Thursday, October 23, 2014

Speaking of Sweet...

Speaking of sweet, you can turn fruit into a candy-like-food for your tongue for about 30 minutes at a time. Miracle berries come from a plant. They make tablets out of it. If you let them dissolve on your tongue, it makes some kind of coating that makes sour fruit taste super sweet. You can seriously bite into a lemon and it tastes like some kind of amazing candy.

I've read a small percentage of people can't get it to work. That can be due to a coating on the person's tongue and that can be remedied by brushing the tongue before letting the tablet dissolve. You can find these little gems at Amazon.

Just remember you can make yourself sick with too much lemon. If not for common sense that prevails after a time, I could probably pack away an entire bag of lemons. I once had to physically restrain my child from the lemons in order to save her from herself. Okay, okay the physical restraint part my be a bit of an exaggeration, but I am telling you she REALLY wanted those lemons.

Here's a link to a Wikipedia article about it, if you'd like to know more.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synsepalum_dulcificum

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

One Good Sweetener Deserves Another

A little something sweet is critical to success. If you're running around craving sweets all the time you'll never stick with it. If you don't stick with it, you'll eat something to make you feel lousy. If you feel lousy you'll want to eat more sweets-- that's how it works. It is so worth making the effort to convert to natural low/no calorie sweeteners we are lucky to have access to these days.

 Another good sweetener is Lakanto, which is also known as Monk Fruit. It's nearly calorie free and delicious. Stevia is great for tea, kefir and other beverages and for sprinkling over berries. Monk Fruit is nice for more solid foods like butternut squash with butter.
Sometimes Lakonto is combined with a sugar alcohol called Erythritol. This is the one sugar alcohol that does not tend to set off people with IBS. I have yet to find a use for this combination. I get the sense it would be good for baking as it's quite granular and seems to take a lot of heat in order to dissolve. It's just that I no longer do any baking. If I think of something, you'll be the first to know.

When combined together Stevia and Monk fruit often make an even better sweetener. I put them together in kefir and Coconut Kefir "cheese" (a fermented food, that I use as a dessert, made with the soft meat from young coconuts), I also like those foods with cinnamon and (alcohol free) vanilla.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sprouted Nuts and Seeds

The Body Ecology Diet recommends eating only nuts and seeds that have been sprouted. This involves soaking them in water for 8 to 24 hours. I have read that this makes nuts and seeds easier to digest. It seems to work for me, though does involve a bit of extra effort. If you want to try some before putting in any effort, pick up sprouted almonds at Whole Foods --they are quite delicious. Whole Foods has other sprouted nuts and seeds; however, I do not care for them.

Unfortunately, if you buy them already sprouted they cost about twice as much as garden variety nuts. Thankfully, making them takes only a bit of extra effort. I buy raw nuts and seeds, soak overnight, let them dry out for a few hours, and then roast on a low temperature until they are crunchy again. They get a little sweeter after soaking. I generally skip the salt, as I do not find it necessary even though I really love salt.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Detox

The first two weeks I followed the Body Ecology Diet, I felt simply awful. It was truly a detoxification of sorts. I was filled with overwhelming fatigue, headache, muscle aches, the list goes on and on. The book advised this was likely to occur. After the first week I was ready to give up, thinking, "It just isn't worth it!"

I decided to give it another week... hanging on by my finger nails.

At the end of two weeks I started to feel just a little wonderful. Weight was falling off of me. It's gotten better and better ever since. Join me, life is just easier this way.

Stevia, Stevia the Wonderful "Food"

Stevia comes from a plant. In the past I dismissed it as being rather bitter and well, mostly disgusting. If you give up sugar completely, stevia grows on you quickly... I promise. Please be aware there are different kinds of stevia. The quality really varies.

For the best, look for liquid stevia suspended in glycerin (alcohol is not recommended). My absolute favorite is Better Stevia. I buy it on Amazon, though I have found it in some healthfood stores. It is stupidly expensive, but hey, it lasts a long time.

If you buy the larger quantity (8 ounces), find a little bottle with an eye dropper to use for manageable serving sizes as it tends to come out too quickly from the larger bottle.
      

Magical Foods

Once I discovered magical probiotic foods, I really started to heal. There are many foods made in old fashioned ways that are loaded with probiotics. Not the level of probiotics that you take in a pill... I mean seriously loaded.

I began with cultured vegetables. I bought some at health-food stores (check the refrigerator case). My favorite cultured vegetables I can by are Bubbies pickles. These are pickles made the old fashioned way. Not made by pickling with heat that kills probiotics. Rather the cucumbers are slowly pickled on your counter. All cultured vegetables are sour as the probiotics grow by "eating" the sugars that are in the vegetables. I had to grin and bear it in the beginning and then they really grew on me.

Once I started liking them I started adding in more and more and learning how to make them myself. They start off as a kind of healing medicine and become something you never want to live without. I now love Kombucha*(fermented tea originating from China), Kefir (fermented milk similar to drinkable yoghurt), Coconut Kefir (fermented coconut water from young coconuts), Coconut Kefir Cheese (fermented coconut meat from young coconuts). I hope to discover many more in the future!

*Note the Body Ecology folks do not support the use of kombucha, as they have not researched it thoroughly and have concern that it may contain too much yeast that is harmful. Having said that, I love it and feel it brought me to the next level. Time will tell.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Food IS My Medicine

When I started seeing results, from my simple first step of 80% non-starchy veggies and 20% animal protein or starchy veggies... my thinking began to change. I thought... my medicine will be my food. I will stop trying to make everything tasty and comforting and spend a few months healing myself.

I read that if I stuck with it my tastes would change. I decided to SIU (suck-it-up) and at least temporarily give up some of my comfort foods and add in foods I found less appetizing.
I took a couple of big steps.  Grains and table sugar were eliminated from my diet.You read it correctly... no added sugar (glucose, fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, rice syrup, tapioca syrup... nothing!)  With the goal to keep natural, calorie-free sweet tasting foods in my diet, I shunned artificial sweeteners and used only stevia as a sweetener. I will point out I truly detested stevia at that time. This was no small sacrifice.

Sobe Lifewater helped me make that first big leap. It was the one stevia sweetened thing I found that tasted okay, note it also has erythritol. It gave me something sweet at least. I like the Strawberry Dragonfruit, Fuji Apple Pear, and Black Raspberry varieties best. I admit they were a total crutch, but hey, it got me there. Now it serves as an occasional treat.