3 Day Belly Fat Blast!

Do not, I repeat, do not attempt this stunt at home!  Guaranteed to blast 2 to 4 pounds of fat right off your belly & butt in just 3 short days! Here are my five easy steps for success on this belly fat blast:

1.  Get your butt (and belly fat) to Arizona:  plane, train, automobile... bus if you must. Walking and biking are fine options, as well, and will seriously ramp up the belly fat blast!

2.  Hike 8 miles down into the Supai Native American Reservation.  Once there, you will be hiking many more miles, every day, to see and do what you want to see and do.  35-40 miles in 3 days... see how this belly fat blast just happens!?

havasu falls 2

3.  Live on the food (and a lizard or two, see info below) you carry in your back pack... down those 8 HOT, dusty miles into the Grand Canyon.

Food Carried:

Amazing nutrition in a fruit, nut, and Superfood power bar.  I avoid packaged food but this one is great in a pinch.  www.herbdoc.com  Nope, no kick backs for me. Darn!

Several varieties of organic beef jerky available at the Potsdam Food Coop.

Bison bars from the health food store in Flagstaff, Arizona.  These bars were a great pick!

Organic cheese sticks (Someone knew I would need cheese.  Again, see below.) It is amazing how they survive, despite the heat.  They were a little floppy on day two but we did not die from food poisoning!

Organic carrots, apples, and nuts pack well.  Thanks again to the Flagstaff, AZ store!

alm pecans

Dessert in the canyon was 2 of these very tiny, raw food cookies:

4.  Share your meager food supplies with the Supai Native American Reservation dog you fall in love with.

pedra 2

Pedra is the blonde doggie I fell in love with. Her sweet 'lil kisses on my face were a welcome bit of love.  Her black and tan friend was collar-less, tag-less, and therefore name-less. She won my love as well.

Pedra's tag said: "Pedra. Love me, feed me, leave me free."  On the flip side the tag stated: "Prefers paleo diet with cheese and a side of lizard."  So, I did what any dog loving woman would do... shared my beef jerky, bison pemmican, and mozzarella cheese stick (I was so glad I bought those Organic Valley Mozz cheese stix! Pedra loved them.). Funny, she did not want a bite of my Superfood bar or a share of my almond and pecan stash.

I tried to capture a lizard for Pedra and her friend but damn those canyon lizards move fast! I left her to handle that part of her diet on her own. No, I did not eat any lizards.  Couldn't catch 'em!

Yes, I asked Pedra to come home with me but she said: "No thank you Paula.  I run free down here in the canyon."  Guess being a Northern NY "house pet" was not on Pedra's agenda for this life time!

5.  Bring your 12 and almost 15 year old sons with you.  I figured their growing, teen bodies needed the calories more than my 49 year old - no longer growing body needed the calories.  Just in case we did not carry enough in... I ate lightly and left the food for the boys.  Amazing how a mom will go without to ensure the comfort and survival of her offspring!

Success of this program is based upon:

  1. minimal food
  2. maximum movement
  3. sharing minimal food with awesome dogs
  4. bring hungry teen boys and leave the bulk of food for their consumption and survival
  5. grain free diet (keep in mind that live stock is fattened up for slaughter by grain feeding...)
  6. butter free diet (OK, one morning my boys had oatmeal at the Supai Reservation Cafe.  I confess, I ate a pat of Land O'Lakes butter. Had it been my NY State pasture raised butter, I would have eaten a 1/4 cup!)

I am home now... real butter is back in my diet!

This success story is based on a quote by a rather enlightened MD (I forget his name!):

          "We have moved from a culture where movement was mandatory and calories were hard to come by to a culture where calories are mandatory and movement is hard to come by."

Got any belly fat blast stories for me?  Perhaps long hikes in the ADK mountains with little food? A trek up the Appalachian Trail and running low on food before the next drop?  Maybe the Pacific Crest Trail caught you low on food? Drop me a comment and share your "do not stay at home" fat blast stunts!

Blessings, Paula

Winter Food Blues, Take 2

Springy Kraut

To make my homemade root veggie kraut lighter and more spring like, I do this:

  • On plate, place a pile of kraut to please your appetite.
  • Add tiny chunks of 1/2 apple or grate 1/2 apple.
  • Add 1 stalk of celery, chopped into bite sized pieces.
  • Walnuts to please...
  • Sheep milk feta

This is it, before I piled it onto plates and added the feta and walnuts.  I also grated a carrot and a hunk of my beloved celeriac into the root veggie kraut.


This is a fun way, for me, to change my regular food as I work through my impatience around the spouting up and availability of local spring produce.

Peas.... how long must I wait for peas?

spring peas

Seductive Sugar....and our calamitous relationship

Sugar... oh so sweet and so seductive


Like heroin, cocaine and caffeine, sugar is an addictive, destructive drug, yet we consume it daily in everything from cigarettes to bread.   -William Dufty, author of Sugar Blues.

We know sugar and refined sweeteners are a leading contributor to many health problems:  diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis to name but a very few.  Yet, as a culture, we continue to consume it in heaping piles on an annual basis.

How did we get here as a culture?  The use of sugar has been on the rise for hundreds of years.

Consumption in the USA:

  • In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 2009, more than 50 percent of Americans consume 1/2 pound of sugar per day, which is 180 pounds of sugar per year! YIKES!

Sugar's history is an amazing tale to be told.

US citizens are the world's largest (no pun intended) consumers of sugar.  The first sugar refinery was built in NYC in 1689, sweet breakfast porridge became popular and consumption soared to 4 pounds per year. We now consume 100 pounds per year on average.  For those of us who consume very little, where does that leave others in this average consumption?

