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Information, products, & classes to help you enjoy a sugar-free & gluten-free life.

Sweet & Savvy

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Sweet & Savvy

We’re programmed to enjoy sweet tastes. To our hunter-gatherer ancestors, finding an occasional berry bush was good fortune.  High in antioxidants, these foods were nutritious and safe to eat. Today, our desire for sweet tastes drives a lot of commercial interests, so we must be savvy about our sweets.

Besides setting up addictive patterns, here’s the slippery slope that eating sweets can start us down. When we eat sugar, the pancreas makes insulin. Insulin tells the body to store fat, by taking energy out of the blood and routing it to the fat cells. The body thinks it is starving, so it does three things that would have been helpful to our ancestors who might be facing true starvation: it stores fat, increases hunger, and slows metabolism. Not so good for us today! Our DNA is still programmed to protect us from famine, but food is now plentiful, so we have a harder and harder time losing weight.

In addition to switching to nutrient-dense, sugar-free occasional sweets, I suggest including a tablespoon of fermented vegetables with your meals. This will strengthen digestion and take away some of the cravings for sweets. Make sure you have adequate quality protein in small amounts and healthy fats like coconut oil and nuts, along with plenty of non-starchy vegetables.

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Could You Use a Boost?

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Could You Use a Boost?

I feel like I just woke up. Not in the morning sense or the spiritual aha sense, but in the being sense. I am more alive than I have been for quite a while. I had begun to attribute a lack of enthusiasm to being in my mid-60’s. I wasn’t seriously depressed, just sort of blah about life. On good days, I would call myself content, but I missed the little bursts of joy. I had a little pain in my joints and occasionally an abnormal heartbeat. All of these are gone. Here's the story:

My doctor had labs drawn for my thyroid, and they came back within normal limits. I’ve dealt with thyroid issues since I was 11, and most doctors have dismissed my symptoms if my labs were within normal limits. My current doctor, after really listening to how I was feeling, told me she was going to raise my meds just a little. With that slight change, I began to have more energy, more enthusiasm, more power to speak my truth, and more joy.

Having just attended a week-long class on thyroid health, I strongly encourage everyone to have a FULL thyroid panel drawn, including free T3, free T4, reverse T3, reverse T4, TSH, and thyroid antibodies. Even if your labs are “normal,” remember that each person is unique. If you have symptoms of difficulty losing weight, intolerance to cold, dry skin and hair, fatigue,  depression, or the blahs,  talk with your doctor about trying a dessicated thyroid hormone like NatureThroid. Every cell in the body needs thyroid hormone, and our modern world is making uptake of it difficult. There are also important lifestyle changes you can make to ensure your greatest thyroid health. Stay tuned for more!

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Have You Heard About Lectins?

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Have You Heard About Lectins?

So, may be you’ve already gotten away from gluten and are feeling more energy, clarity, and overall health. Great! For myself, I suffered with anxiety disorder for 30 years, until I went off gluten 14 years ago. What a difference that made in my life!

As I continue to explore the very best diet (I prefer the term live-it!) for my body, I have realized that there’s another pesky little protein in grass grains that can be a real nuisance to vibrant health. Lectins are anti-nutrients that nature builds into grains and other foods to protect them from predators like animals and bacteria--and humans. They stick to cell walls and act like tiny needles, causing irritation and inflammation.

Food choices and preparation are key here. It’s easy to make many of our favorite foods and steer away from both gluten and lectins. Choose grain-like seeds, such as quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat, instead of grass grains. Soak nuts and seeds in lightly salted water for at least 4 hours, before draining and using. I put nuts into my dehydrator after soaking, to make them crunchy. Limit nightshades like tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, and eggplant. Be sure to include fermented foods and enzymes to strengthen digestion.

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Your Health IS Your Business

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Your Health IS Your Business

America spends more on health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined, yet ranks last in health and mortality among 17 developed nations. These sad statistics were shared by one of the foremost advocates for taking health into our own hands, Dr Joseph Mercola.

Then there all the tests and treatments that are 'reversed' because they prove to be either ineffective or downright harmful. And the figures for deaths from medical errors is really disturbing: It correlates to 4 jumbo jets falling out of the sky each week. Yikes!

