Well this post will be short and sweet ;-) I have gone around and around on what is the healthiest sugar and honestly I cannot find a clear answer. Except, you really should eat as little sugar as possible. Second if you are going to eat sugar, eat the purest form you can. At this point, I still eat coconut sugar and some stevia. If you want to know more about how coconut sugar is made (very similar to maple. I am told a flower will put out sap for 20 years, so it is quite sustainable) this video is interesting. I have tried honey and maple but they spike my blood sugar too much. But that is me (and not you).
The real problem ... and we all know it, is the stuff is so additive. It sooths one nerves, give comfort and calls to us day and night. At least that is how I feel about sweets. So I am "trying" to work on having a healthy relationship with sugar. I had none for a couple of weeks. Now I am trying to be balanced and when I crave it, I look elsewhere. I look to something not food related to find that comfort. Lately fresh flowers, baths and working on my photography is my non-food comfort. So test your blood, try to eat as little sugar as you can, learn to love less sweet sweets and find sweetness in life that has nothing to do with food!!
PS. While agree with everything I just wrote, treat yourself now and then. They say try to do 80% of your diet but if you never have a treat (something you adore) you will go crazy and long term will fail. If this is a life long change, then you have to have a plan you can live with the rest of your life. Do not go too extreme!!
As I have written before, that I am looking for ways to eat more protein but cannot afford to eat pastured meat everyday. I have been experimenting and have created some real disasters, also some family favorites. This salad is a family fav and they say the “meat” taste just like the real thing. This salad is easy, simple to suite your families tastes and healthy. That is a win/win.
One word about getting your family to eat food they are not use to. First you cannot climb the mountain in one step. I was not sure what my family would think of this salad, so I left the "meat' off to the side, thinking that could just sprinkle it on. Actually they heap it on but that is okay because they are still eating a big salad. At first I had a lot of olives, chips and cheese but slowly started reducing all that and adding more veggies. So work with what you know your family likea and do not freak if they want a lot of the goodies and not the veggies. In time you will win them over!!
Raw Taco Salad
Makes a large salad for 4-6 people, it is vegan if you leave out the cheese
2-3 romaine lettuce hearts, cut into strips (you can also use some cabbage like I did in the photo)
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
½ cucumber, cut into small cubes
1 red pepper, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cut up, juice and all
1 large avocado
½ cup jack cheese, small cubes
Toss all vegetables and cheese together. Dress w/ vinaigrette. You can then add the taco meat but I like to serve it on the side so everyone can add to their liking.
Raw Taco Meat
Makes 1 cup
1 cup sunflower seeds, see note about seeds
1-3 tsp of taco seasoning, homemade or store bought. (Just read those labels and know who you are buying from. Some of those spices mixes are full of fillers, GMO & other nasty things.)
About a piece of red onion that looks about the size of a generous TBL.
In a food processor add all three ingredients and pulse chop a couple of time. Taste and adjust, then pulse chop until you get a crumbly, moist meat. The onion is where you get your moister and holds the nuts together. Do not over pulse and create a paste.
1. You can use raw sunflower seeds but if your family is new to eating lots of nuts (or is picky, like mine can be) I suggests you uses salted, roasted sunflower seeds to start with. Once your family is use to eating this dish, you can start to move them towards raw sunflower seeds. Just add a bit salt to the recipe meat then.
2. If you are not worried about doing low carb, you can add bean and crushed taco chips. Or serve them on the side like I do. You can also add olives or different cheese. Really the sky is the limit here. It is what you like.
3. Any dressing will work. My family likes thousand island dressing better but I like the lime/cilantro vinaigrette better.
4. You can make raw tacos too but using whole romaine leaf as the taco shell. Pile the veggies with the dressing on the shell and top with taco meat.
Well I have finally joined instagram. I am wanted to take better photos. (working with Annetta has me wanting to up my game. Her photos are so breathtaking). I am enjoying it. If you are in instagram, come by and say hi!!
In my last post I talked about vegetables, fruit and their carbs. My diet consists mostly of vegetables but protein plays a big part too. I basically eat a paleo diet (w/ a few exceptions). I drink raw cows milk. We eat LOTS of fresh eggs. I consider vegetables and eggs (yoke and all) the most perfect food there is. We also only eat grass-feed beef, pastured meat (we purchase 1/2 a cow and 1/2 a pig at a time) and wild fish (which has help Chloe to not have any more ovary cysts and trips to the ER).
BUT here lies my problem. Pastured, grass-feed and wild protein is expensive, at least where I live. A gallon of raw goat’s milk is $16.00. A dozen eggs can be $8 (I pay $4 and consider that a bargain). I feed 4 adults and cannot afford to serve us meat every night. We do eat a lot of vegetarian/vegan meals but they can be pretty carby. All these restrictions has really challenged my cooking skills. Having said that, I need meat. Not every day but if I go more than 4 days without meat, I do not feel well. I feel stronger when I eat meat. So I will be honest, this is a constant balancing act. My family has had to embrace meals with no meat. They have had to learn to live w/ smaller portions of meat. My husband's favorite food is steak!
A dinner with no bread, no, meat, almost no carbs. It is a hard sell but I encourage you to keep trying. Do it in baby steps. I will have carbs on the side for my family but cook small amounts, so they have to eat more veggies or go hungry. I am finding what they love and what they hate. For example they LOVE Asian peanut sauce . I can put it on any veggie and they devour it. I have created a raw (as in fake, no meat) taco meat that my family loves, along with some other tips and recipes. I will share soon. If you are not on a tight budget then buy the best pastured meat and fish you can get and enjoy! Mostly listen to your body, be open to trying new things and when you hit on something your family loves, brainstorm how to make the most of it. These changes are a sacrifice but in the end, the good news, we are eating more veggies. That is a win/win!!! More to come.
