That Beet Slaw

A Welcome From Dor

Dor photo by David CrowThe way I feel about superb chefs is similar to how I feel about scientists: I’m filled with admiration because they know things I don’t know. That makes them mysterious and wonderful, as long as they are benign.

I am a superb chef at heart, but not in fact. I’m a scientist at heart, but not in brain.

What my chef friend Marcia gave me was permission to stop adding ingredients, to stop being seduced by the lure of the complicated, and to allow the explosion of the true flavor of vegetables to blossom on my tongue. Honestly, it all started with a lowly beet. Raw…


Marcia’s Story: That Beet Slaw

20160911_145719You know how, when you learn something new, the whole world seems to be about that one thing? Well, for me, the world is all about that beet slaw. 

I am a private cooking instructor. People come to my house and pay top dollar to cook a sumptuous dinner together, then sit down for a dinner party. They pay for new recipes and the chance to cook together, something pretty rare in our world today. Often, the menus include whole foods – fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains perhaps, animal protein and fats, olive and nut oils. Unfortunately, I’ve also been bathing in heavy cream and wading through butter and sugar, teaching folks how to prepare what I call “entertainment food.” It’s elegant fare, and I’m proud of what I’ve created. But a dinner party for them has become a lifestyle for me, and it’s impossible for me to make a steady diet of these things and feel well. 

It’s easy to fall in love with the Suppers ideas. 

So I decided to try Suppers. At my first meeting, a mother with two young children said, “It was worth coming to this program for that one beet slaw recipe. My kids eat huge servings of raw beets whenever I make that slaw.”

I was skeptical. It is easy to fall in love with a food when you love the ideas around it. And it is easy to fall in love with the Suppers ideas. Fill your plate with the good stuff and ease out the bad, cook and eat with purpose in a communal setting, listen to your body…But that won’t cut it with my students, or with my family for that matter. 

How can I get more of this, and how soon?

At the next Suppers meeting, we made Sonja’s beet slaw again, this time with a mixture of sunny disks of golden beets and fine shreds of the blood red (owing to me experimenting with the blades on the food processor). A simple white balsamic vinaigrette and that was it. People just inhaled it. 

At home I shredded up the deeply colored beets with over-wintered parsnips and raw sweet potatoes! I added the first of this year’s lovage and sorrel, then sprinkled toasted pumpkin seeds on top. I made a simple vinaigrette from olive oil and my special wine vinegar.

My husband couldn’t stop eating it. That’s not the amazing part. The amazing part is that my college-age son went nuts for it too. I’d given him some leftover salad in a jar one day in the car as we was heading for his dorm. A few days later, he returned with some of his college friends in tow, and these were his exact words: “How can I get more of this, and how soon?”

I packed him off to the grocery store to buy the beets.

I realized that what the Suppers philosophy has going for it is the fundamental culinary principle of taste. If your body is starving for certain nutrients, it goes into orbit when you feed it those foods. The Suppers Programs operates on the principle that we as a culture have deprived ourselves of the pleasure, nutrients, and community that give a meal its soul. Suppers is about reincorporating that good stuff into our lives in an intentional and joyful way. And the entertainment food? Eventually, it just won’t fit on the plate.


Meals with Marcia, By Allie

48465d_e59e795f6cb742439f1316e9dd4a1081I should start by saying…I only eat beets because I know they’re good for me. Vegetables are great and everything, I’d go so far as to say they’re 90% fabulous but then there’s that 10% and beets have always made that list for me. Meaning they’re not my favorite or even my preference.

But sometimes, when prepared in delicious, fabulous ways, beets glide effortlessly into that 90%. Beets become sensational. This is one of those times.

The next delightful fact is that when it comes to delicious preparations of vegetables, the two women I trust the absolute mostest, you know, besides myself, are Dorothy Mullen and Marcia Willsie. These ladies know how things are done when it comes to flavor. And now you will too!


Flavor Savers

OK so if you’re going to be making this salad…or any salad really…there are some things you should know.

  • Pretty much no matter what happens, use seasonal produce whenever you can. Everything tastes better AND offers more nutrition when it is eaten in it’s season.
    • Beets have two vibrant seasons: Spring and Fall. Technically beets can grow as long as the sun is shining and the ground isn’t frozen solid. However just because something is growing does not mean it’s the optimal season. Just look at California: they grow tomatoes in the Springtime and yet they are nothing compared to a Jersey tomato picked in August.
      Pathetic in comparison. Really just sad. 
  • Remember lessons from flavor balance class:
    • Salt balances Acid
    • Bitter balances Sweet
    • Fat carries flavor over the tongue and adds richness
    • (Don’t worry about Umami for raw preparations, we’ll talk of that another time)
  • Salads are about texture as much as they are about flavor. If you are making a spinach salad, make sure to add something that goes CRUNCH! If you are making a beet slaw, make sure to add something that doesn’t require so much chewing. Like chiffonade collard greens lightly massaged, or Feta cheese. Or both.

Sidenote – did you guys know that there’s like a BUNCH of different varieties of beets? I only learned this when I started working on farms but red beets are not the only players in this ball game. Far from it! There are golden beets, of course, but there are also White Beets – the sweetest beet – and Chioggia Beets – these are pink and white inside they look sooooooooo pretty in slices!!!! Farmer David makes fun of me because I can’t say “Chioggia” without really trying and making it sound very dramatic but neither can any of our customers so who cares. In an unrelated story, I’m smarter than him.

The point is, don’t feel limited by your product. Feel inspired by it, feel invigorated by your growing knowledge of different products and how to use them. And always feel humbled by where we get to live and how much we get to see and use. Also, allow yourself to feel like you don’t know the best thing to do and let that lead you to look for answers instead of quit the process. If you’re using seasonal produce in the first place, you can’t make that many wrong turns. If you’re just learning about what’s in season when, well darlin – get your tush down to the farmer’s market and talk to a farmer.

