Home At Last

November 14, 2007

girlsonbeds.jpg 

[Elsie on the left, Chaser on the right.]

Well, we made it, sort of.  At least we’re in the house–along with an entirely chaotic, disorganized pile of boxes, bags, furniture and plastic bins.

I had no idea I could be this tired and still move.  I had no idea my muscles could hurt this much and still move.  I had no idea I could eat this much chocolate and still move. I had no idea it could be this difficult to–move!

Our possessions are strewn about the place in the most haphazard fashion imaginable.  The poor Poo Poo Girl keeps wandering aimlessly, seeking familiar landmarks like the triangular stair in the hallway, the sliding glass door to the back yard, the kitchen counter jutting out into the dining area (home to  bowls and treats).  Don’t get me wrong: all the familiar accoutrements are still here (Kong, Nylabone, pillow, etc.), but they’re in a new home, new rooms, new carpet–nothing feels the same.  Eventually she stationed herself wedged between the back of the sofa and my antique sewing machine, where she spent most of the afternoon. 

Chaser, on the other hand, continues to scamper ecstatically along the wide(r) hallway, bouncing from room to room and chewing pretty much anything that’s on the floor (including a fallen screw I found her chomping on, as well as an itty bitty piece of pink insulation).  The upheaval hasn’t bothered her a bit, it seems; but then again, “her entire life so far has been change,” as C. mused this morning.

The actual moving was, in itself, quite the story. It rained the entire day (of course, we woke up Tuesday to brilliant sunshine). So we, the movers, and all our possessions were drenched for a one-foot space of ramp between the truck and the house, the only part not covered by the awning. 

We were still frantically stuffing small and miscellaneous items into boxes when the movers arrived at 9:30 in the morning, with a 16 cubic foot truck.  They took one look around the place (the basement, in particular, where C. and I have housed our 50+ extra boxes of books, those we had no room to put on one of the many book cases around the house) and blanched visibly.  Edwin, the supervisor, suggested that it would take a minimum of four trips (four trips!!) in that truck, and that we’d be better off letting the company send another, larger (five-ton) truck with three guys.  The time spent sending the new guys would be more than compensated for by the time saved in loading four loads.  So we agreed.  Bad move.

Ah, yes, bad move, in more ways than one. The new guys didn’t arrive until 12:30, and then there were only two of them. They promised backup on the way in yet another 5-ton truck, while they began to load up our stuff into the first truck.  By 1:45 they’d completed most of the upstairs and the other two guys arrived. 

Hauling and heaving, lifting and carrying, climbing and loading–this went on the better part of the day before they’d even emptied our old house.  Dave, the supervisor, was a rather jovial Brit who was incredibly organized and commanded the move.  They quickly set up a kind of conveyor belt, wherein one guy took boxes from the basement up to the top of the stairs, another took them from the floor to the truck, while the other two guys loaded large pieces of furniture.

Even with all this, there were crises, the most prominent one being what to do with the treadmill (previously stored in the basement, hardly ever used).  It was a bitch to load into the truck, apparently several hundred pounds in weight (at least I haven’t gotten there yet), and then bringing it up the stairs at the new place required all four working in tandem, the coordination of a stealth attack, before they finally settled it gently in the TV room, where I am determined to use it as I watch my beloved soap every day. 

By 6:30 or so, the guys were looking wiped out and beginning to wobble a bit on their feet (they’d obviously got more than they’d bargained for).  I realized that no one had eaten since they’d arrived, so ordered a couple of pizzas and they took a short break before returning to the task at hand.  To make a long (and it really was  long–the rain never let up, they had to load a second  truck by the end of it all) story short, it took until 10:45 PM before the last of our items was unloaded in the pitch darkness –that’s over ten hours of heaving, lifting, pivoting, pushing, placing, turning, and stacking our stuff.

I was truly amazed at their stamina and the ability to forge ahead despite rain, sweat, sore backs, ridiculously cumbersome and incredibly heavy treadmills, no food or drink for extended periods, and two dogs, brought home when the doggie daycare closed for the day, curiously milling about their feet for much of the time.  (“Yes, it was rather curious, Mum!”)  And through it all, they managed to retain a sense of humor, and, more importantly (and unlike me), a sense of calm.

They got everything here, more or less in one piece and dry, before driving off into the night, most likely for a visit to the pub for some much-deserved dinner and a beer or two.  So, to Dave, Ewen, Marco, and Dilly, thanks again, guys.  We certainly appreciated it.

