Why Am I Crying?

A Welcome By DorDor photo by David Crow

A lot of people who come to Suppers get introduced to their physical bodies, to know themselves in ways they never thought about before.  What a relief it was for Ruby to discover that she was not crazy, she was in fact a sane person in a crazy body.  Like Lisa, our last subject in “Marshmallow Madness“, Ruby was getting loud signals from her body that her blood sugar was driving her bad mood chemistry, but she didn’t understand the language. Ruby had never learned that her jags of crying were typical of someone with her health issue.
False emotions drove her doom and gloom imaginings as she drove home after stressful days at work, but a simple intervention restored her normal emotions. 
If you would like more information on anxiety and the issues we are exploring today, please visit The Mood Cure.

Ruby’s Story: Why Am I Crying?

There’s a phrase we use at Suppers that described my situation perfectly: “sane person, crazy body.” Not that I advocate splitting mind and body, but if my rational mind was able to observe my crazy behavior, how crazy could I have been? My body insanity always happened like this:

Around 5 p.m. I would be on my way home from work, looking forward to getting home to relax and have dinner. About halfway home I’d start thinking about friends and family situations, and somehow my thoughts would get darker and darker. Rationally, I knew that everyone was fine and there was nothing to worry about, yet my thoughts were out of control: a dear friend was ill and going to die; people I love would be killed in a devastating accident. I would upset myself so much that I’d start to cry. 

Why was I crying?

Whenever this happened there was nothing going on that would explain getting so upset, yet there I was, driving home with tears streaming down my face. The only sane conclusion was that I was going crazy!

Then one night at a Suppers book review meeting we were talking about blood sugar and mood chemistry. We discussed false emotions and how these occur when blood sugar drops. I realized in that instant that this is what I experience on my drive home from work. Of course! After a stressful day at work I get hungry.

I know I have some problems with blood sugar, but I never connected the dots. My rides home are filled with false emotions, irrational thoughts, and uncomfortable feelings that go away as soon as I eat. 

What a relief to read about my experience in a book by someone who understands the problem. First, I’m NOT going crazy! I’m a sane person in a crazy body. I just needed help coming to the realization that I can get control over these emotions by making sure I eat what my body needs to level out my blood sugar. All it takes is a healthy snack at around 3 p.m. Who would have thought that a well-timed cup of yogurt or chicken soup would rid my drive home of demons? My friends at Suppers encouraged me to run my own experiments to see which foods carry me the longest and journal the experience. It doesn’t take much — half an apple with a little cheese will see me through until dinner.

How I feel is data. The change felt miraculous, but it wasn’t. I just experienced the “logical miracle” that Suppers says can happen when you start giving your body what it needs. Knowing how to interpret my body’s signals has been hugely empowering. Thank goodness for these meetings and the sanity they have brought back into my life.


 