There’s actually a book that I would recommend to anyone – particularly someone who isn’t as experienced at finding foods to pair with other foods – called The Flavor Bible. It’s FABULOUS, you guys. Whenever I’m stumped in the kitchen I know that I can turn to that book and find something to go with the ingredient causing confusion. Here’s a passionate excerpt:

“We taste with our hearts as much as with our tongues. What else could explain adult preferences for one’s mother’s dishes over those prepared by a great chef? This also helps to explain the lasting appeal of traditional dishes and cuisines of countries around the globe, which stem from our love for their cultures, their people, and the deeply rooted culinary traditions that have sustained them over centuries.” – Page, Dorneburg. 

I mean doesn’t that just make your heart SING?! What Marcia was talking about – the best part of making That Beet Slaw – in having her son come home asking for more. That moment of literal joy experienced by her son Tucker when he tasted Mom’s beet slaw and by Marcia in knowing that she made her son crave something healthy she made. That is what we all are looking for. It’s indescribable when you aren’t in the throes of the experience but it has to do with finding the perfect combination of flavor, texture, love, and timing, when it comes to making food for the people we love, that they love. 

Make sure that you put love into the food you are making. Your family can taste it with their hearts.


Step One: Look at how brilliantly beautiful beets are as you slice them up to pieces small enough to fit into your food processor hole thing.

For organic beets, I don’t peel mine. Especially not if I’m shredding the beets up. I just scrub em real good with my fingers or a veggie brush and slice off the tops and that’s pretty much it. You can peel them if you want to and I would definitely peel conventional beets before shredding. 

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Step Two: Using the shredding blade of your food processor, shred the beets up. If you don’t have a food processor, call me, you can borrow mine. Normally I would be like “eh, you can do it with a box grater” but no. Not for this.

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Step Three: Make your dressing! Marcia uses super interesting and elegant vinegars but the only thing that matters for this recipe is that you don’t use balsamic vinegar. That’s basically the only rule. You can use white balsamic, just not brown. It’ll make the salad look yucky. And things that look yucky are tasted suspiciously.  

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Step Four: Top with other stuff that you have prepared and serve! That’s really it. You’re done. No, step away from the cutting board. It’s just that easy.

I used some finely chiffonade collard greens and some chunks of feta that I crumbled with my hands. You can use anything you want! 

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Sonja’s Beet Slaw, Marcia Style

2 bunches (about 6 small) organic golden and red beets, scrubbed real good and sliced (I know it’s supposed to be “scrubbed well” I’m just being literary. OK Mom?)
3 Tablespoons champagne vinegar (or white balsamic, or white Pinot, or anything white except Distilled White Vinegar. That’s for cleaning and pickles.)
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt and white pepper
lemon juice if necessary

Topping Suggestions
Dairy: Crumbled Feta or Goat Cheese
Greenery: Chiffonade kale, collards, spinach, or basil
Nuts: Crumbled walnuts, sliced almonds, toasted cashew nuts
Crunchy Vegetables: Shredded cabbage, carrot, scallion, red onion
Animal Protein: Grilled chicken, Blackened salmon, Grilled shrimp, Seared Ahi Tuna

  1. In a food processor set with a shredding blade, shred all beets. Place into a bowl and, using a set of tongs, toss with vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Beets should be gleaming and their color brighten with the oil. Taste for balance. Add salt and more acid if necessary. I sometimes add a squeeze of lemon juice if the acid is too sweet and not sharp enough. Lemon juice usually does the trick. Lime would work here as well. 
  2. Top with ingredients of choice and serve.

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 head over to our website to sign up and fill out a questionnaire – that will 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!

Suppers social resources:

Suppers Website
Facebook Page
Instagram handle @suppersprograms

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How You Feel Is Data

The Purple Apron is a Little Different This Week

The Suppers Programs is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating friendly spaces for individuals to transition themselves towards a healthier lifestyle. As a grassroots program, Suppers relies on partnerships and collaborations for success. Our new partner, the Institute for Responsible Nutrition, has brought such wonderful things to Suppers – awareness, support, collaboration, and friendship.

This week’s post we will be attempting to return the favor by highlighting the IRN, which recently launched a nationwide 10 Day Real Food Challenge that you can easily join from your computer right now (after reading the rest of our blog, obviously). If you want to see what Day 1 looks like, head straight here. (Note the Preferred Recipe Partner…they look pretty familiar to me…)

The IRN is an amazingly complete resource – from their fantastic website to their great staff and relentless advocation for a reduction in the consumption of processed food and white sugar. They know what to present, how to present it, and they stand as an incredibly strong pillar, right beside us, on top of this tidal wave of a movement. And the best part about IRN for Suppers is that they think we’re pretty amazing too. Read more from Dor.

A Welcome From Dor

Dor photo by David CrowHow you feel is data. This fact never goes away. Recently I was interviewed by the Institute for Responsible Nutrition about this most important concept at Suppers. We thought we’d take this opportunity to share the post because your most valuable, untapped, deeply wise and accurate source of information about your health is you!

Please visit the IRN’s Interview with Dorothy by clicking HERE and read about our most treasured concept at Suppers. 

Since two of our super savvy members with insulin-dependent diabetes — Audelle and Karen — both had revelations with a muffin that literally takes five minutes to make we’re sharing the recipe.

If Audelle and Karen can learn a lot about their bodies from a five-minute muffin, maybe you can too. 

Microwaving in Minutes, By Allie

48465d_e59e795f6cb742439f1316e9dd4a1081I actually don’t have a microwave. Not because I’m like against microwaving (though I’m definitely not FOR microwaving over other high heat cooking methods necessarily) but because I just don’t have one yet. Microwaves are expensive.

Good thing there’s one downstairs on the furnished level of this historic house I just moved into. Bad thing: moving. It’s the worst.

Let’s talk about these muffins though. I have heard of the popular Pintrest “microwavable birthday cake” thing where you put some flour, eggs, sugar, etc. into a coffee mug and then microwave it and then it’s a birthday cake. They are always yucky though – like they don’t taste good. I’ve always regarded it as a good present anyways because everybody loves ironic or otherwise funny coffee mugs!