Loving sweet tasting foods is a natural human desire.  Whole foods that are sweet nourish the body cells with complex carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and all sorts of nutrients yet to be "discovered."  Whole sweet foods release a slow and steady level of carbohydrates into our blood streams.  Not so for the refined stuff....

Refined sweeteners have been stripped of most of their nutritional value.  No nourishment to offer to the body cells?  Then the "food" item actually robs nutrition from your body cells.  The body must deplete its own store of nutrients to digest and absorb sucrose properly. This creates nutritional deficiencies. This is an empty calorie syndrome.

Refined sugar enters the blood stream very quickly raising the blood sugar to very high levels and the resultant high levels of insulin crash the blood sugar.  This is how we get swings of hyper excitability followed by lethargy and depression.  We feel good for a microscopic period of time, a sugar high, then we crash and burn turning into moody, frustrated, tired individuals.

Sugar is highly addictive.  A little bit raises and crashes the blood sugar leaving you craving more, more, more! And did I mention more, NOW?  When we go through sugar withdrawal we have mood swings, severe cravings, headaches, fatigue, irritability... symptoms akin to drug and alcohol withdrawal.

Sugar is put into all manufactured foods, those factory made "food products."  The reason is clear, sugar is addictive, add it to food and people will buy and eat more.  What a great sales campaign!

The health consequences of sugar are profound. Excess sugar intake is associated with weight gain and obesity. Being overweight raises your risk for many health conditions: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, gallbladder and liver diseases, osteoarthritis, gynecological problems such as infertility, respiratory problems, sleep apnea, and colon, breast and endometrial cancers, to name but a few.

I find it amazing that rarely does a diabetic (or anyone else with metabolic health issues resulting from refined foods and sugars) get advised to remove all sugar from their diets in order to regulate their blood sugar and insulin levels and heal their bodies.  If a person had liver disease or lung cancer, would we not advise that they remove the offenders: alcohol and tobacco?

If sugar is so bad...why do we crave it?  Sugar in the bloodstream stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain that respond to heroin and cocaine but in a very pronounced way compared to other yummy foods.  Sugar becomes an uncontrollable habit.  One feels great while consuming, bottoms out when it leaves our blood stream, and rush to find more.

Leaving sugar out of the diet for 2 weeks ends this yo-yo affair with the sweet, white stuff.

Interestingly enough, until the middle of the 1800's, refined, "white" sugar was a luxury.  The wealthy could afford refined sugar cane sugar.  Most common people used maple syrup, honey, and crude forms of molasses and the true molasses rich brown sugars (not the modern grocery store variety that is merely white sugar with caramel coloring added).

Take yourself back to the Little House On The Prairie books and recall how they consumed sugar.  Manufactured sugar and sweets were truly a rare treat, only at holidays.  (Keep in mind that the sugar and food indulgent holidays were far fewer in Laura Ingall’s days. Another testimony to where our collective health has gone and why!)

Think how long a hard candy or small piece of chocolate, given as a Christmas gift, would last Laura.  Now think about how we pack away candy and whole, large chocolate bars on a daily basis.  Any wonder why and how  our health suffers the degenerative consequences?  Can you imagine how long an Equal Exchange large chocolate bar would last Laura… weeks upon weeks, turning into months!

Want to return to vibrant health?  Removing sugar from your diet is a huge step in the direction of restoring metabolic health. How to do this sugar detox is a question of your style of functioning.  Are you an all or nothing type that can completely cut sugar now and never look back (trust me, you will feel so good you will not want to look back!) or do you function better weaning yourself slowly?  Knowing what works for you and doing it, surrounding yourself with loving support, and finding ways to  sweeten your life without sugar are key components to kicking the sugar habit.

PS  Stay tuned for my thoughts on kids' parties and sugar!

Fun Food Focus

Satisfy that sweet tooth with 1/2 an apple and a handful of raw walnuts or pecans.  The nuts add fat and protein to balance your blood sugar and insulin reaction.  You won't feel a blood sugar crash 30 minutes or so after eating the apple.  

Fresh fruits are gentler on your blood sugar.  Dried fruits are very concentrated fruit sugars and will elevate and crash your blood sugar, leaving you craving more sweetness to drive your blood sugar back up.  Dried fruits will contribute to the same yo-yo cycle with blood sugar rushes and crashes.  Eat them with divine respect for the concentrated source of fruit sugar that they are;  be mindful of this sugar effect even with natural foods.

Local Food Abounds, Health Benefits Innumerable

Image What's in the bowls, you ask?

Fresh, raw grape-apple sauce made from local concord grapes (across the road from me) and local apples (Thank you, Anna Campbell!).

I have been making this fresh, every morning, by chopping apples with their skins intact and putting them into the blender.  Pull grapes from their vines, seeds and skins intact, and toss into the blender.

Blend on high speed until a well blended sauce, pour into bowls and enjoy!

BENEFITS:  The benefits of local foods is that the nutrition is intact. The food is fresher as it has not been transported thousands of miles.  Apples and grapes are an amazing cleansing AM food for the liver and colon.

The skins are loaded with phyto-nutrients.   The grape seeds, well, they are too.  People pay good money for grape seed extract and yet spit the seeds out of the grapes they are eating.  What?  Grind them up, glean the benefits of the seeds!

The nutrition in both fruits is low sugar and feeds the body cells with an amazing array of nutrients (most of which we know nothing about nor have a name / label for them!).  It is a fall food to enjoy until they are gone, knowing that next season they will be back to enjoy again.