Tag Archives: My Story

8th CHRISTmas of Freedom

How different life is now than it was for most of my adult life!

This is the 8th CHLadonna before afterRISTmas since I kicked sugar and wheat addiction to the curb!

It is 2723 days from since I last ate sugar.  That is 7 years, 5 months, 13 days.  

This is our 8th Holiday season with sugar free, wheat free Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.  We didn’t skip desserts.  We have made them even better!

By Thanksgiving, 2010, I had lost weight, inches and mostly inflammation.  By God’s grace, I have maintained this for 8 holiday seasons.  I will not feel sick after our meals.  I will not gain weight from the holidays.

I will not limit my quantity of food.  I will eat until satisfied.  The difference in now and holidays before 2010, is that now I eat ALL I want and feel great because the quality of our food has vastly improved!

This season our food is grain and sugar free, full of good fats and is better than ever!

How did it all happen?  By being intentional and CHOOSING health and wellness!

There are lots of good recipes on this blog!

Be blessed this CHRISTmas!

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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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Years in Captivity

Early Childhood

I was born in 1953 to parents who were 18 and 17.  I was the first of three girls born in three years.  Five years after I was born, my mom had my first brother, so by the time she was 22, she had four children.  We were all bottle fed.  My life was pretty typical for Americans post WWII.  We went to school and church and ate pretty much what everyone else in the nation ate.

We ate the standard American diet. My parents did the best they knew to do and like most Americans, we loved desserts. I don’t remember eating out much, but we ate white bread, margarine and sweets for birthdays and every special occasion.  At my grandma’s we had dessert at least once a week when I was young and more often as the years passed and money got better.

I remember getting vaccines.  I also remember having constant episodes of tonsilitis and multiple rounds of antibiotics.  I slept propped up and sucking on peppermint candy to quiet the constant coughing.

When I was about 8 or 9, I fell down my grandparents’ back porch stairs during an ice storm.  I went down bouncing on my tail bone.  It hurt for some time, but back in those days, we had never heard of chiropractors and we couldn’t afford to go to one anyway.  Within a year of so of the fall, I was hit in the head with a baseball bat during recess at school.  I had a concussion and stayed several days at my grandma’s house eating saltine crackers and drinking Coca Cola.  My young parents were financially strapped, so we kids loved going to Granddaddy’s and Grandma’s house, where we had ice cream, soda and all kinds of sugary treats.

High School Years

My parents divorced during my Sophomore year in high school.  I attended Wichita Falls High School my Freshman and first half of my Sophomore year.  Then, I finished my Sophomore year in Amarillo.  I did the first half of my Junior year in Simi Valley, California, then, returned to Texas and finished high school in Fort Worth.  I ate the typical school food and I remember that last year of high school that I drank Coke when I was thirsty,  even in the middle of night.  I never drank water. By the time I was a Junior in high school, I had on and off back and foot pain.

College Years

During college, I lived in the dorm and ate in the school cafeteria.  They served high carb and minimal protein meals.  They served macaroni and cheese as a main dish.  Many of us made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after supper to take back to the dorm.  These were full of sugar and on white bread.  I burned an ulcer in my stomach by taking aspirin without eating and spent a year drinking milk shakes for my gut pain, per doctor’s orders.  This, too, was high sugar. Since the doctor ordered it, I was given one every evening by the college after supper, to “coat my stomach” before bedtime.

Marriage and Family

Shortly after I married in 1980, my foot pain became my constant companion and my back began to hurt.  My allergies had gotten terrible, too.  I was tested in 1981 and it was confirmed that I am allergic to every tree in North America, tobacco, cats and more things than I can recall.  In 1982, I began to see a chiropractor.  I got some short term relief from pain. In 1983, I had my first child.  I spent many hours studying birth and babies. I had homebirth and breastfed extensively. well into toddlerhood.  In spite of that, my son had many allergies, too.  I had no idea that vaccinations compromised the immune system and so, he was vaccinated.  After vaccinations, he had pneumonia and ear infections, though I didn’t connect the two at the time.