              For example: il_340x270.549977271_g9s4

Anyways when I heard about the recent success that Karen and Audelle had with “nut and seed muffins” during The Suppers Breakfast Challenge  I was again skeptical. But then I made them and they. Are. SO COOL! They taste unbelievably surprisingly delicious – I never ever would have expected them to taste so good but they really do! Of all the recipes I have suggested to you over these beautiful 21 or so weeks, I really hope you make this one the most.

It’ll take you five minutes of your day. Let’s just get right to it yes?


Step One: Combine dry ingredients in a beautiful, funny, or ironic coffee mug using a fork. Separately, combine wet ingredients in a dish with same fork.

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Step Two: Mix wet into dry until ingredients are well incorporated. Really make sure there is nothing on the bottom or you’ll have dry almond and flaxmeal in your muffin instead of softness and bubbles.

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Step Three: Pop in the microwave and wait 1-2 minutes. Muffin will blow up (not explode) magically and then relax after it is done. Yes, it sort of doesn’t look great so I dumped mine on a plate and then topped it off.

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Step Four: Top with some cool berries or a scoop of yogurt if you’re like me, enjoy!

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Magic Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Fiber-Rich Flax & Almond Muffin in a Mug

2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 Tablespoons almond meal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
stevia to taste (for sweetness)
1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 Tablespoons water

1. Combine dry ingredients in a mug. Mix in coconut oil, vanilla, egg, and water and microwave for 1-2 minutes.

To vary, add one of the following:

A Tablespoon of almond butter
A few berries, chopped
A Tablespoon of chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews) or seeds (hemp, sesame, pumpkin)
1 Tablespoon cacao plus 1 Tablespoon instant coffee for a Mocha Muffin
Your choice!

Due to very high fiber content, be sure to drink 8oz water/tea/liquid with muffin. 

As always, head to the Suppers website, our Facebook page, and our Instagram @suppersprograms for all of your recipe needs, beautiful photo needs, and experimenting curiosity! How You Feel is Data – don’t let another day go by without listening to your body. It’s the only one that will talk to you. 

Latkes

A Welcome From Dor

Dor photo by David CrowI can argue for a role for food in just about any scenario: health, illness, mental illness, failed or successful marriages, armies that march on their stomachs, and the rise and fall of civilizations. But even I know it’s not just about the food. Our relationship with food and ability to digest it and turn it into who we are require time and honor. You don’t have to be experienced at meditation to call more mindfulness into the way you eat. You can select eating according to your intentions instead of your impulses. Even just two minutes dedicated to mindful eating can shift how you relate to food.

Dee and Stella’s Story: Latkes

As a frequent guest speaker at Suppers meetings, I get asked lots of questions, including many I don’t know the answer to. One of my favorites is how to start meditating. That came up at a lunch meeting in a busy office building. The members scrambled in, experienced a bunch of details for 50 minutes, and raced out to beat the clock. “Could you please teach us how to hurry up and relax?”

There were a few things wrong with the question, but I understood what they meant. We frequently do brief meditations at meetings, so I offered a classic mindfulness exercise.

(Try it at your own meeting. Provide a small bowl of raisins or sunflower seeds, and read this with a pause after each sentence.)


Mindfulness Exercise

Please take a breath and let it go.

And just notice the feel of your body in your chair.
Just notice how your body moves as you breathe in. And out.

Now pass around the bowl of raisins.
Take a couple and place them in the palm of your hand.
Look at the raisins and notice how they feel in your palm.

And how they look.
Are they all the same?
Note the differences in color, texture, and form from one raisin to the next.

Now feel the raisins with the tips of your fingers.
Roll them between your fingers.
How do they feel?
Do they feel the same to your fingertips as to your palms?
If not, how are they different?

Bring your hand to your nose.
Smell the raisins.
How do they smell?
Do they remind you of anything?
Anywhere?

Now close your eyes, and bring your hand to your mouth.
Gently place the raisins on your tongue and just notice how they feel.
Let your tongue move them around and notice how they feel between your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Next notice how your mouth feels.
Does the presence of raisins make you salivate?
Let yourself now chew the raisins, over and over, with no intention to swallow them.
How does the taste change as you continue to chew?

Say to yourself the word “raisins” and let them slip down your throat.


When they fluttered their eyes open, one of the members, Stella, said she had never heard of eating mindfully before and that she’d like to try it after the holiday. Her downfall? Potato latkes. A recently diagnosed type 2 diabetic, she knew she had to learn to resist her favorite treats. “My father always said, the best form of exercise is pushing yourself away from the table. My mother didn’t agree. She was all for piling latkes on our plates. Dad could eat six and stop. Me, I’d have that many down before the sour cream even made it around to me.”

So Stella made herself a Suppers Experiment. She would make a batch of latkes, set the table for herself, and do the raisin meditation with a crispy, salty, warm potato latke.

“There is no way I’m giving up latkes,” said Stella. “But I will commune with six, instead of inhaling a dozen.”


 

Taking The “Potato” Out of the Potato Latke for Stella, By Allie

48465d_e59e795f6cb742439f1316e9dd4a1081There’s this weird thing that only exists in America and, unlike a lot lot lot of weird things that only exist in America — this one may not be so desperately unhealthy.

It’s the Big Salad. (Do you guys watch Seinfeld? Remember when Elaine introduced the Big Salad? It’s a thing.) The non-elusive Big Salad can be found in many sit down restaurants and is often around the size of a pro-wrestler’s head. Assuming one can help out with cheese/fried chicken/dressing related situations, The Big Salad is pretty much a way of stuffing oneself with a gigantic pile of vegetables.

Aaaaaaaaand……..I’m having a problem with having a problem with that.

So when I was reading Stella’s story about being a Potato Latke monster not only did I empathize with that (cause potato + fried + sour cream = duh) but I also have spent many a Seder enjoying latkes made without potatoes. And they’re equally delicious. I’ll show you how.

