Category Archives: Ponderings

Why Do We Wait?

I saw an article today in a popular women’s magazine about women who had lost weight and improved their health over the past year.  All were smiling and all were pleased with the results.  As I read their stories, I saw a pattern that truly disturbs me.

Every single one of them had a crisis in their life before they decided to make changes to improve their lives with better health!  Three were diagnosed prediabetic, one had both parents die with heart issues and one even had a heart attack herself.  All of the women in the article had issues that a better eating plan could have helped or even prevented.

Why, oh why do we wait until we have the loss of a loved one or a debilitating diagnosis before we seek to be healthier?  All of these women had measurable improvements, but sadly, too many people wait too late to really improve their situation.

I spoke with a doctor once about eating habits and using wellness products to improve vitality and quality of life.  He said that sadly, people only come to him for that kind of help when they have already destroyed themselves with bad food and medications. He told me there was no way to undo the damage present in those that come to him.  He said it was just too little, too late by the time most people contacted him for help.

Why, oh why do we wait when we could be choosing life with every bite we eat and every drop we drink?

Two reasons:  One,  we don’t really understand or believe that food matters!  Two, we think the seriously bad stuff won’t really happen to us from what we eat. We see lots of people eating bad who are doing okay… Ah, how we deceive ourselves. Eventually, it catches up with us.

It is really small things that add up to health quality or health disaster:

Will it be an apple or a candy bar?

Will it be carrot sticks or chips?

Will it be eggs or sugared cereal?

Will it be real butter or synthetic butter flavored margarine?

Will it be soda or water?

We could go on and on.

Choose foods that improve the quality of your life!

Choose to drink more water and less of other drinks!

What you eat and drink truly matters!

Research it for yourselves.  People’s lives are changed daily by eating better, drinking clean water and moving more.

Just as Moses said to the children of Israel, I want to say to you:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; (Deuteronomy 30:19)

His topic was serving the LORD,  which included instructions for eating wisely.  My topic is food and drink for health and wellness.  Both are valid truths.

Choose LIFE!

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.                             1 Corinthians 10:31

 

 

 

 

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Not a Fad!

My diet is not a fad, but a lifestyle. I do my best to eat whole, organic foods and avoid grains and sugar. I eat similar to Paleo, but they do TOO much honey and maple syrup for me… I eat really similar to the WHEAT BELLY plan, but I do allow quinoa occasionally, though Dr. Davis doesn’t recommend it. Why have I chosen this path?
 
For years, I suffered with an autoimmune condition. I had several actually. My research included reading books by Dr. Doug Kauffman, Dr. William Davis who wrote WHEAT BELLY and has a wonderful Facebook page, and Dr. David Perlmutter, who wrote GRAIN BRAIN. I watched videos from several sources and no matter where I turned, it became clear that if I wanted to feel good and prosper into old age, I needed to kick grains and sugar to the curb.
 
So, in July 2010, I made a once and for all decision to embrace eating healthy and that meant NOT eating grains and sugar and eating as many other healthy foods as possible, meaning lots and lots of organic fruits and veggies, grassfed beef and poultry.
 
What happened? I lost weight. I sleep better and I have way more energy. Over the years, I have tried many medications: prescription, over the counter and natural alternatives. They all helped somewhat, but when I finally made a decision to ALWAYS EAT HEALTHY, no matter what, my autoimmune issues went away.
 
I have no regrets! I don’t miss the pain that came from bad choices. I have embraced the lifestyle of healthy choices. I have embraced FEELING GOOD!
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Make some healthy addition to your life today!

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Six Years and Yes, Still Counting!

Six years ago today was the first day of being sugar free.  On that day, six years ago, I went back on the yeast fungal diet, which meant no grains, no sugars and no starchy or fungal foods.  I had done it before, but this time it was different.  Instead of a temporary “diet” until I felt better, I was convicted this time that I needed to make this change a lifestyle and not a “diet”.  To quote Jim Rohn, “what a grand and glorious day” it is when we are “fed up” with the status quo and make a decision to change our lives!

This time I did not change my diet, instead I embraced a totally new way to eat.  I am committed to being sugar free and grain free, but also chemical free.  I don’t want chemicals in my food, my water, my skin care, my hair care, my cleaning products, etc.

