How to get off bread and sugar….and by the way it`s not your fault

If you are like most people, you`ve probably sworn off bread or sugar at least once in your lifetime. The trouble is though, that at the best of times willpower often cowers in the face of a true physiological or bacterial craving.

The truth is, if you can`t stop yourself from bingeing on bread or overdoing sugar, it is not your fault. Here is why:

1) From a physiological perspective- if you have blatant or subtle nutrient deficiencies, your body is driving you to consume sugar and refined carbs to feel good (although only momentarily). Unfortunately, sugar itself keeps you both on a roller coaster and a hamster wheel! The dips and spikes of sugar ensure that you crave just one thing- more sugar!! And as far as the hamster wheel is concerned, sugar isn`t an empty calorie, it actually puts us in a nutrient defecit, thus perpetuating mineral deficiency and subsequent cravings!

2) From a bacterial perspective- if you have sugar cravings, there is a very high chance that you also have a bacterial imbalance in your gut…sugar feeds pathogenic bacteria. These bacteria beasties actually send chemical messages to your brain that will cause you to crave sugar and refined carbohydrates!So as you can see, people crave sugar, because they have to -in the age of nutrient deficient food!

While there are many ways to nourish ourselves to make cravings a thing of the past, I bet you would love to know about the single most potent food to permantly eliminate sugar cravings altogether, am I right?

How about discovering one food that can address both the body`s physiological craving for food AND the bacterial one?

The food most ideally suited to stop your sugar and refined carb cravings is cultured foods!!

Culturing a food, means that you are infusing it with beneficial probiotic bacteria (you know, that good stuff inherently found in yogurt!).So just how DO cultured foods address the root causes of sugar and refined carb cravings?

1) Culturing your food increases the nutritional value of that food. For example, sauerkraut has 100 times the Vitamin C as its unfermented counterpart, cabbage. Eating some probiotic condiments with each meal also promotes better digestion and the assimilation of nutrients. That in itself is a 3 in 1 benefit of cultured foods in terms of meeting nutrient deficiences!

2) Cultured food also feeds beneficial bacteria in your gut, therefore helping to crowd out the more harmful or pathogenic flora. In addition, cultured foods do not JUST add good probiotic bacteria to your gut, butthey also provide lactic acid which is not only food for the GOOD bacteria, but it makes your digestive tract inhospitable to pathogenic bacteria! That is a 4 in 1 benefit!

And if that is not remarkable enough…..

1) Ancient chinese medicine has taken note that the unique flavour of cultured foods actually has a balancing effect that neutralizes or cancels out our cravings for sugar!

2) Finally, one Ka-RAZY Kool effect of eating fermented foods with your meals is that if you give into a sugar craving and immediately eat a cultured food, the beneficial bacteria will immediately begin eating up the sugar you just consumed, therefore minimizing the amount that you end up digesting and assimilating! Now if my math is correct, that is at least 9 reasons why cultured foods alone, can curb your sugar cravings!

So if cravings, are driving you crazy, and you want to immediately take action- you can purchase the following fermented foods and bubbly beverages at your local health food store:

1) Bubbies Pickles
2) Sauerkraut
3) Kombucha

Just make sure they say unpasteurized, because otherwise they will be devoid of probiotics from the heat.

But, if you have a sneaking suspicion that you will eventually get bored of eating only 3 kinds of cultured foods, then you are going to want to get the skills you need, to make them at home (which is way yummier, simple and more affordable anyway)!!

Click here to learn more about how you can do that from the comfort of your own kitchen!

Coconut Tahini Nut FREE Granola Bars

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups quick oats

½ cup Panella or Rhapadura Fair Trade Sugar (optional)

1/3 cup Spelt Flour (Ancient Grain sold at Organic and Health Food Stores)

½ tsp unrefined salt

2 cups shredded coconut

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

½ cup coconut oil (melted)

½ cup honey

½ cup tahini (sesame paste) warm up on the stove for easier mixing.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the sides.

Stir together all the ingredients in the order listed and spread evenly with a fork into the pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges —with a little color on the top too. They might seem soft and underbaked when you press into the center of the pan, but they will set completely once cool.

Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. To speed this up,after about 20 minutes you can use your parchment “sling” to lift and remove the
bars, to cool the rest of the way without the pan underneath.

