I’m feeling extremely guilty right now seeing as I just chowed down on a block of mozzarella and drank half a bottle of wine. All by myself. I am trying to justify this by drinking a kombucha but let’s be honest–my situation needs a lot more help than that.
I hate to say it, but this is an improvement for me. This is where I transition into telling you how I fixed myself. But I won’t lie to you. I still have a lot of issues. And I still love food a little too much. The improvement lies in the fact that just a few years ago I would have been chowing down on some ultra sugary, toxin-ridden, processed piece o’ crap. Not that I didn’t know any better, but because I was a slave to food. Sugar, to be more specific.
Even after I stopped eating processed food my sugar cravings still lingered. My sugary treat of choice: a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie from The Blue Scorcher. Buttery, sweet, and oh-so-dangerous. I’m not big on the whole gluten-free revolution, but these are actually better than the real wheat cookies. I used to eat one everyday. Or maybe every other day. And one day I’d rather forget, I happened upon a free bunch of these delicious morsels (I work at a co-op where we give away expired food–lucky me!), and ate not one, but FIVE of them. Oy vey…
If you are a slave to sugar, then you know how awful it feels. I don’t know how it happened, but I tamed my inner sugar slave. My theories about this may be all wrong, but I’m going to tell you anyway, because my experiences just might help.
1. I tried to follow a candida diet. If you have candida overgrowth your main goal is to limit the amount of sugar in your diet. Basically, you are trying to “starve” the candida albicans, a potentially harmful bacteria, that is festering out of control in your gut. The candida bacteria thrives and grows in an environment of sugar and yeast. Not just added sugar, but foods that naturally contain sugar, or starch, in their molecular structure. The imbalance of this bacteria to other species causes a yeast overgrowth and therefore causes sugar cravings(not to mention a multitude of other unpleasant symptoms). This diet is almost impossible. Especially since, if you really need it, you are a sugar slave. This was my first step to recovery. I tried my darndest to starve out that dang candida.
2. I drank and ate anti-fungals right and left. You name it…I devoured raw cloves of garlic (much to the displeasure of my beloved Jeremiah), Pau D’arco tea, coconut oil, oregano oil capsules, nettle in just about every form, pumpkin seeds, peppermint in tincture and teas, ginger, and shots of raw apple cider vinegar, and the list goes on. I suppose this helped my situation some. And you know what? It better have helped my situation because it was not easy! Walking around smelling like garlic all the time is not sexy.
3. Probiotics. Cultures. Good Bacteria. I made it my mission to populate my gut with as much good bacteria as I could. I drank kombucha, took probiotics, ate fermented foods, gulped kefir, and indulged in raw cultured cheese. It’s a good thing I love sauerkraut because I ate a LOT of it. And I still do. Note: don’t eat store-bought ‘kraut unless it is Bubbie’s brand or specifically says it has been fermented because most likely it is not fermented, just submerged in vinegar.
4. Mental Health. This still remains the toughest challenge for me. I get a bee in my bonnet about everything. It comes with the territory of being opinionated–and Sicilian. A stressful, anxious, and overly serious demeanor is not good for your sugar cravings. When stressed, one tends to revert back to bad habits for comfort. No bueno! Just take a chill pill and remember to thank our God above even for the struggles you endure. Everything happens for a reason. That’s all I have for you on this topic. Can you tell I am not one to give advice on the art of being Zen? I don’t know much about it…
5. I discovered the Weston A. Price Foundation. I busted out a book that my Aunt Mary gave me for my birthday and it changed my life. It is called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I looked at it at the right place and the right time. Everything I read made so much sense. It was the puzzle piece I was endlessly searching for. I realized I was probably very malnourished. I was depriving my body of proper nutrition by eating a low-fat, vegetarian-ish diet. From the Weston A Price Foundation Website (www.westonaprice.org),
“The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated nonindustrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. Dr. Price’s research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats….
“It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.”
So, I began eating a lot of fat. I discovered how scrumptious bacon is. I embraced raw egg yolks. I started cooking everything in butter.
Voila! No more sweet tooth. I feel like a new woman. Instead, I have a savory tooth. A tooth that craves zesty, flavorful, nutrient dense foods. I don’t feel the need to snack constantly. I don’t feel fatigued and depleted. I just want a little (or a LOT of) cheese and wine now and then and I’m good to go.