Obsessions? Noooo, I prefer to call them “things that I’m really into right now.” Different, no? Either way, here are some things I just can’t get enough of this week:
1. Against All Grain’s Creamy Chocolate Avocado Smoothie: OMG. I’m not a big smoothie person (I’ve never been one who enjoys “drinking” her food, plus I have trouble with most raw veggie based smoothies), but this smoothie is the delicious exception. It tastes more like a chocolate-banana milkshake, except it’s dairy-free, refined sugar-free and composed only of nutritious, Paleo ingredients (and it’s easily digested, good for a Crohnie like me). I switched out the almond milk for coconut milk and the flax seed for kosher gelatin powder (simply because they agree with me better), so you too can adjust it to your dietary needs. Sensitive to raw cacao powder? Unsweetened organic cocoa powder (preferably non-alkaline, like this one) works well too. I don’t sip this smoothie; I slurp it (but please note it’s meant to provide 2-3 servings). You can find the recipe here.
2. Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran: this song has been on constant replay on my iPod. I think I might have a problem. Seriously. Can’t. Get. Enough.
3. Marc & Angel Hack Life : need an inspirational pick-me-up? This blog features practical tips for achieving a happy and productive life and has become a favorite of mine. Whether it’s reminders about how to navigate through a challenging time or simply a boost of encouragement, these little notes and reflections seem to land in my inbox at just the right times.
4. Turmeric: this “super spice” seems to be everywhere these days, and I especially enjoy using it because of its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. In addition to being an approved remedy for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis symptoms, it’s believed to help fight everything from cancer and cardiovascular disease to Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis. All of this, plus the fact that it has a spicy kick to it, makes it a must-use ingredient in foods like my weekly batch of chicken soup.
5. Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD: okay, I’m a little late to the party with this one, but I finally got around to reading this best-selling book in its entirety. Eye opening and thought provoking, Wheat Belly discusses the role of high blood sugar in our declining health, and how wheat has become the primary culprit (but not the only culprit…the effects of other grains, starches and sugar are also analyzed). Dr. Davis (a cardiologist) clearly outlines how modern day wheat leads to an astounding list of serious illnesses…not just Celiac, but also diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, arthritis, cancer, neurological and autoimmune disorders (like Crohn’s!) and even premature aging, to name a few. (Spoiler alert: he makes the compelling argument that it’s the hybridization and genetic modification of wheat over the last several decades — plus the fact that the U.S. consumes vast amounts of it — that is responsible for these severe inflammatory and immune responses.) Dr. Davis’s findings challenge some of the most basic nutrition principles we thought we understood and once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Of course, his conclusions are really no big surprise to me, as going wheat-free (and reducing other blood sugar-spiking foods) has allowed my health to do a complete 180 (in a good way). This book just provides more credibility and helps explain the “why” of it all. Simply put: it allowed my mind to catch up to what my body had already figured out.