Before I get into what changes I made in my diet, I would like to point out what works for me, may not work for you. We are all different and need different things. Plus I am still learning and a year from now, I may have a very different take on all this. Basically I am letting my body tell me what to/not to eat and I encourage you to do the same.
So after finding out I had problems with high blood sugar, what could I eat? Sugar was out, most carbohydrates were out. I read food falls into three categories; fat, protein or carbs. Fat and protein does not affect my blood sugar. So it was carbs I needed to look at. I started with vegetables. All vegetables are healthy but some have a heavy carb load. Granted the fiber content helps but the first 6 weeks I wanted to eat as low on the carb as I could. I made a list of veggies (with a little drawings of each veggie because I have to be creative about this). I made a list of each vegetable, working with a ½ cup amount. If the carbs were over 10 grams, I would list the vegetable (or fruit) as high carbs. Just a note; you do have to look at the fiber too. For example a ½ cup of raw cabbage is 1 gram carbs but it is 1 gram fiber. You subtract the fiber# from the carb #, so cabbage is 0 carbs. I eat a LOT of cabbage, luckily I love it. Now corn for example is 20.6 grams of carbs for ½ cup and 2.3 grams of fiber, so it comes to 18.3 carbs for ½ cup. When you are trying to only eat 3-5 carbs a meal that is high!
As I stated in my last post, I do not plan to eat this low on the carb scale the rest of my life but I do not plan to eat high on the carb scale either. I am/will be slowly testing healthy carbs, checking my blood, looking for what and how much I can eat without spiking my numbers too much. It takes TIME.
I never thought about how much the American meal is based around carbs. Right now I do not eat rice, potatoes, most gluten free flours, beans, lentils, even my favorite quinoa (which I really love and still think is a super food). It is hard to think of a dinner with no bread or rice or pasta. It takes a whole new way of thinking. I have come up with some dishes that help me feel like I am still getting those carbs, even though I am not (and will share more). But my diet now consist of 65% vegetables, 20% proteins, 10% healthy fats and 5% everything else. My plate has more veggies on it than anything else.
About fruit! There are lower carb fruit but basically the sweeter something is, even naturally sweet, the more fructose it has. And therefore it will probably raise your number and cause you body too look to you blood system for its energy (instead of your fat and therefore you are less likely to lose weight and bring your numbers down). So the less fruit you eat, the better in the beginning. I have blackberries or strawberries 2-3 times a week (w/ homemade, raw milk yogurt). I make sure I do not eat more than 1/2 cup.
Now you may not have a problem with your blood sugar spiking, so this does not apply to you. BUT I would make the argument that no matter how healthy you are, balance is always a good thing. Plus knowledge is power. Looking at what we eat, how much we eat and what is in those foods is always a good idea. The reason I was baking gluten-free was not because we were allergic to gluten, it was because we generally had too much gluten in our diets. I wanted my family to eat more balanced, so baking gluten-free was a simple way to replace some of the gluten in our diet with a healthy alternative. Now, I cannot eat those gluten-free items (I need to bake grain-free now) but for my family I still think gluten-free is a good for them because it will create a more balanced diet for them.
Sorry this post it so long. My little list not only gives me a creative outlet for this lifestyle change but helped me see clearly what I cannot and cannot eat or at least how much I can eat. Sure I will have some watermelon this summer. Will I have the two thick slices like I use to have? No! More like a 1/2 a cup. I will eat it slowly, I will savor it and really that is a good thing, high blood sugar or not!! More to come!
Strong, adventurous, determined, thankful, joyfull in ALL
(& be styling at the same time ;-)
So after I established I had high blood sugar and bought a pretty scrapbook, what next? Well what should I eat? Luckily (but not luckily) my mother has diabetes and was able to bring her levels way down by eating a low carbohydrate/no sugar diet. She is a wealth of info, support and "that did/did not work". Now when I say low carb I mean it! Like 3-5 carbs per meal. I decided to take 4 weeks and eat low carb/no sugar for a couple of reasons.
1. To unhook from carbs and sugar. I actually do not eat a lot of sugar BUT carbs, that is a different story. I ate a lot of gluten free BUT most GF grains are still carby. For 1 1/2 weeks I was really going through withdrawals. It was not easy. So like I said I needed to unhook myself from my cravings (which honestly is a forever battle).
2. I needed my liver to heal a bit. Did you know your liver is like the maid of your body, cleaning up all the toxins you put into it? Think of the the highways of your body, converging together and running through your liver. If you are eating refined sugar and refined carbs, you have been taxing your liver, so it will not be functioning as it should.
3. Even if I do end up eating more healthy carbs down the road (which I will), I know I need to know how to eat as low carb as I can. I need to not be dependant on those carbs or sugars.
Let me say from everything I have read, you do not want to eat super low carb for long periods of time. What I did for the first 6 weeks, was check my blood 3-4 times a day (I thought sticking myself would hurt so bad, I am a big a baby about that kind of thing BUT it does not hurt. Not at all!) and started eating as low carb/no sugar as I could. Even if you do not have the same problem as me, I would encourage you to look at how much carbs you consume on a daily basis and how healthy those carbs are. I was surprised at the amount I was eating because there were so many cabs I did not know about. Next time I will talk about what I did and did NOT eat? And what I am eating now. Not that I want you to copy me but I am hoping to encourage to be brave and honestly look at your diet!!