Bitter Sweet: An Inconvenient Truth

May 2, 2011

*Current Obesity Stats may disagree.

I have been struggling for a week to write a post on why those pursuing fertility, who are pregnant, lactating or feeding a small child (and basically everyone else… so… everyone) should give up sugar. When I say sugar I am referring to the white stuff, the brown stuff and the High Fructose Corn Stuff. Because as best as I can research, they hit you about the same (anyone got anything different? Please share!).

How do they hit you? Well, not good. It just arguable the degree of not good. On one end of the spectrum you have “its just empty calories preventing you from taking in good nutrients, plus it damages your liver leading a large portion of this country into metabolic syndrome (syndrome X, a precursor to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and a major cause of INFERTILITY). That’s the mild end of the scientific research. The other end of the spectrum involves sugar altering every single cell in your bodies function and being responsible for basically every modern disease we have: cancer, diabetes, ADHD, Autism, Irritable bowl syndrome, lack of gut flora, etc. AIDS has not been attributed to sugar, however the immunity hit from sugar would theoretically aggravate it.

So that’s the spectrum of nutritional science I have read. That should make it easy to post about sugar being bad right? But it’s not easy.

Perhaps because I feel like sugar is my heroin. My body CRAVES it and gets angry when I don’t give in. I LOVE all things sweet. I love to bake. I love to eat baked goods. I love candy and chocolate and soda. And Ezekiel bread with strawberry jelly. These are just the things that are obviously sweet. It excludes things like ketchup or barbeque sauce, both of which I am a big fan of.

Also, people get extremely defensive of sugar. I have shared with many people that I am a Christian and got tepid responses. The few people with whom I shared I had given up sugar in order to get pregnant reacted in such strong negative ways I actually stopped telling people for a while. Some of these people included members of the fertility group I went to where my chart read in bold all caps: SYNDROME X. I have a 3 hour glucose tolerance test that proves my blood sugar can’t get it together. Yet, I mentioned giving up sugar and even my dietician looked at me funny.

So I have started and stopped writing on this topic several times. I will try to formulate some real posts of this issue but here’s my bottom line:

If you’re trying to have a baby easy up on the sugar.

Sugar messes with your blood glucose levels, telling your reproductive system if it can or cannot support a pregnancy. Sugar needs to be filtered through the liver along with every other reproductive hormone. Give your liver a break. For now that may just mean passing on a second doughnut. For me it meant riding my shelves of ALL sugar and HFCS containing products (at Christmas people. I deserve a medal. Ok, this baby works too:). But please, have an open mind. Do your research. Don’t pretend the science isn’t out there. Heres some articles to get you started:

Is Sugar Toxic? A great article from the New York Times

Sugar: The Bitter Truth This is the lecture referenced in the NYT article. Long, but informative.

Too Much Sugar Affects Sex Hormones, Causes Health Problems  An interesting article on the sugar/hormone relationship.

Sugar is the New S Word A video by Donielle of Naturally Knocked Up who is basically my hero.

Basically this is me:

augustus-gloop.jpg



Tasty Tuesday, March 29, 2011- Breakfast in a Crock pot

March 29, 2011

What's wrong with a hug?

Breakfast is a big deal in our house. When I first met my husband, that meant almost an entire box of cereal possibly with a protein shake on the weekdays and pancakes with half a bottle of syrup of the weekends. Yikes. I gave up cereal a long time ago, and although he still likes a bowl of cereal, we both love something hot and nourishing in the morning. I have had lots of success with two crock pot breakfasts set them up the night before, stumble down the stairs in the morning and feast. Couldn’t be easier.

* There is some discussion about leaving a crock pot on for extended periods of time (greater than 12 hours) leading to leaching of such lovely things as lead into food. My thoughts are to invest in a timer or program the pot to switch to “warm” after 8 hours.*

Breakfast 1: Egg Casserole

Yes, your Christmas favorite is back in honor of… Tuesday. This recipe is really a guideline, you can throw in whatever suits your fancy. Makes a great, frugal way to use extra veggies and meat. This will serve 6 Large appetites or maybe 8-9 small ones. Make the leftovers into breakfast tacos by warming them and rolling in a sprouted grain tortilla.

Ingredients:

Butter for the crock pot

potatoes: 1-2 pounds, diced or shredded. Sometimes you can buy these frozen, but check the ingredient label carefully!

1 1/2 cup cheese jack/cheddar works great, but be creative!

1 Green pepper + 1 Onion: or mushrooms, chillies, jalapeno, etc.

Meat: Ham works great, as does sausage.

12 Eggs (Cage-free if you can)

1 Cup of whole milk

Salt & Pepper

Process:

Rub butter/Coconut oil around the bottom and sides of your crock pot. Layer in thirds:

Potatoes, Veggies, Meat, Cheese, Potatoes, Meat, Veggies, Cheese, Potatoes, Meat, Veggies, Cheese.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, milk, S&P together until smooth. Slowly pour over top the PVMC in the crock pot.

Set crock pot to low for 8 hours, switching to warm after the time has elapsed. Wake up to awesome. This is this mornings (after man had helped himself to a generous portion). It was shredded potatoes, green pepper, onion, leftover chorizo sausage, leftover ham, Monterey jack and cheddar cheese. I served it with a big fruit plate. Please excuse the picture quality.

Yum

Some variations that would be delish:

Chorizo sausage, potatoes, jalenpano’s, onions, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese. In the morning you could serve with sliced avocados and sour cream.

Ham, Spinach, shredded taters, and Swiss cheese fancy fancy.

Breakfast 2: Steel Cut Oatmeal

Steal cut (or irish oats) are so much better than that chopped up stuff Quaker tries to pass off as “instant”. I am very new to soaking my grains, but I am pretty sure the oats (grout) would benefit from soaking. More on that later. Steel cut oats can be bought from places like Whole Food in bulk which is a cost effective route. So is Trader Joes.

Basic Recipe:

1 Cup of steel cut oats

4-5 Cups of water (err on the high side, dry oatmeal is….well dry oatmeal)

– Set the crock pot of low, wake up to delicious, slightly nutty oatmeal. Top with what tickles your fancy. Yum.

Get Crazy:

Please mess with this recipe! You will be happy you did. Be aware when you add something watery (apples) you may need to slightly decrease the cooking liquid. Add dried fruit, you’ll need more. Our favorite way to add chopped unpeeled apples and flaxseed in the evening. The apples essentially dissolve overnight. A dash of cinnamon and a sprinkle of walnuts makes its perfect. Other ideas: dried figs, cranberries, or raisins. Or, add everything! No ones judging go nuts! We also like to make it plain and in the morning top it with blueberries, cinnamon and whole milk.

Never let breakfast be boring again!