I believe God made berries to save me from sugar.
Mr. Wetzel and I have been attempting to wean ourselves off sugar and processed carbohydrates for about a month, now, and if it weren’t for all the fresh fruit available, I’m not sure we could be successful. I come from a long line of sweet-toothed relatives, and saying “no” to sugar can be like saying “no” to oxygen. Like most addictions, my sugar addiction has left its mark. I found out this year that I have Insulin Resistance, a condition in which my body doesn’t respond well to the insulin in my blood stream. Insulin is what tells your muscles and cells, “Hey! There’s blood sugar available for pick up! Come and get it!” When you have insulin resistance, it’s like the cells in your body have cotton in their ears, so in order for the insulin to be heard, it has to “shout,” which literally means the insulin levels in your blood stream go up. Adverse health effect imminent.*
Carbohydrates raise blood sugar, and the more processed and refined the carb is, the more quickly it is processed, and the faster the blood sugar level raises. Since my body has a hard time dealing with the insulin in my blood stream, I need to curtail how many carbs I eat at once. I love sweet foods, but my body just can’t handle the blood sugar roller coaster processed sweets take it on. Candies, chocolates, cakes, cookies, brownies, ice-cream…these are all the things my nurse has recommended I eat “in moderation.” But, sometimes, moderation just isn’t good enough. Sometimes when you love something that doesn’t love you back, you just got to give it up entirely (at least for a time) before you can understand how to practice moderation. And that is why I have been trying to give up sugar for the last month.
Back to the berries.
If it wasn’t for fruit, I’m not sure I could give up sugar. Even the sugar snap peas and fresh carrots have filled in a tasty void. Summer share seems to be a lot about salads and snack foods, and this week has been no exception. Fruits nourish. Fruits have different tastes and qualities…not just a “sugary sweet” fix. With fruit, you don’t just satisfy cravings; you eat meals.
A key thing that makes fruit an awesome source of natural sugar is that fruit has tons of fiber. As you satisfy your sweet tooth, the fiber fills you up, and hunger cravings are satisfied. Added bonus: fiber is good for your digestive system.
My favorite thing about all the berries, cherries and fruits from the farm is that they taste so good and so true in flavor to their name that they make it easy to eat healthy and locally. When given the choice of a local, just-picked berry and a plastic wrapped candy bar with natural and artificial berry flavors, who would choose the latter? Fresh, in-season fruit is like the platonic form which all these artificially sweet fruit-flavored things are modeled after.
I’m making myself hungry. Time for dinner…
(clockwise around the outside, starting with bottom left corner):
- I was told this is Tatsoi, but I think it’s Komatsuna. Whatever it’s name, it’s an asian green, and it’s great as a salad green.
- Red Chard
- Lettuce (Romaine style)
(In the bowls)
- Sugar Snap Peas
…Plus a dozen eggs
Until next week!
*My knowledge of Insulin Resistance is limited to a layperson’s abilities to comprehend medical mumbo-jumbo, and my details about the condition come from reading a book my nurse recommended: The Insulin-Resistance Diet: How to Turn Off Your Body’s Fat-Making Machine by Cheryle Hart & Mary Kay Grossman.