Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Good News!

Here's a little more information about how and why that reheated pasta trick can help keep you slimmer. I just think it's so brilliant, it bears repeating. Especially since I'm not sure I explained the link between excess blood sugar and weight gain well enough.

The main reason reheating pasta can help keep you slimmer is because the body treats the sugars in reheated carbs more like resistant starches. This means less sugar in your blood - and it's the excess sugar in your bloodstream that gets stored as fat. For more info, here's a great article by Kris Gunnars: 4 Ways Sugar Makes You Fat.

And here's some more good news! Even though you might be a heavy drinker, you're probably NOT an alcoholic! Yay! Cheer! Yayyy!!

According to a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of all heavy drinkers do not qualify as alcoholics. The study was conducted on 138,100 American adults and found that only 10% of heavy drinkers can actually be classified as having the 'disease' of alcoholism (quotes added). This could have far-reaching implications for the treatment of alcoholism. Though the experts still warn that drinking too much can cause other health problems besides addiction ... so don't celebrate tooooo much k? ;) Here's more on the study from Medical Daily  and The Guardian.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Skinny Sketti?

Totally back in the swing of things!!

However, angels were not singing for me Saturday morning. No, they'd called in their evil cousins the Hangover Demons to throw garbage cans and rolling pins at the metal walls they spent all morning building around my bedroom. Whoa. Idiot, idiot, idiot.

Some friends invited us for dinner Friday night and the wine just kept flowing. Now I know - I KNOW - that you should always take it easy coming off a cleanse. But I didn't want to be an ungrateful guest, after all. (Ha!) Actually, I stupidly didn't even consider how close I was to ending my cleanse and I definitely overindulged. Unfortunately, I paid for it Saturday morning. And Saturday afternoon ... Ugh.

It's truly amazing how quickly your system adjusts and your tolerance levels change after a cleanse. So always remember - even if you have to put a temporary tattoo on your partner's face - take it easy coming off a cleanse! No matter what!

On a happier note, I'm having spaghetti for breakfast this morning!!

Bizarre, I know. But I love spaghetti any time - and often have leftover pasta for breakfast. I eat so much of this carb-rich treat, in fact, that it's sometimes hard for me to believe my BMI is about 19. (Yah, yah, I know - have a burger, right?!!) I'm not saying I don't have a health conscious diet, I do - but I recently learned that there may be another factor at work that allows me to chow down on so much sketti without busting the scale.

The scientist/slash/producers/slash/geniuses at BBC's Trust Me, I'm A Doctor have stumbled upon what I think is the miracle of the century. No, maybe the biggest miracle in the whole history of the world! Forget fire. Forget the wheel. Forget red wine being good for you or the parting of the Red Sea. Those are all small potatoes compared to this breakthrough: You can make pasta less fattening!

The trick is cooling it completely in the fridge. Just chilling pasta significantly reduces the impact of it on your blood sugar levels. But refrigerating it, then reheating it again takes out another 50% of the sugar load!!

For some reason - and the experts aren't quite sure why yet - cooling and reheating pasta, rice or any other simple carb makes it behave more like a resistant starch in your tummy. In other words, the body treats it more like bananas, beans or raw oats. You get the fiber, nutrition and the satiety of the treat - without the high spike to your blood sugar that simple carbs usually cause. Meaning it'll be much better for your waistline and general health, even reducing the risk of diabetes.

That's what makes so much sense to me. I'd say 50-75% of the pasta I eat is leftover and reheated from the night before. And I've been doing this all-my-life. Which might explain why it's been a pretty guilt-free indulgence for me.

Now not everyone can stomach sketti first thing in the morning. I get that! But why not take a container to work with you and reheat it for lunch? Or boil it earlier in the day, store it in the fridge and reheat for dinner. Why, the possibilities are endless!! And when it comes to pasta, that's a great thing.

Try to have some protein with it, too, though k? Protein always helps you stay feeling full longer.  I also swear by Catelli Smart Pasta. It's a light and delicious semolina pasta, just like your best friend's Italian mother used to make for you when you went to their house for dinner as a kid, but with the added benefit of oat hull, it has 8 grams of fiber per serving! Speaking of miracles. (If Catelli isn't available in your area, look for other fiber-enriched brands like Dream Fields or Ronzoni. There are quite a few on the market now.)

 ** Insert pretty photo of someone else's food here ** ;)

And if that's not enough ... keep in mind that carbohydrate-rich foods can help reduce the cravings associated with alcohol withdrawal. So it's really good on a cleanse - or even cleanse days. Just skip the wine on those days. And if you're having pasta for breakie, that's probably a good idea too. (Probably.)

For more info on this miracle or miracles, there's more info here @ Telegraph.co.uk and Medical Daily.com.

You're welcome! ;)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cue the Angels!