Now comes the enormous task of unpacking everything, finding a new place for things, and settling in.  Starting over has its own magical appeal, being able to see old objects in new settings, thereby conferring a certain sheen of novelty that had already worn off in the old house; and thinking about how to organize, what new accessories need to be purchased to help round out the new digs and supply the necessary atmosphere for a comfortable existence.

 In fact, the first delivery of new furniture arrived today: our dog beds from LL Bean.  There are The Girls in the photo, above, luxuriating on their soft new pillows. They seem to love them, and the beds look great overlooking the stairs.  It was our way of saying “welcome” to The Poo Poo and the Doodle Girl.  (“Mum, these are great!  I can stretch out or curl up and still be cushioned. . . we love our new home, Mum!”)

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS HAS MOVED!  PLEASE VISIT THE SHINY NEW HOME OF DDD BY CLICKING HERE.

Today is moving day!  We are likely en route right now, between houses, stressing about whether the movers will break our fragile glassware, or whether all the boxes will arrive at their destination, or whether the stove will fit in the space that’s been left for it. 

In any case, I thought I’d leave a little Thanksgiving-based recipe on the site–no photo, but I’ll post one as soon as I have it.  This is for those of you who’ll be celebrating on the 22nd and are looking for a delicious side dish or veggie dish that’s not too heavy, not too sweet, yet festive and delicious.  It’s a perfect way to use sweet potatoes for the holidays, and can take the role of side dish or dessert (great with a dollop of cashew cream on top), or, as I’ve been known to have it in the past, as a speedy breakfast (just re-heat and dig in).

We used to call this kugel (“Ki’-gul,” but can also be pronounced “koo’-gul) in our house. The word is derived from the German word Gugelhupf, and it’s often translated as pudding or casserole.  I use “casserole” because it seems to me the most versatile–a kugel is usually a side dish, a pudding is usually a dessert, but a casserole can be anything you like.  

I’ve adapted this from a recipe my friend B. gave me a few years ago.  As a very lazy cook, I’ve altered the recipe so there’s no grating involved, only processing in a food processor (even using an entire lemon–whole!), which is where the bulk of the ingredients end up.  Processing also helps hold the casserole together by grinding up the raw veggies and allowing the juices to meld more with the rest of the ingredients. Flax and oats also act as binders, as this vegan version is sans eggs, of course.

It’s a moist, tart/sweet, subtly spiced dish that’s rather addictive.  I love eating it, knowing that I’m getting all the goodness of sweet potatoes (could there BE a more delicious root?), along with the traditional carrots and other goodies in here.  Hope you enjoy this one.

Sweet Potato and Carrot Casserole

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

Tea Biscuits at the Ready

November 11, 2007

teabiscuit2.jpg 

With no stove and no way of cooking anything, I’m grateful for the few baked goods left in the freezer.  These are tea biscuits I created while experimenting with vegan and sugar-free biscuits and scones.

These are light and surprisingly tasty, considering that they have no butter, eggs, or refined sugar.  They’re made with spelt flour and agave nectar, one of my favorite sweeteners.  I use organic raisins and organic sunflower oil (just a touch).  While I do use organic soy milk in these, I think they could just as easily be made with rice milk (and definitely with almond milk). 

So, amid the boxes and newspaper, the cartons and garbage bags and two dogs miling about, I enjoyed a quick and easy breakfast of tea biscuits with organic peanut butter.  ( “The peanut butter was particularly tasty, mum!”).

Basically a healthier variation on a PB sandwich–but much more yummy. ( “We have to agree.  You can feed us tea biscuits any time! Now, what are all these boxes doing everywhere?”)

teabiscuit3.jpg

Sinuses and Stress

November 9, 2007

When I woke up this morning, the unmistakeable signs were there:  slight throbbing pain behind the forehead, soreness in the eyes whenever I look this way or that, and a sinking feeling that the little diet-conscious man inside my head was finally annoyed enough that, in retribution, he decided to stand behind the bridge of my nose and push with all his might against the wall that is my face:  “Let me out!  LET ME OUT!”.  Ah, the joys of the sinus headache.

Oh, I know what this is:  it’s my payback for those last few days of secret forays to the drugstore or bulk store to buy my surreptitious Halloween candies.  It’s what I get for eating cookies for lunch, even if I do skip dinner.  It’s my early warning signal for ignoring my five-to-ten-a-day.  

