Last night Eric and I watched an interesting segment on 60 Minutes called “Is Sugar Toxic.” It was a great program and I encourage you to listen to the new scientific studies about what sugar is doing to our bodies. To see the program, click here. The science shows that sugar feeds cancer cells, leads to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The non-fat craze of the 1990’s led to a big increase in sugar consumption because in order to make the non-fat foods taste better, companies added sugar. In one week many of us are consuming the same amount of sugar that our ancestors would eat over the course of one year! And the diseases they were trying to combat skyrocketed. It’s not the fat that we need to worry about as much as the sugar. Pretty groundbreaking studies that I hope make an impact on schools, hospitals, food production, marketing to children and people’s personal food choices.
I spent a little bit of time at a hospital recently and I was so disappointed by the food choices. Hospitals should be setting an example for healthy eating but instead they are filled with ice cream, pizza, junk food filled vending machines, and sugary drinks. Some hospitals around the country even have McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme’s in them. They are selling the foods that are making people sick. How ironic is that?
I am beginning week 3 of a 6 week sugar detox. It’s more like a clean eating program where I am eating a whole foods and eliminating sugar, wheat, gluten, dairy and caffeine. I had some withdrawal symptoms that first week, including headaches and feverish but I am feeling great now. And it’s amazing how you start to crave healthy food once you eliminate all the processed foods. I was eating pretty well before but junk has a way of making it into our bodies and it is extremely addictive. So no more processed foods with additives and chemicals. No more toxic food dyes. I find it interesting that the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese sold in England and Sweden is made without yellow # 5 but it is the product sold here. Maybe they think Americans won’t buy it if it isn’t that intense yellow color even though it is linked to ADD and hyperactivity in kids. Shouldn’t foods have to be proven safe before they go to market instead of the other way around? If you are interested in the harmful effects of food dyes, here is an article.
This weekend my kids and I tried to decorate Easter eggs using natural food and teas as colorings. It worked so-so and we are still experimenting. When I was in art school, a fellow student made a beautiful art piece out of teabags. She soaked the teabags, dried them and then sewed them together to form a quilt. The piece was so striking and colorful. I thought of it when I wanted a more natural approach to decorating eggs. The pomegranate green tea seems to be the best for color so far. I also boiled some purple cabbage and had Max guess what color the water would turn which was fun. And then he got to see how it changed from blue to pink when I added vinegar. I am going to try beets next. But for now, I will get on with my recipe.
I wrote about this homemade hummus a few months ago and wanted to share the recipe with you. It’s tastes so much fresher than the store bought brand and is quick to make. I made this with dried garbanzo beans that I soaked overnight, but you could use a can. The soaked bean, however, taste so much fresher and I think really makes the hummus. The soaked beans also make a great and healthy snack.
1 cup garbanzo beans (soak dried beans overnight for a really fresh taste!)
juice of 1 lemon
2 TBSP Tahini (sesame seed paste)
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 TBSP extra virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
Blend Ingredients in a Cuisinart until smooth. If it’s is too thick, add a tbsp or 2 of water.
Serve with fresh vegetables.