Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vegan Roast and Potatoes Recipe

Vegan Sunday Roast and Potatoes Recipe

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Conquering Food Addictions

Update on Conquering my Sugar Addiction

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I am happy to report 1.5 pound weight loss this week!

I am very excited about my journey to overcome sugar addition.  I have found that as I avoid sweets I do not have the desire to binge on food seeking that 'sugar high' constantly.  I have noticed that with sugar or any other addictive substance it starts out fairly innocuous....but as time goes on your body wants more and more and more to get the same 'high'. 

It leads to horrible cravings, binge eating and other destructive behaviors.  Conquering an addiction is NOT easy.  As I watched my weight continue to climb due to binge eating on sweets you'd think it would have made me want to stop.....but alas it did not.  You have to come to a place in your life where you are so broken, so desperate that you are willing to do something very difficult and painful in order to overcome.  I wish we were not that way....but that is just how people operate.  We continue in self destructive patterns even though we know it is hurting us....and we do it for that 5 seconds of pleasure, at least in the case of food addictions.


Hubby and I had a date night on Saturday night and we went to one of my favorite very vegan friendly restaurants:  Ginger's Cafe.   They have an amazing menu including raw foods, vegetarian, vegan....we love this place and they also have yummy vegan cookies.  Try as I might I couldn't resist having a couple of bites of hubby's cookies. 

These cookies are NOT your traditional overly oily/sugary cookie.  They are lightly sweet, yes they have turbinado sugar so something I should avoid but I enjoyed a couple of bites.  I had a little guilt over it but I have continued to do extremely well in conquering my addiction.

Cooking Day with My Mom

Yesterday my mom came over to make her favorite granola and some cookies.  We made some delicious sugar free chocolate chunk cookies that were amazing!  My mom loved them!  It was a great day and I was able to handle the temptation of snacking continuously on the food we were making.....

It was interesting that after eating the sugar free cookies I did not have the desire to binge on them, in fact I only ate half a cookie and then I was fine.  I wanted to take a picture of the cookies but unfortunately, I did not get mom, me, my sister, my two kids and their friends ate them all FAST!

Don't worry though, I will be making them for my hubby when he gets back from his business trip...I will get pictures of them then.

Ramblings on overcoming addiction

There are some people who can just decide to change or do something, put their mind to it and never look back.  However, this is not the norm.  Most of us cannot just use our 'will power' to overcome addiction.  You have to have a plan that will work for you!  If the thought of giving up on desserts completely causes you to feel anxiety and stress it can lead to a short period of abstinence followed by a binge.  You have to create a plan that you can be happy with, and that plan doesn't have to look like anyone else' is individual for YOU!

The internet is chock full of expert says do X, the next one says do Y, the next one says do Z.....and on and on the internet advise goes.  So what do you do?  

The reality is, not all plans for overcoming addictions will work for everyone...take the good advice that feels doable to you and leave the rest.
  • Create a plan that feels very doable to you
  • Choose ahead of time what you are going to do instead of turning to food [take a walk, read, shopping, drink some tea, knitting etc...]
  • Find healthy substitutions for foods you just are not willing to give up
  • Make a plan for dining out, parties and other situations that may lead to eating issues

I decided that completely giving up dessert was NOT going to work for me at this point in my life...I have tried it and the results were disastrous.  Some people do recommend doing this and it worked for them, but it did not work for me.  So instead of feeling guilty or continue to try and force myself to follow someone else's path, I forged my own.

I found MANY substitutions for sweeteners that have little to no impact on blood sugar levels and do not feed candida.  Realize that we NEED blood sugar and therefore healthy whole foods are great...but as far as concentrated sweeteners go it is just too much sugar all at once.

I am the type of person that if I want something and no one else is doing it....I'll figure out my own way!  I've done it many times and I'm still doing it.  I want dessert but I also want to be I am finding a way to do it!  That is the attitude you need to get through and achieve the results you want!

Friday, July 5, 2013

First couple of days Sugar Free

Sugar Free on the 4th of July....My first challenge

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I created a completely SUGAR FREE peach cobbler so I could enjoy a delicious dessert on the 4th of July.
This amazing cobbler features fresh peaches, dried fruits, a touch of stevia and cinnamon and nutmeg.  I topped it off with a whole wheat sweet biscuit that I sweetened with lakanto and stevia.

***Most people HATE the aftertaste of stevia sweetened baked be honest SO DO I!  But, you can prevent that completely and I use very specific methods so that the stevia lends ONLY sweetness!