Foods to Dry Ruby’s Tears, by Allie

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Someone I know can’t have garlic. Like, she literally just can’t have garlic and then expect to be comfortable on a physiological level. Her tummy will hurt, it might cause bloat, digestive issues, etc. From garlic. Can you imagine?!
Cause the internet says, “eat raw garlic everyday and never get sick!” And someone on Facebook shared an article they didn’t write and maybe didn’t read called “Five Foods To Always Eat Especially Garlic!” Well guess what? She can’t. She figured it out over time and elimination dieting.
She figured out that even an antimicrobial, antifungal, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, potent, powerful allium vegetable was actually not good for her. It actually caused inflammation. 
Go figure.
See, foods have pretty consistent properties. But we are less predictable. We are animals, hosts to billions of other living things, victims of incredibly efficient yeasts and viruses, and prone to all sorts of allergies and sensitivities. We’ll never know what foods to eat unless we experiment.
Is there anyone in the entire world, who has ever existed in the history of food, that doesn’t like pasta? MAN pasta is DELCIOUS. Am I alone in this? I doubt I’m alone — usually at least one person wants to hang out with me.
Anyway, I can’t have pasta. It’s really a bad idea. Remember, I’m still broken up with my boyfriend. His name is Bread and he was so beautiful and our relationship was as wonderful as it was toxic. Bread’s cousin is named Pasta and when I lost Bread I lost him too. But that’s love for you.
In the meantime, I’ve been spending time with my surrogate boyfriend. His name is Spaghetti Squash. Let me tell you about his stats.
On the Glycemic Index scale:
Spaghetti Squash scores a 40
Brown Rice scores a 55
to give you an idea.
However, one must always consider the Glycemic Load these days — carbohydrates plus fiber plus protein = the actual affect on (some) people’s blood sugar. On that scale, Spaghetti Squash scores a 1. A ONE!!! White boiled spaghetti scores a 26. This is like golf, people. That means that Spaghetti Squash is like Arnold Palmer and Pasta is like….well, like me. I’m terrible at golf.
Another great thing about Spaghetti Squash is that you really don’t have to do much to make it taste great. And for my friend’s sake, if you want to you can skip the garlic. Lights. Camera. Action.
Step One: Slice squash lengthwise and scoop out all of the seeds using a table spoon. Not a “Tablespoon” like in measurement, just a large spoon you would use if you were eating at a table. Place squash directly on oven racks, flesh side up, for 45 – 60 minutes depending on size.
The reason why we place the spaghetti squash flesh side UP and not DOWN, as we might with a butternut or another more tender squash is because we want the end result to be drier so that individual strands can be acquired and you will have something that looks like spaghetti.
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Yes, that is a duck. And yes, it was very hot. Use tongs or other utensils for safety reasons.
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Let cool for about 25 minutes or until you can stand to touch the squash.
Step Two: With a fork poised away from you, prong side down, begin to lightly shred away squash. It will pull up and separate from the strands beneath it fairly easily. Once you have shredded one side, turn the squash away from you and shred the other side. Then, turn onto a plate.
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Step Three: Flavor squash with olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, pesto, tomato sauce, spices, or garlic if you can stand its volatile nature. Serve warm or store in a food safe container in the refrigerator and reheat before enjoying.

Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Ingredients

1 large spaghetti squash, sliced in half lenghtwise and de-seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1 Tablespoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
Any desired spices, herbs, or alliums (like onion, garlic, scallion)
Any desired sauces like tomato sauce, pesto, alfredo, etc.

Procedure

1.  Preheat oven to 400 and, if you like, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place prepared squash, flesh side up, and roast 45 – 60 minutes. Poke with a fork to test tenderness after 45 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool 25 minutes or to touch.

2.  Fork shred squash until only skin remains. Place on a plate or in a bowl and toss with oil, salt, lemon juice, and any seasonings or sauces. Serve warm.

As always, head to Our Website at Suppers for all of your recipe needs!

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Marshmallow Madness

 

Dor photo by David CrowA Welcome By Dor

When will you know if a panic attack is not a panic attack?
When will you know if your joint pain is optional?
When should we accept that our aches and complaints are just signs of normal aging?

Answer:  After you’ve done your experiments to identify which processed foods drive your suffering.

Lisa learned that when she was having a panic attack, she wasn’t having a panic attack. Labels can be powerful and  misleading.  They can set us up to make all kinds of erroneous conclusions about what’s causing our health and mental health problems.  One thing I hear when we’re sharing at the table is how people feel more “level”, “stable” or “centered” when they figure out which foods match their personal needs.

More often than not, it involves getting the right balance among proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber and water at the beginning of the day, breakfast.  

And it also means eliminating the primary drivers of anxiety, most notably, sugar.  Oh, by the way, Lisa lost 40 pounds without struggles when Marshmallow Madness identified the true drivers of her panic and pain.  Here’s her story.


 

Lisa’s Story: Marshmallow Madness

Menopause was not kind to me. Aching joints, weight gain, crankiness, and anxiety plagued me. But the worst was the heart palpitations. Most of it I passed off as the inevitabilities of aging — except for the heart palpitations, which were intense and scary. I had always felt quite sane, but this was making me crazy. When I shared my story at a Suppers meeting, everybody was nodding their heads like they knew exactly what was going on with me.

