How I Turned Around Diabetes

A Welcome From Dor

Dor photo by David Crow

There are few things that inspire more gratitude in me than hearing people speak with candor.  Usually at Suppers, sharing openly and honestly involves taking some kind of a risk: sharing a painful truth about one’s eating habits, acknowledging one’s role in acquiring a diagnosis, or revealing what was once a secret.
Shri is an occasional attendee at Suppers, but she had fully absorbed our founding concept of biological individuality and the need to do one’s own experiments and observations around food.
It is with the utmost respect and gratitude that I acknowledge Shri for sharing the tension among her culture, her eating preferences, and her biological individuality.

 Shri’s Story – How I Turned Around Diabetes

As an Indian American, I came to the United States over 34 years ago as a graduate student and later settled down as a financial services executive. I semi retired in 2013 hoping to do all the things I couldn’t do before –exercise regularly, eat better, meditate and be an engaged parent. For the most part, I was doing all of these things, but years of careless eating habits (carb rich and processed foods) reared their ugly head. Despite all my resistance, I had to learn to accept my fate and make conscious changes to control what I possibly could.

When I first learned about Suppers four years ago, I didn’t have any health problems. The concept intrigued me as did the opportunity to cook healthy meals. I also enjoyed the communal dining aspect and focus on intentional/mindful eating, so I periodically attended Suppers meetings.

I didn’t see any other option to reverse diabetes or high blood sugar. I really didn’t want to become dependent on medication and insulin.

Eight months ago when my blood sugar levels increased dramatically due to significant stress caused by unforeseen circumstances, I attended several workshops hosted by Suppers on this topic. At one of these meetings, Dor casually mentioned that Suppers was hosting a “Whole 30” cleanse, so I came home and researched the concept. It involved eating meat. I wasn’t sure I could do this given the fact that I had been eating a vegetarian diet for the past few years. At the same time, I didn’t see any other option to reverse diabetes or high blood sugar.  I really didn’t want to become dependent on medication and insulin.

I grew up in a household that practiced Jainism in India. Jains are forbidden to eat any meat, eggs, poultry and fish, but also root vegetables. The fundamental belief of this religion is rooted in non violence and taking extreme measures to not harm any living being (for example, uprooting a plant causes it to die, hence no potatoes, beetroot etc.).  

Truth be told, I didn’t miss anything as there were plenty of available choices – legumes, ancient grains (red millet, amaranth, pearl millet, barley, oats to supplement wheat and rice),  along with spices, seeds and nuts as well as fruits and vegetables. All the grains were ground at the local mill. My mother preserved and cured vegetables, ground her own spices, made yogurt with active cultures along with cold pressed juice. Fresh fruits and vegetables were purchased almost every day from a handcart. Fresh full fat milk was delivered to the house every morning. There was no microwave, and eating leftovers was not an acceptable practice. In general, almost everyone I knew lived like this.

I needed to slowly introduce meat back into my diet.

As an adventurous person, I started eating meat when I came to the United States.  It was convenient and often times the only available option, so I ate essentially “anything that wouldn’t bite me back”.

About four years ago, I gave up eating meat as I used to feel uncomfortable and nauseous. Every time I cooked meat or poultry, I felt repulsed and didn’t feel like eating the food I had prepared. When I ate in restaurants, I was concerned about the quality of meat (mostly non organic) as it also made me feel nauseous.

So with Whole 30 my options were really limited. I wanted to start the program but knew that I would not be able to practice it right away.  I needed to slowly introduce meat back into my diet.

I started slowly with one meal a day that incorporated meat. I only bought high quality grass fed and antibiotic free poultry, eggs and meat, as well as wild caught fish.  
Like the Suppers program, I made cooking and eating an intentional and mindful process. I also selected simple recipes that would be easy to prepare and make ahead of time so that it wouldn’t interfere with work.

When the pressure was off, I found that my body wasn’t rejecting the food. So I started the Whole 30 program on my own. My diet is low carb, < 20 grams per day, and comprises of meat and vegetables along with nuts, cheese and almond milk. I ate an apple occasionally, if I felt lightheaded as I still took medication.

Within a week, my blood sugar levels were below 100 – every time I tested – fasting, after lunch and dinner. My energy levels had increased and my mind felt sharper. My mood swings disappeared and better yet I didn’t feel hungry or the need to snack all the time. 

During the first week I worked out twice a day and felt even better.  I continue to work out for 45-60 minutes every day – mostly moderate activity – walk, use the treadmill or elliptical along with lifting weights and using strength training equipment.