Step One: Shred root vegetables of choice. Today we are using beets, green zucchini, and parsnip. Tip: for jobs requiring a lot of vegetables, use the shredding blade of your food processor and be done in seconds. 

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You’re not reduced to summer squash alone, although it is certainly not something I would leave out. Use any number of softish/crunchy vegetables (and use them in combinations) like:
Parsnips     Carrots     Beets     Rutabaga     Sweet Potato     Peppers     Your Choice!

Step Two: Place shredded zucchini in a colander and toss with a good pinch of salt. Place colander over a plate and let sit for at least one hour. Draining excess moisture from vegetables (especially zucchini/carrot) will help in the frying process and make those latkes nice and crispy!

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Step Three: Mince onions, scallions, leeks, garlic, or any member of the allium family. In a large bowl, combine shredded, drained vegetables with minced onion, a pinch of sea salt, and lightly beaten eggs. Mixture should be coated entirely in eggs but not swimming in eggs (at all).

Step Four: This is the only time I will ever suggest this: it’s traditional (and makes a big flavor difference) to fry latkes in Olive Oil. I know. Olive oil has a sadly low smoke point (that point in which fat molecules are chemically altered from too much heat) and I would normally suggest something like coconut or vegetable oil for the fry. But not in this case. A proper fry oil temperature is no lower than 350.

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Step Five: Make patties that fit the palm of your hand and begin to fry latkes. Fry around 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Top with sea salt while still wet from oil and set aside until they are all done. Serve immediately!

 


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Vegetable Latkes

1 green zucchini, shredded
1 large beet, shredded
1 large parsnip, shredded
pinch sea salt
1 red onion, minced
4 eggs, lightly beaten
olive oil, for frying
toppings of your choice!

1. Place shredded vegetables in a colander placed over a plate and toss with a good pinch of sea salt. Let shredded vegetables sit at least 1 hour to drain as much moisture as possible. If you don’t have the hour, let them sit 20 minutes and then squeeze with hands over colander to drain. 
2. In a large bowl, combine drained vegetables, minced onion, and eggs and mix until all vegetables are well coated with egg.
3. Add enough oil to generously coat the bottom of a large skillet and place over medium low heat.
3. Make palm sized patties from vegetable egg mixture and gently drop into hot oil. Fry 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. *Sometimes I fry on both sides and then lower heat to low, allowing hearty root veggies like beets to cook through. Place fried patties on a paper towel and sprinkle with some sea salt to finish. Serve immediately with applesauce, sour cream, or a topping of your choice.

 

Play It to the End

A Welcome By DorDor photo by David Crow

Honestly, when you seduce yourself into eating something that part of you knows you really don’t want to be eating, are you thinking about how icky you’ll feel an hour later?  Or how tired you’ll be?  Or how angry you’ll be with yourself?  There is something about the human brain that anticipates how marvelous you’re going to feel 5 minutes, 2 hours, or a day in advance of having a food that’s more like a drug for you.  But whether it’s the 5 minutes or the day in advance, we don’t anticipate with equal clarity the lethargy, craving or regret that comes an hour later.  Our imaginations don’t automatically play the scenario to the end.
Ed‘s Story helps Suppers members pluck anticipation from the dicey grip of the automatic and place it in the arms of conscious eating.  Give it a try and leave us a comment.

Ed’s Story: Play It to the End

This is not my idea originally, but I got a lot of credit at our meeting for bringing it into our group. It’s an activity called “Play It to the End.”

The issue was self sabotage.

Everybody in our group attends Suppers in the hope of turning around long-term eating patterns that have gotten us into a lot of trouble.

Some of us are literally digging our graves with our forks. We’ve eaten out of control until the diagnosis of Diabetes stirred the fear of God in us. Our eyes were wide open. Every time we put something in our mouths, we were there (if not consciously present). Some of us knew it ran in our families. Still, we dug deeper.

One member said her best form of self-sabotage was continuing to socialize with people whose favorite activities were eating and drinking. Another said she could trick herself every time by telling herself, “Oh, I’ll just eat two.” Wrong. Two equals twenty. Most of us had some experience with the skip-breakfast-save-calories logic. Bad. But the form of self-sabotage we all did over and over was to seduce ourselves into eating by blindly anticipating the pleasures of eating, without remembering the consequences. 

So my contribution to Suppers is the activity called “Play It to the End.” Here’s how it works.

Ed’s Exercise: Play It to the End

The speaker recounts a made-up story about indulging in a favorite – and problematical – food, but has to tell the whole story, including the part about the consequences. This is “playing the tape to the end.” Here’s my story.

We are at a reception and the dessert table is beckoning. There is a cheesecake dripping with cherry sauce, three kinds of chocolate cake, a key lime pie, champagne flutes of chocolate mousse, and five kinds of cookies. I take slivers of each of the chocolate cakes. I am in heaven. The one with a layer of chocolate ganache is especially delicious. I go back for a bigger slice, plus a wedge of key lime pie and a few cookies. For ten minutes I am totally happy. I swallow the last bite. Now it’s all in my stomach. I think about the calories, the fact that it’s 9 p.m., and how I’ll probably be up for three hours in the middle of the night after so much sugar and stimulation. Of course I sleep badly. I feel bloated and disgusting. I kick myself for forgetting the consequences of last night blasts of sugar.

I have imagined the first part of scenes like this again and again, but for some reason remembering the whole experience doesn’t come automatically. The automatic part of my brain only recalls the anticipation of the eating. It requires my full, conscious participation to recall the consequences, but I have spared myself many nights of lost sleep since I learned to play my eating scenarios to the end. 