My doctor and a cardiologist did some tests that confirmed the palpitations and discovered an underlying heart arrhythmia, but could not determine a cause. They said people have heart palpitations all the time, and prescribed beta blockers. 

I’m a single parent and this wasn’t good enough for me. I couldn’t believe my heart could withstand that stress for very long. So I turned to the internet and did a simple search on “heart palpitations.” The first results I checked listed three causes and one of those was glucose. This rang a bell because I’ve always had a feeling I am sensitive to sugar. If I eat a donut for breakfast I have brain fog the entire day.

So I decided to do my own test and stop eating sugar and starch. That was in February. In March, I took my young daughter on vacation in California, and we stayed at a fabulous little hotel with a pool and outdoor fire pits. I took one look at this and said, “Let’s roast marshmallows!” So we bought a bag of marshmallows and skewers. We sat by the pool that night chatting and demolishing the bag.

At 3 a.m. I woke with the worst palpitations I had felt yet. My heart was going crazy. I stayed in bed hoping I would make it until morning, saying to myself, “Well, I think I just gave myself another glucose tolerance test.” When I was in high school my pediatrician had suspected a glucose tolerance problem, and gave me a three-hour glucose test — apparently not long enough.

I began to follow a diet that called for regular, small servings of protein. The results were immediate. My heart palpitations disappeared in three days, I lost 40 pounds without the struggles I’d experienced on diets, all my aches and pains disappeared, and I felt more clear-headed.

I returned to my doctor and told her the results of my unintentional experiment with marshmallows and the results I’d had with a high protein, low carb diet. She said, “You’re a good detective. You should write an article.” I should write an article? When I asked her what we should do next, she said, “Well, if you’ve figured it out, just keep doing what you’re doing.”

I returned to the cardiologist and told her the same story. She was very concerned about the low carb diet and felt that it would increase my cholesterol and create a greater heart risk.

I went to an endocrinologist as well, looking for verification of what I had discovered. He was as dismissive as the cardiologist and attributed everything to my weight loss. He couldn’t understand that I was incapable of losing weight until I discovered the role that sugar and refined carbohydrates played in my cravings. And to add insult to injury, he charged me $500 for a 15-minute consultation.

That was eight years ago. For two years I couldn’t eat carbohydrates without getting heart palpitations. After two years, my body began to heal itself — a mixed blessing because now I can cheat a little. So my weight is ten pounds higher than my low, but overall I feel good.

I wonder where I would be now if I had not experimented with my diet. It’s scary that none of the doctors I consulted figured any of it out.

Here are all the symptoms that disappeared since I eliminated
Sugars and S
tarches from my diet:

Aching joints     Bad knees     Blurred vision     Caffeine cravings     Carpal tunnel syndrome

Disintegrating handwriting     Feeling flushed     Feeling jittery under stress or at end of day

Foggy-headed     Food cravings     Gum disease     Heart palpitations     Irritability

Inability to lose weight     Inability to wake up in the morning, like I’m drugged

Memory problems     Momentary dizzy spells     Nail biting     Nightmares     Overweight

Sleepiness/drowsiness watching TV or at a movie theater

So was the cardiologist right to be concerned? I eat more than a dozen eggs a week — and bacon, when I am in the mood. Here are the results of my blood tests when the heart palpitations began and now, eight years later:

My weight went down 25 pounds.
My “good” cholesterol went up 45 points.
My “bad” cholesterol went down 5 points.
And my triglycerides went down 36 points.

I feel fabulous. And I love sharing my story with others who are also taking charge of their health. 


Smashing Eggs and Avocados for Lisa, by Allie

48465d_e59e795f6cb742439f1316e9dd4a1081Sometimes I go to diners for breakfast (very rarely) and I see their French Toast or Pancake special for the day and they are topped with maple syrup, bacon, sea salt caramel, toffee, whipped cream, banana foam, strawberry sugar, and more bacon. And I’m like, “man, that sounds delicious! I’ll have eggs!”