After a few days of eating poorly and disregarding my body’s subtle signs (a little more fatigued getting up in the morning; a little more bloated after eating; a slight stomach ache upon rising. . . . ), this ole house of my soul finally reacts BIG TIME:  debilitating sinus headaches, chest pains that feel like a knockout punch, jagged stabbing pains in the stomach–oh, there’s a whole repertoire.  And each time, I tell myself, how could I be so stupid?  And, I will never, never do this again.  But of course, there’s chocolate in the world, so I do this again.

If I catch this now–right away–I can avert a full blown sinus infection (and that, truly, I want never to do again).  With homeopathy, sinus irrigation, and a clean diet including extra vitamin C and greens, I should be fine within the next two days.

It makes perfect sense, of course, that this would befall me just at this very moment in time:  I’m moving in THREE DAYS, for goodness’ sakes, and I am stressed out to the max.  And, as Holmes and Rahe told us back in the 60’s: good stress, bad stress–doesn’t really matter to your cells and heart and neurons–it’s all going to take a toll.  Just for fun, now, why don’t we see where I currently fall?  C’mon with me, and let’s review what’s happened in the past year, according to the Stress Scale:

  • Personal injury or illness: 53
  • Sexual Difficulties (I’m assuming not having it counts here): 39
  • Business readjustment (have I mentioned I had to close down a business?): 39
  • Change in Financial State (no income for 2 years–see above): 38
  • Change in responsibilities at work (back to old job; lots to do): 29
  • Outstanding personal achievement (on television-yay!  But still stress): 28
  • Revision of personal habits (more than once, I’m afraid): 24
  • Change in working hours or conditions (see above re: work): 20
  • Change in residence (we’re moving, aren’t we??): 20
  • Change in social activities (drastically curtailed by much less income): 18
  • Change in eating habits (well, only several times daily): 15
  • Minor violation of the law (can’t believe I made this one: speeding ticket): 11

Oh, boy!  That makes 314.  According to the scale,  “Score of 300+: At risk of illness”.  Ah, but I could have told you that already.

Needless to say, this list is grossly incomplete.  Why don’t they have a line for “too much rain to take dogs for walk”? (“It’s true, Mum, we find that very stressful!”). Or how about, “Email program won’t work correctly and entire job at risk from loss of emails”?  Or maybe, “Dear friend helps by getting someone to be interested in financing organic bakery and asks for proposal four days before moving date”?  Maybe, “just started blog about reforming eating habits and have been succumbing to cravings and binges more than any other time in the entire past year”? Or even,”laid-back honey forgets to pick up extra moving boxes from the LCBO only FOUR DAYS before moving and left without any boxes to pack remaining 68% of home contents”???  I could go on.  Somebody, stop me.

 Is it any wonder I’ve been craving chocolate? Meditation, here I come (again).

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS has moved! 

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  

* * *

Hmmmnnnn. . . . so what does this say about me?  I am surrounded by boxes.   Right here, in my office, the towers of boxes around me–leaving a path just barely wide enough to traverse to get to my computer–resemble a child’s game of war and fortress (I can almost see over the top of the cardboard wall, peeking out at the doorway–wait!  Here comes the enemy cloathed in black fur!–no, wait, that’s just Elsie .  But I digress).  The house is in total chaos, and no wonder–we are moving in FOUR DAYS.  Half my food is packed away.  Almost all my books are packed away (I saved four favorites to comfort me until I make it to the new place).  There are piles of papers, cardboard, old magazines and other detritus strewn about the hallway, slated to be dumped in the recylcle bin before we leave.  The kitchen floor hasn’t been mopped in over a week (oh, well, wait a second, that has nothing to do with moving–we’re always more or less slobs that way). 

And amid all this entropy, what do I want to do?  I want to bake.

So, finally, here is the first dessert of Diet, Dessert and Dogs.  Most of my supplies are packed, I’ve got very few ingredients left in the house, but when all else fails, I bake.  It’s comforting, it’s familiar, it’s creative, it’s a way to distract myself (which is actually one of my successful diet strategies, come to think of it).  So when the urge hit earlier today, I decided to allow it to run its course.  It seems an impossible goal, in any case, to adhere to any kind of healthy eating regimen while undergoing the upheaval and concomitant stress I’m experiencing at present, so if I feel like eating cookies, dammit, I’m going to eat cookies.  Even if I have to bake them myself, in a kitchen full of boxes, devoid of most utensils, bowls, spoons, or other usual amenities.