When I first started tinkering with sugar free baking I tested out some stevia only sweetened baked goods and they were....well to be blunt AWEFUL!  I threw the cookbook away, it was completely useless.  In my opinion just because it is sugar free doesn't mean it should taste disgusting.  So I set out to figure out how to make delicious desserts without using any concentrated sugars that taste amazing.  This was my first creation and my dessert loving family gobbled up the whole me if my hubby likes is a good dessert.

The ice cream on top was just a simple cinnamon banana ice cream which made this the perfect summer dessert.  Just as a warning though....for those who are afraid of carbs...this is not meant to be low carb nor was it meant to be naturally occuring sugar free....this dessert does contain dried fruits as a means of sweetness.  I will NOT use artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, nutrasweet, splenda etc...

On day one it was difficult not to have some toast with peanut butter and honey....I had fallen deeply in the trap of eating honey to sweeten things but it flares up candida as much as anything else.  It was also difficult not to eat a couple peices of my Panda Blueberry Licorice....but I did NOT give in!

I succeeded  on my first desserts, not even anything sweetened with stevia.  The 4th of July was a bit harder though.  It is a day we usually have yummy desserts and eat candy and treats at the fireworks.  I made this beautiful peach cobbler after dinner and that really hit the spot......then I bought some maltitol sweetened chocolate to take to the fireworks and I had two small bites that I completely savored and that was perfect!  I didn't touch any of the other candy!  Normally I would have about exploded if I couldn't taste the treats.....but last night I was calm.    So far so good!  I don't anticipate everyday being this easy but the past couple of days have been okay.

Great 4th of July Celebration

I had to share this adorable picture from the son C holding his cousin J during the Grand Finale!  He needs a little brother......I hope someday we can have a few more little ones running around the house.  He would make an AMAZING big brother!

Anyway, as far as the sugar free peach cobbler recipe is going into a collection of recipes that I will be offering.  I am going to be testing out a HUGE PCOS & Thyroid protocol on myself over the next couple of months and when it is finished I will be offering it to others.

I have realized that one of my biggest issues is that I do actually have chronic yeast issues from my  years of sugar laden eating.......It is frustrating to say the least but I am finally at a point where I am ready to just do what needs to be done.

2 days free of sugar......down .2 pounds!

Okay so it isn't a HUGE improvement in 2 days...I wish I could say down 2 pounds....okay I realize that is expecting a bit too much.  I am going to add some herbs to the mix and see if I can get this yeast problem more under control.....I may have to cut out even the dried fruit desserts for awhile but I'm going to experiment and see what  happens.

I also want to point out that I dont' believe sweets in themselves cause weight gain....for me it is that if I eat sugar it ends up that I eat too much because I can't stop eating it.  So avoiding them results in weight loss simply because it removes the tendency to overeat....and sweets also are VERY Calorie dense which also contributes significantly to weight gain.

Well, so far so good on the sugar free front......we'll see what the next few days bring.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Declaration of Independence and New Directions.....

New Directions

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directions on the blog, then I post that I am going to retire the blog.....then a month later I am back to posting!   What kind of crazy am I?

Okay, okay, I have explained before that I have felt so conflicted about which way to take this blog and I have tried new things and not liked the results.....retiring the blog was not right for me, I LOVE sharing my recipes and posting for my readers.   I apologize for my crazy, constant changing of my mind.....that is just me.

I am going to be blunt and for those of you who know me.... honesty is one of my strengths!  I do not beat around the bush, I will tell you exactly like it here goes!

I started this blog in 2008 as many people were requesting my recipes or my nutrition clients were wanting recipes and ideas for starting their new healthy lifestyles.  At the encouragement of many I started this blog.....I had a lot of fun creating recipes and in the beginning I only posted pictures of my creations not wanting to just give away all my hard work for free!

Many people commented and begged for I decided to start posting recipes and my readership shot up quickly!  That was great, but I still was not getting a dime for any of my hard work.  I thought, that is okay, it takes time.........a year later it was still the same...........another year and no change..............

I started creating ebooks:

Summer BBQ Recipes:  Potato salad, Vegan BBQ wings, Grilled veggie burgers, grilled corn on the cob, chocolate peanut butter bars, brownies, sunburger pasta salad.....and more!

Restaurant Style Chinese Recipes: Vegan egg foo yong, fried rice, General Tso's vegan chicken, sweet and sour tempeh or seitan etc.....

Zesty for Life Oil-Free salad dressings:  Honey mustard mango dressing, Ranch, Italian, Tahini miso.........