When I was pregnant with my daughter born in 1987, I was sick with terrible reflux and projectile vomiting almost 24 hours a day the entire pregnancy.  I slept in a recliner because the reflux was so bad that laying down was not an option.  I ate way too much sugar during that pregnancy and my daughter was born with reflux and when we had her vaccinated, she had immediate yeast infections.  I began to have breast infections and I thought she had given them to me.  It never crossed my mind that the vaccinations had caused her issues or that I was really the carrier of the yeast/fungal issues.

I had two more sons and with each pregnancy, the yeast/fungal symptoms got worse.  When Hannah was 6 and Daniel almost 1, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.  That was the summer of 1993.  By then, I had obvious short term memory loss and Hannah was suffering from severe dyslexia.  I finally began to connect the problems we were having with vaccinations, but I thought vaccinating was required by law and so I kept on, but added homeopathics to counter the side effects.  I began to take colonics and I went on the yeast/fungal eating plan.  Daniel’s yeast issues resolved within two weeks of me changing my diet.  I started feeling better and got my thinking cleared up.  I stayed sugar free, carb free and high protein for over a year.  When Terry’s mom died in May, 1994, we began to go back and forth from Louisiana to Oklahoma every six weeks and I quit trying to stay on the yeast/fungal eating plan.  It was easier to just eat fast food on the road and I sure didn’t want to make an issue of my food when we were with extended family, mine or his.

Moving to Oklahoma

I stayed fairly well for a season, but then, I went and stayed with my grandma in Wichita Falls for seven weeks to take care of her for knee replacement surgery and physical therapy.  She ate out at least one meal a day and her home was full of Little Debbies, Snackwells, soda and candy.  I gained weight and so did my son, Josiah.  By the time we moved to Oklahoma in December of that same fall, 1995, I was thoroughly addicted again to sugar and carbs. Our extended family, both in Texas and Oklahoma ate the standard American diet, which is sugar and carb laden and so my health declined rapidly when we moved and began to spend more time eating with extended family.   I had a miscarriage in July, 1996, and the natural grief and depression that followed was increased greatly by the yeast/fungal overload.

Early Menopause!

The miscarriage sent me into immediate menopause with hot flashes and night sweats at the age of 42!  I suffered for years with menopause symptoms before being introduced to progesterone cream.  While getting my menopause symptoms under control with progesterone, the pain in my back gradually increased over the years and by 2000, I was hurting all over and I was so out of balance that one leg was visibly shorter than the other.  In the fall of 2000, I discovered upper cervical care and the severe stabbing pain in my lower back was lessened for a season, while the pain in my muscles continued to get worse and worse.

I knew from past experience and from numerous resources that my pain and short term memory problems could be eliminated by diet, but I got into a vicious cycle.  I was in pain, so ate emotionally.  I even had myself convinced that I “deserved” to eat the sweets and carbs for comfort, because I was in such pain.  The more junk I ate the more the pain increased until I finally had a frozen shoulder and could no longer drive.  For at least ten years, I took weekly massages just to survive.  The massages loosened the frozen shoulder, but the pain continued to be with me all the time.

Partial Diet Changes

Periodically, I would go a few weeks sugar free and carb free, but I failed to read labels and I was getting hidden sugars and chemicals in many foods.  I gave up desserts, potatoes, grains and yet, I still craved.  I took herbs and other supplements to kill the fungus, but I kept craving sugar and carbs.  That was because I was getting it in meats, broths, condiments and many other foods that I didn’t suspect.  Plus, I didn’t understand back then that grains convert to sugar, so I allowed myself to eat some grain at least once a week and thought as long as I kept the amount low, all would be well.  When I decided how I would eat, I based it on what I knew about diabetics and since they are told they can have limited daily carbs, I thought I could, too.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

When I made a commitment once and for all to change to a healthier lifestyle, my life began to change.  Just as Dr. Davis of WHEAT BELLY fame says, the weight and illness greatly decreases when we eat right.

Resources

Since August of 1993, I have read numerous books about Yeast – Fungus conditions.

The Yeast Connection: A Medical Breakthrough  by William C. Crook, MD

The Fungus Link, Volumes 1, 2, 3 by Doug Kaufmann

The Germ That Causes Cancer by Doug Kaufmann

Conquer Candida–Restore Your Immune System by Jack Tips, ND

Sugar Blues by William F Duffy

Lick the Sugar Habit by Nancy Appleton

Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD

Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD

Most libraries have these books, but they are worth owning.  Most are available in health food stores and online.

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