I ended up making these Cashew Chocolate Chip cookies, a variation on a recipe I created for the baking company.  Like everything else I make, they are primarily organic, made with natural (unrefined) sweeteners, and no eggs or dairy (ie, vegan).  They are similar in texture to an old-fashioned shortbread cookie (though perhaps a bit more delicate), with that slightly crumbly, slightly sandy, melt-in-your-mouth consistency, and the smooth, creamy sweetness of the chocolate chips dotted throughout.  They are divinely rich tasting, and yet not cloying.  (I deliberately made a quarter recipe so that I’d have only four cookies, just in case I had the impulse to eat them all–which, of course, I did.  Luckily, I remembered to take a photo before they were all gone.) 

And now, here’s the bonus–they are gluten-free!  While I don’t have a problem with gluten, the NAG diet naturally gravitates toward gluten-free grains, and I’ve done a bit of experimenting with grain-free cookies.  I think you’ll love these. 

Do excuse the photo–I am not only new to blogging, but completely unskilled with a camera as well. (Oh, and the plate in the picture is our last one left unpacked, bland as it may be).  But I think you can get the idea.

cashewchochip11

Gluten Free Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

The last few nights, I’ve been having trouble falling asleep, then waking up in the morning feeling exhausted.  My heart is pounding too fast, my chest feels full and heavy, my stomach aches ever so slightly.  I’d say this was caused by overeating or binging, but I haven’t actually been indulging in those lovely activities in the past couple of days, so that’s not it. 

What it is, I’ve recognized, is the oppressive stress I’m feeling because of this impending move (only 5 days away!), the lack of organization in our home preceding it, work pressures, and having to keep up with daily routines because of two little fur-babies who don’t have the faintest idea that their lives are about to change radically and irrevocably in less than a week. (“What?  Change radically? What are you talking about, Mum? Are you going to change our food?  Are you going to buy us new toys?  Are we finding a new trail to walk in–??? WHAT???”)

 Now, when this sort of thing has occurred in the past, I’d either ignore it (if all else were going well, or I found myself otherwise distracted), or rush to make a doctor’s appointment and check out all vitals (if anxiety were rearing its ugly persona once again).  In this case, however, I’m trying to be more self-aware as part of my overall plan, so I stopped to take a closer look at what it is and how it’s affecting me. 

Years ago, when I suffered regularly from panic attacks, I saw a wonderful therapist who practised cognitive therapy and recommended a program based on the philosophy of Jon Kabat-Zin, called Mindfulness Meditation.  I attended the sessions for eight Saturday mornings (culminating in an entire day of silent meditation–bliss!),  and learned how to use a form of meditation based on progressive relaxation.  Then, during my halcyon year at CSNN, I resurrected the practise as a daily routine before going off to school.  I have to admit that I felt fantastic.

So, this very morning, I awoke at 6:53 AM, mere minutes after the alarm blared beside my ear, and determined that I’d begin to meditate again.  Yes, I had promised myself (again) that I’d walk on the treadmill this morning, but this seemed more pressing.  So, after being greeted by one exuberant puppy pressing her cold, wet nose into my cheek (C. and I sleep on a futon bed, resting on a pedestal frame–which means our faces are perfectly aligned with dog-face level), I dragged myself upright and padded into the TV room.

I had done this before, only a couple of years ago, so there should be no problem, right?  I clearly remembered the routine, the progression from general relaxation to focusing individually on each body part and relaxing it in turn, along with breathing in while focusing on the part (and any sensations, pain, etc. there), then breathing out while letting the part go limp, consciously relaxing the muscle, freeing my mind of any thoughts (and gently returning it to the business at hand should it wander in any way).  I can do this, I thought. It’s like riding a bike.

And so I began.  Bare feet flat on floor.  I sit on a chair with a special back pillow behind me for support (bad back), so I’m actually upright and sitting fairly tall.  Face forward, eyes closed, tip of tongue on roof of mouth, breathe in–deep–breathe out, a heavy sigh, relaxing all of the body.  I’d deliberately left the light out (there’s just barely enough to limn the various pieces of furniture and assorted packing boxes in the room , these grey autumn mornings) so that I could close my eyes and really focus.

