Tag Archives: journey

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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1000 Days & Counting!

1,000 Days!

Yes, I am still counting.  I feel it is just as important for me to count my days off sugar as it is for an alcoholic to count their days off alcohol.  I was a sugar and food addict.

Most folks want a quick fix for their health issues.  They go to the doctor and they want a pill or shot to fix their problems.  Very few want to do the REAL work it takes to be healthy or regain their health from years of bad habits and unhealthy eating.

That was me for years and years.  Sick and sick and tired of being sick, yet buying thousands of dollars of supplements, taking weekly massages, and never getting better.  I knew what to do.  I had been under the care of a natural practitioner in 1993 and 1994 and I got better when I made healthy changes.  The problem was I didn’t have a conviction about it.  I was just doing it temporarily to feel better.  As soon as I felt better, I went back to my unhealthy ways.  My condition grew rapidly worse than ever.

Then, in November, 2009, I was really in pitiful shape, with constant pain from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, severe acid reflux, frozen shoulders, a dowager’s hump and shingles.

I started eating better, so I was gradually improving.  I remembered how well I felt back in 1993 & 1994 and I began reducing bad foods and increasing good, healthy foods.  In May, 2010, I watched this video and the LORD used it to convict me that I needed to make permanent changes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dBnniua6-oM

I urge you to watch it.  This man has no website and no book to sell.  He is passionate about it because he sees people dying and suffering from ill health.

Sugar is a huge factor in chronic disease and illness.  When I obeyed the LORD’s prompting to NEVER do sugar again, He opened my mind to recreating our family favorites with natural alternatives.  During June, 2010, I made a plan and the last day I knowingly ate sugar was July 11.  (FYI – sugar is hidden in so many things.  Some restaurants even marinate steaks in it!)

In the last 1,000 days, we have had three sugar free holiday seasons and numerous birthdays, weddings and other special occasions.  I am here to tell you that there is fun food without sugar.  In fact, the food we eat now is guilt free and delicious!  Best of all, the food we eat now does not make us feel lethargic or tired.  It energizes us.

My companion for this journey has been my daughter, Hannah.  She is a great support and encouragement to me.  She has converted many recipes and worked to make this successful, too.   You can read her post of our 1,000 days here: http://sweetsuccess4u.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/one-thousand-days/

We have an abundant sugar free life!  I feel better than I did 20 years ago!  I am thankful to the LORD for all His many blessings.  I am thankful first of all for salvation.  I am thankful for the conviction to take keep myself and my family healthy.   My number one purpose in life is to serve and glorify the LORD.  Good health and vitality means I can serve Him better than ever before.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Ladonna
 
 

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Day 888

Today is Day 888 since I quit eating sugar.  I have an amazing sense of freedom now that I am no longer controlled by sugar and sugar laden foods.  My niece began her sugar free journey last week and today is Day 7 for her.  She suggested that I should have a big celebration when I reach Day 1000!  Not sure how to celebrate.

When I was eating the SAD (Sad American Diet) I always celebrated with SUGAR filled desserts and drinks.  So I am pondering the possibilities of how to celebrate without sugar.  How different my life is now than it was back then!

I am no longer controlled by sugar, but actually, I am no longer controlled by any food.  Real food tastes better than I ever remember it tasting.  I praise God for the gift of conviction that He gave me to make these changes.

I am excited as I prepare for the new year.  I gladly anticipate what the LORD will do in my life in 2013.  Stay tuned.  I know I don’t post often, but I will do my best to keep you up on how God is working next year.

There is excitement and anticipation in the air for 2013 already!

God bless you,

Ladonna

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Best Gifts Ever!

Good morning to my blog watchers and followers!

Today is the 20th birthday of my son, Daniel.  He was born on my 39th birthday and yes, I am 59 today.  He was the best gift I was ever given for a birthday.  He is a man of God.  He is hard working, intelligent and he loves the LORD.  He encourages those around him to read the Word of God, to sing praises to the LORD God and to do hard things. He is such a blessing to me.

I continue to give myself the gift of a bondage free eating lifestyle.  As of today, I have been sugar free for 874 days.  Counting the days makes me accountable to myself and to the LORD.  I continue to improve in health and wellness.

Embracing a healthy eating lifestyle and converting family favorites to new healthier versions,  I feel better than I did 20 years ago when Daniel was born!  God is so good.

I thank God for Daniel, who is God’s birthday gift to me.  I thank God for giving me a new zest for life!  I thank God for convicting me that my body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit and that it should be fed accordingly.   I love my sugar free, chemical free, wheat free, pain free, reflux free, food addiction free LIFE!

The LORD God has blessed me in amazing ways beyond what I could have ever imagined!  To God be the glory!

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Temple Maintenance

In May, 2010, the LORD convicted me that since my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, I have a responsibility to care for it and not to feed it bad foods, especially sugar and foods that have high glycemic levels and convert to sugar in the blood stream.  While hunting for answers to an illness of a friend today, I read this in the book, A MORE EXCELLENT WAY, by Henry W. Wright, page 352.

“This ministry believes in temple maintenance.  We believe in good nutrition and we believe this in moderation (temperance).  You cannot expect to walk in health if you do not drink enough water and eat the proper mix of food.

What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.                     1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Our body belongs to the Lord and we have a responsibility to give them proper rest, exercise and good nutrition,  You cannot expect to walk in health if you don’t drink enough water and eat foods to nourish the body. . . . . . . Many people have the idea that if they eat by faith and trust in God, then they can eat anything they want with no regard to nutrition.  Foolish, presumptuous faith negates the wisdom of God in good eating and will not promote health of the body.”

I don’t necessarily agree with Dr. Wright’s nutrition plan, but I am convinced that he has hit the nail on the head.  Since the LORD showed me the truth of this over a year ago, I can no longer eat wrong foods willfully and knowingly.  It is a sin to deliberately put bad fuel into the LORD’s temple!

Viewing bad foods as a sin has freed me from the conflict and temptation of eating them!  Thank you, Jesus for your gift of conviction and for opening my eyes to the TRUTH in this area of food.  My master is no longer food, but the LORD God and for His glory, I do eat and drink, wisely!

Tonight, we have a church social and I used to go to those and try to be moderate while eating bad foods.  I was fooling myself, because ANY sugar at all is bad for me and I knew it!  I believe we need to be moderate, even with good foods, but some things have to be totally stopped.  Would we say we can sin as long as we are moderate?  I think not!

Now, since I am publicly off sugar and openly counting my days, I am held accountable and so eating anything not on my eating plan at a church dinner is not an option for me.  To do so would be a sin for me and a bad witness to those who are there.  I am now free NOT to eat those things that used to hold me captive!

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