Fall Recipe Collection I & II:  Tofurkey, stuffing, Wassail, Apple Cider, Pumpkin muffins, chili, International award winning hot chocolate, pumpkin chocolate chip sweet rolls, carmel, scones, pumpkin pancakes, butternut squash risotto, pumpkin creme brulee, candied yams, 

Decadent Desserts: Chocolate swirl cheesecake, chocolate mint chip cookies, cinnamon rolls, apple crumble, chocolate mint pudding, Apple pie, chocolate peanut butter bars, chocolate chip cookies

Healthy Recipes for Kids: macaroni and cheese, pop tarts, doritos, chocolate calcium smoothie etc......

As much as I hate to admit this publicly......this was an abysmal failure.....4 years 2 sales!!!  Yep, it was pathetic.  I started an email newsletter and gained about 300 subscribers in a couple of months.....I offered sales, discounts, contests to win free ebooks etc..... nothing sales!

I got lots of unsubscribes and nasty emails when I would write an article that was controversial.....people accused me of spam even though I had a double opt-in process so as you can see there is no more 'sign up for the newsletter' link anymore.  Honestly, I couldn't handle all the hostility so I closed up shop on the newsletter.....People are MEAN!  There was no sense in having a newsletter when no one was interested in what I had to offer and all I got out of it was mean people...

I took the ebooks off the blog and these recipes are actually enjoyed by NO ONE! 

I am NOT a marketer......honestly I probably couldn't sell a heater to an Eskimo!  It isn't my talent, my talent is creating recipes and teaching nutrition......that is my passion.

I thought, okay I see all these successful bloggers out there and they don't just post recipes, they post health articles....I'll try that.

That did NOT go well......I wasn't expecting to make money doing least initially, but maybe if people started to respect my knowledge and experience and get to know me they might follow my blog.....wrong!  

I don't know if I have perpetual bad luck or what but my first two blog posts generated such hate posts that I decided to quit the health posts!    The internet seems to be FULL of angry people just searching for someone to be angry with for no reason.  If you don't like what I say go find a blogger that tells you what you want to hear and don't post your hater comments!

I am sensitive and I will NOT apologize for it!  I have deep compassion for others and I intensely feel their pain and I think that is a trait that is LONG LOST in our society!   You can call me a baby or whatever you want but my love and compassion runs deep, along with intense sensitivity and I just do not do well with angry people.

So, I went back to posting recipes........I posted a tutorial on How to cook Hashbrowns without oil.

I figured those who wanted to know would appreciate the post......NOPE!  All I received were a bunch of comments about how potatoes make you fat, they turn to sugar and get stored as fat and I was a complete idiot for posting this!

Seriously people?  If you think potatoes are bad for you....what are you doing reading a post about how to cook them?

I deleted the comments, they were not kind, they were not helpful, they were angry and hateful and not only that they were  full of grammar and spelling errors......Not to mention that they lacked any scientific support for the claims.  

I realize there are studies showing that potatoes contribute to diabetes....what they fail to recognize is these were not 'potatoes'  they were studying french fries and baked potatoes which often contain MORE calories from butter, sour cream, cheese and oils, that it isn't actually a potato they are studying.

You can't say I am going to take X AND Y drug and if I have a side effect it MUST be X drug!  

Anyway, that is not the point of this post.

Enough Rambling Already What is the New Direction???

Okay, I know.....I ramble!  The new direction is that I will not be posting all the recipes.....I have found that it just is NOT worth it!  I work hard and give out recipes for FREE??  Would you want your life's work to be valued at NOTHING????

My recipes are very good, I work hard, I have several degrees and certificates and I'm sorry but what I have to offer is NOT worthless!

So, the new direction is that I will be posting pictures of recipes, I will post some of the recipes but not all of them.....the recipes will be part of ebooks and programs that I will be offering.   If I don't sell a single ebook or program that is fine....but I value my work so I will not be offering it for free.

I Created Ebooks Followers BEGGED for!!!!  What Happened?

On facebook I made some comments about the misconceptions about fat, oils, carbohydrates, protein etc....

All the sudden I had 5 or so followers say they wanted an ebook about this.....they would buy it if I would write one!

Really???  Okay, I will write ebooks based on what my followers want...that will work!


This post had probably 10 I spent hours upon hours writing & editing this ebook....quickly got it up in The Peaceful Kitchen Store and what happened?  NADA, ZIP, ZILCH, NOTHING!

I offered a 10 day discount on the book for my facebook followers.......nothing. purchase.

Hubby and I Discuss My Abysmal Failure!

Hubby and I started discussing this because I wanted another opinion about what I should do.  I told him how many followers I had on Facebook....nearly 400!!!  Yep!

Then I told him when I post a recipe the most likes I have ever gotten is 22!  He said it would be one thing if you had 400 followers and had a product to sell and received 22 sales...but all these people have to do is push a button!!!!  If you are only getting 22 likes, you are wasting your time!