I’d gotten as far as focusing on the soles of my feet when I felt it again–the cold wetness, this time on my big toe.  Then used said big toe to push Chaser out of the way, Nylabone still in her mouth.  Back to the soles.  Breathe in, breathe out.  Relax.  Focus.

Not ten seconds later (I was at the ankle by now), she’d returned to chewing her bone, this time using the top of my foot as a brace so she could prop the bone between her paws and get a better chewing angle.  And I thought meditation was supposed to be RELAXING.  At this point, I was more tense than when I’d awoken.  I gave up with a sigh and headed toward the shower.

I think I will need to close the door next time I meditate.

(“But I found it very relaxing, Mum!  You should try chewing a Nylabone once in a while.  Great for the tension in your teeth.”)

Earth Bowl Breakfast

November 6, 2007

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS has moved! 

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  

earthbowltop.jpg 

After several days of doing my part for Nestles, Cadbury, Lindt, Hershey and the rest of the candy industry by indiscriminately devouring every on-sale bag of Halloween chocolate available, this morning I decided to return to my NAG core and have one of my favorite breakfasts.  It’s called Earth Bowl.

I originally got this recipe from the cookbook Enlightened Eating, by my colleague Caroline Dupont.  I’ve modified it slightly to suit my own tastes.

Basically a bowl of fruit and nuts/seeds, this raw dish is reminiscent of cold cereal with its mix of crunchy, wet, and sweet.  The orange juice provides a liquid base into which you toss the other ingredients.  For those who prefer cereals with multiple ingredients (or, like me, those who will pour four types of cereal into one bowl just to get a variety in every spoonful), this is the perfect combination. earthbowlside.jpgThe diced apple provides a wet, juicy crunch; the walnuts and pumpkin seeds are a softer crunch, with decidedly savory and even bitter undertones; and the berries are cold, dissolve on your tongue, and tangy.  All this, bathed in fresh orange juice, provides more sweetness and a great slurpy base. 

The bowl is also uber-nutritious, with omega 3’s in the nuts/seeds, zinc in the seeds, fabulous proanthocyanins in the berries, and your basic keep-the-doctor-away nutrients in the apple.  It’s also filling and can carry you through the morning.  All this, and raw, too! (“Sounds delicious, Mum! Did we mention that we love apples?”)

Earth Bowl

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

Baked Oats

November 5, 2007

 

I’ve been craving my favorite baked oats ever since writing about them the other day on this blog.

bakedoats.jpg

The recipe is actually from the Moosewood Classics cookbook, but I’ve made it so many times and adjusted the amounts and ingredients to my own liking so much over the years that I’m not sure how closely it resembles the original anymore. 

In any case, this recipe provides the creamiest, richest-tasting, most delicious bowl of stickin-to-your-ribs-for-the-entire-morning oatmeal that you will ever eat.  It reminds me of an old-fashioned rice pudding, with a similar texture and creaminess, but made without refined sugar, and with lots of fibre from the apples and raisins (not to mention a whole whack of minerals!).  And oats are a terrific source of phytoestrogens and soluble fibre. . . great for those mid-lifers like moi.  

Another fabulous plus to this breakfast is that it’s wonderfully convenient.  What I usually do is whip up the oat-milk mixture first thing and pop it in the oven, then go shower and get ready for work.  By the time my hair is done, so is the oatmeal, and I can happily spoon it up as I read the paper.

TO VIEW THE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

Lifting Weights

November 4, 2007

People are usually surprised (okay, flabbergasted) to find out that I go to the gym and press weights at least 3 times a week.  Their wide-eyed stares and gaping maws would suggest their silent response to this piece of information is something like, “But how can a fat pig like YOU actually do any exercise, let alone lift weights???”  Their polite, public personas instead say something like, “Oh? Really?  Well, good for you!”

Another one of those bizarre paradoxes of my life is that I enjoy going to the gym and lifting weights, yet there seems to be no discernible effect (ie no taut, bulging muscles, no weight loss whatsoever) from what I do. 

True, when the alarm sounds at 6:30 and I’ve only crawled into bed at 11:38 the night before, it can be difficult to haul myself out from under the blankets.  Many mornings, I end up sleeping another 30 minutes or so while C. takes The Girls for their morning exercise, after which I finally throw back the covers and get into my gym clothes to head out as he hops in the shower.  Other days, I don’t manage it at all, and end up rebuking myself for being so lazy.