I have become an avid label reader!  There are forms of sugar and grains in food products of every sort, even in health food stores.  Folks, organic poison is still poison and organic sugar is still sugar, even when it is called by one of its many code names like “organic evaporated cane juice”.  Don’t be fooled.  Learn the many names of sugar and of artificial sweeteners and avoid them.

Better yet, just make your own food from single ingredient items.  In other words, shop for produce, meat, eggs, and dairy and don’t buy anything that has an ingredient list.  Investigate those dairy items, as even those can be full of chemicals or have funny additives.

The foundation for my way of eating is found at http://www.knowthecause.com.  I have an advantage now over the times in years past when I temporarily made the switch.  Now, I have an abundance of alternatives for grains, like coconut flour and almond flour, which are the two I use the most.  Now, I have sources for recipes like never before, like WHEAT BELLY, Paleo sites and so many more people who are seeking a grain free, sugar free lifestyle.

While I am grain and sugar free, one of the key factors that influence my health, both physically and mentally is the fact that I avoid all products claiming to be low or no fat.  I eat FULL fat foods.  I have found that using real butter and coconut oil keep me feeling more satisfied.    So many people have been deceived and believe that they need to be low carb and low fat.

Just to clarify, I EAT full fat foods and all the veggies and fruit I want.  The only veggies I totally avoid are potatoes and mushrooms, which are starch and fungus.  Those are foods like grains and sugar that feed the inflammation, so I avoid them.

As you can see from the recipes on this blog, I enjoy many wonderful foods and special dishes without grains and sugar.

I tried to make this change a half a dozen times from 1993 forward.  I did not succeed the other times because I felt like a deprived martyr.  What made the difference this time?  This time, I was convicted and committed to make a permanent change.  I deliberately sought for healthy foods.  I deliberately converted our family favorites to healthier versions.  I was determined to be healthy AND find happy foods for special occasions.

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Are you ready for a permanent change to a healthy lifestyle?  My family, friends and I have paved the way.  We are compiling the helps for you.  You are NOT stuck.  Your health and wellness CAN change and for the better.

Most people who have tasted my cooking and baking love our food and have a hard time believing they are grain and sugar free.

I invite you on this journey with me.  I invite you to give God the glory with every bite you eat and with every beverage you drink.  I invite you to honor the LORD God with your body, soul and spirit.

“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body[a]and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20

Today is day 1,828!  To God be the glory!Ladonna before after

 

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2016 Days!

Ladonna before and after2016 days without sugar!  Why do I count the days?

After many years of going on and off sugar, suffering withdrawal symptoms each and every time,  I realized that  I am a sugar addict!  I count the days like an alcoholic counts the days since his last drink because it helps me to be accountable and to remember that sugar hurt me.

I remember one time after being off sugar for some time that I decided I would only eat sugar on special occasions like birthdays and holidays.  In any given month, SOMEBODY has a birthday or there is a holiday and some months, there are multiple “special” occasions.  It is a slippery slope right back to full time addiction.

Years ago, I was off sugar and grains for about 9 months and I thought I was totally free from addiction.  Then, life happened and we were thrown into some travel and family situations where I was not in charge of my food decisions.  I was wrong to “go with the flow” and not rock the boat by making my own food choices.  Within weeks, I had slipped back into the old ways of eating.

My chiropractor had told me it would be harder if I ever went back and oh, how right he was.  I bounced back and forth for years after I went back and it was not until some VERY serious life events happened that I got motivated enough to go through complete withdrawal again in 2010.

I was very sick and living in constant inflammation induced pain and people my age or younger who were close to me either died or suffered major illnesses.  As I prayed for them, the LORD convicted me to STOP sugar and grains and take control of my eating.

As my chiropractor predicted, it WAS worse than the first time I did it.. The first time, I was doing it so I could take care of a new baby which is high motivation.  The last time I went through withdrawal, it was for my own health and oh, it was hard.  I paced the floor for a week.  I was just like others I had seen trying not to drink alcohol or smoke tobacco products and that is when it hit me that I WAS an addict and needed to count my days.

In the last 5+ years, I have never gone through food hangover.  You know what I mean:  that lethargic, draggy feeling after every holiday or special occasion meal that was loaded with sugar and grains.  Nope, never again.

