halloween

Cleansing Cabbage Salad

So Halloween has come and gone. And I stuck to my goal to not have one piece of candy corn for yet another year!

Feels so good.

I did have a few pieces of candy at a party I attended. I went as a Mormon missionary. It was a timely costume on the eve of our national presidential election.

In general, though, my cravings for sugar and crap food have dramatically changed since my surgery in August and the shifts I've made in my life for the past 6 months or so. On a daily basis, I wake up excited for the life I've created for myself---literally a life of my own making. When I'm doing my talks, I often share with the attendees that if they don't love their lives, it will show up in their food choices. I can truly attest to this happening for me more than once in my life, but especially now.

In general, I eat whatever I want every day. And that does include sugar and meat and wheat--all of those things in moderate amounts that feel right and good for me. I have never succeeded with total elimination of anything in my life. Just doesn't feel balanced or sustainable for me.

Even though I didn't eat a ton of sugar for Halloween, because I eat seasonally my diet is becoming more full of rich, salty, fatty foods associated with fall and winter and less of the raw, light foods associated with spring and summer. It's appropriate for this time of year. But my skin is also having a bit of a hard time due to my hormone regimen, so I need to keep things in check nutritionally to help it out as much as I can. That's why I made this raw cabbage salad the other day. The raw greens (yep, cabbage counts as a green), carrots and apple provided essential raw insoluble fiber. Because humans can't digest insoluble fiber, it increases bulk and eases movement of waste through the intestines and colon. That makes for a happy me. Cabbage is really dense in other nutrients, despite its light color (usually the darker the green, the better) so I'm a happy camper all-around.

Cleansing Cabbage Salad

Salad Ingredients

3-4 cups cabbageshredded

2 large carrots, shredded

2 apples, diced or shredded

Dressing Ingredients

3 Tb vinegar (I was wary use apple cider but it was all I had so I made the jump. Turned out ok. Try it with white or rice vinegar, too)

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp sesame seeds (I used Gomasio)

2 tsp soy sauce (I use wheat-free Tamari)

1 tsp sesame oil

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

1) Combine shredded ingredients in a large bowl.

2) Add dressing as needed to individual servings (keeps the salad fresher, longer).

3) I feel best when I'm balancing meals like the rich tastiness of a burger made of ethically- raised local beef and raw, crunchy vegetables and fruits. As we move into a time of more dense, rich foods made from animal products (meat, butter, cheese, etc.) and cooked vegetables in soups and stews, remember to add in some raw stuff from time to time, once a day or so, to keep things moving along. To keep the balance in check.

Unless, of course, you're a raw vegan. ;)

Killer Cravings!!!!

Yes. It's the obligatory Halloween post from the health coach. Monsters, ghouls, demons---how about KILLER CRAVINGS!!!

cue scary laughter:

Seriously though, you've got to read this one.

The negative side-effects of too much processed sugar is an issue I am super serious about.

With Halloween fast approaching, I see peoples' eyes widen with the sudden plethora of sugar options and I am mindful of my past habits surrounding this one particular treat:

Now as a health coach, I don't even buy that stuff. Having survived (I say survived because it was really that traumatic) severe acne in my mid-20s, I am really mindful of my sugar consumption. Cravings can be killer if we aren't paying attention to the real distress signals from our bodies and instead shove our faces full of something that will only make the situation worse.

Don't know how much is too much? Or how much is a good amount to eat when your sweet tooth strikes? I can't give you a precise answer because every person is different. Why don't you take a minute to skim these articles for an answer that feels good for you.

NY Times: Is Sugar Toxic?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Do Milk and Sugar Cause Acne?  I've seen Dr. Mark speak several times--he's amazing and dynamic and hella funny. An inspiration to me.

Here's the thing: I know the candy will be everywhere in t-minus 6 days. Parties, office cubicles, trick-or-treating, etc. But, as your pal, I want to be one voice sitting on your shoulder as you dig through the orange plastic jack o' lantern.

Remember:

1) That candy is always available to you, 24/7. This isn't a special day where candy suddenly emerges from the back storerooms of "pharmacies" and grocery stores making its sugary self available to you. It is on those shelves day in and day out, 365. You can buy it whenever you want--so why go crazy when it's suddenly shoved in your face in convenient packages with different decorations? That candy bar tastes the same in its same old packaging. The orange cat on the label doesn't add to its quality. Trust me. When you're cruising the aisles and see the massive boxes and overflowing shelves of processed white sugar and high fructose corn syrup, think of me. Hear me saying, "you've eaten a Snickers bar before. It's not a novelty."

2) Eating massive amount of sugar sets up cravings for massive amounts of MORE sugar. Yep, the truth is sugar is quite addictive and when you eat alot of it, it only makes your body want more. This is how we get into a holiday season packed full of mega-sugary and hella-salty foods and then people wonder why they feel like crap by January 1st. It all starts here, folks. On this one day--Halloween kicks off months of eating more sugar than our bodies can process in a healthy way and it can set us up for massive emotional imbalances like fatigue, depression, anger and physical side-effects like bloating, weight-gain and aches and pains that don't end. Don't get into this cycle and watch how much better you feel (and LOOK) come New Year's Eve. I say this from personal experience ;)

Check yourself before you reach for that stuff that is around each day, every day. It's not helping you get closer to being happier and healthier.

TIPS to Beat the Killer Cravings:

1) eat apples, applesauce and sweet potatoes and drink apple cider: these are real foods available in vast amounts right now and since apples and sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, they will conquer those devilish sugar cravings.

2) bring healthy snacks to work/school or eat before a party: this is a sure-fire way to avoid that darn candy dish at work, school or at a party. Eat before you go and bring something that's a better choice. Homemade banana bread made with honey, brownies made with applesauce---I don't know, get CREATIVE! If you can come up with an amazing costume, I know you can invent a sweet treat to bring so the mass-produced candies don't hypnotize you into submission.

3) get real with your sugar addiction: is this something that is a problem 24/7? Send me an email. Let's discuss.

GOOD LUCK and BE SAFE!!!