But when I do get there, I’m always happy.  Years ago, I established a good routine with a personal trainer, and have followed it since (I suspect it’s time for a change–maybe this new Plan will be the catalyst). 

Because of my back and knee problems, my workout is limited, but I do cover all the machines I’m able to.  I love the feeling of pushing those muscles to the limit and lubricating those joints as my blood starts to circulate more quickly and efficiently.  Despite all the overeating and the erratic aerobic exercise, I seem to be able to persist with the weights on a relatively regular basis (except when my back decides to snap and I’m out of commission for a week or so–but I’ll save that for another post).

 As someone who’s relatively shy and inner-directed, I am quite focused when I follow my routine and rarely speak to anyone else there (which also helps me keep to a schedule,  so that I can get home in good time–meaning before Chaser has to be put back in a cage–and get started with my day).

But I do certainly recognize the “regulars” and we tend to acknowledge each other with curt smiles and nods.  Most of the regulars I see are older than me (and my hats go off to them–cudos to you, Bald Man in Your Seventies! My admiration, Little 60-Something with the Spiky Black Hair! You are my inspiration, Septuagenarian Italian Couple with the Matching T-Shirts! And hope I’m as flexible as you at that age, Elderly Gentleman Who Wears Black Knee Socks!).  A few are my age, and some are younger.  There’s one couple who work out together every time I’m there (which leads me to believe they actually go every day, as my own schedule can change day to day), and they look almost exactly like the Canadian couple from the old “Participaction” commercials.  There’s also a rotund girl who’s no more than 18 at best, who dutifully arrives every morning to meet her trainer and strain through a series of exercises on the machines, with hand weights, and on the oversize exercise balls.  I hear her laughing even as she grunts to finish a set, sweat blossoming on her T-shirt, and I feel recharged.

So I like my routine.  I feel guilty when I don’t do it for more than two days.  And I feel energized when I’m done, a bit more lithe and flexible, a bit more awake and ready to start the day.  The fact that it seems to have no impact whatsoever on my physical appearance is secondary, I suppose.  But as I say to C. on occasion, man, I must have fabulous muscles under all this fat.

Today was also my day to update the Progress Tracker–go see how I did!

Green Drinks

November 1, 2007

If you see a Naturopath or follow the principles of holistic nutrition, you may have heard that drinking “green” drinks can help with sweets cravings.  A green drink is just what it sounds like–a drink made with greens powder, usually containing some form of sea algae or seaweed (such as spirulina or kelp), or a combination of that with dehydrated, ground up green veggies (such as kale, collard, dandelion, etc.).  Often they are flavored or also include some fruit extracts or other immune-boosting elements (such as bee pollen).

I have to admit that I actually like greens drinks.  And I actually really like spirulina–I have it almost every morning with my ground flax seeds, mixed with a little soy or rice milk.  My HH calls it “green slime.”  

 (“We love green slime, Mum!  You can let us lick up the leftovers any time!”).  The greens powder I use is by Nu Life, called Nu Greens.  My two favorite flavors are the apple-banana and tropical (which tastes vaguely of pineapple). 

The theory behind these drinks is that, because they are so heavily alkalized (from all the greens) and ALSO contain magnesium (often attributed to be the cause of chocolate cravings), that they will help to reduce or even eliminate cravings for sugary foods.  Spirulina, in particular, is said to help keep insulin levels steady, another reason some people have sugar cravings.  So I dutifully started drinking more greens on a daily basis about a month ago, sometimes two or three times a day (according to the manufacturer, one serving contains only about 33 calories, so I wasn’t worried), in the hopes that they would inhibit or even prevent the cravings entirely. 

What did I discover?  Well, as I said, that I really like greens drinks.  To my mind, they’re sort of like a very darkly hued, all-natural fruit juice.  And that I can drink quite a few of them in one day (well, at least they help me get my 8 glasses of H2O).  And that they do absolutely nothing to stop my cravings.

So. . . . will I continue to drink them?  Of course I will.  They are extremely good for me, they provide a host of very important minerals and other nutrients, they help keep my blood sugar levels in check.  And I like them.  Have I mentioned that I like them?

If they have helped anyone else out there with cravings, I’d love to know!

[Chaser polishing off the green stuff.]