You will find recipes in this blog to help you replace holiday and special occasion foods with grain free, sugar free versions.  You CAN eat treats and have special meals and not feel like crud for the rest of the day and two or three days later!

Today is the 2016th day off sugar!  I have been off sugar since July 12, 2010!

Still counting and never returning to the bondage of that lifestyle!

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Five Years! And Still Counting!

July 11, 2015 completes 5 years of being sugar free for me.  It totals 1,826 days deliberately avoiding sugar in my diet.  Why do I count?  I was addicted to food and especially sugar and like a drug addict who is clean, I count the days to hold myself accountable to the LORD for what I put into my mouth and body.

I cannot say for sure that I have not had some sugar in foods where I was unaware, but to the best of my ability, I have read labels and I have not deliberately had sugar in 5 years.Ladonna before and after

This is not a fad or a temporary diet for me.  This is a permanent lifestyle change.  My health challenges were many and I can honestly say I feel better off sugar than I did when I was 20 years younger and eating sugar.

In the first four months off sugar, I shed weight and much body pain.  I gained energy and began to sleep better.  My mood and my clarity of thought improved.

I spent a month praying and planning back in 2010 before I totally cut sugar.  I bought stevia.  My preferred brand is SweetLeaf Stevia.  Months later, I decided I wanted to be able to bake for my family, so I learned how to use Birch Xylitol and Erythritol.  I also occasionally use Yacon.  All of these sweeteners have very low glycemic.  Yacon and Stevia have ZERO!

At the same time as I stopped sugar, I stopped wheat and the majority of other grains.  I have played with those on and off, adding them back and removing again and overall, I now know that I feel much better when I am grain free.  I have not even played with wheat since March of 2012 and don’t ever intend to add it back in.

So, what do I eat?  I eat clean meats like grass fed beef, poultry and fish. I eat eggs, raw dairy and organic nuts.  I eat almost all fruits and veggies.  I make a point of eating some real butter, coconut oil and avocados every day.  I avoid white potatoes and any high starch content foods.  I do not buy or eat the “gluten free” versions of foods, but instead have converted our family favorites to almond or coconut flour.

I avoid all chemicals and artificial sweeteners and I severely limit honey and maple syrup.  I read labels. I ask questions at restaurants. I make my own mayonnaise, my own salad dressings and avoid all package mixes.

The end result is fabulous.  Most of the people who have tasted my cooking view it as good, homemade  cooking and have no clue that they are eating sugar and chemical free.  My food is not much different than what my grandma cooked 75 years ago when she was a young mom, just minus the sugar.  Back then, food didn’t have chemicals and didn’t come out of boxes and cans.

When I was a child, I watched my grandma fix her food from scratch.  She rarely used anything from a can or box, thus her food did not contain msg or other preservatives or chemicals.  She got her meat and produce every 2-3 days at a local grocer, so it was fresh.

Other than being sugar and grain free, my way of cooking is NOT new.  It is actually going back to the way my grandma cooked before all the processed, packaged food was invented.  I have had a few people tell me they think my cooking is gourmet.  On one of those occasions, all they had was roast and carrots I had cooked from scratch.  It was such a simple meal, I was actually astonished that they were so impressed.

I think the majority of people living today, especially under 50, have not experienced REAL food.  They are deprived and don’t even know it.  Most everything they eat comes out of a package or a box or from a fast food restaurant.  Sadly, the result of that lifestyle is chronic autoimmune disorders at younger and younger ages.

Cooking from scratch and eating real, whole food has become a thing of the past.  It is almost a lost art.  Almost, but many are retaking their kitchens for the glory of God and the health and wellness of their families.

I use natural supplements to support my health,  but  NO supplement can overcome bad eating habits.  Someone said that to me five and a half years ago and it really helped me to understand my need to change my lifestyle and eating plan.  Sadly, too many people are looking for a drug or supplement to “fix” what they are causing with their own forks.  It just won’t happen!

The way to improve overall wellness, vitality and energy is by eating whole, live food, food that is chemical and preservative free. I will say it again: there is NO pill, supplement, or even prescription drug that can fix what bad food and chemicals cause.

