Wrestling Demons….rantings of a sugar addict

I am officially addicted to sugar.  I can tell because I have been craving it in one form or another every day, usually after meals and late at night. And my feet start itching.  Sounds crazy, but true. I’m not just talking about plain old processed sugar, but also grains, fruits, dairy and alcohol. My gluten free bread that I bought last week didn’t stand a chance. It was gone in record time. I knew it was bad, when the other night, I ransacked my cupboards for some kind of chocolate and found a stale piece of holiday candy in the very back and gobbled it down. It wasn’t good, didn’t satisfy my craving, so I moved on to the refrigerator and found myself eating spoonfuls of cold cream cheese frosting. Why do I even have this?! 

I decided it was time to get serious and get the sugar out of my life for awhile. A week is my goal, longer if all goes well.  Baby steps, right? I admit I am really bad at cleanses of any kind. I am a nutritional therapist who doesn’t like to follow my own advice. I think I justify it by telling myself I eat healthy enough, I eat my veggies and healthy fats for god sake! So the bad things won’t really count. *SIGH* Ok, you got me….these things do catch up. Hence, the SUGAR DETOX.  I am on day 3 and whoa, what a struggle. I am realizing some things about myself:

  1. I cheat. I’m still eating apples…Better than frosting though : D
  2. I indulge in sweets and alcohol often out of boredom. So now I’m finding myself a little restless…
  3. My inner rebellious teenager-self comes out when told it can’t have something. (I do what I want!)
  4. My skin looks awesome after even a few days without sugar, yay!

So what AM I eating, you ask? Here is my plan in a cute little nutshell: no processed sugars, no alcohol, no grains, no dairy and no fruit. Those are the only no-no’s. That leaves a lot of other foods out there to indulge in! I have been eating sauerkraut, raw/steamed/sauteed kale, spinach, cauliflower, romaine, a TON of onions and garlic, eggs, chicken, sunflower seed butter, almonds, miso soup, hummus and lots of herbal teas. And I still am drinking one rather large cup of black coffee in the morning. Ah well, onward to day 4…..

Tasty Black Bean Hummus

    I whipped this up the other day to use some black beans that I had cooked and didn’t have any garbanzo beans. I soaked the beans for 2 days in filtered water with a few tablespoons apple cider vinegar, rinsing each day and refreshing the water. This breaks down the phytates and makes the beans more digestible. Then I simmered in fresh filtered water until soft, about 1 hour. You can always use canned beans, but this way is super cheap and easy! Not to mention avoids the waste of cans and the BPA exposure….Learn more about that here:

    2-4 C cooked black beans
    1-2 T tahini, sunflower or almond butter
    2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 lemon
    2-3 cloves garlic
    sea salt/cumin/cayenne

    Place everything in a food processor or blender and puree. Add a little water or more olive oil if mixture is too thick. Easy breezy…
    Enjoy with fresh veggies like celery, radish, or cucumbers. I am totally guilty of dipping gluten free chips and crackers too, um yeah…..yum.

    Not too pretty, but delicious!

    Kale = YUM

    Coconut Kale Chips
    I was reminded about these yummy little bastards the other night, thanks to Leah and Jess! I am a big fan of sneaking in dark green leafies as much as possible and even non-kale eaters will like these. I used coconut oil instead of olive oil because, contrary to common belief, olive oil should not be brought to very high temperatures. But, that is an entire topic for another day, so don’t even get me started…. 
    Here’s what I did:
    Naked Kale, hehe

    1. Rinse and remove stems from kale, tear into pieces and place on a cookie sheet or large pan.
    2. Sprinkle with sea salt and coconut oil. It will be solid (unless you live somewhere tropical!) so just  add in chunks to the pan.
    3. Place in 350 degree oven, after a few minutes the coconut oil will be melted, stir to coat the kale.
    4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until kale is at the desired level of crispness. I only baked for 10′   because I wanted these babies to have some nutritional value…..
    5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with nutritional yeast if you’d like for additional health benefits and deliciousness!

    Check out this link for more information on nutritional yeast.  

    Here it is….HOLY Mole!

    Ok, I have to admit that I have NEVER had mole before I made this. So, I have nothing to compare it to. But honestly, I thought it turned out pretty damn amazing. The beautiful thing about this sauce is that you can modify the kinds of peppers and chiles depending on what is available and the amounts are all just approximates. Like I mentioned, I’m very bad at following a recipe! But that is the fun part, don’t worry about “messing it up”, just follow your tastebuds ; )

    I’ve made this once before and used pablano peppers, sweet peppers, and anaheim peppers without dried chiles and it was still good. This time I tried the pasilla chiles which gave it more heat, and I used tomatillos. I also tried the piece of bread this time, but it was fine without. I had to modify a bit for a friend who has a fruit intolerance (Hi Leah!) so I substituted butter for coconut oil and did not use raisins, anise, cloves or nutmeg. Who knew those are all fruits? I had to add a few tablespoons of honey and molasses to balance it out. It was better with the raisins though!

                  MOLE (Super KIRLEY Style) 

    6 pasilla negro chiles
    4 pablano peppers
    5 medium tomatillos
    coconut oil
    6-8 cloves garlic
    1 onion
    1 cup slivered almonds
    1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
    1/2 cup raw pumkin seeds
    2-3 c. broth/stock (I used homemade beef bone broth)
    6-8 c. filtered water (give or take a few cups)
    1 c. raisins
    1 pc gluten free bread (Optional, for thickening)
    2-3 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate
    cinnamon, coriander, black pepper, sea salt, anise,
    clove, nutmeg to taste

    Remove seeds/stems from chiles and husks from tomatillos. Slice in half and roast about 10′  in 350 degree oven.

    Toast nuts and seeds in a frying pan over high heat, stirring constantly until golden brown.

    First, turn on a fan or open a window!  Brown chiles in safe high heat oil until they turn a lighter color.  Place in bowl of water to reconstitute. When chiles are puffy and soft, process in a blender with enough water to make into a paste. Strain through a mesh strainer and discard the seeds. You can add some, if you want a little more heat!

    In a large pot saute onion and garlic with coconut oil until soft. Add nut mixture, peppers, tomatillos, chiles, raisins, bread, spices, broth and water. Simmer 1-4 hours to let the flavors all blend together. Yum…

    Remove from heat and let cool a bit.  Process in small batches in blender, then return to large pot and low heat. Add chocolate, stir to melt it in. Ah, what a beautiful thing….chocolate makes everything better, no?

    Use as a sauce to serve over cooked chicken, or bake the chicken in sauce. Either way is delicious! I end up just wanting to eat it plain….Let me know what you think!