addiction part 1

Friday, November 5, 2010

my new best friend - la multigrain rice cake - o fat, 35 cals and no wheat

I have wanted to do a detox/cleanse for years. You know the one where for 10 days - 3 weeks you eliminate dairy, sugar, alcohol, wheat & caffeine. Then you introduce each one back into your daily food routine and see if there is any difference in how you feel. I was curious and because I've had such long standing issues with food* I wanted to see if I had the hutzpah to follow through with such a seemingly restrictive plan ... even for a day or two ??

Well let's begin by eliminating some of the eliminatees - I don't drink, at all, so alcohol (phew !) is not a problem. There's no way I'm eliminating caffeine because my 1 1/2 - 2 cups of coffee a day, especially that first one had in bed each morning in darkness with a bevy of warm fur around me is a joyful ritual which sets my toes a tappin' and one that I'm just not willing to give up. So that leaves dairy (milk & cheese mainly), sugar (the good, I mean bad refined kind) and wheat (ya mean no more chewy white sesame bagels from the lady at the market ??) Uh Huh !

Turns out, much to my surprise and delight - it's hasn't been that difficult and the one thing I now know for sure is I am soooooo addicted to sugar, it's just not funny. I mean the really good bad stuff - Hagen Dazs, butter tarts, slabs o' milk chocolate (none of this 70% cocoa dark healthy stuff pour moi), I like my dairy and refined sugar all in one go. When I walk by the drug store each afternoon on my way to the post office I literally have a fight with myself on the sidewalk to not to go in and buy ... marked down Halloween candy (maybe they have some mini chocolate bars), a big box of Whoppers or a bag of licorice allsorts (sigh) every day I take a big deep breath and I walk on by. I come home and have 2 multi grain rice cakes, lightly slathered with natural peanut butter, topped with slices of golden delicious apple - stunningly satisfying.

breakfast is either steel cut oatmeal, drizzled with a tiny bit of maple syrup, topped with a cup of almond milk - (Hello ! where have you been all my life) or my favourite two semi soft boiled eggs, the tiniest smidge of butter (yes that is dairy, but just a little - see concessions below) salt and pepper and my new favourite toast/bread - the multi grain rice cake.

lunch - I love to make a big vat of squash, chickpea, lentil, tons of veggie, tomato soup (great recipe here). Or I'll have a sandwich with my new bread, tuna salad, salmon salad smeared on a rice cake topped with sliced dill pickles, or a smoothie banana, yogurt, orange & pineapple juice.

dinner - by far the easiest meal - simply no wheat pasta, no bread - sweet potatoes, potatoes, brown rice, rice noodles all are allowed. Fish, chicken or beans/legumes & lots of vegetables

les concessions - No.1 - I do have a small amount of 1% cow's milk in my coffee 'cause almond milk and soy milk just don't cut it for me. And me and my morning coffee, we have somethin' good goin' on, as is. So ... I have 1/4 cup milk each morning. I allow myself fruit. Concession No.2 - many of these detox/cleanses suggest that you eliminate fruit almost entirely, allowing the occasional banana (fruit is sugar - natural yes, but sugar none the less). I like fruit a lot, and a girls gotta have some sugar. And No.3, I allow myself yogurt a few times a week.

What I've learned thus far - I really do love multi grain rice cakes and they are a very good bread substitute (I can't believe I just typed that) - but it's true. I have fallen off the wagon, as you can well imagine, several times. Two particularly long & hard falls - a half container of premium chocolate peanut butter fudge ice cream, and another - way too many to count pieces of home made, buttery, sugary almond paste squares (again from the Farmers Market a place I know now I must avoid - way too much temptation). I felt like I had a hangover within 30 mins of both falls - dull, fuzzy and very lethargic feeling. Perhaps it's true, sugar really is poison. Sugar is a drug.

I'm not so clear yet what the story is with me and dairy, or me and wheat but I do know without a doubt that Hello!! I'm Susan and I'm a sugar addict. I do know also that I will slip up again (and again) and that I will make little adjustments & concessions along the way, but my plan is to keep on keepin' on and hope that eventually those darn brownies will stop yellin at me.

* Women, Food & God - Geneen Roth - if you have food issues you must read this book !!

beautiful photo backdrop paper courtesy of Shammy Sham and I love my new 18 month desk blotter - il fait beau, Merci B. Shamu !!!