I grabbed that bottle of vino bianco I didn't open my last night of drinking (was it really a month ago?!!) and put it in the fridge to chill yesterday. Looking forward to popping it with brunch. I LOVE the idea of starting and ending a cleanse on a Sunday btw. This is the first time I've done it, but it feels perfect. Somehow, it seems as if you don't have as many full weekends to endure without drinking. ;) I think Sunday may be the stop/start for many cleanses to come.

Anyway, on Friday, I went out for my last mandatory wine-less lunch for the next five months! Though, honestly, lunch with Alisha is often wine-less because she doesn't drink. Which is amazing because I think I've mentioned that I've had friends in the past I couldn't even converse with if we weren't permanently scarring our livers together.

I meant to tell you, she got me the most incredible birthday gift this year and it made my cleanse so much easier and more enjoyable.

I've been a huge fan of David's Tea for years. I usually have their Organic Detox on hand during a cleanse, but this time I didn't need it. Because A. got me this incredible gift set from David's called Sweet Indulgence.

It includes twelve different teas with incredible flavors like Chocolate RocketMango Madness and Vanilla Orchid. I loved them all! Even found some new favorites. There was a great selection of types of tea, too - black, white and everything in between, including more exotic varieties like pu'erh and oolong. What's more, all teas are packed with anti-oxidants and phytochemicals, so they're actually good for you.

The tag-line for this delectable set is 'Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth' and they definitely got that right. Most of the teas were calorie-free, with one or two coming in at a whopping 10 calories. Yet, even without honey (they didn't need it!), they were SO delicious. Like dessert in a cup.

It was actually fun deciding which one I wanted to brew next. I had at least two cups a day, sometimes more. And there were so many flavors I couldn't get sick of them if I tried. I totally recommend this set if you're cleansing. Or even if you're just trying to shed a pound or two so that your skinny jeans don't threaten your reproductive future. Because this is a whole lot of yummy for zero payback in the fat/carb/calorie department.

Now I know I might seem a bit gushy for nothing more than tea, but finding healthy delicious substitutes for alcohol on a cleanse is a huge help. So thanks, A!! :)

(This is a Canadian company btw, but they ship to the U.S. And if you're elsewhere in the world, contact them @ David's Tea.com. Maybe you can 'sweet' talk your way into an order!)

btw I got so much work done on my witch novel this cleanse! I even started working on the sequel. Somehow I also found the (sober) courage to reach out to my old agent about it. For a million reasons, it just felt like the right thing to do. When we were together - twelve years ago - I hadn't started cleansing yet. In fact, I was at my very worst. Meaning I was drunk every single time we got together. Not falling down drunk (I saved that for when I got home). But I had definitely left 0.08 BAC way behind. Here's hoping we have a sober - or at least, less drunk ;) - future together ... I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for following the cleanse! I hope you're doing well! Stay tuned because with a little tweaking - including adding this info about the Sweet Sensations tea collection - the cleanse e-book is almost ready too! :)

So as I said, CUE THE ANGELS!!

(Here are some real-life angels singing 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.' I know it may be tad early for carols, but I'm feeling in the holiday spirit today!! Obvi!)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day 21 - "Thanks Alcohol!"

omg - Day 21 is a huge milestone, one of the most welcome of the entire cleanse: 3/4 of the way through! One measly week left to go! Now is the time you start realizing how great life can be. ;)

Honestly, I have no complaints about this cleanse. It's been one of the easiest ever. I know I was quite fatigued for the first few days, probably partly because of the move, but it passed quickly and I've had tons of energy, clarity and positivity ever since.

It's also been great being in a new place. All the old habits are gone. Where you used to shop for alcohol, where you used to store alcohol, where you used to drink it - from pub patios to your living room - all memories. I think it's going to be very healthy for me to develop a whole new drinking pattern in the new place. So if you're having trouble controlling your drinking and don't want to cleanse ... consider moving. ;)

Alberta has just started running some controversial - and pretty hilarious - ads aimed at curbing binge drinking among youth. The campaign is called "Thanks Alcohol!" Little cartoon captions show everything from a young couple lying awkwardly in bed next to each other the morning after to a dude puking on a girl's dress. The caption of course - a thumbs up and "Thanks Alcohol!"

’Thanks alcohol’ anti-binge drinking ads hit Alberta

Hilarz!! However, Dr. Louis Francescutti a professor at the University of Alberta, author and public speaker, is doubtful it will have a positive effect on binge drinking among young adults. Not only because binge drinking is so entrenched in youth culture, but also because people under 24 are basically incapable of thinking long term - especially when it comes to their health.

(Ahhh. Fond sigh. I remember those days well. Sorta.)

For more info - and a few laughs - check out this article from the Edmonton Sun and ThanksAlcohol.com. Here's hoping the campaign helped a few kids avoid getting their stomachs pumped after Halloween parties last night. Because you don't want to be thanking alcohol for that.

btw no crazy Halloween parties for me this year - obvi. But I can toast the ghosts next week ... cuz only 7 days left to go!