No matter how many forms of sugar the diner people want my breakfast to include, I know that a savory breakfast is the kind of breakfast for me. The sweet breakfast simply is something that does not appeal to me any longer. Sweets after dinner, well, that’s a different story.

Some people find that a high protein diet made up of many small meals throughout the day helps them find balance in their blood sugar and also in their lives. Eggs are a really great version of food because they fit so nicely into so many different categories! Breakfast, snack, baked goods, you name it! Lots of egg dishes are warm and need to be prepared right before you eat them. However if I’m already slipping into the “get out of my way literally I will walk over you if you are in between me and the pantry-frigerator” phase, well, maybe I won’t be able to wait until the egg is done frying. I’ve already eaten like half the cheese in the fridge or, worse, I’ve started eating crackers.

So for me (and apparently Lisa) sometimes cold, prepped egg dishes are the way to go. In the words of at least one coach, this is what we play for.

Step One: Boil Eggs. You guys, there’s actually a LOT of dissenting opinions in the world of boiling eggs and some people are extraordinarily passionate about all of the egg things. Like this guy, who is totally obSESSED with all of the egg things. I’m just going to say, the best way that usually works for me is, place eggs in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and wait like 10 minutes or so.

In addition, do you have one of these things? I guess it’s called an egg slicer because I’ve literally never used it for anything else but these things are AMAZING. Why would anyone ever chop eggs with a knife? Who even has the patience for that??!!

Step Two: For this recipe the avocado doesn’t have to be perfect, you can prep it any way you like. BUT I thought it would be a great opportunity to teach you some avocado tricks! First of all, getting that pesky skin off with the meat still intact. (By the way did you know that an avocado is technically a nut/legume? I heard that somewhere.)

Take half of a pitted avocado and place it flesh side down on a cutting board. With your non-thumb-fingers, starting at the slimmer end, start to peel off the skin, keeping your thumbs applying gentle force to the rest of the avocado. Towards the middle this will get easier–keep applying consistent force and pulling skin and: Voila!

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Then, take it one step further. A nice fanned avocado is perfect for lifting and placing on a sandwich in a nice, flat, even, easy way (even though I don’t eat sandwiches because I recently broke up with my boyfriend, Bread). Get there by thinly slicing the skinned avocado in nice, even, long, slices. Then, press the flat edge of your knife against the middle of the avocado, gently pressing down until *gasp!* the avocado collapses in a beautiful fanned arrangement.

It’s so pretty! Look again!

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Step Three: Prep the rest of your stuff. One great way to deal with finely dicing just a bit of celery is to make slits in the stalks, then use the non-slitted stalk part to hold onto and dice off the rest. Then you can save or eat the rest. Like here:

(I ate the celery rest, in case you were wondering.) There’s only a few other ingredients so I just put them together for you.

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Step Four: Put it all in a bowl and use a fork to fork mix it together. Add salt and pepper, plus any other seasonings you like and enjoy or put away for later! (You know when I’m talking about.)

Did you just ask if you can add other stuff? Uh, duh, of course you can! I would add diced chicken for some added protein, carrot for a sweet crunch, a whole BUNCHLOAD of different sorts of herbs and spices, basil in the summer, scallions in the spring, and lemon zest because I’m Allie O’Brien and if you didn’t know I love lemon zest, well, now you do and you shan’t forget again. There will be a test.


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Lisa’s Egg and Avocado Salad

Ingredients

12 hardboiled eggs
2 avocados, peeled and mashed
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup organic mayo (or greek yogurt)
salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

1. Mash egg and avocado together. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Yields six servings.

Variations and Alternative Ingredients

1 teaspoon dijon mustard
paprika, turmeric, dry rub spice blend, italian spice bend, etc.
fresh basil, oregano, rosemary, etc.
shredded carrots, summer squash
diced chicken, turkey, pork, bacon, etc.

Enjoy! As always, be sure to check out other Suppers website recipes on our index of recipes! And remember — how you feel is data! Start experimenting today and you just might surprise yourself. AND your doctors.