  1. Susan - as a Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant - I know that dairy and wheat are the most allergic foods. I use the BioMeridian system to test for food and environmental sensitivities and am seeing more and more gluten sensitivity. It seems wheat varieties are being combined to produce heartier crops making them higher in gluten and harder to digest. Gluten can cause damage to the small intestine interfering with digestion, absorption of nutrients, and creating lots of inflammation that can make us feel tired, brain foggy, depressed, achy, bloated, gasy.... and the list goes on. Most people feel so much better when dairy and gluten are removed from the diet.

    You should come in sometime for testing. It's pretty interesting.

    All the best with your cleanse. And by the way - falling off the wagon is par for the course. We're only human. Penny

  2. Thank you Penny for your comment. I did visit your website and I would love to come in next time I'm in "the city", meet you and be tested.

    I really am amazed that it hasn't felt so much like the huge challenge that I was expecting. And I have felt much less cravings then normal although I also know that so much of my "craving" comfort (sugars & carbs) is definitely emotionally based not physically.

    Have you read Women, Food & God ???
    It's an amazing, often very funny, book ! and I like Geneen began medicating myself with food at a very young age.

    thanks again and yes I am only human - I must remember that ;-)

  3. I'm not at the point of doing the cleanse thing yet but I too am attempting to make changes. While you may be the Sugar Freak, I am the Salt Queen. Make that Ex Salt Queen. As for sugar, I'm trying to switch to dried fruits whenever I feel like I must have a cookie or chocolate.

    HOW beautiful is that paper? Sunny and bright for the long winter days.

    Crab is still on the menu, yes?

  4. Oui, oui to the crab - of course !

  5. All the active members of the Crab Tollers breathe a collective sigh of relief.

  6. This stuff fascinates me! Five weeks ago I started making green shakes in the morning (and sometimes for dinner, depending). Spinach, banana, some frozen fruit and water. Talk about good things happening. :)

  7. Yum Chez ! I've never thought about putting spinach in my smoothie - I'm gonna try that ! xo S & les Gang

  8. Susan you are too funny here:

    "And me and my morning coffee, we have somethin' good goin' on"

    You know, I am glad to read this as that would be like cutting off all your glorious hair--it is just so you! don;t you dare! :)

    I admire you even trying. I too am soo crazily addicted to sugar so doubt I coudl give that up for too long--or bread! Ohh.,bread! i so love that too.

    Well, I will be intersted to know how it goes for you. Best of luck there. not an envious postion but perhaps one you will learn some good things through---other than your addiction to that fine white granular powder. :)

  9. Greetings Mmmmm - Ya know this new food plan has been amazingly easy and I can hardly believe I'm saying that. I always thought it would be super hard. I am in no way giving up sugar - but the really bad refined oohy gooey sweets, candy and such I will try to reserve for special occasions and try and limit to small portions.

    Bread, I haven't really thought much about ... but sugar is always on my mind.

  10. Wow - that's an inspiring diet plan. I like how you've taken your diet changes in stages and you're allowing yourself concessions along with new successes.

    Purty background paper too. Nice touch from the Shamster.

  11. Hi Susan

    I haven't read the book you mentioned but several of my clients have and they have found it very interesting.

    Another one you might like is The Gabriel Method by Jon Gabriel. It's about our emotional connection to food, but he also talks about food choices, which is what I base my recommendations on. When we eat nutrient dense/rich foods, we don't need large quantities. It's all about nutrient value. I think the obesity epidemic we're facing in this country/continent is because of all the nutrient void food that's so readily available which is being promoted as healthy.

    All the low fat this and that are simply foods that have been processed even further with more additives to make it taste good. We'd be better off with real butter and full fat yogurt in small quantities, for example. Again, it's all about meeting our nutritional needs. When we're deficient in just one nutrient, the body cannot be in balance.

    All the best Susan. I hope you're in where it's cozy and dry. Thank goodness the wind has died down. :-)

  12. So interesting to read this - I am a sometimes-sugar and sometimes-salt addict too. One or the other, according to hormonal changes I suppose, but I always want the bad stuff, I never crave health food!
    I just need to find a way to cut out sugar, wheat and alcohol that I can live with. Problem is, lack of will power. :(!


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