Good morning and happy Monday! Did you have a nice weekend? It was so, so pretty here in California and I spent as much time outside as I could enjoying this:
I was on the pier at a beach town north of where I live and I saw seals, pelicans and dolphins (!!!). I am absolutely in love with dolphins, by the way, they are such incredible creatures. If you saw me out there, I was the girl squealing every time a dolphin surfaced.
While I was out yesterday with friends, we went to one of my favorite local vegan cafes and had lunch. I had the spring roll filled with veggies and tempeh that I often get:
Plus, I tried for the first time the arugula salad with beets:
The salad also had shallots, pumpkin seeds and nutritional yeast on it. I had the lemon vinaigrette on the side and only need a little of it to bring the flavors together. I am so going to re-create this one at home!
Despite the good amount of food I ate, I still felt hungry after lunch. More specifically, I had the overwhelmingly strong urge to eat something sweet. I realized later that the sauce used for the spring roll was made from Vegenaise and so it had sugar in it which must have stimulated my drive to eat more sugar. I ended up buying an apple from the health food store next door to the cafe to help satisfy my urge, but it was an awful feeling that I haven’t experienced in awhile.
It reminded me of my post from Friday where I discussed some of the changes I’ve made since Dr. Fuhrman’s Getaway and my cancer diagnosis and I realized that I have really made some progress with my sugar addiction these past several months. (You can read more about my history with binge eating disorder during my adolescence in these posts).
The bottom line is that I haven’t consumed sugar or any non-nutritive sweeteners in about 10 weeks and that has made all the difference in my addictive tendencies. I continue to eat tons of fresh fruit, but that uncontrollable urge to eat more than I am hungry for is rarely stimulated with fruit. This is a huge realization and step for me!
On that note, I am loving the transition from summer to fall fruits right now. I found some Asian pears and persimmons at the farmers’ market on Friday along with some peaches and kiwis leftover from summer:
In the simplest of recipes, I just chopped them up and sprinkled some shredded coconut on top for a beautifully sweet and delicious fruit salad that was enough for both Alan and me:
Ten weeks ago, I would have laughed in your face if you told me this was dessert. Now, I find myself craving these simpler treats and foregoing the heavier date-sweetened desserts I used to eat more frequently (although I definitely still make room for those, just less often).
Has anyone else gone through this scenario of tackling a sugar addiction? Can you enjoy occasional sugary treats or is abstinence the best policy?
Before I go, I wanted to announce a giveaway of a lovely new cookbook that I was sent to review. It’s called Vegan for the Holidays and it’s written by the talented cookbook author, Zel Allen. The book is divided into 5 chapters and covers recipes for the major holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s. Zel also writes a cool blog called The Nut Gourmet where she has posted several recipes from the book as well as tons of other whole food, nut-based recipes. Vegan for the Holidays is beautifully done with scrumptious pictures and recipes and I am proud to add it to my collection.
If you would like to win a signed copy of this book, please just leave me a comment on this post telling me which holiday you are looking forward to the most this season. I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, November 2nd and mail the book out (U.S. residents only, please). Also, just a disclaimer to my nutritarian readers, while this book does focus on whole food ingredients, many of the recipes also call for salt, sugar and oils, although on a limited basis. [Editor's note: this giveaway is now closed.]
Good luck and see you back here on Wednesday!