Hey guys!! I'm leaving first thing in the morning to go to the macrobiotic vegan summer camp I go to every year in Northern California called French Meadows. That's right, I'll be camping, so no phone, internet, blogging, or social media for 5 whole days! I will miss you greatly but I have some great guest posts lined up for ya! Today's comes from Melissa Costello, founder of Karma Chow. Her and I became friends in LA, after we discovered that our eating and health philosophies were very similar. And her food is delicious!
Sugar! It’s one of the most powerful addictions that Americans struggle with next to caffeine, and it wreaks havoc on our system. It’s highly acidic and detrimental to our health, so why do we eat so much of it and how can we stop? It’s found in so many processed foods disguised as High Fructose Corn Syrup, Evaporated Cane Juice, Fructose, Maltose, Dextrose, and more. It’s almost impossible to avoid.
Getting sugar out of your life can be a real challenge, but it will be worth it when you see how good you can feel and when you finally learn how to balance your blood sugar by eating high fiber, low glycemic foods. Of course we don’t need to cut ALL sugar out of our life, but here are some great tips to get you off the refined, processed sugars and still keep the sweetness in your life!
1. Remove processed sugars and replace with low-glycemic sweeteners: As I mentioned above, sugar is in almost everything. So start by reading labels and knowing the code for sugar. Basically anything ending in an ‘ose’ is a refined sugar. Even ketchup has sugar in it!! Cut out the sugary pastries, ice creams and desserts and make your own lower sugar faves using natural sweeteners such as dates, raw honey, brown rice syrup, applesauce or maple syrup.
2. Add more high fiber, whole foods to your diet – adding foods that are high in fiber and complex carbs will ease your sugar cravings and leave you more satiated. They will also help to balance your blood sugar all day long so that you don’t experience so many highs and lows, which can cause constant cravings. Sweet Potatoes or Yams are one of my favorite complex- carb foods and they are naturally sweet so I don’t even crave the “bad” sugar!
3. Eat Fruit – giving up all sugar is not totally realistic, so keep the sweetness in your life by consuming lower sugar fruits such as berries, apples, pears, grapefruits, nectarines and peaches. Go easy on the tropical fruits, which have a high concentrate of sugar, even though it is natural. If you love bananas, buy them more on the green side and eat only a half at a time! It’s best to eat fruit that is in season and grown locally.
4. Cleanse – if you really struggle with a sugar addiction, a good cleanse will help you break this habit! Cleansing a couple times a year is important to give our bodies a rest so that they can find their natural balance. I don’t recommend starving yourself or doing a quick-fix cleanse. Eating whole, unprocessed foods is my idea of a good cleansing. Remember that it takes anywhere from 28-32 days to break a habit, so if you really want to get off sugar, it’s a good idea to commit to yourself and find support.
My 30-day Vital Life Vegan cleanse is an amazing way to break addictions, give your body a break from toxins such as sugar and caffeine, and learn how to eat properly for a lifetime of health & wellness. To learn more about my group and private cleanses visit Karma Chow
Wild Rice Salad w/ Raspberry Vinaigrette
1 cup wild rice blend, rinsed
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
1 granny smith apple, cut into ¼ “ cubes
¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup cranberries, dried (apple juice sweetened if available)
¼ cup chopped walnuts or pistachios
¼ cup fresh raspberries (optional)
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon Agave Nectar
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cook rice according to package directions. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl to cool. Stir in remaining ingredients. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Stir the dressing into the grains and let the salad sit for a few minutes to marry flavors. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Garnish with Fresh Raspberries (optional).
Melissa Costello, founder of Karma Chow
has always had a passion for healthy, delicious food and nutrition. As a Certified Wellness Coach she coaches clients one-on-one and in groups on how to live a healthier and happier life through nutrition, exercise and a whole foods diet.
As personal chef to celebrity fitness guru, Tony Horton, creator of the highly popular workout system, P90X, Melissa is constantly finding creative ways to keep Tony and her other clients happy, fit and healthy through a whole foods way of life. Find her on Facebook
Thanks Mel for contributing this wonderful posts! If you are visiting my blog for the first time please subscribe by clicking the blue heart in the left side bar or entering your email addy. And don't forget to join The Blissful Chef on Facebook and Twitter.