My Brain For a Sliver of Cheesecake

Dor photo by David CrowA Welcome By Dor

When is your mood not your mood?

When does fatigue have nothing to do with being tired?

When is willpower irrelevant?

Answer: when your brain has been hijacked by a slice of cheesecake – or any food that drives inflammation or changes in mood chemistry in your highly individual, totally unique, don’t-let-anybody-argue-you-out-of-your-N = 1-experience brain

This is what I’m watching at my Suppers meetings as people sign up to facilitate and join our Suppers for Brain Health meetings. Are waves of fatigue, bouts of fuzzy thinking, ripples of depression or anxiety really tipoffs? Is our preternatural delight for certain foods a sign that it acts more like a drug than a food in our particular bodies? Might the brain signatures of today foretell the inflammatory conditions of tomorrow?

Sharon’s story is one of the first Suppers stories. Cleaned out after an elimination experiment, she was particularly vulnerable when she got smacked in the brain by a slice of cheesecake.


 

Sharon’s Story: My Brain for a Sliver of Cheesecake

One day I came to Suppers all excited to tell about an experience my friend and I shared over a sliver of cheesecake, and to see if anybody could explain the near-coma we experienced after a recent dinner party.

I heard the best explanation ever of what can happen in a brain after cheesecake. It made sense of years of bizarre experience, and I want to share my story with everyone.

For ten days a good friend and I supported each other in our determination to eat dairy free and gluten free, having bonded over similar health challenges related to our inability to digest these proteins. I noticed a distinct improvement in mental clarity and sense of well-being. We planned a wheat- and dairy-free dinner party for friends, and selected flavorful, satisfying dishes that we were sure would leave no one feeling deprived. It was all delicious and no one felt the absence of wheat or dairy products. But somebody had brought cheesecake for dessert. It came pre-sliced in mere slivers, and we both decided after some deliberating that we were going to have some. Pow!

I couldn’t wash a dish. I barely made it up the stairs. I went into such a rapid decline of mental and physical fatigue that I told my husband I couldn’t stay awake one more minute and collapsed into bed. The next day I was talking with my friend and she had had the exact same problem: total exhaustion, inability to override the fatigue with willpower, and a “carb coma” – a sort of a hungover feeling the next morning.

I arrived at Suppers asking for explanations and we ended up devoting the meeting to a consideration of the third concept, “food is the first addiction”. Dor, Dr. George, and several other members who have learned the hard way to steer clear of gluten and dairy put it this way (I wrote down every word): gluten and dairy products, when incompletely digested, put “gluteomorphines” and “casomorphines” into your body, which occupy the same receptor sites in the brain as morphine and similar substances (opiate receptors). It is one of several reasons why wheat and dairy products are such big comfort foods for many people–and people with compromised digestion are particularly vulnerable.

Add to that the sugar, which alters your brain chemistry the same way cocaine does; we studied that at a Suppers meeting too, because so many of us feel drugged when we eat sugar. Add to that what we learned from reading The End of Overeating, and you’ll understand how the very anticipation of eating a food that is drug-like will provide a dopamine response, that sort of jazzed-up feeling you get from knowing that something good is coming. No wonder so many of us need a support group to stay on track with our eating!

The first Suppers program was called Suppers for Sobriety, and all the meetings that followed retained this idea that people need support to resolve eating patterns that keep them sick or addicted. By the tie my friend and I were considering that cheesecake, we were already under its spell. We had planned, we had been clean for ten days, we had gone to the trouble of preparing this special menu. But we were seduced by the presence of cheesecake, much as a wannabe recovering alcoholic is seduced by “just one beer” with friends, and we caved in. 

To make matters worse, our little period of abstinence had made our brains even more vulnerable to the drug-like effects of particular foods. Apparently, when you withhold something drug-like and then re-introduce it, the urge to consume it is even worse than it was before the period of abstinence. It can take months, at least, to get to what Suppers describes as a “logical miracle,” the point at which the drug/food relaxes its grip and you start craving salads, if anything.