When I started this path, it was lonely, but now I meet people all the time who are working to get the chemicals, sugars and grains out of their lives.  Some of these are young moms who want to raise their families to be healthier than they were. It is exciting to see these young families and know what a head start they have by raising their children this way.

Support is growing rapidly, even within the medical community.  Dr. William Davis, author of WHEAT BELLY,  is a cardiologist who is promoting a grain free and sugar free lifestyle.  His books have helped hundreds of people to have a new chance at wellness.  You can follow his WHEAT BELLY page on Facebook to read some very exciting testimonies.

Dr. David Perlmutter, author of GRAIN BRAIN, is a neurologist who also promotes grain and sugar free living.  You can follow him by finding the page with his name on Facebook.  He gives some really good nutrition advice, like eating avocados, my favorite brain food!

There are sooo many websites with grain free, sugar free recipes now and it was rare when I started this journey five years ago.  I have been asked several times to do a cookbook and I am seriously considering it, but there are lots of those out there, too.  The resources for a healthy lifestyle are numerous.  The word is spreading and many thousands are discovering the freedom  and renewed health they gain from stopping sugar and grains.

I have had many people tell me that there was no way they could do it and yet, thousands of people are making the commitment to go absolutely sugar and grain free.  I also know some who said they couldn’t do it UNTIL a major health crisis occurred and then, they did it.  Some of those wish they had done it even sooner.  I know I wish I had done it 20 years sooner and saved myself and my family much pain.

Most of us go through withdrawal that is quite similar to a drug withdrawal when we drop sugar and grains. Knowing what to expect makes it easier. Planning ahead by having stevia and a kitchen full of fresh fruits and vegetables makes a huge difference in the outcome.  Everyone I know who has made a decision to do this permanently has experienced renewed health and energy on the other side of the withdrawal.  There is also a huge emotional burden lifted when we no longer have to make a daily or moment by moment decision about what to eat.

In July, 2010, I decided I would NEVER, EVER deliberately eat sugar again.  It was a very freeing decision.  The next time I was at a wedding or church supper I did  not have to decide what to eat.  I had already made the decision and I simply walked right past the foods that do not fit into the healthy eating plan that I chose.

In March 2012, I made the decision to NEVER eat wheat again and  now, I no longer have to decide if I will eat things made with wheat.  It is NOT an option.

The LORD has strengthened me throughout this time and I know HE called me to walk this walk, even if I have to walk it alone.  He convicted me that my body is HIS temple and that I should not ever put anything in it that is bad for it.

When I agreed with Him and began this walk, I felt a great burden was lifted from me.  The daily struggle was over.  No more decisions needed to be made.  I was truly “out of my bondage” !

I thank God for friends and family who have helped me convert recipes and for those of you who have cheered me on.  I want to give a special thank you to those of you who do not eat like I eat, but have gone out of your way to provide clean food for me when I am with you. I know it is a paradigm shift from the standard American diet and I cannot begin to tell you how I appreciate your efforts on my behalf.  You are a blessing to me!

I thank God for His gift of conviction in this area and for opening my eyes to the alternatives so I could feed my family treats and not compromise the path HE has given me.  I thank God for strengthening my spirit, so I could make the changes and stick with them.

Truly, NOTHING is too hard for the LORD God!  He IS able to take a frail and weak vessel like me and give new energy, while releasing me once and for all from my addiction to sugar and wheat.

To God be the Glory!

Ladonna – Five years and still counting!

‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.’  Jeremiah 32:17

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July 11, 2015 · 8:31 pm

1461 Days of Freedom

Today, Friday, July 11, completes1, 461 days or four years since I QUIT SUGAR!  Tomorrow, Saturday, July 12,  will be day one of year five!

I cannot begin to tell you how wonderfully abundant my life is without sugar!  I don’t feel deprived.  I feel FREE from addiction!  That is why I named my blog “Out of My Bondage”.  I used to think constantly about what sugary food item I would eat next.  I don’t even think about food every moment of every day any more, no less sweet foods! My mind and body were so affected by my bad food choices that I was truly in bondage.

The past four years have been busy.  While traveling, I have worked to convert family favorites to sugar free versions.  There were some obvious flops along the way, but for the most part, my family is very happy with the victories.  They love our ice cream, chocolate cake, banana muffins and waffles.    They love our regular meals which are healthier than before because they are all made homemade with no processed food in them..  (Typical meat and veggies, just not marinated or sauced with the bad stuff we used to use.)

