Category Archives: holidays

It is Thanksgiving Day in the USA

We in the States are taught in our early school years the story of how the Puritan pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving and invited the Native American Indians who helped them survive, but not that they brought the tradition of the harvest festival from England to the new world; we also didn’t/don’t get taught that the native peoples of this land, as well as people in every part of the globe, have festivals or celebrations that celebrate harvest, hunt, or kill.  All of our ancestors knew as few do now how critical food is to survival. For most of human history humans struggled to get enough food; only in the most recent centuries has mechanization, chemistry, and technology allowed for such abundance in the west, in particular. Now we have the opposite problem of too much so-called food, and too little real nutrition.

Today, then, my spouse and and will celebrate good health we have in finding freedom from the processed junk that fills our grocery markets, and enjoying nutrition as did our earlier ancestors. We all can be thankful every day for all that is good in our lives.

Yours in thankfulness,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

PS: See our Thanksgiving Day dinner here.

Ye Olde Holidays-Again

We have officially entered the high holiday season in the U.S.A, and the west in general.; with Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Day. Holidays mean food, presents, food, alcohol, food, discomfort, food, resolutions; or this has been the pattern in my past. Nowadays I am more into a healthy defensive mode, and think about foods I can make that will allow my spouse and I to join in the general celebrations, while we keep in mind that there are pitfalls lining the holiday pathway. I know my concerns, and I suspect you know yours. There is one particular brand of fruit cake I always had at Christmas, though I doubt now I would really like it all that much, especially since one slice has more carbs than I eat in a month now–and I never ate just one slice.

I have been making some things we like a lot getting ready for our upcoming Thanksgiving. I made a sugar-free cranberry sauce, and a cranberry relish; these freeze well, and this is the rare time in the year that I can find organic cranberries, so it’s stock up time.  I have made and bought some very low carb bread which will be part of a stuffing and a bread pudding, both helping to keep to my new ketogenic diet.  Turkey is a must, since I love it fresh roasted and in all the many ways it can be used as left overs, plus those bones make up several pints of healthy bone broth.  Celery, turnip, kohlrabi, onion, get roasted and used in small amounts, but they keep well.

For dessert I have a wonderful pumpkin chiffon pie recipe I make with no sugar, only a few stevia drops, and a chocolate mousse, my maple walnut butter treats, all with the same stevia treatment; along with flax crackers and a plethora of incredible cheeses for starters. So we are set to have a good time. I find people enjoy what we bring to the gatherings as much as the SAD foods, and it takes us out of the idea that we are deprived, since clearly we are not with this bit of planning.

Festivals and celebrations are inextricably linked with food, but food should not dominate our lives; still, for those of us who are sugaraholics, there must be attention paid to the holiday and other celebration pitfalls. We have no need at all, or excuse, to give in to the treats if we have our own safe and delicious alternatives.

Yours in celebration,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

My New Year’s Fast

I like to do a water-only fast for about ten days a couple times a year to clean out the cancerous and other useless matter that accumulates in the body.  I may also drink weak herb tea, no additives, for something hot. There are many benefits from fasting, such as it gives the digestive system a well-deserved rest as would have happened often for our prehistoric ancestors.

BTW: Juice drinking is not true fasting, though it may provide similar benefits if the juices are from low-sugar green vegetable sources.  Otherwise the benefits are much less since juice is still feeding the body, and just making digestion faster.

Our bodies are beautifully adapted to store extra food as fat to be used in times of scarcity and famine.  Since few of us in the western world  have times of famine, I believe it does the body a good deed to give it an approximation of what nature evolved it to do. Now we mostly store, and few really use up the stored excess. Fasting was commonly used in pre-modern times for all sorts of ills, and in the east is still used. Also, left to their own devices, animals who are ill or injured will not eat. We had an elderly cat savaged by a dog who lay down in a corner for four days, didn’t eat and rarely drank, then got up and went his way for several more years.

Most people are fearful, and those fears rise to the surface quickly around fasting, despite the fact that virtually everyone can fast 30-40 days (shipwreck victims a case in point), as long as the water our bodies require is consumed.