Dor said this experience is all part of the Suppers experiment process. You just can’t believe what an enormous difference it makes in your mental and emotional life to get off whatever are your offending foods until you’ve experienced it yourself. She herself was not gluten free until she started running meetings for ADHD families. She went off gluten for three months as a trial and then never ate it again, because abstinence fixed–simply and completely fixed–her problem with daytime fatigue.

I know I can’t make you get your epiphany faster just because I had mine. But here is what I want you to know about my experience. Getting off wheat and dairy made the following differences in my life:
Reduced my brain fog
Increased my focus and ability to concentrate
Had a calming effect on my mood
Increased my energy and stamina


 

Creating Cheesecake without Cheese for Sharon, By Allie

48465d_e59e795f6cb742439f1316e9dd4a1081For thousands of years human beings have altered their environments to fit better into special lifestyles. How can we store foods better for the winter? How can we grow enough to feed larger communities? How can we move off this farm? How can we eat in a city? How can we speed up family dinner? How can we REALLY speed up family dinner? What’s family dinner? Dinner? That’s so 90’s.

Over the many years that we have bizarrely survived, we have changed a lot of things. There is one thing that has taken longer to alter and that would be our organic bodies. Dietary evils are different for each person however in terms of particularly reactive ingredients, there’s a pretty short list. Sugar, dairy, wheat–these are highly reactive foods (well, sugar isn’t a “food” anymore but whatever) which, when avoided, cause the vast majority of individuals to feel a lot better.

But, like, cheesecake, you guys. Cheesecake. Do we have to give it up forever and ever? Do we have to say goodbye? Isn’t there anything we can do? For a lot of people, like Sharon, the goodbye is solid. Stay away and minimize cravings. But for others there are some loopholes. I’m all about loopholes. Let’s chat.

Dairy
What looks like cheese and acts like cheese and sort of tastes like cheese and feels like cheese? What’s white and creamy, filling, delicious, and fat-containing? Cashew nuts! OK! We’ll start there!

Sugar
What’s sweet but more natural, less processed or not processed, and takes longer to digest (thereby avoiding that immediate SPIKE)? Dried fruits! Figs, dates, apricots, pretty much any dried fruit! Thank you lord Medjool Date!

Wheat
What do we need this for again? A crust? Goodbye, graham crackers, HELLO nut/fruit crust! You save me time and cranial reactions! You do NOT save me calories.

Do we have a cheesecake now? Methinks we do. 


 

Step One: Soak cashew nuts in water for at least three hours. Soaking the nuts will inflate the cashews and fill those cells so that when blended the result is a creamy delight.

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Cashews are probably the creamiest, palest, least overtly flavorful nut when blended but soaking other nuts is acceptable as well.

Step Two: Pit dried fruit of your choice and blend in equal parts with your choice of nuts and seeds to make a crust. My favorite is a blend of dates, figs, and apricots blended with walnuts, pecans, and 16638ece-97ae-48e5-81b7-9afe75696e59pumpkin seeds. I flavor that up with sea salt, orange or lemon zest, cinnamon, alcohol free vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg, and/or allspice. Other options include oats, cooked millet, quinoa, or other grains.

 

 

 

Step Three: Make your Cashew Cream by combining soaked cashews with sweet ingredients (but not sugar!) like pitted and soaked dates, lemon zest, cinnamon, and alcohol free vani547a0f70-2394-4d94-b99c-72a2a6a05eb2lla.

Ingredients like cinnamon and vanilla work to bring out the natural sweetness in other foods, like cashews, for instance. Cinnamon also works as a marriage counselor in the body, mediating between fussy cells and Insulin when the neurotransmitter on the outside of the cell’s “front door” refuses to open for Insulin.

If your cashew cream is still not as sweet as you like, and it won’t react poorly with your body, you may add just a dash of maple syrup or honey. Just a dash, Julia Child.

 

 

Step Four: Pour, make the top look pretty, and freeze! That’s all you need to do for this vegan, sugar-free, high protein, high fat no-bake cheesecake! Also, you’re allowed to say “sugar-free” even when using products that contain sugar, like fruit. It’s weird but there’s a big controversial difference between “added sugar” and foods that simply contain sugar. I can’t say more here because the government might be watching.


