Monday, February 20, 2017

[Sugar doesn't] really fix anything, except for everything.”*

So the hardest part of letting go of sugar in your diet is the initial cravings you feel. It takes approximately a month to clean your body of the toxins that keep you addicted to sugar. It takes a high level of commitment to your body and healthy living to decide you want to clean up your eating, However, I will PROMISE you, it's worth it! There are diets out there that you can follow or you can set out on your own. If you do it on your own, you might want to see if you can find a buddy to do it with as it's not an easy life change and support is critical. 


Shopping is a whole new adventure as it means reading a lot of labels if you want to eat anything that comes in a bottle or is pre-packaged. Even many (or most) organic foods have added sugars in them and if you want to clean up your eating, that's the first thing you want to tackle. I was surprised when I found out that even meats like bacon and ham are usually cured with sugar. The important thing to make sure and do is to eat things you enjoy AND to eat plenty of fruits. I am a fairly picky eater and I don't like a lot of the vegetables that many enjoy but keeping to the foods that I do enjoy has made this journey so much easier. 

   One thing I thoroughly enjoy every day is a hot cup of chai, especially in the winter. In the summer I am more likely to have iced tea but the creamy sweetness of chai is something I wasn't willing to eliminate from my diet. Fortunately, chai is delicious and even made more tasty by adding honey. I also use 100% real Maple syrup for sweetening some of the foods that I make in order to keep from slipping back into my addiction. As a migraineur honey is a great substitute as it is also an ant-inflammatory. I make a delicious granola once in a while with maple syrup as the sweetener. 

I hope it's a challenge your ready to take! And as a bonus, here's a recipe that I love for a bean soup:
1 lb dry black beans (or 1/2 black beans, 1/2 red beans). 
8 c. of water
1 yellow onion
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
3 lg cloves of garlic
1 jalepeno pepper finely chopped
1/2 -1 tsp of cumin 
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 bay leaves
1 T. basil 
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of red pepper flakes
1 lb. of raw chicken (breast or chicken legs)
Cook the "fast" way according to directions on package (takes beans about 3 hours to cook fully) or in a crockpot for up to 8 hours)
Add water as necessary. 
Serve with sour cream and/or grated cheddar cheese. I also serve it on top of brown rice. (white rice has too many starches and has been connected to an increase in diabetes). 

The Pampered Chef Rockcrok is a great way to make this recipe and it comes with a slow cooker set which is available March 1st!  

*quote from Ashly Lorenzana

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

You're in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.



I talked a little about releasing weight in my last post- and I mentioned the 5 letter word that can surprisingly bring out the fight in a lot of people. I say this because I am on a Migraine support group on Facebook and I know that whenever the issue of sugar is brought up, people immediately get angry. On other posts on nutrition, you see the same kind of reaction. Perhaps you aren't surprised by this, but I was. I knew I ate a lot of sugar but I didn't realize just how much until I started looking at ALL the food I eat. But before I get into specifics about what I have done to change my diet, it's important to look at WHY and HOW it came to be that sugar was such a mainstay in our diets. In September 2015, I read an article on (what else) migraines and how sugar is an inflammatory. The idea suddenly struck a chord with me and I began tossing out dietary changes in my mind. A friend of mine had eliminated sugar in her own diet so I talked to her about my thoughts. She  recommended that I watch 'That Sugar Film' to get more information. What I learned was fascinating...

In 1955, the government started looking at what causes people to gain weight after Senator George McGovern had a heart attack. He decided it was time for recommendations that would help people know what to eat to prevent heart disease. The intent was good. The result was not good. Two scientists were at the forefront of the argument at the time: Ancel Keys was one of the scientists who argued that fat was the leading cause of heart disease and unwanted weight gain. On the other side of the discussion was John Yudkin. He looked at the dietary history of humans, the the data on heart disease and he was struck by its correlation with the consumption of sugar, not fat. Keys' study was flawed because he shown a correlation between heart disease and saturated fat, but he had not excluded the possibility that heart disease was being caused by something else. Unfortunately the institutional power and the money was behind Keys and fat was demonized. The food industry responded by cutting back on fat in food and increasing the sugar to improve the taste.

When I initially began my journey, I was having a migraine 2-3 times a week and that was in spite of taking 3 preventatives. They weren't always migraines that kept me from working or from activities but it did always affect my day. And it did mean I was taking too much pain relief- a medication that  reduces the vascular inflammation associated with migraines but also carries with it very ugly side effects. But the preventatives themselves also affected my daily activities.  I took two seizure meds and though they kept me from having debilitating migraines, they caused a great deal of spaciness and lack of concentration. There were also other side effects that I wasn't able to track as easily, like the potential for gall bladder problems.  All of this added up to my desire to find another way to address my migraines.

I still wasn't sure but it was worth a shot!
Migraine brain (without the pain)

*This is a really brief summary of what occurred but you can learn more by going to this article or reading the book That Sugar Book by  Damon Gameau or watch the film 'That Sugar Film' for a more entertaining look at the topic.

Monday, January 16, 2017

“How did it get so late so soon?” Dr Seuss


I've been away so long that I'd almost forgotten how to log on! I've been absent because I have been doing a lot of social networking for my workplace. I post 3-4 times a week and it takes quite a lot of creative energy to figure out what I'm going to post, checking on other library system's posts, commenting and saving things I might want to post later. It's been a pretty interesting process as almost all of my networking has been on Facebook- which I swore I would never use- but then my boss asked me to be the Facebook administrator for our branch and unable to say "no" I was soon quite busy trying to get new followers for our new page. Through this process I found it a good learning experience and hopefully the things I learned there will assist me as I blog here again.

So, the focus of my blog is going to change. While I would LOVE for it to be a platform for advertising my writing, I have not yet found a publisher for my book and I am not really planning on self-publishing any time soon. I am writing a children's book so perhaps that will be something that I can put in focus in the future. In the meantime, I am going to use my blog to discuss something else that people may find interesting: Weight-loss!  Or as book I read stated it, releasing unwanted weight. The point is you don't want to "lose" weight because that implies that it can be found again. And indeed nearly all (if not all) weight-loss programs wind up with the person who participates in their programs gaining the weight back if not adding extra pounds. The key to really releasing weight according to most dietary experts is to change your lifestyle.

Well since October of 2016, I have done just that and in the process I have lost 50 lbs and I have reduced my migraines by more than 50% (which some of you may remember have been a huge problem for me) AND not only am I keeping it off but I continue to drop weight slowly but surely without thinking about it. It's not magic and it's not a breeze, I'm not going to kid you, but it does work and you will feel better then you have in a long time once you have fully engaged in the lifestyle changes I am going to challenge you with. And it's definitely a journey not a prescribed program.

So, I don't want to keep you in suspense, there's one key word that is currently part of your dietary habits that you may not think about or if you do, you're probably thinking about it in the wrong way and that word is: SUGAR.

In the future, I am going to be blogging about my journey to eating healthier and freeing my body of unnecessary weight. I hope you follow me on this journey and learn a bit about yourself in the process! Best wishes on a healthier you! Cheers!






Saturday, April 23, 2016

Spine Poetry

April is poetry month and a work challenge was to create a poetry out of book titles,,,

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