The Chase Daylight Vegan Challenge: Erin's going sugar-free

>> Wednesday, April 1

A good yoga teacher: One whose honesty is never curbed by fear of bluntness.

"You're getting stinky again," a little text in my google chat notified me yesterday. "Maybe it's candida."

momentary glower. Everyone loves being reminded that sweating in the 8th breath of warrior 3, they smell bad. Then a few deep breaths and...shanti, shanti, shanti, "yeah, I know." Because honestly, I do. Three months after my 10 day juice fast, I'm starting to feel a little too much like the pre-fast Erin-cranky, tired, and careless about my food choices. And, sigh, i do sweat again in yoga class, which is a sure sign that I've got some toxins to be released. Granted, as my mom pointed out, fasting is an extreme, and you can't stay at that level of purity and vitality while eating a normal diet forever, but...I have a nagging feeling of needing to reset the balance by doing mini-fasts or other cleansing things for myself every once and a while. Thre month gaps seem like good chunks for a re-evaluatin to take place. Here's my score:

All-around apreciation of eating good, healthy, and eco-friendly food: A+. I love my food, my food loves me, and no one is dying in the process (me from allergies or animals becoming steaks :))
Meal Sizes: B-. Pretty darn good, I ate enough to be full but not stuffed, and listened to when my body was hungry, especially for the first 2 months. But the past 3 weeks have been a bit rollercoastish for my tastes-example: there were 3 days of gobbling white rice dishes last week that sent me into a carb coma the size of Switzerland.
Treats: C. Ouch, slipping a little here. Yes, Erin has a sweet tooth, and rears its head most when the sun starts peeping out. "Why not a little chocolate, why not another cookie? Let's enjoy life French-style..." she says...and she's right, except that the french don't ususally clear the plate of cookies, do they ;)
Allergens: C. So many unfortunate mistakes in this category! I seem to have encountered gluten in evrey shadowy corner this year, and always when i least expect it! definitely need to be a little more reluctant to accept food from other cooks, with at least enough hesitation to get a bonified ingredient run-down first.

Today, I did Shankhaprakshalana (intestinal cleansing), a shatkarma (purification practice) from the Bihar School of Yoga's Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha. Basically, you drink a lot of saltwater early in the morning in between rounds of yoga poses until the laxative effects kick in and, well, you get the idea. after you finish, you rest for 45 minutes and eat kichiri, my favorite indian dish of rice and lentils. Traditionally, the rice and lentils are served with lots of ghee to lubricate the naked intestines, but as a vegan, i opted for a mix of flax and sunflower oils, coldpressed and local. Then you rest for 2 days, eating nothing but kichiri, and for a month after you treat your digestive system like a newborn-non-acidic, mild, comfort foods, like, clearly, kichiri!

Today, in my required relxation hours, I looked around for a nice new vegan blog challenge and I found one just for me: The Chase Daylight Vegan Challenge, where Ryan will be trying a month of vegan food for the frst time. Everyone's invited to join and there are potentially some vegan-licious prizes involved...As I'm already a vegan, I am free to try my own version of the challenge, so I'm going sugar-free for April. I mean really sugar free, not just "granulated sugar free". That's right; no more "dashes of agave" here or "drizzles of maple syrup" there; no water-kefir made from mango syrup (sniffle); and no, no, NO glazed muffins.

But chins up, there is still a lot of room for tasty treats in the sugar-free world. I am allowing SOME fruits, just not acidic fruits. So a few apples and bananas might make it in here and there, and maybe a pear on never know. I am also allowing some prunes at some point, because sometimes, folks, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Otherwise, dried fruit is out for me as well.

and because Candida is a suspect here, let's make it official and chuck out yeasts, fermented foods (oh the tragedy...:( ), white rice and other refined grains and starches.

Yikes! wish me luck!

Look forward to a wealth of yummy savory and teasingly sweet recipes for the month of April. And don't forget to stay updated on the challenge by checking out the updates page here.


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