My fear of insulin shots and medication were greater than that of eating meat again.  
I also thought that I may not be able to follow the Whole 30 diet because I had to take medications, so during the first week, I was particularly attentive to any symptoms that I might experience – light headedness, dizziness etc.

After the first two days of light headaches, I actually started feeling much better – higher energy, clearer focus, sharper thinking and fewer mood swings.  I didn’t really miss carbs as much as I thought I would.

The second week was harder – I started getting chills, so I increased my intake of calories – still following the Whole 30 program. On some days to compensate I ate 30 carbs instead of the required 20. While some of my resistance to meat was “mental,” it was also “physical” in that I needed to eat organic and antibiotic free items as much as possible. I have not felt nauseous either with my home cooked meals. Whole 30 is forcing me to look at food very differently. It’s almost as if I am going back in time to my childhood with the emphasis on fresh food! As an added bonus, I have also lost weight.

Low starch veg + turkey meatballs with ginger, egg, scallion, and indian spices, okra, tomato, onion, and greens on the side.

The spices should include turmeric, coriander, cumin, some form of pepper, black pepper, cardamom to combine anti-inflammatory properties. And temper the spices in oil first. Probably telling you stuff you know already.


Spiced Meatballs for Shri, by Allie

48465d_e59e795f6cb742439f1316e9dd4a1081While Shri’s imagery and lovely descriptions of food in a charmingly ancient way were enough to captivate any eager reader, make no mistake: what you’ve just heard is one of the most incredible stories of transformation in the history of The Suppers Program. 

Dor’s favorite thing other than people who speak frankly about themselves is when people accept the fact that there is no quicker or more painless path forward than by way of experimentation.

When culture and bio-individual needs don’t fit with one another it is, first of all, difficult to detect food insensitivities, and second of all difficult to reconcile choices. HOW a Jainist Indian woman discovered that a diet consisting of animal protein and crunchy vegetables EVEN HAPPENED is beyond me – even though I just literally finished reading/typing the story. More than that is the transformation of Shri – a woman whose fasting glucose number was 335 and after two months of experimenting with Whole30 those same numbers were under 100. That isn’t just incredible, it’s miraculous.

If you can think about your relationship with food as an experiment, if you have the luxury of time to spend figuring out that: yes you CAN have lamb and beef but NOT chick peas or that onions are causing your abdominal distress or maybe it’s kale and leafy greens that you must avoid like the plague or that you are or are not allergic to raw or cooked vegetables (yes that is a thing) IF you can experiment and listen to your body. If you can do that, then you need never worry about “dieting” as a concept of holding something back from yourself. Your diet will only ever consist of foods that make you feel healthy and vibrant, flexible, energetic, and full of joy. I mean, you know, as flexible as you can manage.

The nice thing about Indian food is that it’s really all about spices when you think about it. Different areas of lots of regions have traditional foods based on what the land can produce, what animals can thrive, and what the community can process. Northern Indian cuisine features ingredients like goat, paneer, chicken, and dairy products, while Southern Indian cuisine is traditionally strictly vegetarian (and ridiculously spicy like….omigod). Anyway, the point is – spices like turmeric, coriander, nutmeg, mace and black pepper, seeds of cumin and fennel and mustard, curry paste made with fresh ginger, cardamom pods, and clove – there are more but the marriage of spicy next to sweet next to strength is the flavor profile of Indian spices and, therefore, Indian foods. 

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So, yeah, meatballs work just fine. Isn’t that thing cool by the way?! Dor let me borrow it for the blog but then I forgot to give it back to her. I don’t know what my favorite part is but besides the turmeric I think it’s the spoon. So cute!

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There are a couple of things you can do with these spices. Me, I’m a spice grinder kind of girl. Most people will take their whole spices and temper them in coconut oil over a medium flame until they get fragrant. You can do that too.

I just pop everything in that bowl into a spice grinder and make a sludge of sundried tomatoes out of it for a flavor base.

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Bam! When making meatballs, my secret is to put as much flavor as possible in there and don’t add any breadcrumbs or eggs. Once you add eggs you basically have to add breadcrumbs to sop up the eggs, which you didn’t have to add in the first place. Save the eggs for breakfast.

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Sear the meatballs in a tablespoon of coconut oil for 1-2 minutes a side, turning along the way. Another option is to place them into the oven directly. That helps to keep the sphere shape but it doesn’t get the brown sides like you may want.

