Experiments

A Welcome From Dor

Dor photo by David Crow

Would you characterize yourself more as a lab rat or a Guinea pig?  I mean, we are already unwittingly serving as research subjects for the processed food manufacturers, the chemical companies, and the pharmaceutical industry. Right?  As soon as we acknowledge that this is happening, we can take control of the situation.

We can vote with our dollars; we can refuse to support projects that put our children’s health at risk; we can buy real food and food that’s (relatively) free of pesticides. We can also become our own test subjects and run our own experiments.

We pulled Holly’s story from Logical Miracles. She wrote it in 2009, but the message is as true today. We are all guinea pigs anyway! Why don’t we learn the language our bodies speak to us and become the managers of our own labs? You can make it happen faster than it takes you to say “How you feel is data!”  Just start noticing how you feel.
So far this year Suppers has hosted a Breakfast Challenge and a Whole30 Challenge, and will be hosting a vegan cleanse in April. Why all these? Because biological individuality demands that to live a vibrant life, we must each do our own experiments and find our own personal pathway to vibrant health. Holly has some good advice.

Holly’s Story: Experiments

For me, Suppers turned out to be all about experiments. Eat this, see how you feel. Don’t eat that, see how you feel. Eat this and don’t eat that and see how you feel. Eat this first, then that. See how you feel. Add vegetables. Subtract sugar. See how you feel. Eat brownies on an empty stomach (I wouldn’t recommend it). Then see if you can have one after a good meal (much better). I was willing to do these experiments because I didn’t want to give up all my favorite foods.

In a way it was a trick. The completely unexpected outcome was that I started desiring things I never had a taste for before. I heard about “transition sweets,” using combinations of seasoned sweet vegetables like yams and sweet potatoes to satisfy my hunger for desserts. It backfired for somebody else at my meeting who also tried this experiment, making her crave more sweets. But it worked for me, giving me just enough of a sugar hit to feel satisfying.

Seeing if my appetite foolishness starts up is the way I can tell if an experiment succeeded or succeeded. Yes, succeeded or succeeded.

Some of the people at my meeting are completely off gluten, some wish they were, and others are fine on it. I found I was one of the lucky ones who can tolerate wheat bread, but it took staying off it for a few months to confirm that I was OK with or without it. Once again I felt tricked: by the time I figured out I was OK eating gluten, I’d learned to survive without it. So I ended up eating a lot less junky baked goods and more soup or salad.

Seeing if my appetite foolishness starts up is the way I can tell if an experiment succeeded or succeeded. Yes, succeeded or succeeded. The experiment is a success if it tells me I can eat a food and it’s a success if it tells me I can’t. Or maybe I can handle a small amount mixed with other things. The point is, clarity equals success. The way I know a food is good for me is if it satisfies my hunger. I know it’s not good for me if it makes me want to eat more and more. If I feel like I fell on a trip wire to overeating, that’s data about what I just put in  my mouth.

The only way I ever failed at these experiments was by not writing down everything I ate. I felt ashamed seeing it in writing. But then I got so good at reading my body’s signals that even bad reporting didn’t matter because I could get the information from how I felt.

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I could have gone to a doctor and gotten the same information after lots of testing, but my insurance doesn’t cover it. And I’m not so sure I would have trusted the results anyway, since I don’t know the people in charge as well as I know the lady who runs my lab.


Honoring Holly’s Hunt, by Allie

While flipping through Logical Miracles searching for new blog posts, Holly’s story jumped off the page almost immediately. The tale of her quest, her hunt for what works, how to find that information out, and what to do with it – THAT is a solid representation of the work that Suppers does.

There are so many diet plans and fads suggesting exactly WHAT to eat and what NOT to eat, when to eat it, etc. What always amazes me about Suppers again and again is the spirit of discovery and experimentation that is fostered within our communities. Research can be a fascinating thing if you are only looking at data because you are interested in what the data shows -in an almost nonpartisan way. We are all simply subjects in the eyes of science. Science is as open minded as Justice is blind. If you are interested in feeling well and achieving vibrant health, then you can take data found within your mouth and make conscious decisions based on the results.

Knowing what your inflammatory foods are, however, is the first step.

Recently, Suppers hosted a Whole30 challenge. Whole30 is currently the most popular diet challenge around because it is pretty forgiving (meaning there are a LOT of foods that you are allowed to eat) and there are a ton of resources available for free so that you can get started. You can download the “Yes” list, the “No” list and the “Mehhhhhh fine whatever” list for free! This type of “cleanse” is very in line with the type of food already served at Suppers meetings (save a few minor pro-inflammatory details) but the best thing about it is probably that you can eat burgers still.

So if you’re going to make a burger, it might as well be the BEST DAMN BURGER you can think of making, ever.