He is right.....he was very kind but also said....I don't want to hurt your feelings but if all they have to do is push a button and they aren't willing to even do that......its pathetic.

Okay, I get it.  I don't know what I am doing wrong...

He told me to stop posting all my recipes and hard work for free.  Post pictures, post a little recipe here or there but ONLY if I continue to enjoy doing it because if it is stressful and I don't enjoy it....I shouldn't be doing it.

I DO enjoy it, so I will continue posting and whoever wants to follow can follow but I won't be posting all the recipes for free.

My Declaration of Independence

What is this all about?  I have been fighting it for years.......fighting the knowledge that I needed to kick my sugar habit!

I LOVE sugar, I CRAVE sugar.....I can't even make it past lunch time without SUGAR!

There I confessed!  I am a sugarholic of the worst kind!

I fooled myself into believing if it was agave, maple syrup, turbinado, succanut, brown rice syrup, coconut palm sugar.......some 'Natural' kind of sugar it was okay!

It isn't!

Do NOT send me hate mail or posts if you don't like my comment....if you want to eat sugar, EAT IT and go find some blog that will tell you all the benefits of eating it but on this blog that isn't what you are going to hear so go somewhere else.....

I made it known in a previous post that I had PCOS....I have made DRASTIC improvements in my health changing to a plant based diet!  NO my PCOS was not caused by soy or a plant based developed at the age of 10 and I ate NO soy as a child EVER!  I drank I guzzled milk like there was no tommorrow!  Milk contains estradiol, estriol and estrone....the bioactive hormones.....and yes it contributed to my high estrogen levels.

Once I removed milk and meat from my diet I had a period within three had been THREE YEARS before that....and they came every 70-90 days getting closer and closer as the years went on so I knew I was on the right track.

However, I couldn't fully recover from my PCOS.....even 9 years later, although I was having regular cycles at 35 wasn't enough.....something was still wrong!

It is no big secret......I just REFUSED to accept it

I needed to kick the sugar habit.....I fought it, I tried to find any other way.....but the reality is...there is no other way!

The addiction worsened as I battled the idea of not eating sugar can I live without chocolate chip cookies?  Life isn't worth living without my chocolate chip cookies!

It dawned on me, I ask people to make HUGE dietary changes can I refuse to make the one last change I need to make?

I went through years of going off sugar, then BINGING and eventually it went from dessert twice a week to every single day....sometimes twice a twice a day, everyday.  This battle of trying to remove sugar from my diet actually led to a greater addiction than I ever thought possible!

It seemed that I would never be able to kick sugar for good....trying actually made the problem worse!

What did sugar do to me?

Let me start by saying that I DO NOT buy white sugar!  I was using maple syrup, turbinado, succanut, coconut palm sugar, brown rice syrup etc.....

What did it do?  Well......nothing at first.

Slowly I started having stiffness in the mornings and increasing sugar cravings.  When I would eat a particularly sugary rich dessert with coconut oil and sugar a yeast infection would set in.....
I would take herbs and the yeast infection would go away.

I would eat sugar and my teeth would ache.....I would put herbs on them, rinse with essential oils and it would go away.

Eventually the stiffness got worse.....I injured myself doing kettlebell swings pretty severely to where I could not even bend over and I never fully still hurts and is stiff.

My cycles started becoming farther and farther apart......45 days.....60 days.....75 days.....90 days...... eventually 6 months and  counting!!!!

Not only that my PCOS symptoms were increasing.....increased belly fat.....dark spots on my skin and others I won't discuss.....

I am not going to into all the details because as I said before people are mean and have their opinions.....but I KNOW for a fact.......sugar was slowly killing me!

Eventually I developed a systemic yeast problem!!!  When I would avoid any concentrated sweetener it would ease up....then I would eat even a low sugar dessert and BAM....symptoms return with a vengeance.

I am publicly declaring my independence from sugar!!!

It is time!  I am giving it up.......

I have decided that what will work best for me is to use dried fruit, stevia, lakanto and a few others to help me transition....

That may not be others approach but the cold turkey approach is what got me here....two desserts a day.

I know many people say you can't have fruit with yeast....but interestinly...I do just fine with it.  I think there is another dietary issue in combination with fruit that causes the issue but I'm not going to discuss it because I am not in the mood for mean people or arguing.  Do what you want, I'll do what I want.

I will be posting pictures and descriptions of my new recipe creations.....these recipes will be included in my thyroid & PCOS healing program!

You can watch my progress..........see what I am eating.........and follow my sugar detox....

I will be posting my Raw, Uncensored, experience of detoxing from sugar addiction..........Stay Tuned!

You will see details of my journey, pictures of what I am eating, and my progress.......