Let members share their imaginary experiences of anticipating, eating, and then feeling the consequences of consuming a food that acts more like a drug for them. To help you get started, you may use a prompt:

  • There was a bowl of chocolates on the table…
  • Everybody wanted to go for ice cream…
  • I am passing my favorite fast food joint and…

The Best, Worst Diet Ever, By Allie

48465d_e59e795f6cb742439f1316e9dd4a1081Wanna hear a story about reckless self-sabotage? I’m going to tell you a story that is going to totally result in your mind being blown.

Years and years ago, when The Biggest Loser was still a thing and no one had died from diet pill + dangerous workout related reasons, there was this contest amongst some friends of mine. It was January when it started at work. People were complaining of having some extra pounds and matter on their bodies post-holiday and how they needed some incentive to help drop the weight. At some point, coworkers came up with the idea of doing a “Biggest Loser” contest through work. These were the rules:

1. An individual would buy in to the pot for 50 bucks.
2. Everyone would weigh in in the beginning and then spend 2 1/2 months working hard at dropping weight. At the end of the 2 1/2 months, everyone would weigh in again.
3. The individual that had lost the largest percentage of their original weight would take home the pot, which inflated to about $450 before the contest began.

I wasn’t interested in entering the contest but I kept my ears open. This was when my interest in Nutrition was growing like a germinating seed – I heard some things I didn’t like. 

“I’m going to JUST EAT chicken and broccoli” (for two and a half months?)

“I’m going to run three miles every day!” (no, you’re not.)

There were others. Another obvious goal that everyone had was to binge eat their faces off on the day of the weigh in, presumably because that meal would come off easily. It was all ridiculous and some were so unattainable that I scoffed at the whole idea. One day, before the weigh in, I lunched with one of the contestants-t0-be.

Now, this individual was actually a good candidate for dropping weight fast, and for some not-so-good reasons.

Our subject:

  • Was an insomniac 
  • Worked as a server throughout the day and into the night
  • Moonlighted as a baker from midnight to 5am in 90 – 105 degree conditions
  • Ate around 7,500 calories everyday, at least

Calorie wise, this day was no different. As I watched him chomp his way through two entire, cascading orders of french fries before even getting into the two gigantic, 800 calorie sandwiches sitting pleasantly on the side, I wasn’t amazed. I had seen it before. He said, confidently,

“You know, Allison. The only reason I eat like this is because I burn a lot of calories, really fast, between the bakery, not sleeping, and here at the restaurant. So really I could win this contest easily, just by eating only ONE sandwich and ONE order of french fries.” I laughed at his eccentricity, which didn’t surprise me but also didn’t NOT amuse me.

Jokingly, I said,

“Honey, you could win this contest by eating nothing but Candy Bars!” Immediately I knew that I should never, ever have said that. His eyes widened. He smiled in a crazy, mad-scientist way. And he said,

“That’s a great idea. I’m gonna do that!”

Do you know that he did that? He really did it. He spent 2 1/2 months eating candy bars. He was allowed to drink whatever he wanted (but you know in the entire 75 days it was never a smoothie, not once) and he had three “gimme” days which were previously planned dinners or events, like the Superbowl.

On those days the only green vegetable he ate was the shredded iceberg lettuce positioned underneath a pile of guacamole, and a seaweed salad. I wrote down everything he ate and drank every single day. We also recorded how he felt on days where he was feeling a certain type of way. For instance, one day he told me that he thought he was going to die. He would wake up in the middle of the night with heart palpitations and drink a milkshake to alleviate the feeling. That happened three times. If that isn’t self-sabotage, I don’t know what is. I begged him to stop but he stayed with this ridiculous diet.

At the end of the 2 1/2 months, everyone gathered back for a final weigh in, looking svelt but a little tired. Our subject’s biggest contender was a man who later went on to become a local personal trainer and owner of a popular chain fitness center. He spent his 2 1/2 months working out Rocky style and eating kale. They all kissed it up to the sky and got on the scale, me wondering if my subject would prevail…

And he won. He really won. He lost 41 pounds in 75 days eating mostly candy bars and milkshakes. Obviously he probably destroyed a whole bunch of cells, compromised his insulin sensitivity, gave away millions of strands of proteins out of his muscles and vitamins out of his liver to make up for the lack of nutrient density, and possibly secured a Type II Diabetes diagnosis for later in life but in addition to all of that the kid proved something scary about the typical American dieter: treating your body with extreme carelessness can result in tighter belts. So I guess you have to look at this example and ask yourself: what matters to you?

Does it matter how much you weigh MORE 
Than it matters How You Feel and MORE
Than how you treat your body

Self-sabotage comes in a meritage of varietals, pun intended. They say that willpower is at risk from the moment you awaken, as there is a limited allotment of willpower offered to each individual per day. How can we combat this? Can Ed’s exercise help us to fight our own brain chemistry or does even thinking about chocolate cause chocolate to be eaten? What are the implications of the story of the baker and his candy bar diet? Unlike Morgan Sperlock’s Supersize Me our subject did not give himself fatty liver disease and he didn’t even gain weight. I will never understand how his body survived such a dangerously low level of nutrients but what became clear was that most American dieters don’t actually care about ingredients. They don’t even care about calories. They care about the scale. And if all you care about is a number then self-sabotage becomes entirely available. It sometimes comes out in the form of an eating disorder (either bingeing or starving) but it always has to do with willpower.

At Suppers, we learn to recognize our lack of willpower and we learn to plan around it and for it. We plan on making mistakes – we expect ourselves to demonstrate weakness. We see recognition as a strength because recognition leads to planning and planning leads to success. 

Every day, I plan on me being a cookie monster and I plan on my no-cookie-angel having made something to slap the monster with. In order to win the battle my snack MUST be:

  • Already prepared
  • In the cabinet, NOT the refrigerator
  • Be full of protein and taste super salty and umami

Have I bored you enough for this week? Let’s begin. We’re going to make Tamari Almonds.

Step One: Toast almonds.

You know, just so you know, toasting almonds isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. You have to keep them moving or they will burn! My friend does hers in an oven and she always says, “If I can smell ’em, I already burnt ’em.” That’s why I do mine in a pan.
She’s crazy.

