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Archive for January, 2010

I think most all of us crave carbohydrates more in the cold, still of winter. This isn’t necessarily a problem, and in fact, if done right, carbohydrates actually help boost our “feel good” neurotransmitter levels and can lead a to greater state of seasonal balance.

This is a simply delicious “comfort food” recipe that makes use of nutrient rich ingredients to add flavor rather than depending on dairy. If you can tolerate dairy, feel free to add some quality Parmesan on top, but it is just as good without! And its ready in less than 30 minutes!

 Serves 4
Preparation time 5 min
Cook time 20 min

 8 ounces gluten free Penne or Macaroni pasta (typically ½ a bag)
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
½ cup pistachio nut pieces
¼ a raw jalapeño (use more or less depending on your “spicy” tolerance)
2 tablespoons gluten free Brewers Yeast
¼ of a bunch of Italian Parsley, stems and all
Pinch of black pepper
¼ cup chopped green onion
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper

 Preheat oven to 425

(Topped with Parmesan cheese)

Cook pasta about 2 to 3 minutes LESS than directed.

Rinse will cool water, place in a large mixing bowl and pour olive oil on top. Mix to coat so that pasta does not stick together.

Combine nuts, jalapeño, Yeast, black pepper and parsley into a food processor. Mix with regular blade until finely ground. 

Combine contents from food processor, with pasta, green onion and bell pepper. Mix to combine ingredients.

Transfer this mixture to and 8X5-baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Please leave us some comments on how this recipes turned out for you!

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Megan Grooves of Core Nutrition and Health and partner creator of the ABC’s of Gluten Free  wrote this excellent blog about how to over come your sweet tooth.  We’re thrilled to host this blog and encourage you to also check out Megan’s site for more helpful tips, guidance and inspiration!

How I Repaired My Sweet Tooth

By Megan Groves
The traditional ways to avoid overeating sweets create the having to avoid the overeating of sweets.

Empty your house of them. Give away your leftover Halloween candy. Hide the Christmas chocolates. Keep the cookies in a shoebox on the top shelf of the closet, and place the stepstool in the opposite side of the room.

For some, this may be successful.

Frankly I always found these tactics fanned the flames of desire.

What you can’t have you want more of, right? Just think of dating psychology for a moment and my point is proven.

Anyhow, I worked through many of my food addictions in the past, but I was still hooked on something very very powerful. Dark. Chocolate.

Here’s how I overcame my daily obsession.  

But first a back story: I was always the kind of kid who, after being told not to open the door, headed straight for the handle the moment the adults left.

So naturally when I tried to wean myself off chocolate by hiding it, I’d go through the effort to unbury and devour it before my rival rationale could enter. Not to mention I always remembered exactly where I hid it! We really can’t fool ourselves for long.

So that’s when it occurred to me: rather than caving into temptation of the forbidden fruit, I should let it not be forbidden.

I began leaving squares of dark chocolate with cacao nibs and minty chocolate bunny heads and organic Mayan spice bars on the counter, in the fridge, next to the tea in the cupboard, even next to my work computer. It was all I saw. In the morning when I got of bed, I spotted chocolate before I could even make it to the bathroom to brush my teeth.  

Did I eat dark chocolate first thing in the morning? Yes.

Did I snack on it mindlessly while at my desk? Of course I did.

But I wasn’t breaking my will.

Eventually two really powerful things emerged:

1) Chocolate became mundane.

My craving for it was no longer a yearning for novelty.

2) It began to teach me true discipline.

At some point when we can see our temptation in plain light, it ceases to become so dazzling. At some point eating so damn much dark chocolate was, well, sickening.

True discipline wasn’t about saying no, it was about understanding consequences.

When I work with my clients, there are plenty of ways to use the right food and diet to permanently and effectively eliminate sweets cravings. But on top of those methods, uncovering some of the driving forces and increasing awareness is just as powerful a tactic.

And both these roads lead to long term success, rather than sneaky antics or sheer force, and the sweet tooth is healthily repaired.