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Dr. Adi says that the brown sear on foods is full of AGEs (Advanced Glycation End) which basically is a carcinogen and carcinogens speed up aging. Which is dreadful when you consider how delicious brown seared things are and how pretty much any delicious sauce you’ve ever eaten has been, at some point, de-glazed. I haven’t totally recovered from learning this information in December at Taste of Suppers so I think I am just going to have to sear these meatballs.

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I found that they ended up being totally delicious over some Chana Masala with some freshly diced raw red onion.


Indian Spiced Meatballs

For the paste:
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seed (the white ones)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 heaping teaspoon sea salt
16 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated in water for 8 hours
3 small cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground beef
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried herbs of choice
3/4 cup prepared paste

1. In a spice grinder, combine coriander, cumin, fennel, mustard, and fenugreek seeds. Grind until smooth and place in a small bowl. Add tumeric, pepper, and sea salt.

2. In a high powered blender, place drained sundried tomatoes, fresh garlic, oil, water, and spice blend. Blend until completely smooth. Should be very thick.

3. Place 3/4 cup of paste into meatball mix and blend with hands until evenly incorporated. Form meatballs until all mix is used up. (There will be extra sundried tomato paste – you can make this into a sauce or freeze it for future meatballs)

4. In a skillet, over medium high heat, melt coconut oil. Place meatballs in oil and sear 1-2 minutes per side, remembering to sear all sides of the meatballs. Alternatively you may place meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.

5. Serve over chana masala (freshly made or leftover works for me…) or with a sauce made from the paste and some sauteed green vegetables. Stores up to 5 days.


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!

Suppers social resources:

Suppers Website
Facebook Page
Instagram handle @suppersprograms

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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!

Suppers social resources:

Suppers Website
Facebook Page
Instagram handle @suppersprograms

Discovery

A Welcome From Dor

Dor photo by David CrowOne immutable, non-negotiable, inflexible, hard-nosed, defining characteristic of Suppers is that as an organization we. don’t. tell. people. what. to. eat.  With only one food rule – avoid processed food – we ask people to focus on running personal experiments to tease out data about what food makes them feel the best.  Sometimes a little slip reveals more about your body than a slew of tests, as it did the day Sandy C lost her vision.

When you’re done reading her story, please let Dor know you want to join our experiment groups.

Throughout 2017, Suppers will be hosting a range of activities from 5-minute experiments in your email inbox to hosting group challenges in private Facebook groups. The Breakfast Challenge starts January 23rd; the next Breakfast Challenge will take place later this year. Members are already posting to a Whole30 group, however the “30 day challenge” has yet to begin — stay tuned. In the spring we will be hosting a vegan cleanse.

The point of all of these experiments and challenges is to help you understand and embrace the most important breakthrough Suppers offers — that How You Feel is Data!

Please enjoy the story of Sandy C’s Discovery, for there is no data so dramatically suggestive as instantaneous, spontaneous blindness.


Sandy C’s Story – Discovery

What happened when I took charge and became my own private investigator is nothing short of amazing.  AMAZING!

I did one of the popular cleansing diets for a few weeks, nothing drastic, I was still having some relatively normal meals.  I devoted myself to the program for six weeks:  No sugar, no alcohol, no unhealthy snacking, just whole foods and some protein. My one daily treat was the 8-ounce cup of coffee that I enjoyed each morning. By the end of the six weeks, I felt great. I had lost 10 pounds and had a noticeably more positive mental outlook.

The way an elimination diet works, you start adding foods back and if suddenly a symptom returns, then you have demonstrated to yourself that that food is somehow a culprit in your particular body.  Some people might get headaches back; some people might feel depressed; others might get a surge of inflammation like muscle pain or a rash that had quieted down during the experiment.

So I started adding foods back in, one by one, so that I could observe if a particular food was driving any of my health problems.  I liked how I had lost weight on the elimination, and I didn’t want to undo all the good results by mindlessly returning to my old ways of eating. It just so happened that I walked up to my desk and someone had left a cold frosty Diet Coke. I certainly hadn’t been drinking soda on the diet, and in general I have a soda only now and then, but there was this Diet Coke sitting on my desk.  I sat down, opened it and took a few deep drinks straight from the can.