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I’m getting ahead of myself but LOOK at that thing. It’s like a towering tower of succulent, gooey, fatty, protein laced, deliciously seasoned green and brown and yellow one eyed monster. Shoutout to my egg guy down the street, by the way. Sigh, oh how I wish I had chickens in my own backyard. Alas…

Let’s talk about this – you might think you know how to make a burger (and the chances are VERY good that you do) – but getting creative in terms of the construction of said burger is where there can perhaps be improvements.

Bread
Obviously, a burger is defined as a patty of some sort of meat or meat substitute placed between two pieces of burger bun. However, bread is an evil, evil temptress and she harbors the fugitive gluten in nearly every case. If Whole30 is your jam then, well, you can’t have that jam on bread. Also I’m pretty sure jam is out too. But I digress.

What can bread be replaced with? Well…..what other thing is round and can encapsulate something shaped like a burger?

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Burger & Portobello Mushroom, best friends forever. I mean, think about it. It’s round, it looks like a burnt bun, and as long as you don’t eat it with your hands you’ll probably have a marvelous time.

Think of other things that can replace the bread for a burger and try them out!

Cheese
Some people use burgers as a vehicle for cheese and some people use cheese as a vehicle for like mustard or something. But what IS cheese, really? It’s packed with flavor that is carried by fat. It can be sharp and I certainly will not say that there is a taste or texture equivalent that will match that cheesiness of cheese…however, when you really break it down cheese is fat, protein, and salt.

So a nice farm egg will do splendidly.

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I seriously think this burger was the most beautiful tower I’ve ever made. I didn’t even want to eat it after because it was so picturesque.

The Burger
The difference here isn’t really all that noticeable because the burger will still taste great with just salt and pepper. Some people put chopped onions and eggs in their burger patty meat. I am NOT of this philosophy. At ALL. But whatever you want to do to increase flavor is obviously fine with me.

I use high quality grassfed beef and whatever spices are calling out to me. Today it was smoked paprika (to add some smoke flavor to a pan-fried burger cause snow you guys), celtic sea salt, black pepper and just a pinch of turmeric.

 I did a simple pan sear (use coconut oil if you use stainless steel, I used cast iron and no oil) and then popped it in the oven with my portobello mushroom for 10 minutes. That was a perfect medium.
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Fries
I know, it’s easy to just be like um, fries are not part of a burger or why don’t you just make roasted sweet potatoes but I’d like us to get a little bit more creative.
Again – what do we get from fries? Fat, starch, salt, and satisfaction. Well, with enough olive oil (to finish) this can be achieved with sauteed greens too. I promise! Delicious sauteed greens can be AS satisfying if not more than a plate of greasy french fries or heavy sugary root vegetables. Plus, root vegetables can be triggers for some folks so you want to watch your reactions to them carefully.
In closing, there are three other benefits of sauteeing greens:
  • Greens like spinach, when consumed raw, have pretty high levels of oxalic acid. Eating a combination of raw and cooked greens are optimal for achieving an alkaline system (which is more beneficial than an acidic system).
  • Chewing can get tedious when you consider how much spinach you COULD be eating if you just sauteed it. I feel like I could saute an entire pound of spinach and it would end up being like 2 cups. No joke.
  • Garlic, helloooooooooooooo.

Ready to go grocery shopping? Here’s your list!


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Whole30 Burger Tower

1 8oz grassfed burger patty
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch turmeric
1 portobello mushroom cap
12 oz spinach
olive oil
1 farm egg, fried to your liking

1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Form burger patty and sprinkle spices on both sides.
3. In a cast iron pan, over medium high heat, sear burger 2-3 minutes per side. Place seared burger patty on parchment lined baking sheet and place mushroom cap beside patty. Place in a preheated oven and roast 10 minutes or longer for a more well-done burger.
4. Saute spinach in cast iron until wilted. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt – remove from heat and place in a pile in the middle of a plate. Fry farm egg and set aside.
5. Create your burger tower by layering portobello mushroom cap, face-up, over spinach and placing burger patty over mushroom. Gently place farm egg on top of burger and finish with black pepper, if desired. Enjoy immediately or just stare at it.


Suppers is a brain-based recovery program for preventing and reversing health problems with food. If you want to submit a story about how you achieved your goals by focusing on a diet of whole foods, please send in a story to Dor!

If you would like to join our mailing list, please send an email to our administration and let us know what interests you in health and/or cooking! To become a subscriber of The Purple Apron, email Allie and she’ll put you on the list!

As always, head to our website for recipes, tips, stories, meeting schedules, registration for workshops, and more! The Suppers Programs is dedicated to helping YOU make your own personal transition towards a healthier life. Join us and discover your path towards vibrant health, seated next to a caring Suppers member, enjoying a divine meal together!

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