You can’t be 22 on Sugar Mountain

The sugar-free cleanse is still going strong! Currently, I’m still a level 2. The two hardest things for me to give up so far are any yeasted products/white rice/gluten. Not necessarily because I love those three things (and I don’t really keep any of them in the house), but because they are staples in the food I order at restaurants (pizza crust, any bread product, white rice). It’s interesting to see how dependent I am on certain food products once I can’t have them anymore. It’s also interesting to see what I replace them with. Yesterday we went to Café Natasha’s in South City and I had the gluten-free falafel made with chickpea flour (the best falafel I’ve ever had!), a nice big salad with tahini dressing, and hummus. I just dipped the falafel in the hummus instead of dipping with pita. In the end, I didn’t miss the pita too much.

Friday (day 2) was the hardest day of all so far. I spent the entire day with a terrible migraine which progressively worsened as the day went on. I think it had a little to do with the fact that I hadn’t been sleeping as much as I should last week (thank god for the weekend), but it’s common to get withdrawal headaches when weaning off of sugar (much like caffeine).

The upside of Friday was that I went bridesmaid dress shopping with my sister, mom, aunt and cousin (another bridesmaid) for my sister’s wedding, and we successfully picked a dress! It’s pretty and purple 🙂

I spent Saturday morning protesting McDonald’s with some amazing St. Louis activists. Lucky for us, yesterday also happened to be probably the nicest weather we’ve had yet this spring (and today is just as beautiful!). Then Dyl and I walked around the historic Cherokee district and checked out the new location of Local Harvest. The produce section has quadrupled and they had tons of spring greens from local farms! I cooked some baby kale up in a tomato-based curry last night for dinner.

It’s now day four of the cleanse and I feel fine. Here’s to 11 more sugar-free days.

Baby Kale Curry – adapted from the Chickpea and Spinach Curry in Vegan with a Vengeance

  • 1 (14-ounce) can stewed tomatoes (in juice)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ bunch baby kale (regular kale or spinach would work well here too), rinsed and chopped
  1. Preheat medium-size saucepan over medium heat; add olive oil and mustard seeds. Cover pot and let seeds pop for about a minute. Add onion and turn up heat to medium-high; sauté for about 7 minutes, until the onion starts to brown. Add garlic and ginger; sauté for 2 minutes. Add spices, salt and can of tomatoes; stir and break up tomatoes with back of spoon.
  2. Add handfuls of kale, mixing in between each addition. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes (or until desired consistency is reached), stirring occasionally. Serve with brown rice (add toasted slivered almonds to the rice for an extra treat!).

Variation: Isa’s recipe includes chickpeas along with the greens. If you prefer, add 4 cups of cooked and drained chickpeas after adding the greens. You could also add cubes of pressed and sautéed or baked tofu (pictured below with spinach).

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