This has been a journey.  It began in 2010 because I felt rotten and people were sick and dying all around me.  I felt compelled to give the sugar free/grain free life a chance.  I had done it before several times, but this time, I decided I was quitting sugar permanently.  The LORD gave me a strong conviction that I could no longer put sugar into my body, which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

I quit grains for a season and then, began to add them back in.  I could tell I didn’t feel as good when I ate grains, especially wheat.  They came in and out of my diet until I read the book WHEAT BELLY by Dr. William Davis and then, I made the decision to QUIT WHEAT like I had QUIT SUGAR!  Later I read GRAIN BRAIN by Dr. David Perlmutter and then, I truly began to understand the reasons behind my years of misery.

I HAD a “wheat belly” and a “grain brain”.  At one point in my life, I was overweight and it was mostly my belly and I had brain fog to the point that friends offered me resources to overcome Alzheimer’s!  There were times I literally thought I was losing my mind because I could not think straight and my memory was so bad.

When I got off sugar and grains, my weight fell off and the fog lifted.  My thinking has gotten progressively clearer over the past four years!  It has been amazing to me to be able to remember things again.   I redid a class in March, 2014 that I had originally taken in February, 2011.  What a difference feeding my body and brain healthy foods for three years made for me.  I thought I was well in 2011 when I first took the class until I took it again in 2014 and realized how much more I was getting from it in 2014.  (And I was catering food for the class in 2014, so I was even multi-tasking!)

I have made multiple discoveries about my own physical and mental health and I have been able to look back and I now understand some of the health issues that my children had as babies and children, too.  Now that I understand the side effects of sugar, wheat and grains, I am so thankful for the chance to live life without them.  My only regret is that I did not understand all this sooner and that I did not raise my children with healthier choices.  I wish I could have saved them the pain of being addicted to sugar and grains.

I have a few friends who have taken this journey with me.  It has been an adventure!  It has been fun to share recipes and find ways to satisfy our families’ sweet tooth with our new sugar free/grain free treats.  I am thankful to the LORD for each of you who have supported and encouraged me along the way.  I pray each of you experience total freedom from the food addiction that has held us for so many years.

I meet people all the time who are suffering with problems that can be reduced or even eliminated if they would QUIT sugar and grains.  Many fear they will never enjoy food again.  Many are so attached to their “comfort” foods that they cannot even imagine how they could “live” without bread or sugar.  Many are thrilled to find my blog and have a place to start eating clean and healthy.

I want to go on record that getting off sugar and wheat and greatly limiting all grains has changed my life for the BETTER!  It was worth the struggles of withdrawal.  It was worth the effort to convert family favorites.  It is even worth the inconvenience of having to take my own food to special events.

And just so you know, I feel better than I have in 20 years!  I am no longer faced with daily decisions about what I will eat.  I made a once and for all choice that I will eat healthy!  That choice has given my body the building blocks it needed to have energy, vitality, and I feel better than I did 20 years ago.

What made the difference this time over all the other times that I changed my eating habits?  #1 is the LORD giving me the precious gift of conviction that this body is HIS Temple and I needed to treat it that way.  #2 is the LORD giving me the creativity to convert recipes to healthier versions.  I am so thankful for learning about Birch Xylitol, SweetLeaf Stevia, Coconut Flour, Almond Flour and other alternatives.

I thank the LORD for His gifts of conviction.  These have enabled me to serve Him now more fully than I did when I was younger.   To God be the glory!

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Three Years and Counting!

Three years ago on July 12, 2010, Hannah Beals and I stopped eating sugar.  We attended a wedding on July 11 and that was our last sugar.  We had already made the decision days before and quite frankly, I did not enjoy the sugary food at the wedding, which made it easier to move forward the next day.  I praise the LORD for His faithfulness throughout these past three years.  HE has given us a new creativity to make recipes that are healthy and delicious!  HE has broken our addiction and bondage to sugar!  We have a freedom I never dreamed could exist.  I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for my sugar free life!

Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Yes, I can and DO rejoice in a life without sugar!

And, YES, I am still counting those days.  Today is Day 1097!

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