Wrap Text around ImageI am a homeschooling SAHM of my 3 children. My husband and I have been married for almost 18 years. I cook mostly from scratch and love buying our food from local farms. I am on a recent journey to better health. three years in and I am keeping the weight off and loving the life I live! Join me as I share my story as well as many tips I have learned along the way!

Monday, February 15, 2016

My Sugar Addiction

I don't know about you, but I am so glad that Valentine's Day is behind me! My wedding anniversary is on the 13th so I am no hater. I am just always so glad when the present sugary holiday is behind me. I managed to buy exactly ZERO Valentine's Day candy and I am so proud! No one in this house needs more candy, least of all ME. If we allowed ourselves the luxury, we would have a continual flow of candy around here from October to March. It's crazy how many American holidays revolve around CANDY. And we wonder why America is so sick!

I had a huge sugar addiction 2 years ago. No matter how hard I tried, I could not stop drinking Dr. Pepper, eating candy, cake, and cookies. It was an addiction as strong as any other addiction people face. You think you can stop on your own. But you can't. At least not for any length of time that will make a difference. I could stop drinking Dr. Pepper Monday through Friday, but what good did that do me if I was filling my body with junk food during that same time?! Then there were the weekends where I would reward myself with Dr. Pepper because I had been "good" during the week. It never stopped with the weekend though. I would have some left on Monday and it was the gateway to a week filled with Dr. Pepper. And cake. And cookies. And candy. It was a vicious never-ending cycle with me.

After recent study, I discovered that researchers now claim sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine. Let that sink in for a minute. I was floored at that information and yet, it answered so many questions for me. An additive to approximately 75% of our food supply is more addictive than cocaine. Is it any wonder that we can't stop eating it? It's in almost everything and it has so many different names that it makes it very hard for us, the consumers, to keep up with it all. How do we tackle this addiction?

The easy answer may be to just stop buying it, but how do you stop buying something when the craving is so strong? The short answer is that you can't. We need help and that help is surely not coming from the food industry. In all of my research I also came across something that was new to me. Have you heard the term "gut health" before? I had not until I started researching all of the symptoms I had that made me feel so sick all.of.the.time. I knew that my digestive system did not work as it should but no one had ever told me the huge role it played in my overall health. Once I knew, I made changes and started eating whole foods. I made my own bread, bought local raw honey instead of sugar, used raw milk, bought farm fresh eggs, and organic meat. And you know what? It still wasn't enough! Now, don't get me wrong, all of that is great. I still have most of those same foods in my diet today. But I needed more. Once your system runs poorly for so long it takes a lot to get it back on track.

70-80% of our immune system is in our guts. What does that mean for you? It means you gotta take care of your guts! A healthy gut = a healthy body. So much of the way our body works is tied to our digestive system because it is where the immune system lives. Our bodies are full of healthy bacteria that help our immune system fight off infection and disease. We can develop an unhealthy balance of bad fungus that gets things all out of kilter. Diets full of refined sugar, antibiotic use, artificial hormone use, and steroids all play a part in wreaking havoc on our digestive systems. Once that imbalance takes place it is hard to get it in check.

You've probably heard that you need to eat yogurt for good digestive health. The problem with yogurt is that it is often times filled with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. The milk used to make yogurt is pasteurized, which will destroy many of the naturally occurring probiotics it contains. I drank a lot of kefir and ate plenty of Greek yogurt but still suffered with awful digestive health.

I do have good news though! My research led me to the fact that I needed a good probiotic in my life. I tried a lot of different things in my desperation to feel well again. Adding a good probiotic is what finally turned the tide for me. It's important to note that not all probiotics are created equal. You need one with plenty of good bacteria and one that is shelf stable, meaning that it does not need to be refrigerated. Probiotics that must be refrigerated need the cool temperature to keep the good bacteria they contain from dying off in warmer temperatures. What do you think happens though as soon as that probiotic pill enters your mouth where the normal body temp is 98.6 degrees? How much of that probiotic is really going to make it to the lower part of your digestive tract where it is needed most? Definitely not the full amount you started with!

Something important to note is that while you need probiotics for good digestive health you also need a way to get rid of the bad fungus overgrowth that has caused the problem. There are anti-fungal foods that will help kill off the bad bacteria. I highly recommend eating as many of them as you can. For some people though, there may be foods on the list that cause digestive problems or that you just don't like. This is why I am happy to have found a probiotic that has plenty of good bacteria along with an anti-fungal and enzymes to help with digestion. It has made just a huge difference for me and my family. I get super grouchy and territorial if I think I will run out of my probiotic before more arrives in the mail.

Anti-fungal Foods:

Coconut Oil


Apple Cider vinegar

Cruciferous Vegetables

 broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, radishes, and arugula



Olive Oil



Wild Salmon

Lemon Juice

                 Me addicted to sugar.                                                 Me healthy.