 

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Basic Cashew Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the crust:
2 cups nuts of choice
2 cups dried fruit of choice (soaked if fruit is very dry in water for 20-30 minutes)
1 orange, zested
2-3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon alcohol free vanilla
pinch sea salt

For the filling:
3 cups cashews, soaked 3-8 hours in water
4 large Medjool dates (soaked if fruit is very dry in water for 20-30 minutes)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 Tablespoon alcohol free vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (plus more, if desired)
1/2 cup water (plus some, if necessary)
1 pinch sea salt

Procedure:

For the crust:

1. Combine ingredients in a food processor and process until dough forms. Should be able to roll into a ball and keep its shape. If dough is crumbly and dry, add water 1 Tablespoon at a time and keep pulsing until desired consistency is reached.

2. Press into the bottom of a springform pan or tart pan and set aside or stick in freezer while preparing filling.

For the filling:

1. In a high powered blender, combine filling ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. There should be no chunks or even grit when done! Add extra water and continue blending if mixture is not creamy enough.

2. Pour over prepared nut crust and freeze at least 1 hour. Before serving, remove from freezer and let thaw at least 20 minutes or until cheesecake can be sliced with a knife.

(optional: top with berries, low or no sugar jam, or a compote)

Makes 12-15 servings

That’s all for this week! Thanks for reading! As always, head to The Suppers Programs website for more recipe ideas to curb cravings and experiment your way to your own Logical Miracle!

Note: The Breakfast Challenge began on February 7th! Join us at Suppers to start your experiment first thing in the morning! 

www.thesuppersprograms.org

 

 

The Whole30

A Welcome By Jess357a5501-3e89-4e37-ad9c-7c14acd6f737

5 or 6 years ago, in digestive desperation and with a huge leap of faith I cut out of
my diet: dairy, beans, grains, sugar and processed foods. “A week,” I told myself. “I
can do anything for a week. If I don’t feel any different, what have I lost?”
I couldn’t believe how much better I felt… all digestive issues resolved… after just 2
or 3 days! A year or two later I embarked on my first official Whole30 with my
husband, hoping he would get some back pain relief from this 30 day Paleo
elimination diet which has been touted to reduce symptoms of inflammation for
many people with a wide variety of ailments. He lost weight, became more aware of
his sugar dragon, and overall felt better. We’ve continued with the Paleo diet since
then, sometimes more strictly than others.

People argue about what, exactly, makes up the Paleo diet and which Paleo plan is
best (of which there are many). I avoid that business and simply say that the
Whole30 is a trial of eating only meat, fish, eggs, vegetable, fruit and “healthy” fats.

They say, “Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an
end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your
digestive tract, and balance your immune system.”

It is like a big Suppers experiment where you cut out a bunch of junk from your diet, see how you feel, and then, if you wish, start re-introducing things, continuing to observe your body and mood response. The first time I was more aware of the physical impact on my body. The second and third times (when I was joined by a total of over 50 Suppers members!), I was more aware of my emotional responses to certain foods.

I favor the Whole30 because I know it well… and because there are so many helpful (and FREE!) resources online:

Like this introduction
Lots of recipes
A Paleo Day-By-Day Guide
And A Whole30 Day-By-Day Guide Too!

Whatever “cleanse” you decide on, social support is KEY!!! This was the
overwhelming feedback from Suppers members who did the Whole30 together last
September. Talk to your partner or loved ones about joining you, find a buddy, get a
group together, or connect with one of the online groups

Here’s Your First Support Group

Now how about we give you your first recipe inspiration?

Cooking For More Than A Whole30 Minutes, by Allie

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I’ve legit missed you guys. Last week we took a break because Suppers was featured in Real Woman Magazine! Head: to page 39 to start reading our super awesome article. We’ve had almost 1,000 views from just our Facebook group alone. I know. Hey, it’s a good thing that WordPress doesn’t charge for lots of links because we’ve given you a LOT today.