It was a good thing I was sitting down because it wasn’t long before I suddenly lost my vision. The vision loss was like large black circles in both eyes; there was light and a kind of peripheral vision. I couldn’t believe what was happening, I think I was in shock. In any case, I can’t remember any other symptoms because my anxiety was through the roof. As I sat there, after several minutes the blackness faded and I could see again. The experience certainly got my attention. When I felt more composed, I clicked around on the internet to see what might have happened. I have no idea if the visual problems associated with aspartame explain my experience; all I really needed to know is that I need to never drink another diet soda. I tell my story to my diet soda-drinking friends, usually without results. That’s OK, at least they know who they can talk to if they want to feel better and become willing to work on their eating habits.

I am still in the early stages of my journey, and I’m grateful that I had a dramatic reaction to my first experiment. It helps me stay in the process of being my own private investigator, engaged in discovering my body’s ways of telling me how it reacts to the processed food supply. It has given me a whole new perspective on paying detailed attention to what I am eating and continuing with this important work.


No Soda for Sandy, By Allie

48465d_e59e795f6cb742439f1316e9dd4a1081Jeez, I guess that’s the end of Diet Coke for me. My eyes don’t need any help accelerating towards a stronger prescription because as it is I can’t go more than a few months without leaving my glasses on an airplane in New Orleans or just not feeling like wearing them because nerding isn’t trending anymore. (It’s only moderately trendy to be a nerd right now). And then after I forget what hole they fell into. I only really need them when my eyes are super tired on a late night drive in the rain. Seriously, my eyes are fine I swear you guys.

The real villain here for Sandy is clearly Diet Coke. I’ve heard from more than a few folks plus real and !FAKE! news about that specific soda being the culprit for a lot of issues – even death. Though I don’t know the chemical compound which could be to blame and while there are definitely not nearly enough studies to back up these claims, it’s tough to argue with personal experience. Especially when there’s definitely not ONE thing that is “healthy” about Diet Coke. Still day after day after year after decade, people will continue to drink this soda — and pretty much every soda.

The thing is, beverages are easy to overlook as part of a diet in general because…well…they don’t fill you up, they give the illusion of offering hydration, they’re somewhat see through or totally clear so they also offer the illusion that they’re…dare I say it, healthy? Low calorie? I don’t know how else to explain the Big Gulp. I mean WHAT THE HECK YOU GUYS. Why does this exist?

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Oh my God so many things. First of all, I literally thought that the Big Gulp was as big as it got WHICH IS WHY I MENTIONED IT in the first place. Super Big Gulp? Double Gulp? By the way, the Double Gulp is 64 ounces. 64 Ounces is the minimum recommended amount of water that everyone should be drinking every day. (It’s actually half your body weight, in ounces, like 140 pounds divided by two is 70 ounces per day, but whatever.)

This brings me to…the X-treme Gulp. P.S. What is it with Americans and misspelling the word X-treme to do things that should really just be called unnecessary? Barf. Oh and also you know that ridiculous FULL GALLON soda cup that is on the far right? The X-tremely unnecessary one? It costs $0.99 to refill that sucker. The soda tax should be looking sexier and sexier to everyone right now – it would eliminate the possibility of such insane, inane refill scenarios.

Beverages are also a known culprit in childhood obesity and the many shocking cases of Type II Diabetes in children. Beverages! It’s so easy to look past the sugar, even as a parent but especially as a kid, when the sugar has dissolved into liquid and the liquid tastes good. It’s so easy to forget that a 99 cent Arizona iced tea has 64 grams of sugar – SIXTEEN TEASPOONS – per can. (Not per serving, per can. But, really, who opens a can and doesn’t finish it besides college freshmen? And who puts 2.5 servings in a non-resealable can besides criminals? Exactly.)

So basically in modern times you have to actively, consciously, make the choice to look at labels, to understand sugar in grams vs. teaspoons, and make sweetened (chemically or naturally) beverages a treat instead of a routine. Drink water. Nothing so flavorless ever tasted so good. Lol when my brother was home for the holidays we were sitting down for lunch and he asked me what I wanted to drink. I said “Liquid”, and he said “What kind?”, and I said “Plain” and then he laughed because he thinks I’m funny.

If you’re just starting out with the whole water thing (just go with me on this) and you “don’t like the taste” of water, no worries! A doctor once told me that plain water doesn’t absorb as efficiently in the body without a little sumthin sumthin in there anyway! She drinks water with fresh lemon or other citrus, and a bit of juice! I guess the body absorbs things more enthusiastically when it knows there’s carbohydrates in there. And electrolytes. Anyway, the point is – start where you are. Start with half-water, half-your favorite beverage. Experiment with different fruits to place in water. Try cucumber water! There’s a reason why that’s a thing.

