linked to iron-deficiency anemia.

Dairy naturally contains hormones, even from organic sources, and dairy is linked to many illnesses. See the references at the bottom of this post for more research including studies, articles and documentaries that go deeper into the truth about dairy.

All comments and insights are welcome as I am still researching this topic.

What about Calcium?

Calcium is found in many easily digested plants, such as almonds, kale, oranges, Collard greens, broccoli, spinach, figs etc…  In a 6 oz serving of fresh squeezed orange juice, for example, you’ll receive about 25-30% of your daily recommended intake of Calcium. You shouldn’t have any issue getting your daily Calcium intake with healthy servings of vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes.

So, about Substitutions

Finding substitutions (for cheese, milk, yogurt) was difficult, especially for the dairy lovers in our family. The easiest substitution was Almond milk, I found it tasty and made the switch years ago with ease, and it contains Calcium and Protein.

Cheese however was more difficult. Our family LOVES cheese. Gouda, cheese puffs, Doritos, on pizza, in quesadillas… many times we (or I alone) have attempted dairy free and “made exceptions” for pizza … or Gouda…

Today the three of us, well technically the four of us, went to the organic market near our house.  It has a cafe “Sprouts” located on the bottom floor that we enjoy eating at.

I forgot to request dairy free, and my vege burger and whole grain pizza both had cheese.  I was rather embarrassed and luckily the server brought them back, dairy free. They were delicious. My husband laughed, he had remembered to request no cheese on his Cobb.


We have found many substitutes that are tasty, such as “Tofurky pizza” (gluten free and vegan and yummy), and some that are awful (an Alfredo sauce that I dare not even name) to be truthful. But the interesting thing is when we go without dairy, we don’t miss it.  There are plenty of delicious foods we are still discovering and trying.


I’ve found when you tell yourself “I can’t have…” you feel as if you’re missing out.  Instead, tell yourself “I don’t want…”, and have good reasons, your health is always a good one! Focus on what you can have and the positive aspects of your diet and there will be less temptation to fall back into old patterns.

Today’s recipe attempt

While at the market I picked up a few ingredients for a nice soup (my go to meal on a chilly rainy day). It was a very simple Quinoa, lentils and split pea soup. I added some tomatoes and greens and spiced to taste with garlic, sea salt and chilli.

I always make enough to last a few days, As a stay at home mom/wife and part time photographer I don’t always have time to cook, so its nice to have leftovers.

This meal was warm and filling. Even Sammy (my oldest at 11 months) found it tasty.


Mini Challenge!

Maybe you aren’t quite ready for a complete dairy detox, maybe choose one dairy product in your diet to replace with a non dairy or plant based substitute! Let us know what it is!

Thanks for stopping in! As always stay healthy and best of wishes in all your personal endeavors!

The Quezada Family


“Forks Over Knives” documentary” Dr Mark Hyman MD on the dangers of dairy 11/17/2011

(i) Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. Am J Public Health. 1997 Jun;87(6):992-7.

(ii) Feskanich D, Willett WC, Colditz GA. Calcium, vitamin D, milk consumption, and hip fractures: a prospective study among postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Feb;77(2):504-11.

(iii) Tseng M, Breslow RA, Graubard BI, Ziegler RG. Dairy, calcium, and vitamin D intakes and prostate cancer risk in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Epidemiologic Follow-up Study cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 May;81(5):1147-54.

(iv) Huncharek M, Muscat J, Kupelnick B. Colorectal cancer risk and dietary intake of calcium, vitamin D, and dairy products: a meta-analysis of 26,335 cases from 60 observational studies. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(1):47-69.

(v) Brannon PM, Carpenter TO, Fernandez JR, Gilsanz V, Gould JB, Hall KE, Hui SL, Lupton JR, Mennella J, Miller NJ, Osganian SK, Sellmeyer DE, Suchy FJ, Wolf MA. NIH Consensus Development Conference Statement: Lactose Intolerance and Health. NIH Consens State Sci Statements. 2010 Feb 24;27(2).

(vi) Bartley J, McGlashan SR. Does milk increase mucus production? Med Hypotheses. 2010 Apr;74(4):732-4.

(vii) Luopajärvi K, Savilahti E, Virtanen SM, Ilonen J, Knip M, Akerblom HK, Vaarala O. Enhanced levels of cow’s milk antibodies in infancy in children who develop type 1 diabetes later in childhood. Pediatr Diabetes. 2008 Oct;9(5):434-41.

(viii) El-Hodhod MA, Younis NT, Zaitoun YA, Daoud SD. Cow’s milk allergy related pediatric constipation: Appropriate time of milk tolerance. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2009 Jun 25.

“Natures perfect food: how milk became Americas drink” E. MNelanie DuPuis on dairy campaigns 2002” Dr Amy Myers the Dangers of Dairy April 10 2013

A Reasonable Resolution?


It’s a new year filled with motivation and determination to meet those resolutions we all decided on last minute yesterday…  I’m inspired, not only for my family but for everyone setting out to better themselves today.

There’s really no secret to successful self improvement. Personally I need complete inspiration and all the scientific facts before I even consider a life change. Once I’ve decided to make a move, I need minimal accountability and maximum self discipline. I’ve found doing things for the sake of others does not lead to permanent change, but doing something for myself usually has lasting effects.

Plan for plant based eating

My diet has fallen on the range of crazed grass eater end of the spectrum and at times the sneaking chocolate when no one was looking sugar addict end of the spectrum. I have had increasing amounts of success leading up to today, but this year, with my first born beginning to eat solid food and another on the way (3 months along), I am ready for lasting change that will positively affect my children and those around me.

This had to be something the whole house agreed on, and it took some time for my husband and I to get on the same page. Today, after much consideration and preparation we are ready to begin.

On our journey to vitality we will begin by slowly removing from our diet that which is toxic (in any fashion) to our bodies. We chose not to go cold turkey on everything and I’ve had success with slow step changes in the past. We will begin each month in preparation for a detox from a specific toxic food like product, I’ll share scientific journals and research for each toxin cleanse. Throughout the month I’ll share photos, recipes, weekly reflections and mini challenges.

Let’s begin

Originally we were to begin with a processed sugar detox, then after inventory of our house we found it to be full of all sugar products.. So we’re beginning with dairy and while we’re detoxing from dairy this month we’ll be slowly ridding our house of all processed sugar in preparation for next month.

Tomorrow marks the first day of our dairy free lives and I’ll get more into the reason behind this change and share substitutions and recipes as we go along.

We’ll see you tomorrow, wish us determination and discipline!  I’m rooting for all your endeavors and resolutions!

The Quezada Family

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