Hey, let’s talk about cooking for Whole30 now! I wanted this to be the last cleanse/detox diet we go over because this one seems restricting at first but when compared to other diets we’ve featured this month, this one is a total breeze. One thing that would make Whole30 easier to swallow, pun intended, is the ability to perform what we in the cooking community (I’m in the cooking community, you guys) call a MAKE AHEAD.

My good and gorgeous friend April told me last week that she did her last “make ahead” back in December and she is STILL eating out of her freezer. Not like, literally like ice cream or anything but she has dishes she made IN DECEMBER that she is still working through and they are all still deliciouscrumptious. Also you should know that I applied through urban dictionary to make “deliciouscrumptious” a word. They probably won’t approve it though.

This week’s MAKE AHEAD meal highlights some very powerful anti-inflammatory, high protein, Whole30 friendly ingredients. If you have a knife, a pan, a blender, and an oven, you too can make this dish. Let’s do this thing.

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BAM did you see that?! It tastes just as good as it looks. Wanna know how to make it? Keep reading.

Salmon basics include:
Buying Wild if you can find it
Making sure that the bones are all out of there (the fish man at the fish store should be doing this for you but always always check by running your finger along the center of the filet and feeling for spikes.
Using ingredients like lemon, ginger, and sea salt

Putting a thick crust on your salmon is a great way to lock in all of the moisture available to you. A visual cue for when you are done is represented above — see all those great fats? When you see those white oily yummy little guys oozing out their deliciousness, you are done! Normally, salmon takes about 10 minutes to roast at 400 degrees. However, with a crust like this on a big filet, you’re looking at closer to 15 or even 25 minutes for a medium rare fish, Vitamin E, A, D, and K stocked, fish dinner. 

Step One: Zest and juice a lemon. Don’t ever underestimate lemon zest. Don’t do it, and don’t let me hear about you doing it.

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Try to only use Microplanes without handles. The other ones are stupid and annoying.

Step Two: Slice a bunch of scallions and 1 pound of shiitake mushrooms. Scoop some coconut oil into a pan and start your sauté. Sauté until mushrooms are tender.

Step Three: In a blender, combine: cooked shiitakes & scallions, grated ginger, lemon juice, zest, some extra greens like parsley, kale, etc. and some sea salt. Blend until creamy. If you want, place into a large piping bag. That’s if you are up for a lengthy fight with your piping bag because mine DID NOT LIKE the chunks of kale that I was trying to squeeze through its piping tip. You’re probably better off using a spatula to spread but if you want to try to be fancy for a party, go ahead.

Step Four: Spread mixture on prepared salmon filets and place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 12 – 15 minutes for a small filet and 15-20 minutes for a big filet. For a whole 2 lb fish, you will need at least 20 minutes until done. Keep an eye out for your visual cue.

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Step Five: Plate, finish with some lemon juice and sea salt for extra zing, and enjoy with greens and sweet potato if you like. That’s just what I did so if you wanna be like me, there it is.

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Whole30 Shiitake Salmon

Ingredients

1 2-lb salmon filet, skinned and de-boned
1 heaping Tablespoon coconut oil or sesame oil
1 bunch scallions, washed and minced
1 lb shiitake mushrooms, caps removed, sliced
sea salt
1 1-inch piece ginger, grated
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 – 2 cups greens (kale, spinach, parsley)

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place prepared salmon on baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a sauté pan, add oil over medium high heat. Add scallions, mushrooms, and sea salt, and sauté until mushrooms are tender — about ten minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Place mushroom mixture, ginger, lemon zest, juice, greens, and some extra salt into a high powered blender and blend on high until mixture is creamy. Place mixture in a large piping bag with large coupler or in a bowl.
  4. Spread mixture thickly over salmon filet, using all of the mushroom mixture. Place salmon in a preheated oven and roast until done. For a whole filet, check after 15 minutes for doneness by inserting a fork and knife into the center and spreading apart — medium rare is deep orange, medium is bright orange. For smaller filets, check after 10 minutes.