Just do one thing for me…if you buy an X-treme Gulp, calculate the number of teaspoons of sugar it contains before drinking it. OK, I’ll just do that for you: It’s 100. There are ONE HUNDRED teaspoons of sugar in an X-treme Gulp (gallon) of soda. The recommended number of teaspoons per day for an adult male is NINE TEASPOONSWomen have a recommendation closer to six teaspoons.

I’m going to let that sink in before we review.


Things We’ve Learned Today

  • The Big Gulp is actually the smallest Gulp
  • One teaspoon equals 4 grams of sugar
  • The highest daily recommendation for teaspoons of sugar is 9 (about 36 grams)
  • If you divide your body weight in two and transfer that number to ounces, that is the number of ounces of water you’re supposed to be drinking everyday but a 64oz minimum is a good rule of thumb
  • Beverages may contain chemicals, calories, and sugar so check the label, including the serving size
  • Water doesn’t have any chemicals, calories, or sugar, and it’s free for many Americans
  • Allie gets REALLY mad and goes on rants sometimes and everyone else has to kind of just deal with it because she’s definitely not going to stop and they all know she’s probably right anyways

One more thing. It is illegal for a food-serving establishment to refuse to give you water for free. They can, however, charge you for the cup. FYI.

Let’s move on.

Sandy’s story was about an amazing (amazingly bad but still pretty amazing) effect that a beverage had on her body. So Dor and I thought that today I would teach you how to make a different beverage that can have amazing effects on the body: Golden Milk.


Golden Milk is super trendy but very ancient. The reason why Golden Milk is a healing beverage is because it’s basically Turmeric in drinkable form. And Turmeric is very, very healing. 

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For the past generation, turmeric has been gracefully climbing the rungs of modern medicine to find its place towards the top. It has been, and will continue to be, studied for over 20 years for its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer properties. But this ginger-like root has been used as medicine in Southeast Asia for like literally thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicinal practices as well as religious Hindu ceremonies. Plus, it will dye the crap out of your hands, counter, cutting board, etc.

Anyway, the one thing they are discovering about Turmeric in science that you may not have known (and it’s why Golden Milk is particularly useful) is that you have to consume like a lot of Turmeric to make a difference, medicinally speaking. More than would be palatable, say, in a curry or a plate of food. This is why they sell those Turmeric pills at the health food store – because if you poured that much on dinner you might not want to eat dinner.

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Golden Milk solves that problem by encapsulating the flavor of Turmeric in coconut fat (or milkfat) and calming it down, offering a balance of sweetness and spiciness, and allowing the drinker to quietly enjoy a strong, filling cup of tea that must be slowly sipped. The flavor of golden milk is only mildly “acquired” and can be something that you, your children, and your family will begin to crave in a short time.

Here’s how to make it:


Step One: Place coconut milk or whole fat milk, turmeric (raw or dried), ginger, coconut oil, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and peppercorn into a saucepan and bring to a slow simmer with some water. Ideally the mixture should simmer quietly for about 10 minutes.

Don’t boil the mixture – ESPECIALLY if you are using real milk because it will scald and then it will taste NARSTY. The water in the recipe acts like a buffer for the heat. Once it evaporates, the milk is done.

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I let mine go more like 15 minutes because it wasn’t “golden” enough.

dsc_0391Step Two: Stir in a dash of honey, if desired, alcohol-free vanilla, or stevia until dissolved. Use a fine strainer to separate the liquid from the roots and spices. Pour into mugs and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon or nutmeg. Serve warm.

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Golden Milk

1 cup coconut milk, almond milk, or whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 nutmeg pod (*optional)
1 1-inch piece raw turmeric, thinly sliced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 1/4 inch piece ginger, chopped
6 peppercorns, white, black, or pink!
up to 1 Tablespoon honey (*optional, use stevia or another sweetener if desired)
freshly grated cinnamon and/or nutmeg for garnish

  1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, stir together milk, water, and coconut oil. Add cinnamon stick, nutmeg, turmeric, ginger, and peppercorns. Bring to a slow simmer, watching closely. Simmer for 10 minutes. Mixture will thicken slightly.
  2. Stir in honey or sweetener and strain over a fine strainer into a mug. Garnish with freshly grated (or dried) cinnamon and nutmeg, if desired. Serve warm.

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!

Suppers social resources:

Suppers Website
Facebook Page
Instagram handle @suppersprograms

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 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.