I’ve suffered from plaque psoriasis for several years now. It’s hard to recall exactly when it first showed up, but increasingly over the past 10+ years I’ve been dealing with flaky, dry, painful inflamed skin patches across mainly my face, elbows, and feet. The patches sometimes change shape, getting bigger or smaller, and pop up in new places while disappearing in others.
Eating a diet completely free of added sugars is all the rage right now, and justly so - finally a health trend that's actually based in science! Unfortunately even foods that might seem healthy, such as granola, can have way more sugar than you'd ever imagine. On top of that, homemade granola is SO easy to make, so it begs the question why to even bother spending more on packaged granola when homemade is fresher, tastier, easier on your wallet, and more nutritious too. While companies might take shortcuts to increase their profits, you and I can easily afford to throw in some extra nutritious ingredients like hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts to make this granola truly slammin'.
Winter isn't over yet, and so soup is still on the menu! I've been making this decadent soup over and over all winter long. The best part about this soup is that it's packed with veggies - NINE different ones, to be exact - but it brings such a great flavor that it's an easy sell to friends and family alike. This soup has passed muster with my picky father, my veggie-loving but not spices-loving grandma, my partner who (claims to) not like coconut, and almost every other mouth that's come in its path.
This soup takes a bit of prep work, but cooks together really easily once all the chopping is done. I almost always make double the recipe because it's just that good - it freezes well too, so save some for later!
This recipe was adapted from this recipe of Dr. Mark Hyman.
Over the past 3 weeks, I have drastically reduced my added sugar intake to almost nothing. Although I’ve allowed myself a maximum of 1 tablespoon per day of specific all-natural sweeteners that I, and only I, add to my food, I’ve cut out all other sources of added sugars from my diet. As a current victim of candida yeast overgrowth and psoriasis (which I believe to be a symptom of my candida), I’ve been experimenting with a 30-Day No Sugar Challenge with the high hopes of finally vanquishing these unwelcome hitchhikers. The results haven’t been exactly what I hoped for, but they still have been interesting. See below for the full rules of my Challenge.
Read on for updates about my progress and experience so far. Be sure to check out my first and second blog posts chronicling this journey.
I have spent the last week or so attempting to avoid almost all sugar in my diet. This first week was more challenging, but in different ways, than I expected. I had images in my head of writhing on the couch in misery with a sugar withdrawals that I ultimately fought off valiantly. The truth is that, even while armored with a bachelor of science plus a post-grad certification both in the nutrition sciences, sugar STILL found ways to sneak into my diet! As for sugar withdrawals, thankfully I only experienced rather mild symptoms. I thought it was would easy enough to identify all sources of sugar and eliminate it from my diet while experiencing withdrawals, yet the opposite turned out to be true.
Sugar is quickly, and rightfully, gaining a poor reputation. Sugar is now added to seemingly everything, from bacon to mustard to salad dressing to even crackers. We humans are simply hardwired to love the stuff, and consequently food manufacturers take advantage of our palate’s greatest weakness. Consider that sugar has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine. Not only is sugar addictive and, therefore, added to almost everything we could possibly consume, but sugar also comes in several different forms under multiple names. In the ingredients list for any given food, you might find: corn syrup, dextrose, malt syrup, evaporated cane juice, fructose, fruit juice, invert sugar, palm sugar, rice syrup - the list just goes on and on.
I dreamt up my version of the No Sugar Challenge while pondering my own health concerns. As a past victim of leaky gut plus a long sufferer of psoriasis and candida yeast, it’s become quite clear that excessive sugar intake (coupled with other issues, such as chronic stress) have directly caused my health problems.
Fried rice is as American as apple pie. Or something like that. Americans love our Asian cuisines - whether it's a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant, dim sum for brunch, all you can eat sushi deals, curry, ramen, sushi burritos, dumplings, Pad Thai, General Tso chicken, Panda Express - we'll eat it all. We love everything from the most authentic recipes to the most bastardized once-Asian-turned-American recipes.
eat yer veggies
Caylee Clay is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist & yoga teacher specializing in psoriasis & food sustainability. By following her own health path with a goal of naturally putting her psoriasis into remission, she is a top resource for other psoriasis sufferers. Also, she believes that healthy living & sustainability go hand-in-hand — every bite you take has the power to improve both the world and your health!