Pour in 1 cup of almonds at a time, that way they all stay flat and even. Then swirl the pan around every few seconds to keep them moving. If you flip an almond over and see a tiny black dot of burned almond flesh, lower your heat honey, you goin too fast.

Use your nose to decide when they’re done! They should smell like…well, like almonds. It takes anywhere from 3-4 minutes, depending on your heat and the type of pan used.

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Step Two: Pour in 1/4 cup of Tamari (Gluten Free Soy Sauce) ALL AT ONCE and immediately, IMMEDIATELY, begin to swirl those almonds around and around. Use a wooden spoon or high heat spatula to help out if you need. This process takes about 90 seconds and it is loud at first. Don’t be scared, everything will be ok.

Once almost all of the liquid has evaporated REMOVE FROM HEAT and pour onto parchment paper. There should only really be, if anything, some syrupy Tamari remaining in the pan with the almonds. It should look like this:

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That’s it! These almonds store for weeks, IF you can keep yourself from munching on them. One serving of almonds is around 12 individual pieces tops. They are high in calories but like we learned, calories don’t mean nearly as much as ingredients and ingredients don’t guarantee weight loss or weight gain.

Learn yourself. Plan for weakness. Recognize success. Reward yourself with almonds.


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Tamari Toasted Almonds

1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
1/4 cup Tamari (Gluten Free Soy Sauce)

1. In a stainless steel pan over medium high heat, add almonds and spread evenly across pan. Toast almonds 3-4 minutes, moving them constantly around pan to prevent them from burning. They are done when you can smell them and they smell like almonds.
2. Pour tamari into pan all at once and immediately begin swirling nuts around, using a high heat spatula or wooden spoon to help if necessary. Continue to stir and move very frequently, watching tamari evaporate slowly – it will take around 90 seconds for this to happen.
3. Once tamari has entirely or nearly evaporated and all that remains in the pan are the almonds and perhaps a bit of syrup, remove pan from heat quickly. Pour coated almonds onto a piece of parchment paper place on the counter or a baking sheet and try to separate once on sheet. Let dry and cool, then store in a glass jar in the cabinet.

As always, head to Suppers for recipe ideas, a calendar of meetings you would like to join, and some media on eating better and the support offered at Suppers.

We all self-sabotage but we don’t all recognize it. Learn how at Suppers – start by sharing your story with us below, we want to support your recognition.

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!

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.

The Clean Program

for purple apron

A Welcome By Lee Yonish

One of the first questions people ask is, “Do I really have to give up coffee?” This seems to be a reasonable question, given that the Clean cleanse prescribes a relatively reasonable plan. Yet perhaps because The Clean Program allows for such a wide array of options, one automatically assumes caffeine may be one of them. Another sticking point for some are the liquid meals: the daily smoothie for breakfast and soup for dinner. Not being able to “crunch” on something can be tough to get used to.

Nonetheless, despite some of these sacrifices, this cleanse works wonders for many people, mainly because they get the opportunity to see how good they can feel — how light, un-bloated, energetic, clear-minded — when eating a variety of real foods, as opposed to a clear liquid diet or a restrictive food diet.

The Clean Program seems to be a highly effective mainstream cleanse, for folks who may not have any chronic health issues but who just feel “ick” from the holidays or from falling back on some old habits. Whatever the case, there is definitely a lot of planning and cooking involved, but mindfulness and a new appreciation for eating are certain to result if you can hang in there.

A Note From Audelle…

Currently the Dr. Junger’s website found here is hosting a 21 Day Detox with free support online and a lot of downloadable/printable information with registration. Participation in this detox started just a few days ago but registration is open. Sometimes cleansing with a group makes things a little easier to swallow. 

Power Smoothies by Allie

48465d_e59e795f6cb742439f1316e9dd4a1081When detox diets are like “you can eat these foods and these other foods but you can’t eat those foods or these things that pretend to be foods but aren’t really foods though” I’m like “you can eat food! Woohoo!” (fist pumping ensues). Lee mentioned that a point of contention folks seem to have with this detox includes the rule about sticking to two drinkable meals per day and zero caffeine. I can get behind the loss of caffeine thing because, well…because coffee. Hearts. However, smoothies (drinkable meals) are a brilliant creation.

The thing about smoothies is that you can nearly. Put. ANYthing. In. A. Smoothie. Do you have a blender? Good, because you can put anything in the blender (within reason) and then add a liquid and then press “On” and then drink what the blender makes. To me, that has always carved the way for more boosters in my diet. Boosters include:

Powdered seaweeds (Spirulina is my favorite because it’s naturally sweet)
Spices like Turmeric and Cinnamon
Chia seeds & Flaxseeds
Maca Powder (a superfood root veggie from South America, which might not be allowed in The Clean Program because of the starch/rootness)
Cacao Powder
Chlorophyl Drops (It’s like we extracted everything good and green from the inside of a kale leaf and put it in a little bottle with a little dropper. Don’t ever drop this bottle, it will dye ANYthing it touches green)
and more!

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Chia Seeds are an excellent source of Omega fatty acids and soluble fiber. They can be used as egg replacers in baking too! However, experts disagree on their overall value.

Don’t feel pigeonholed by the fruit industry when you are making your smoothies.
Veggies need love too. 

Spinach
is creamier than kale in a smoothie but kale packs twice the nutrients in half the serving. They are both high in oxalic acid so remember to eat your greens cooked often.
Carrots are great if you have a strong blender but if you don’t you can steam them, store them in the fridge, and add them to smoothies for a softer result.
In the summertime, Summer Squash adds a nice mild flavored, foamy bulk.
Cooked Beans add thickness, protein, and flavor.

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Once you have all of your desired ingredients, just throw them into a blender and blend until very smooth! Drink up quickly and revel in the fact that you have just injected a multitude of micronutrients into your system. One time I was really into my Jack LaLanne juicer and I juiced like…everything I could find in my kitchen and drank it. That wasn’t the best idea in the world because about five minutes after I drank like a liter of fresh juice I started running an insane fever, my face turned red, my heart started racing and I thought I was going to die. Probably too many B Vitamins all at once.