There were so many symptoms I had before I overcame my addiction to sugar. I was constipated most of the time, bloated, tired, and sick, with constant sinus infections and migraines. I had no clue that it was not normal to be bloated after every meal. I would be so hungry when I would sit down to eat and then only a few bites in I felt so full that I couldn't eat anymore. I was miserable everyday. I tried so hard to clean up my diet and eat healthy. Even when I managed it for a few weeks at a time something would inevitably happen that would send me right back to the sugar and the cycle would continue again. It was like a merry go round that I couldn't escape. It seemed fun in the beginning, but always led to me being sick from going round and round and round. It never stopped.

To find out what probiotic I used to help me get healthy again on the inside, click to follow me on Social Media. You can find my link and the information there. I would love to connect with you and help you find the health that you are searching for!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

What's Your Daily Sugar Intake?

    Everything in moderation. We hear this a lot, or at least I do and I agree for the most part. But what do we consider a moderate daily sugar intake? Is it two soft drinks? Three? Two and a dessert with dinner? One and a big bowl of ice cream before bed? What would you say if I told you that women should have no more than 100 calories daily from added sugar and for men it is 150 calories. You're laughing aren't you?! Or is it scowling in disgust, wondering who came up with those numbers. The American Heart Association is the killjoy in this instance. Killjoy. That's actually an interesting choice of words considering that sugar seems to be the killjoy to the health of so many American's.

     Six teaspoons of added sugar is the women's recommended daily allowance. I used to reach that with two cups of coffee every morning and not even blink an eye. It is 9 teaspoons of added sugar for a man's daily recommended allowance. That means 100 calories for women and 150 calories for men. One soft drink a day and you're toast. How many people actually stick to that??? Not very many I assure you! I won't even address the recommended daily allowance of added sugar for children. It blew my mind considering that sugar is in everything marketed to children.

    Have you ever considered the damage that sugar could be doing to your body? I never thought about it until a year ago. I had no clue that my allergies and chronic sinus infections could be related to the copious amount of sugar I inhaled. I was sick constantly and took many over the counter medications to counteract the symptoms I had. I was addicted to Dr. Pepper, cake, candy, and cookies. I would send my husband to the store to buy me cake and Dr. Pepper. And I would finish that off and still want more. I could down a whole bag of Mint Chocolate M & M's, wash it down with almost 2 liters of Dr. Pepper and not bat an eye. Right now as I sit and type that out it makes me sick to my stomach. Literally.

    Thankfully, I read about candida one day while browsing Facebook and I was intrigued. I saw the list of symptoms that someone had posted and it sent me on a Googling spree. I researched for days reading everything I could find. I was convinced that what I was dealing with was a huge candida overgrowth. I remember one night particularly well. I had eaten dinner with my sister. Steak, baked potato and salad. I stayed away from the rolls since food with gluten had been giving me problems. Later we watched a movie and I polished off a 16 oz. Dr. Pepper and a bag of mint M & M's. I didn't overeat but I was sooo sick that night. My stomach hurt so badly I cried. It was a repeat of so many times before where I would eat, avoid gluten and most dairy but still get sick. I felt like everything made me ill and yet it never once occurred to me that all of that sugar was to blame.

     Everywhere I looked I was seeing the same 10 symptoms pop up associated with candida overgrowth. Of those 10 common symptoms, 9 applied to me. Nine.

     You may be wondering what sugar has to do with any of this. Sugar is what feeds the yeast and causes the overgrowth that is so hard to get rid of. That yeast is called candida albicans. It is a fungus that is normally on our skin and mucus membranes. It isn't a problem unless it gets out of control. Antibiotic use and the American diet are two large contributing factors here.

 10 Common Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth

 1. Skin and nail fungal infections

 2. Feeling tired and worn down or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia

 3. Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea

 4. Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis,    Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis

 5. Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog

 6. Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes

 7. Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression

 8. Vaginal infections , urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching

 9. Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears

 10. Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings

     Can you imagine how miserable it was to live with almost all of those symptoms? It was a miserable existence. I spent a lot of time in bed with a migraine and if it wasn't a migraine it was terrible digestive issues and chronic sinus and allergy problems. I got tired of telling my kids "No". I was sick of letting them down because I didn't feel well. Again. I decided to take drastic measures and on January 17, 2014, I began a health journey that lasted all year long and continues on today. I am down almost 40 lb and have dropped from a size 16 pants to a size 6. I feel better than I have felt in a decade. A DECADE! That is a long time to be less than your best self.

     It wasn't easy and it didn't happen overnight but every step has been a journey worth taking. I am not finished yet. I won't ever be finished getting healthy. I believe it is a life long journey, something we work at daily. My journey started with kicking sugar to the curb. Sometimes it creeps back in and I have to give it the boot once again. But I never let it linger too long. I feel like my life depends on it, because it does.

     I will be sharing more of my story and how I got where I am today. Be sure to follow me on social media to stay connected!