Quit nomnomnom-ing on all those sweets!
Something we haven't talked about much on EAF is the reality of over carb-ing, sugar-ing, and bingeing that comes with having food allergies. For most allergic people nuts, seed mixes, and easy proteins like eggs or cheese are not options. So guess what happens? We turn to carbs to fill us up in a hurry. Bakery-fresh treats are off limits, so we bake our own cookies, muffins, and breads and then eat the whole batch. When I was in Germany for work I was limited to pasta with tomato sauce every night for a week and I felt like a waddling duck by the time I got home.
And then there's the opposite end of the spectrum. I used to have a really bad habit when work/school was super busy or I was out and didn't have access to safe foods. I'd have a coffee or tea with lots of honey as a meal replacement. It would keep me going until I found something allergen-free to eat or until I got home. Then I'd have both a sugar and caffeine crash and feel like total crap.
But the good news is that there are ~solutions~ to this problem. And it just involves a little meal planning and mindfulness to get you on the right path (and our guide to nutritious snacking on the go!)
"In order for a sugar cleanse to be effective, I realized that what is needed is not another fancy cookbook with impossibly complex recipes but, instead, an easy-to-follow, foolproof guide that offers healthy, affordable, and intuitive meals that are easy to make." - SugarDetoxMe, pg. XVI
We had the bright, wonderful Summer Rayne Oakes in our kitchen to talk about her new book, SugarDetoxMe. She runs a program by the same name where participants learn how to detox and detach from their sugary cravings. Why should you detox? As she points out in the book, your brain can become addicted to and reliant on sugar as it "alters your biochemical pathways" (pg. 3). Sugar can be found in a ridiculous number of unexpected places so you may be consuming more than you realize. Any packaged food is a contender so be sure to scan for sugar, fructose, or any of its other pseudonyms when reading labels (as you're hopefully doing already if you have allergies).
Summer made us 2 simple, delicious recipes from the book. Poached egg over tomato and avocado salad (pg. 65) and breakfast quinoa with sundried tomato and shredded zucchini (pg 128). The ingredients were all things that I already had on hand or typically bought at the grocery store anyways; one of my favorite qualities in a good cookbook. The ingredients were also inexpensive and accessible. A scoop of quinoa, though it may look small, yields quite a lot of food once cooked. And it's a complete protein so it's an excellent way to start your day. Top with savory, rich sun dried tomatoes and quick pan-fried zucchini for a satisfying breakfast or lunch. Cooking the quinoa in vegetable broth is a quick boost of flavor, and she includes a veggie broth recipe in the book.
As a person who nearly always has to substitute ingredients in recipes it was a relief to find her meal ideas familiar and not filled with a ton of things I'm allergic to. Summer mentioned several times that you can always substitute the protein for something more accessible or suited to your preference. My favorite chapter (ch. 4, Basic Recipes) relied pretty heavily on eggs (with which I am in love) as the main source of protein. But if you're allergic to eggs just substitute with smoked salmon or prosciutto instead, vetting the ingredients list first to make sure there's no added sugar.
The second recipe she made for us was the poached egg served on avocado and tomato salad. I kid you not, it was ready in under 20 minutes. Chunky diced tomato and avocado were tossed with some fresh greens (the store was out of microgreens), olive oil, and salt. Then a warm and oozy poached egg was presented on top. Now, I have never successfully poached an egg without ruining about 3 in the process. But Summer gave us a handy tutorial. Heat the water until it's just boiling, not a rolling boil (my first mistake), swirl it so it forms a tornado in the pot, then crack the egg into a small bowl and slide it in. Adding a dash of distilled vinegar beforehand helps keep it all together and not looking like a freakish sea creature as mine always do. The best part? Splitting open the yolk so that it drizzles all over the salad. Delish.