Making informed decisions about diet and lifestyle may be our greatest ally in our health care. Real food tastes good and feels good to our cells.

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Is Gluten-free Just a Fad?

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Is Gluten-free Just a Fad?

I love learning. Especially when what I discover can affect our well-being. I recently attended two gluten summits. Instead of politicians meeting to discuss world issues, this summit featured medical practitioners and health experts from around the world talking about the impact that gluten has had on our health as a species.

I know. But wheat is in the Bible, an emblem of divinity etc. We’re meant to eat wheat, right?

Actually, wheat has been around for 10,000 years, since the advent of agriculture, which is a mili-second in evolutionary terms. Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, and rye, which our bodies have not adapted to breaking down completely. We lack the proper enzymes. And modern wheat is not the wheat Jesus ate. Modern wheat has 42 chromosomes; biblical wheat had 28, and einkorn wheat, preceding biblical wheat, had 14 chromosomes.

Some people have noticeable symptoms like gas, bloating, or foggy thinking, but gluten could be doing damage without you knowing it. Substances in wheat allow the intestinal walls to lose their strength and develop tiny holes. Food particles pass through undigested, and the body attacks them as invaders. This leads to a cascade of immune responses and inflammation.

Though the mountain of evidence against it is growing, wheat is a powerful opiate, and getting off gluten can bring on withdrawal symptoms. My suggestion is to switch to high protein grain-like seeds, such as quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat. Get plenty of good-quality fats, adequate grass-fed dairy and meat, and lots of above-ground non-starchy vegetables and sea vegetables.

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Pass the Brownies

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Pass the Brownies

Sometimes baking is a balance of artistry and science. Of all the recipes in A Sweet Life Without Sugar, it's the brownies that have given me the greatest challenge. I think I've revised the recipe twenty times.  My friends and family have put up no objection, for sure.

The characteristic texture of brownies really depends on sugar and gluten. What to do when 1/8 teaspoon of pure stevia powder replaces 1 1/2 cups of sugar and there's no gluten for chewiness and body? Over the years that I've been perfecting this, I've gotten closer and closer to the characteristic brownie-ness. I like that brownies are almost grain-free. Though I'm not totally grain-free, I like to minimize it, to avoid the carbs and other anti-nutrients in grass grains. My latest and greatest version has some baked yam for sweetness and texture.

I think I'm there, but if I find something even better, I'll update the app.

 

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Showing Up

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Showing Up

Headlights show us a few feet ahead on the road — not 100 miles, and we still embark on cross-country journeys. For that we exercise our trust. In this journey of my business, I just keep showing up with my intention and wait for the next amazing thing to happen. Sometimes I worry that I won’t succeed or that I’m not enough; then I lose trust and try to control, to manage.

I’m learning every day that it is more effective to stay in the energy of ‘How can I serve?’ and let the answers come in their myriad and mysterious forms.

Writing my book, A Sweet Life Without Sugar, I had no idea how, on a meager budget, I would get the book photographed, edited, designed or published. I only knew that I wanted to share my commitment to helping people enjoy desserts without gluten or sugar. I had just moved back to California, had no job, little savings, and considerable fear that I might eventually have to live in my car — by the way, a 1988 Volvo that has served me for 17 years!

I became a personal chef and gardener for a friend in exchange for renting a small cottage behind her house. One day, while working in the front yard, a neighbor came over to introduce herself. “What do you do?” she asked. “I’m writing a cookbook.” Seeing the shock on her face, I asked her what she did. “I design cookbooks!” That was the beginning of a working relationship and a dear friendship.

When it was time to photograph my desserts, my friend Elaine just happened to know a professional food photographer, who, upon hearing about my project, decided to gift me several photo shoots.

I was almost ready to send the manuscript to the printer when I was introduced to another angel. Debbie is a nurse and health practitioner herself, who  saw the importance of empowering people to get off sugar without feeling deprived. She helped me make the book more readable and more credible.

Later, when her friend was able to use my recipes to overcome her own addiction to sugar, I was gifted with a MD who was willing to endorse and promote me.

