Breaking Bad Habits #3. Sugar
Whenever I sit to write these blogs each week I prefer to write about my own experience, something I've witnessed or a matter that has arisen with a client (Client confidentiality preserved, of course).
My daughter and I both eat a very healthy and well balanced diet. That's not to say we don't have treats or that some weeks seem to contain more treat days than regular days!! Holidays, birthdays, exam times, bad news, good news, lack of time, too much time!!; there are many reasons that we mere mortals 'treat' ourselves.
I'm a firm believer in food being both pleasurable and sociable, but it doesn't take many weeks of frequent treats to affect both your health and your mindset. Habits form and generally people beat themselves up about weight gain and lack of self-will. Nutritionally, I would be more worried as to the vulnerable state my body would be in; it's inability to fight disease, due to an excess of sugar and omega 6 fats (two likely ingredients in most treat foods).
I have discussed before the theory that cancer thrives on sugar...
As far back as the 30's Otto Warburg discovered what differentiates a cancer cell from a normal, healthy cell. "Cancer has only one prime cause. It is the replacement of normal oxygen respiration of the body's cells by an aerobic cell respiration." - Dr. Otto Warburg.
So, if you can't remember back to schooldays’ biology, this is what we can glean from that statement. Firstly, we know that cancer cells metabolize very differently to normal cells. Normal cells need oxygen. Cancer cells despise oxygen. Secondly, the metabolic rate of cancer cells is approximately 8 times greater than that of normal cells, meaning cancer cells divide/reproduce 8 times quicker than a normal cell would.
This is all getting very scientific. Let me ask you a simple question....
When you finish a meal, do you crave something sweet?
My daughter and I were talking about just this point the other day.
If the meal contains a high proportion of starchy carbs (such as bread, pasta, white rice) then this will cause your blood sugar to rise quickly. What goes up, has to come down. Thanks to insulin trying to address the high blood sugar level, you will then experience quite a sudden drop in blood sugars which makes you crave something sweet.
The answer is to substitute all, or some, of the starchy carbs with protein, such as fish, quinoa, nuts or seeds. The protein will slow down the process of digestion and therefore the rise in blood sugar.
If you read my blog last week I promised you a tip for getting your money's worth from a free range chicken. Here's an idea for reducing those starchy carbs responsible for the dreaded sugar cravings.
Monday Chicken Curry
Roast the free range chicken as you usually would
Slice the breast meat, serve the legs as usual and enjoy your Sunday roast.
Early in the evening pick the chicken carcass and keep any of the remaining soft meat in the fridge. (I always keep the gristle and connective tissue for the dog!)
Pop the carcass and any leg bones in a slow cooker ( along with veg scraps from the roast if desired) and cover with water
COOK SLOWLY FOR 12 HOURS (7pm to 7am for example)
You now have a perfect BONE BROTH!
Now for the curry....
We are going to add chickpeas to the chicken scraps to give us much needed protein without the acidity.
We will either substitute quinoa for the rice, or mix half and half quinoa/brown rice to reduce our starchy carb intake.
We will make our own curry sauce so that we know it doesn't have any hidden sugars and chemicals in it.
In a large pan or wok.....
Chop a large onion (alkaline forming) and sweat it off it in coconut oil
Chop a pepper and add to the onion
Add a small tin of tomatoes or passata (adds healthy sweetness)
Add a broccoli stalk - diced
Add a handful of spinach leaves
Stir and turn off the heat.
In a separate small frying pan, heat your spices in a little coconut oil
Fresh garlic. turmeric, cumin and ginger - all anti-inflammatory!!
Chilli (as desired), coriander seeds
(Be careful not to burn the garlic as it will become bitter)
Decant the tomato and veg mixture into a blender and whizz. The red tomatoes and green veg will blend to give a brown sauce.
Pour this sauce back into the pan you cooked it in.
Stir in the cooked spices.
Add a tin of chickpeas and the broccoli florets and simmer for a while
As the sauce thickens, reduce it with your BONE BROTH. Carry on thickening the sauce and then thinning it down with the bone broth.
Finally, when you're happy with the consistency, add the picked chicken scraps.
Turn off the heat.
Follow the cooking instructions for the quinoa and the wild rice .
There are so many 'hidden' veg in this recipe, but you can add more...carrots, courgettes, mushrooms can all be whizzed with the tomatoes for non-veg lovers....or cut up 'chunkily and added with the chickpeas!
Have fun experimenting knowing that you are making your body less acidic with every substitution!!