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Why do you eat what you eat?  This question crosses my mind often… especially as I find myself wandering into the kitchen, pulling out the almond butter and snacking straight from jar.  🙂  Why is it I’m drawn, conscious or not, to certain foods, even when I know they aren’t the best choice?  My contemplations have uncovered the top 4 reasons or motivating factors behind our choices of what to eat. Ready for the count down… drum roll please…..
1.       Our taste buds are like trained little umpa lumpas.  Deeply conditioned and lovers of habit.  As routine as the thoughts that we habitually identify ourselves with, our taste buds, if given the chance are just as predictable.

2.      To look good.  Let’s face it, particularly for women our desire to been seen as beautiful definitely has some weight in our food choices.

3.      Health.  Many people are becoming more in tuned with health, more aware of food allergies and sensitivities and are choosing to eat foods that promote physical wellness.

4.  Balance.  Our bodies naturally crave foods in attempt to balance out our energetics.  Because of this natural inclination it is important to listen to our bodies, but it’s only as effective as our ability to discern our wholesome cravings from our self sabotaging ones.

Does something seem wrong to you about this list?  At first glance it seems right on, like these are valid reasons and certainly relatable truths as to why we eat what we eat, but they seem to lack depth don’t you think?  I mean, from a relative perspective it makes sense that we are creatures of habit, that we’re addicted to our own self image and health.  But really, where are those concerns going to take us?  The same place they’ve been taking us for the past several decades, nowhere!  I mean not really.  Sure we’ve come a long way in understanding how food affects our body, and while there will always be more to learn in that department, how does it really help us take the next quantum leap in our development?  Where our attention is, is where we end up going. When we focus on the bio-medical, health and self conscious, habitual way of eating, our attention is looking inward to our seemingly never ending microscopic functioning’s of ourselves and life.  But if we never take the time to direct our attention the other way, outward to those around us, to our city, our country, the world and even to the interior and exterior of the Kosmos, then what good is knowing the minute functions of the body really going to do us?
 
So, consider this.  What if the top reason for eating was Sensitivity?  By sensitivity I don’t mean food allergies, I mean eating for the purpose of increasing our perception.  For raising our capacity for deeper levels of awareness.  What if we choose to eat for Spirit, for consciousness, for the purpose of increasing our ability to Give and be present?  Don’t you think that would flip everything around?  Our attention would be simultaneously looking inward and outward.  Inward because we would be more conscious about the foods that we did choose to eat, knowing how they would affect us physically, psychologically, emotionally, energetically, and spiritually.  We would choose to eat them because we would intuit the need for them, and know that  their virtues would become one with our virtues.  
 
I know this sounds abstract at first.  But I urge you to give it some thought, and not only that, try it out, after all we are talking about food!  Set a goal for a week of Sensitive eating. Increase your live foods such as sauerkraut, or other cultured veggies, and raw or lightly cooked veggies.  Consciously leave out foods that are heavy and harder to digest, like sugary foods, animal products and dairy.  Choose foods because they look and feel energetically vibrant to you.  Pay attention to what you eat and how it influences you.  And remember, it isn’t about reaching a specific end as much as it is about the process itself.  The motive for eating Sensitively is pure.  While the goal is to increase our capacity for consciousness, it isn’t a goal that can never be reached as an end point.  Rather it becomes actualized in the moment, and every moment, that we  make the conscious choice to eat in this way.
 
Striving for a more wholesome  relationship to food and life is not something we have to do alone.  In fact we’ve found it to be much more profound when people with these shared intentions come together, which is exactly what the Eating for Evolution community is dedicated to. We hope to see you there!
 
Eyes on the horizon,
Amber

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Its Jan 3rd 2010. Holy cow! I was out and about today and every place that I went had “diet” stuff front and center. Even as I sit here typing I hear the commercials in the background (as my husband watches Lord of the Rings re-run on TV) broadcasting the newest, best, bestest, most wonderful, sure to work, just like a miracle, can’t believe what you see, weight loss specials, sure to take willing payers to new heights of slimdom (invented word). Hence the inspiration for this post.

And I want you to know, this is not based in cynicism. It comes from professional experience rooted in over 15 years in the health and holistic medicine field, as well as personal struggles with food addiction and weight. I have been on the front lines, right in the nitty gritty of patient’s and client’s wants, needs, desires; seeing what works and what does not.

If you are at least 30 years old you know… Diets don’t work! I treat plenty of teenagers that even know this fully. Let us expose what we already know to be true…

1. They aren’t sustainable. Diets have a beginning and an end. That means they work for a while, but there is always an end, and that is when they fail.

