I eat food, mostly plants. And I tell the sugar, “be gone!”.

Just recently, my diet began to swing back towards less animal foods and more plant foods.  After a couple of years of feeling like I could not get enough animal protein and fat in my diet, I am noticing that I no longer have much of a taste for it, and my body is able to digest certain plant proteins that, for a while, gave me bloating, gas and indigestion.  I’m not going to lie–this shift in my body’s food preferences is making my mind very happy!  I love the idea of not feeling that I need to eat the flesh of other living beings in order to feel good physically.  Some people have reported that eating meat makes them feel aggressive or otherwise “yang”, and I never found that to be true.  However, after being a vegetarian for the first 20 years of my life, I am much more comfortable with the idea that I can feel good without having to eat animals.  This was definitely NOT the case last year, and having seen my body go through these changes makes me much more understanding of all the different diets people choose in order to feel better.   I find that the following animal foods still continue to feel important to my healthy diet: ghee, raw milk or kefir, eggs, occasional grass-fed/pastured meat and some fish.  Otherwise, I eat a LOT of vegetables, some fruit, and have been playing around with sprouted beans, nuts and seeds.  The adventures in eating continue…

Along with slowly phasing out some animal products from my diet, I have ditched the sugar (again).  I recently shared with a friend about my realization that sugar really does not belong in my diet, and when I eat it, it wreaks havoc in all areas of my life.  I said to him, I’ve really gotten clear that I’m a sugar addict.  He laughed and said, wait, I think I’m having a deja vu.  I feel like I have heard you say that many times before.  Oh geez, I thought.  This time it’s different, I said, because now people are admitting it’s really a thing.  Now there is proof that sugar is something like seven times as addictive as heroin, and that it can cause depression, etc.  Wait, he said, what about Sugar Blues (a great book by William Duffy that was written in the 70s, and that my friend and I read almost 10 years ago)?  Yes, I said, that was a great book, but no one really paid attention.  The country seems to have been too caught up in the low-fat craze.  Anyway, now that sugar addiction is recognized as a “thing”, I seem to be able to take myself more seriously, and commit to the sugar-free diet I have known I needed for so long.

For so many years I have known that sugar didn’t really work for me, but I also tried to talk myself out of that truth.  The fact is, though, that when I eat ANY added sugar, I just can’t stop.  Also, it makes me depressed, it gives me pimples, it messes up my blood sugar and insulin levels, I get a stuffy nose, I have no energy, and the inflammation in my body increases so I end up feeling achy all over.  So now I don’t eat it.  And I feel SO MUCH BETTER.  And I don’t feel deprived.  Which may be hard to believe but it is actually true.  When I don’t eat sugar, after a few days to a few weeks, I honestly don’t miss it. I have been blessed with the love of vegetables, and these days we’re back in the honeymoon stage. I will occasionally miss the emotional state I have linked to eating foods with sugar in them, and then I get to do a little brainstorming about how else I can create that feeling of comfort or sweetness I crave.

The thing about sugar, though, is that it’s everywhere.  Sweetness is a part of life.  And my choice not to eat sugar is not a static one.  And I’m learning to be ok with that.  I can see that it is probably going to be an area of life-long exploration and growth for me.  Right now I’m still experimenting with how far I need to take it.  Can I have a little honey in my tea without it kicking off my sugar cravings?  Can I have an occasional dash of maple syrup in my kefir or will it send me on a day-long search for sugar? Does it work for me to have a few dried apricots, or will I sit down with them and eat the whole container?  Most days it is an inquiry that I feel grateful for.  I am thankful that I am willing to be honest with myself, and to search out and give myself the support I need to make these changes.

Some of my favorite resources for support around kicking sugar addiction and finding freedom from compulsive or emotional eating can be found HERE.

Resources for healing from sugar addiction and finding freedom from emotional eating

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Here are some of my favorite folks, their books and programs, and websites to support you on your healing adventures:

Geneen Roth:

When Food is Food and Love is Love (audio)

When Food is Love

When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair

Women, Food and God

Geneen’s Eating Guidelines

Karly Randolph Pitman:

Overcoming Sugar Addiction

Martha Beck:

The Four-Day Win

The Joy Diet

Byron Katie:

Loving What Is

www.lilykmorris.com – My blog about learning to listen to my body, and about my journey in finding freedom from emotional eating.

 ~ This list is a work in progress.  I would love to hear about any resources you have found to be valuable in this area. ~

rainbow meals

two farm eggs sunny-side with ghee, steamed sweet potato, ruby kraut with carrots, avocado, steamed cauliflower, romaine with olive oil and nutritional yeast drink.

two farm eggs sunny-side with ghee, steamed sweet potato, ruby kraut with carrots, avocado, steamed cauliflower, romaine with olive oil, nutritional yeast drink, and “silver tea” aka hot water.