I have fasted 30 days and never felt better after the first 2-3 days while the body shifts from normal food burning to fat burning.
The first couple of days I tend to feel pretty good, though foggy while my body makes the shift to ketosis. Throughout a fast it is important to drink lots of water, a couple quarts is ideal;  I prefer mineral water, and add a light dash of salt once or twice a day to help ward off headaches or light-headedness.  I also work, walk for exercise, and keep to a fairly normal schedule. I do like a day in bed for the first day only because I love a day in bed, and it keeps me away from the kitchen.

If a person takes medicines or has health problems then it is good to ask a doctor to supervise the fast, which I did for my long fast, which most will do especially if you tell them it is a spiritual discipline as many religions incorporate fasting in this way. I just want the regular clean-out, and appreciate the sharpening of my senses.

I find my mind especially alert as did the famous writer Upton Sinclair at the beginning of the 20th Century. Since I have a lot of writing to get done just now I look forward to the help that fasting provides.

Fasting is easier if you don’t have to cook for others, but I have done fasts while providing for others, so going into a fast with a good mindset around what your goals are helps.

I will update daily for this fast to show my progress.

Yours in health,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Note:  I’m not a medical doctor and to cover my backside I must remind any reader that you should not undertake a fast if you have any physical concerns like pregnancy, weight-loss disorder, or are in a doctor’s care, are not an adult, –or suffer from plain stupidity.

The Holidays–Again

Nothing new to add to older posts, save the common-sense-planning plan. Planning for some treats is better than pretending that you won’t touch anything, then caving big-time doing the slippery slide into a binge.  Fact is I like one particular type of fruit cake and plan to have one serving on Christmas Eve when my family gathers for our big celebration. Better to be realistic, but realistic doesn’t mean a free-for-all feeding frenzy.

I hope you all the joy of the holidays, and a new year filled with joy.

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Went to a Wedding

My beloved and I went to the wedding of one his nephews yesterday a situation that I usually worry about a little since both drink and food are plentiful and used to trip me up.  I decided to avoid Pitfall #1, or alcohol, which then made it far less likely that I would hit Pitfall#2 and eat anything I shouldn’t.  I was very happy with my club soda and lime, then the supper buffet had some lovely roasted meats, chicken, and a lots of crudite and  green salad. I did skip the cake, but didn’t mind that.

The problem with parties for most of us is apt to be the liquor, for if you are on a low carb/HFLC/Paleo type of diet   you are much more susceptible to the effects of alcohol which goes straight to the liver and then the brain. I find that just one glass of wine or spirits can make me a bit silly; as a result I try to avoid it unless I’m home when for whatever reason I seem less likely to want more than one. One-and-done is our family motto with alcohol, and for the most part it works for me. But three times I got very tipsy, in my early no sugar-starch-artificial sweetener days,  on just a couple glasses of wine, which is a feeling I particularly dislike. I want to be in control of my faculties. Most people who drink too much make themselves ridiculous, and I have witnessed those at every big wedding reception or party.

As I blogged earlier, this is the beginning of the holiday/party season and it is good to have a plan.  My plan yesterday worked well.  Besides, I have just as much fun by avoiding the things I would later regret, and don’t feel one iota deprived.  So the wedding was a win-win for me, and my spouse who had his one drink, and we came home pleased at having seen family and friends, witnessing the ritual send-off of a sweet young couple on the road to a happy life together,  and us safely back to ours .

Yours in the practice,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

How about Halloween?

Halloween has been the undoing of many a sugaraholic. Buying a lot of candy to have around the house is surely a dangerous thing to do. After my own children were grown, I always bought candy that I didn’t like, Smarties &/or DumDums lollipops were on the list.  Then the next day, any leftover candy went either to the food bank, if unopened, or in the trash.  If you can’t keep your house free of candy you don’t like, the next best thing is to buy limited amounts so that it will all get handed out.

Another option, if you have access to a catalog that has lots of party favor type gifts, is to get a bunch of little toys to give out. Of course, that doesn’t replace candy.

Lastly, I have bought fast food coupons/tickets for a dollar–I don’t know if this is still something you can get; or you could simply give out shiny new quarters. Next to candy, cash is king with kids.

The main thing is not to give ourselves any excuses for eating candy or sweets that for the sugaraholics may result in days of binge behavior.

Yours in the fight for health,

Nan aka Sugarbaby