Once entirely cool, use a serrated knife to cut the bars into squares. If bars seem crumbly, chill the pan of them further in the fridge, then cut them cold. Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap or stack them in an airtight container. Store bars in the refrigerator if your house is humid. You can freeze them as well.

Orange Raisin Nut FREE Granola Bars

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups quick oats

1/3 cup Spelt Flour (Ancient Grain sold at Organic and Health Food Stores)

½ tsp unrefined salt

2 cups raisins

1-2 Tbsp orange rind or 2-3 tsp orange extract

½ cup butter (melted)

½ cup honey

½ cup tahini (sesame paste) warm up on the stove for easier mixing.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the sides.

Stir together all the ingredients in the order listed and spread evenly with a fork into the pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges —with a little color on the top too. They might seem soft and underbaked when you press into the center of the pan, but they will set completely once cool.

Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. To speed this up,after about 20 minutes you can use your parchment “sling” to lift and remove the bars, to cool the rest of the way without the pan underneath.

Once entirely cool,use a serrated knife to cut the bars into squares. If bars seem crumbly, chill the pan of them further in the fridge, then cut them cold. Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap or stack them in an airtight container. Store bars in the refrigerator if your house is humid. You can freeze them as well.

Simple Seed Crackers

Can’t do grains? Don’t want to have to make crispy seeds BEFORE you make crackers? This recipe starts with wet soaked seeds instead of dehydrated crispy seeds!

You will need:

1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 tsp salt (each added at different times)
2 Tbsp ground flax

Step 1: Soak 1 cup sesame seeds with 1 cup sunflower seeds and 1 tsp salt for 4 hours or overnight.

Step 2: Drain seeds in a colander.

Step 3: Put in a food processor and blend with 1 tsp salt plus 2 Tbsp ground flax. Process until it has the consistency of dough.

Step 4: Press the dough out with your fingers (or a fork) onto some wax or parchment paper, smooth out with a silicone spatula or put another piece of parchment paper on top and smooth with a rolling pin (the dough between the two pieces of parchment paper). Roll out thinner for a crisp cracker.

Step 5: Cut in triangles or squares with a pizza roller or other knife and then prick three lines of wholes on each cracker (think premium plus) and then sprinkle with unrefined  salt.

Step 6: Bake in the oven @ 350 degrees for anywhere from 20 min to 40 minutes (depending on the thickness).You will know they are done when you can easily pull them off the paper without splitting them in half. Because some will naturally be thicker than others, I typically pull some off and then put the rest back in the oven to finish. You can also enjoy them raw by dehydrating in a food dehydrator!

Variations:

Add fresh garlic, fresh herbs, parmesan or other cheese or nutritional yeast (of which you might have to add some water)!

Breakfast Jello

Forget plain old fruit salad!

Increase the nutrient density of a simple fruit salad by making this gelatinized version before bed, or while you are making dinner for a fast food, nutrient packed breakfast!

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Gelatin (from animals raised on pasture)  ie:  Great Lakes
1 cup ( ideally freshly squeezed)  juice, coconut water or kefir water mixed with pureed or stewed fruit of your choice (but even 100% pasteurized juice in tetra-packs will do)
1 cup whipping cream, crème Fraiche, Kefir Milk or coconut milk
1 generous Tbsp raw honey or stevia to taste
1 cup fresh fruit or dried fruit (plumped up by soaking in hot water) of your choice chopped into bite sized pieces

Optional: 2 tsp vanilla or 1 tsp flavor extract or 2 tsp citrus rind.

Instructions:

Step 1 Juice your fruit. Or just blend 1/2 cup  fruit for a puree or alternatively stew fruit on the stove and then extend with kefir water.

Step 2 Mix the gelatin into 1/2 cup of the fruit juice in a medium sized  saucepan on low heat. Stir or whisk until dissolved completely. Set aside and add the whipping cream, crème Fraiche, Kefir Milk or coconut milk.

Step 3 In the meantime chop up fruit into bite sized pieces and place artfully in the bottom of a glass baking dish.

Step 4 Stir in the rest of ingredients together with the gelatin-juice mixture and pour on top of the fruit.

Step 5 Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or until set.

Step 6 In the morning serve with a generous dallop of whipping cream or slightly sweetened crème Fraiche on top.