My sister determined she wanted to stop eating sugar and get her moods under control. She asked for a ‘plan’ to help her on her journey. This is what I came up with for her – keeping it positive and based on what she CAN eat.
What to call this? Food Elimination Plan? Eat the Rainbow Plan? The Sugar-No Zone? A Selective Fast? The Get-Rid-of-Staph-For-Good Plan? The Mood Equalizer Plan? Whatever you call it, there is a list of things you can always eat. I’ve made that CAN list into a shopping list for you – I took out gluten for now, you can remove dairy too.
1: Clean out your kitchen. You won’t eat it if it isn’t there. Get a big garbage bag or a bin. Remove anything with white sugar in it. Decide if you are taking out gluten or milk or both. Remove them from your kitchen. Read all labels. Remove anything with those ingredients in them. This is fun! Pitching it and clearing out will feel amazing. Everyone will benefit.
2: Go shopping. Get meat, colorful veggies, beans, nuts. Some apples and colorful dark berries. EVOO, pasture butter (Organic Valley in the green label or Irish butter). If dairy is still in, plain whole milk yogurt, Greek or European. Stick to that! If it is in a package, just leave it for now. It will make shopping way easier and less traumatic – reading labels is a chore. Keeping it easy!
3: Make some stuff. Prepare a few key things that you enjoy, taste good, make you feel abundant and nourished, and will be easy to grab when you need it. You want to have things that are AS EASY as grabbing a slice of bread from a package. I like to have on hand: a dressing, a dip, a treat, and some partially prepped meals/veggies.
My favorite is reduced apple cider with EVOO, shallots diced very fine, thyme, salt, and ACV or lemon. Recipe at http://ecologicalherbalist.com/thyme-evoo-cider-dressing/
- 6 T olive oil
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 T prepared mustard
- 1 T honey, mixed with 1 T hot water
- 1 clove peeled and pressed garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
Baba ganouj, Hummus, bean-based dips are great for nutritional value. If Dairy is in: Yogurt-based herby dips are great too.
BLACK BEAN DIP
- 2 cups cooked black beans, drained well
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp water (may omit if you like it thicker)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped (or a little scoop from your fridge container, see below)
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds or tahini
- 1/4 tsp each of ground cumin, smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, marjoram & basil
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro or parsley; 2 tsp toasted sesame oil; 1/4 tsp ground coriander; 1/4 tsp dried parsley
- garnish: drizzle of olive oil, sprig of parsley, and/or chopped green onion or chives
Place all ingredients except garnish in a food processor and blend until smooth. Scrape into a serving bowl and garnish. Dip colorful veggies ad libitum!
So important – something satisfying. These are great for ‘getting over the sugar hump’. Later I’ll teach you how to add herbal powders to make ‘zoom balls’ and other treats with the same nutty base. They are like truffles!
CAROB NUT BALLS
- 3/4 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup carob powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup raw honey (MUST say raw)
- 1 tsp vanilla (high quality)
- 1 cup simple, one-ingredient puffed cereal (If you have the option, choose a tiny puffed grain like quinoa or millet.)
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (Use any seeds or chopped nuts you like, lightly toasted pecan pieces are sweetest.)
Finely chopped nuts/seeds or almond flour
cocoa or carob powder combined with a dash of cinnamon
Thoroughly combine the almond butter, carob powder, cinnamon, honey and vanilla. The dough will be quite stiff. Knead in the nuts and cereal. With wet hands, form into walnut-sized balls. Make sure the surface is glisteningly damp. Choose which coating you’d like to use and roll balls in. It is easy to coat by shaking the balls in a ziploc bag with the coconut. Refrigerate til firm, or freeze in an air-tight container to store for a week or more.
Pre-prepped Breakfast and Lunch
This is the ‘continuous kitchen’ idea you can find on my site (http://ecologicalherbalist.com/continuous-kitchen/ and http://ecologicalherbalist.com/recipe-requirements/) – it is so important to success. You want to have things on hand that make meal prep easy and not stressful because you know you are making nourishing choices.
The key is knowing you need a high protein breakfast. This will help you curb your sugar cravings, equalize mood, and help you think better. You want 30 g in the morning meal.
Here are some examples good protein foods:
- 1 egg = 6 g
- ½ c beans = 8 g
- 2 Tbsp or 1 ounce nuts = 6-7 g
- 1 Tbsp nut butter = 8 g
- 5 oz tuna = 20 g
- 1 cup yogurt = 14 g
- 1 cup Greek yogurt = 18-20g
- 3 oz beef = 31 g
- 5 oz pork loin =33 g
- 1 oz cheese = 9 g
- 3 oz salmon = 22 g
- 1 c kidney or white beans = 29 g
- 1 c soybeans = 29 g
- 3.5 oz chicken = 30 g
So, 2-3 egg omelet with chives or spinach and a sausage and you are rocking it out. Or lentils and a poached egg. Or turkey bacon and some cottage cheese or yogurt with blueberries (if you are doing dairy). The idea here is, think a lot harder about breakfast than dinner. Dinner can be soup – easy. Make breakfast really count for everybody.
Other ideas for pre-prepping:
- Pre-mince garlic covered in EVOO in an airtight glass container in the fridge
- Pre-wash and chop greens make easy salads, soups, or braised greens
- Pre-measure packets of seasonings
- Make stock – from vegetables or bones; just always have one going (flavor!)
- Roast – learn to do this well – roasting rocks even cold lunches
- Mandoline or julienne or shred or grate carrots, fennel, cabbage, even apples, and squeeze lemon over the pile, put in a glass airtight container and grab a handful to put on your salad greens for an elevated salad
- Keep everything in easy to store, healthy containers that go fridge to table and back to fridge (see links)
EASY and SATISFYING SOUP
- 2 cups water or broth you made ahead
- 2 cups leafy greens, washed and torn (about 2 handfuls of chard, kale, etc.)
- handful of baby carrots
- 1/2 apple, chopped
- small handful of red or french lentils (about ¼ cup – but get to use your hands so it goes faster + easier)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled (or a little scoop from your fridge container, see above)
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp each turmeric, ground cumin and ground coriander
- garnish options: tahini, cilantro, parsley, hemp seeds, flax oil
In a small pot pour in the water and add the greens, carrots, apple, lentils, garlic, ginger and spices. Cover and let cook half an hour to 45 minutes. When you’re ready to have the soup, puree and pour into a bowl and garnish. Enjoy!
Drizzle some tahini into the soup just before pureeing, then stir in 1 Tbsp each chopped cilantro and parsley, a drizzle of flax oil and a smattering of hemp seeds. The secret is the bit of apple to give some sweetness, and the tahini really makes it creamier.
You can fill out the menu planner if it helps you shop and use what you have – I start by filling out the side with stuff I need to use, then create meals from there, then make the shopping list of what I need to make that food. Or you can just ignore the menu planner.