Smoothies have more insoluble fiber than juice so the nutrient extraction takes longer and doesn’t result in a Niacin Flush, which is what I think happened to me. Terrifying.

DSC_0783Clean Program Mango Lime Chia Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup frozen mango
1 cup greens (spinach, kale, etc.)
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 green apple, cored
3 baby carrots or 1 medium carrot
1 heaping Tablespoon Chia seeds
1 cup mango puree or fresh juice
1 cup water

Procedure

1.  Combine ingredients in a blender starting with frozen ingredients and ending with liquids.
2.  Blend until very smooth and drink immediately.

The Master

A Welcome By Allie

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GUYS! You guys. Guys. I think Dorothy said it best when she mentioned “Cleansing is not for the faint of heart.” It isn’t. And The Master Cleanse — an entirely liquid diet consisting of rather harsh ingredients — is no exception.

Some people swear by The Master Cleanse.

By all accounts this is their official website, offering the recipe (there is only one recipe because you only consume one thing) and any literature on the cleanse including books, articles, etc. My good friend — a sweet, handsome, and wonderful Physical Trainer/Nutrition enthusiast — performs this cleansing on his body annually. He suffers from G.I. disturbance on a regular basis and according to him The Master Cleanse helps to re-regulate his system, kickstart his gut, and detoxifies his skin, brain, and intestines. Other folks have not had similar reactions to this cleanse. This cleanse…you guys. It’s serious.

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There have been people who have suffered the loss of whole communities of probiotics in their gut, for example.

Considering that this is a liquid diet of very few calories many individuals have lost a reputable number of pounds on this cleanse, only to gain those pounds back quickly after its completion. This is unsurprising. Another unsurprising thing is the possibility of the loss of muscle mass. It’s nearly impossible to work out while on this cleanse if your workout includes picking up heavy things and putting them back down. 

So maybe it’s for you and maybe it isn’t for you. The only way to find out is to run an experiment on your body. So that is what I did. It was supposed to be for five days to be followed by another five days if I could still keep up. However, I only made it three days before I absolutely could no longer in any way for any reason continue The Master Cleanse. 

Good things that happened:
* I noticed my skin looked more vibrant, more hydrated, brighter, and clear.
* I lost weight, not too much though, since I didn’t even get close to the end.
* Actually I had a lot of energy considering what I was demanding of my body.

Bad things that happened:
* Pain.
* Drinking salt water is horrifyingly disgusting.
* I need time before I can have lemons again and lemons are my favorite.

So. Experiment. You’ll never really know if something doesn’t work for you unless you try.

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Spicy Lemonade

This recipe is for one whole day’s worth of lemonade.

12 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (6 lemons)
12 Tablespoons Organic Grade B Maple Syrup
3 Tablespoons Organic Blackstrap Molasses
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
60 oz water

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large jar or pitcher and portion into six separate 10 ounce servings. Keep refrigerated.

Blackstrap Molasses is NOT a part of the original Master Cleanse recipe but it contains a number of essential minerals not found in the ingredients offered and is a popular addition. 

If you are concerned about probiotics consider adding a probiotic pill to your cleanse. 

Salt Water Flush

This part is technically optional but I think a very important element of this cleanse. To be done at least 2 hours after your last lemonade and 2 hours before you need to go anywhere or do anything away from home.

1 Tablespoon Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Rock Salt
32 oz water

  1. Combine in a large glass or plastic jar and drink in less than five minutes.

After drinking the salt water, lay on your right side for 30 minutes to help the water make it through your system efficiently.

That about covers it — Happy Cleansing Month! If you have any stories to share from the front lines, please don’t hesitate to comment on our blog page, Facebook, or email us something to share! As always, please look towards Suppers for all of your recipe needs!

 

 

No Room For Fruit

A Welcome By Dor

Allow me to introduce you to Susan, one of the original Suppers, and one of the most ornery, resistant, difficult and delightful success stories I’ve ever met.  Susan has grappled with so much pathology around food that we have shared several of her stories over the years, as small insights inched her closer and closer to normal weight and the release from compulsions around food.
Susan’s story drives home Suppers absolute, non-negotiable dedication to honoring biological individuality above all else.
It was 59 years of dieting, binges, anxiety and therapy before she came to understand that it was food that was driving her compulsive eating.
She lived to eat her trigger foods and was indifferent to the rest.  Hers was a journey into understanding her individual biological needs.
When you read this week’s post, remember that Susan is a gifted psychotherapist. She has helped hundreds of people.  But it took decades of feeling fat, eating compulsively, dieting brutally and finally doing the right experiment to be released from her food prison.

Susan’s Story – No Room For Fruit

I was so resistant to changing the way I eat that the best I could do was add one piece of fruit a week to my diet, and I only did that to make Dor happy.

The mind of a woman with disordered eating has its own special way of calculating food value, and I can tell you, it’s not pretty. My eating pattern was to starve on the days I was being “good” and binge on the days I felt out of control. In spite of having an advanced degree in social work and decades of experience as a talk therapist, I didn’t have the presence or logic to call myself on my even more disordered thinking. In my mind, eating a piece of fruit on a day I was being “good”seemed like too many calories.  How dare Dor suggest I eat one piece of fruit per week! That was 60 calories I had other plans for. I did the right thing for the wrong reason – if you can call social pressure a wrong reason – and submitted to eating a weekly piece of fruit.

My second step was more productive.  I used to get very angry and food driven after work,wanting to kill anything or anyone who got between me and my after-work food. Dor actually put lentils in my refrigerator and told me to eat two tablespoons at 4 p.m., a prophylactic dose.   I did, and it changed my life.  The lentils stabilized my blood sugar so that my after-work mood was smoother and less driven.