I’ve noticed that my meals are consistently rainbow-licious.  And what’s cool is that I’m not consciously making them that way.  I’m not sure if it’s just that I have internalized the idea that it’s healthy to eat a variety of colors, or whether my body just knows how to get all its bases covered.  Either way, I am often delighted at the beauty of my meals, and find that my body feels good too.

rainbow on a plate

food as art

food as art

Lunch - rainbow on a plate

Lunch – rainbow on a plate

Tomato, carrots, yam, apple, avocado, collards, purple kraut, tofu with tomato sauce, and sea salt in the center.

Tomato, carrots, yam, apple, avocado, collards, purple kraut, tofu with tomato sauce, and sea salt in the center.

 

Make your own Kraut at the Slip Away Harvest Fest

Please join us this Saturday, October 19th, 2013 from 9:30-10:30 to make fresh farm veggies into your own lacto-fermented kraut at Slip Away Farm on Chappaquiddick (just past the Community Center on the left).  Their Harvest Fest will be from 9-12, and there will be veggies for sale, as well as photo cards and hand-made “Wooligans” creations. There will be some local goodies to taste, including Pumpkin Pie smoothie.

I will be providing a set up for folks to learn how to make their own lacto-fermented veggies.  Simply shredding or slicing or chopping fresh veggies, mixing with salt, and then packing into a mason jar.  You can purchase veggies at the Slip Away farm stand, and then come over to the Kraut station between 9:30 and 10:30 and make your own colorful kraut.  We will have salt, jars, knives and graters and will just ask a small donation for supplies.

Hope to see you there!  Call Lily Morris at 508-627-4206 with questions about kraut making, or Slip Away Farm at 508-627-7465 with questions about the Harvest Fest.

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Lacto Pickle Workshops–Coming soon!

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Check back here for pickle workshops…soon to be schedule for the fall!  I can’t wait to make lacto-fermented vegetables with you in the future.  Until then, if you are feeling adventurous, check out this list of great recipes on-line:

http://girlmeetsnourishment.com/56-fermented-recipes/

Or get Sandor Katz’ book, Wild Fermentation and give some of his recipes a whirl.

Or Check out Sally Falon’s book, Nourishing Traditions, for some very simple lacto pickle recipes.

Summer Squash Pickles

 

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Lacto-fermented vegetables (made using a simple brine instead of vinegar) 
are delicious, easy to make and healthy too!

Ingredients and supplies:

  • 1 or 2 quart sized (or larger) glass jars with lids
  • Brine made from 2-3 T. salt dissolved in 1 quart of non-chlorinated water
  • 2-3 Summer squash or zucchini, cut into slices, chunks or spears
  • 3-4 cloves fresh garlic
  • a few fresh grape leaves (tannins help keep veggies crisp)
  • fresh coriander, (with flowers or seeds welcome)
  • optional: 1 T. dried coriander seeds and 1 cinnamon stick
  • other options include:

~4 T. whey (helps to get the lacto-fermentation process started)

~Use other fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary or dill

~Use other dried spices such as black pepper corns, mustard seed,

dill seed, cloves, whole allspice, red pepper flakes, cloves, etc.

In a clean, quart sized (or bigger) jar with a tight-fitting lid, place some fresh herbs, a clove of garlic and a grape leave.  Pack in the squash until jar is half full.  Put in another layer of seasonings and a grape leaf and fill with more squash until top of vegetables are a little more than an inch from the top of the jar.  Put in the last of the seasonings and top with a grape leaf tucked down around vegetables.  If using whey, add to jar.

Pour in brine until veggies are covered (this is key), and liquid is at least one inch from top of jar.  Put lid on securely and label or mark the date somewhere so you remember when you started your pickles.  Leave on the counter out of direct sun for three days.  After this time, the brine should be nice and cloudy with lots of bubbles.  Taste your pickles and if they’re sour enough, put them in the fridge and enjoy!

If you want a little more kick, feel free to leave them on the counter for as long as a week (if it’s not too hot. Ideal temp is low 70s), making sure to “burp” the jar every day or two to release the pressure from fermentation.  I find that 3-5 days is plenty in the summertime.  In cooler temperatures, the fermentation process is slower, and pickles can take up to a month or two to get nice and sour.

Lily K. Morris is a writer, artist, certified health practitioner and healing foods specialist, among other things. She loves to wander the woods and fields of Chappy in search of beauty, inspiration and nourishment. Find out more about making cultured and lacto-fermented veggies on her blog at http://www.waltzingwithwellness.com.

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