Solution: I am pretty sure you have heard this before, but lifestyle changes are what create phenomenal and lasting results. Make changes that are rooted in what you know to be true. Ones that are based in something beyond the superficiality of looks alone. You will be amazed at the payoff!

2. They lack integrity. Integrity means action which moves us towards greater states of integration and wholeness. Most diets are fad based; they come and go like the wind and are completely imbalanced, lacking integrity. High carb/low-fat, Low carb/high protein, the cabbage diet, the lemonade fast, the eat one day and not the next diet, the eat what you want and exercise like a mad person until you burn ___ calories diet.  Fad diets always fail at some point, and its your health that pays the price.

Solution: Do the right thing. Take responsibility for your choices. At this point in time, most of us know deep down what is really needed in order to lose weight (and have it be a lasting affair) are practices and choices rooted in integrity. This is not that complicated and we don’t necessarily need to hire someone to tell us what to eat. Everyone knows these basic guidelines:

  • Eat mostly veggies with some fruits. This is a Nutrient Rich way of living and it makes so much sense! There is a great interview on our Eating For Evolution Community site about eating Nutrient Rich
  • Greatly limit refined flour and sugar products. They contain drug like substances that make them very addictive and wreak havoc on the body. They break down every system in the body over time… And make you fat!
  • Decrease animal products. If you are following #1 above then this naturally happens. Eating less animal product is hands down one of the healthiest things that you can do for your body and for the environment.

3. They are based on deprivation. If the diet you are on is focused on depriving you of something that you really love, it is only a matter of time before you binge. I know we can all exercise incredible self-control for a while, but if we’re doing it based on some “external” force telling us what to do, the rebel inside will unleash eventually.

Now with this said, there are medical reasons why some people should absolutely abstain because someone else told them to. For example: I have celiac disease and I need to not eat gluten, ever, or my health pays for it. Diabetics, don’t eat sugar. In both of these cases certain foods can be like poison.

Solution: Take inventory of what your goals and values are in this life. And then look honestly at your actions… Including what you eat. Then ask the question: “Does what I am choosing to eat support my goals and values?” Identify yourself as the “Chooser,” and then you can no longer play the game of victim. There is no one “out there” to rebel against… It’s just you making choices that support either life or death in every moment. Then you start to see that what you once thought of as deprivation, may actually just a choice for life! What a gift!

4. They are based on the “miracle” quick fix. This does not exist. It’s a fact.

Solution: Consistency over time. Almost everything that is beautiful, stunning, and fantastic has been created and formed over time. Healthy and beautiful bodies and minds are no exception. It’s all the little things that we do over time that add up to create destruction or vitality. Cultivating health is a trajectory not a final destination point. We have a chance to learn and grow bit by bit every day. Putting into practice what we know to be the best for us at that time is that we can hope for. Tomorrow may bring new news. I do know that a way of eating based in the principles listed above is a time-tested, and cross culturally honored as the most healthful and holistic way to eat for ourselves and the planet.

5. They are most often rooted in superficial and “personal” desires. This may not sound so bad a first. And indeed having a motivation to lose weight, say to look stunning at your 20 year class reunion, can be a good thing to get your butt motivated right? Yes and no. “Yes” that it is good to get moving, “No” in the sense that not all motivations are not created equal. superficial motivations only take us so far.

Solution: We need to evolve our motivations. Our culture (which is the collective “us” and all that we have agreed on over time) puts huge emphasis on the “exterior.” This is particularly true for women although it is becoming more and more that way amongst younger men. Our motivations almost always start off rather superficial with weight loss… This “is what it is” so to speak. But we need to consciously direct our attention to deeper reasons for doing the right thing. This is where we are at, collectively, in the developmental process. It’s not just about you and the way that you look, or about me and the way I look anymore. Our current global crisis calls for us to look deeply and holistically at all of our choices and actions. What I/you do is not separate from all of life. In other words what you choose to do, could never “just affect you.”

This is why we have created the Eating For Evolution Community!

  1. To facilitate evolution and awareness in regards to our food choices
  2. To help folks with food sensitivities to discover a whole new way of eating and relating to food
  3. To create a movement in culture based on what and how we eat

Here’s to sustained forward movement rooted in depth and integrity! The weight loss becomes a given 🙂

Tif

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