The lentils convinced me that eating differently could have an impact on my eating drives, and over the following years I became increasingly more able to eat foods that stabilized my urges and my weight, but it still took effort and I still experienced compulsive eating.

The biggest change occurred less than a year ago.  My husband had joined a one-month paleo cleanse hosted by Jess, a Suppers facilitator, to see if it would help with the arthritis in his hands.  Bolstered by the group support he found at  Suppers, he was successful in conforming to the new way of eating.

He effortlessly lost seven pounds and got rid of the pain in his hands.  

Being a compulsive eater, I was most impressed with his weight loss.   On a day I was feeling particularly fat, I decided to try a month of a modified Paleo diet. It was a stunning success for me. After a lifetime of being convinced that I couldn’t feel satisfied without a starch, I gave up all grains for a month. In a short time, I felt free of binges and cravings. To my astonishment, I lost 10 pounds without effort in nine months, my binge eating vanished, my cravings greatly reduced, and I actually learned to love my diet, which is rich with vegetables, protein and delicious healthy fats.

I had searched for 59 years for a way to treat my compulsive eating, having been set on the path at age 12 when the family doctor and my mother started me on Dexedrine and thyroid meds. In all those years I had never entertained the possibility that it was food itself that drove my compulsions. I can’t be the only woman whose disordered eating was launched by her adults.

By profession I am a psychotherapist. I have spent many years in individual and group therapy trying to understand the psychodynamic reasons for my overeating.

For a long time I have had a good understanding of the emotional and psychological stories that I believed caused my compulsiveness, but still I struggled with my food and weight demons. Now I am free.

In my case, I was surrounded for years by Suppers messages that in my mind applied to other people but not to me, all the while hearing about other people’s successes while standing up for my God-given need to eat starch. But I did absorb the message that some people have life-changing experiences after making simple changes in how they eat. I hope my story will function as a nick in the armor of people’s stories, if they defend a way of eating that’s actually keeping them fat or sick.It leaves me with this question.

Are our stories really as important as we think in contributing to our disordered eating? Is it possible that it is primarily or even totally the food we eat? The only way I know to find out is to make experiments. If I hadn’t, I would still be eating one piece of fruit a week.


Searing Steak For Susan, by Allie

So one time I was at this party in Princeton and I had JUST come from waitressing so it was pretty late and pretty much everyone had left except a girlfriend of mine and this guy she was hanging out with, who turned out to be her brother. I was weary, not as feisty as I am normally, and in favor of having a calm, non-challenging conversation with her and her brother. Eventually we got around to what we do for work (as young people who have just met tend to talk about early on in conversation) and I was like, “oh, I’m a chef” and went on to discuss my very first cooking job, which was on Long Beach Island at an adorable vegan deli called Living on the Veg. So THIS guy (her brother) is like,

“Oh, so then, do you know how to cook meat?” And I’m like,

“Yeah. I can cook anything. I’m trained as a chef.” So he’s like,

“Well I bet I can cook a steak better than you.” And I’m like,

“Do you? Cause you should know that that’s not the case.” (Banter).

We set a date for the challenge, there were non-partisan judges invited to sit at the panel, worksheets printed for them to fill out, rules written, and steaks cooked. And guess who won? It was me, I won. Ned, my opponent, would, has, and will continue to say that I won “on a technicality,” and I would answer that I did win on a technicality–because my score was TECHnically higher than his. We’ve been dating for almost two years now.

Here’s some tips for cooking steak and broccoli, which are two of the easiest things that you can cook in the shortest amount of time, ever.

Step One: Salt and pepper your steak. You can be generous. This is also the time to add any other dried seasonings you desire.

IMG_1836 I just did salt and pepper. I’m a simple girl.
Step Two: Heat up a stainless steel skillet and sear your steak to desired doneness using the handy chart below.
IMG_1842 Adding some fat to your pan would help make this particular steak look more appetizing.
To sear a steak on a pan, always cook one minute extra on the first side, then flip and finish other side. 
Doneness     Time for 3/4 Thick             Time for 1-inch Thick
Rare                2 minutes / 1 minute        3 minutes / 2 minutes
Med Rare      3 minutes / 2 minutes      4 minutes / 3 minutes
Medium        4 minutes / 3 minutes      5 minutes / 4 minutes
Med Well      5 minutes / 4 minutes      6 minutes / 5 minutes
Stop, you’re overcooking that beautiful steak, I won’t tell you anymore!
Step Three: REST YOUR MEAT!!! What you have just done is rearrange a bunch of proteins inside of the meat by placing it over a very hot surface. While those proteins were being rearranged they were SQUEEZED free of all their tender, delicious juices. Now the meat needs to be able to be like “Phew! That was crazy!” and for those fibers to soak back up all those juices so that your steak can be full of flavor and moisture.
Rest meat at least 5 minutes and no more than 10.
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Step Four: While that’s happening, fill a pan with a steamer basket with water and bring to a boil. Prep yo broccoli using a pair of kitchen scissors.
Step Five: Steam that broccoli, man. Hey, did you know that Alfred Broccoli (producer of James Bond movies) and his family acquired their family wealth by INVENTING BROCCOLI?!?!?!?! Broccoli is a cross between cauliflower and broccoli rabe (cause Italy) and we can thank Al and his family for figuring that out. Also for the James Bond movies.
 Just till it’s green and mostly fork tender.
Step Five: Plate, season, photograph, eat!
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Simple Seared Steak and Steamed Broccoli

Ingredients

1 6 oz. sirloin or strip steak, salted and peppered

1 head broccoli, florets removed.

Procedure

  1.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat for a couple of minutes before adding steak to sear. For a nice brown color, add some coconut oil to pan. Place steak on pan and sear to desired doneness using the handy dandy chart above.
  2. Set a pan with a steamer basket over high heat and bring to a boil. Place prepared broccoli in and cover. Steam 5-8 minutes or until broccoli is very bright green and mostly fork tender.
  3. Season broccoli with salt if desired and slice steak once 5-minute rest time is through. Serve warm.