Two years later, after teaching and speaking about the book, my son's company turned it into an app for ipads. Asa and Kat have continued to help me get the word out.

I am in awe at all the people who have showed up to take me to the next level in getting my message out. I just keep asking, “How can I?” and grace answers. I live in the possibility instead of being boxed in by the definition. It’s truly a game of discovery and gratitude.

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A New Look at Cancer

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A New Look at Cancer

“There are many successful ways to treat cancer,” I told my friend.“

We’re going to go with chemo and radiation.” This was a surprising and quick response, I thought, as she had called to ask me if there were alternatives.

A cancer diagnosis is terrifying. In a confused and frightened state, people go with what is most familiar--the ‘standard treatment.’ I I’m not saying this treatment won’t work; of course I hope it does. I love my friends and respect their right to choose, but did they really know how many choices there are? I believe that if they were more familiar with the alternatives as well as the real statistics on success, they may have made a different choice.

Now, months into treatment, Larry is sick, weak, frail. Once he starts radiation, he may need a feeding tube, as his throat will be too burned to eat. Some people say that with cancer, the treatment can be more deadly than the disease.

What if everyone could know about the array of options for cancer treatment before we or someone we know gets diagnosed? And what if we knew about lifestyle choices that would help prevent getting cancer in the first place? Imagine the confidence in being pro-active, instead of the fear and confusion when we hear the words “You have cancer.”

Go out today and pick up a copy of Suzanne Somers’ book Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place. She has put together a wonderful resource guide. You’ll hear from doctors and patients who are successfully using a number of different modalities for the prevention and treatment of cancer. There are many ways to handle cancer that support the body rather than tear it down. She also covers ways to support the body before, during, and after chemo and radiation. You’ll read about success rates even with pancreatic cancer, which is commonly thought to be a death sentence. Somers urges us to explore, to learn, to tune into what resonates as true for each of us, so that, should we ever need to, we can make an informed decision, possibly the most important of our lives.

 

 

 

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Food Manufacturers do WHAT?

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Food Manufacturers do WHAT?

Okay, we all know that sugar is bad...but do we, really? Do you realize how far corporations will go to assure that you keep coming back, at the price of your health? Companies hire “CRAVING EXPERTS” to make sure there is the perfect blend of sugar, fat, and salt to trigger the reward centers in the brain.

If we eat processed food, we are groomed to be addicts, I’m afraid.

Food is not only a matter of health, enjoyment, culture, and family--it’s now a matter of personal sovereignty. Indeed, there is a food revolution going on.

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Why Alkalize?

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Why Alkalize?

Is anyone in a hurry to age? Are you wishing you had more pain and stiffness? More chronic disease? Of course not! What you may not know is that excess acidity in the body can cause us to break down and age too soon.

When we eat too many acidic foods or have too much stress in our lives (who doesn’t?), the body must take minerals from bones and tissues to buffer the acidity of body fluids. In order to protect the liver and kidneys, acid wastes are stored in fat cells (Who needs more of those?) or solidified into uric acid crystals or cholesterol. Acid coagulates blood, so capillaries get clogged and skin begins to wrinkle. Left unchecked, over-acidity eventually affects all cellular function, leading to ‘disease’.

When you drink a can of cola, which has a pH of 2.5 (very acidic), the body goes into overdrive to make sure the blood isn’t affected, as even a small variation can bring on a coma. That’s part of the ‘high’ or spike of energy most people feel after consuming coffee, cola or sugar. So, we don’t want any of this, right? Here are some basic principles to help you:

  • Eat more of your food raw than cooked: cooking food makes it more acid
  • Include lots of green vegetables
  • Cut down on animal products: Meat and dairy are acidic foods
  • Limit grains. Get to know quinoa, amaranth and millet; they are the most alkaline grains
  • Cut out sugars, coffee, cola: all very acidic
  • Drink water, preferable alkaline and ionized
  • Manage stress

You will be amazed at how fabulous you feel as your body gets into balance. You’ll have more energy, clear thinking, weight loss, glowing skin, and a whole new attitude toward life.

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