Valentine's Day Treat

We enjoyed a strawberry pie for Valentine's Day this week. The pie consisted of three ingredients: Sprouted almonds, coconut, and organic strawberries. Life without sweets has been an adjustment. We went five months without almonds and fruit in order to "kick" the sugar habit. It helped. Our tastes have markedly changed. The strawberry pie tasted delicious.

In his recent article Easy Changes With a Dramatic Effect, alternative health researcher and clinician Dr. David Williams writes,

One of the most beneficial changes you can make is to get the sugar and refined carbohydrates out of your diet. Our bodies were never designed to handle the obscene amounts of simple carbohydrates they are being subjected to. Research of late has been confirming what all of us “health nuts” have been stressing for decades: sugar kills. It took a while for scientists to confirm exactly how, but it’s now there for everyone to see.

■ Sugar and simple carbs (refined grains, high-fructose corn syrup, etc.) adversely affect blood lipids, increasing your risk for heart disease and stroke through fat accumulation, metabolic syndrome, obesity, premature aging, and type 2 diabetes.

■ Sugar molecules bond with proteins to create AGEs (advanced glycation endproducts)—which wreak havoc on blood vessels, including those of the heart and kidneys. AGEs are responsible for many of the long-term complications of diabetes.

■ Cancer cells thrive on sugars, particularly fructose.

It has been demonstrated that cancer cells actually metabolize glucose and fructose differently from other cells. While cancer thrives on both, it uses fructose specifically to proliferate. It’s no wonder that cancer has moved quickly up the list of killers in our society since we started adding high-fructose corn syrup to everything from sodas to bread. With such damning and irrefutable research, I still don’t understand why it hasn’t become standard practice to immediately put cancer patients on fructose-free diets to help disrupt cancer growth.

And, since our immune systems are trying to eliminate mutated, potentially cancerous cells on a daily basis, why would we even risk supplying these cells with the very compound they need to survive, grow, and spread within our body? Are soft drinks and high-fructose sweetened foods really that hard to eliminate when you realize the cancer connection?

Our health crisis provided the much-needed motivation to move away from refined sugars. One of our first treats was our strawberry pie, which included dates and honey. (The recipe can be viewed here.)

Here is our adapted Valentine's Day recipe:

4 tbls. coconut oil
2 c. shredded coconut
2 c. sprouted almonds

(Next time I may add mulberries or goji berries.)

Process in food processor. Press dough into pie plate.

4 c. shredded coconut
4 tbls. coconut oil
4 c. frozen or fresh strawberries

Blend in high-powered blender. Spoon into pie crust. Refrigerate.

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