I started another phase of No Sugar a few weeks ago. I’m on day 14 and so far, have only had one pretty bad day of sugar cravings, but I think it was largely hormonal. Throughout this experiment, I’ve had to accept the fact that I use sugar to cope with my emotions, which at any given moment, can contain a high level of anxiety. I used to think that depression was my demon, but I think anxiety is my bigger struggle. Besides eating sugar, I’ve always found baking to be very comforting and therapeutic. It’s almost as if just being around sugar/sweets calms me. I’m almost positive it goes back to the numerous positive reinforcements surrounding sweets throughout my childhood. Bygones, mom, grandma, and numerous aunts!
So, in an effort to scramble my dopamine release system, I am focusing on other activities that can help manage my stress levels. Numero uno on this list is returning to yoga. I forgot how much I enjoy yoga! I mean, I really enjoy it. It’s physically challenging, and additionally, because a big part of it is about learning to breathe through your movements and stay in an uncomfortable position, yoga has a very calming effect. I’m actually considering going on a yoga retreat later this summer. With the news becoming seemingly worse every week, anxiety/stress management is my personal project this summer.
I’ve been experimenting with new ways to prepare vegetables. One of my favorite veggies, eggplant, is one of the most underrated veggies out there. I LOVE eggplant; I could eat it every day! I found this super easy recipe from Healthful Pursuit and had to try it immediately. It’s incredible. I’ve been making kale chips for a while now, so I thought eggplant chips would be even more delicious. The smoky seasoning in this recipe is a perfect blend of tasty flavors that are addictive. I am not ashamed to say that I ate the equivalent of one whole eggplant over the course of a day via these eggplant chips!
Smoky Eggplant Chips
- 2 eggplants sliced thin
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried ground sage
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 250F and set aside 2 large baking sheets.
- Slice the eggplant using a mandolin slicer or a sharp knife. The slices should be as thin as a potato chip.
- Place eggplant slices into a medium-to-large sized bowl, and add olive oil. Toss to coat thoroughly, then sprinkle with seasoning and toss again. Mix until seasoning is evenly distributed.
- Pour eggplant slices onto baking sheets, making sure that slices are not overlapping.
- Place in the oven to bake for 60-70 minutes, depending on how thin you sliced them. If you make them too thick, they can take upwards of 2 hours to complete.