Sugar. White flour. Processed Food. 

So apparently, this stuff is bad? Yeah, whatever. Blah, blah, blah. Everyone's doing it...and most importantly, I love it too much. Sugar literally fills my bones with warmth and happiness to the very core. Pathetic, I know, how much I'm NOT exaggerating. But it's true. 

Sugar is my drug of choice.

However, I recently took on the challenge of a healthier lifestyle to correct some health issues I have struggled with for years. The deciding factor being that these issues are impacting our fertility...something we are not so cool with. I have been to doctors in the past only to be deeply dissatisfied. Test after test is conducted before the doc basically tells me he doesn't know what's wrong. Then he slaps me with a huge bill and a prescription that either a) is experimental, or b) makes me so gut-wrenchedly uncomfortable that I don't even end up using it (as if my body/soul/the Lord were literally warning me it wasn't right.) Still, something had to be done.

Not wanting to visit another doctor again unless I had to, I did my own research. I prayed. I fasted. I talked to others and listened to quiet heavenly promptings. The thoughts that kept coming to me always revolved around the combination of sugar and stress. Sugar and stress. And sugar, sugar, SUGAR.

So grudgingly, with many complaints, but with the loving support of my husband, I cut sugar completely out of my diet. I'm talking COLD TURKEY. 

My meals now consist of ingredients from a list of things like: 

  • brown rice
  • eggs
  • wheat tortillas
  • fish
  • almonds
  • cheese
  • natural peanut butter
  • chicken
  • black beans
  • garbanzo beans
  • sour cream
  • fruit
  • And lots and lots of vegetables. 

Every week, I make veggie grab bags filled with celery, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, peas, and baby tomatoes. Then I easily take one with me to work or on errands to snack on all day long. 

Eating the healthy food has not been a challenge. Luckily, I've always enjoyed my vegetables and consciously tried to include them into my diet. The challenge lies in the fact that I always combine my health food with LOADS of sugar. 

I don't usually drink soda (except for an occasional root beer with pizza), and I buy raisin bran instead of Captain Crunch...but I adore my cookies. My Moose Tracks ice cream. My brownies. My muffins. My candy. My hot chocolate. My pancakes with syrup. My birthday cake with frosting. My apple juice. My cinnamon rolls. My banana bread. My dessert pizzas. My hostess fudge rolls. And my blessed maple frosted doughnut (Should I even need to remind you of the time I actually wrote poetry in praise of doughnuts). And many items that I never considered to be junk food have a surprising amount of sugar: yogurt, granola, and "healthy" cereals, just to name a few. 

Not having sugar has been a lot harder than I anticipated. 

A living hell, actually. 

After about 3-4 days I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. I had the strangest headache. The cold I thought I had beat hung on with a vengeance. And I felt so devoid of energy by lunch time all I wanted in the whole world was sleep. Being an elementary teacher is exhausting, but the fatigue doesn't usually hit me until my drive home. The busy-ness and adrenaline keeps me motivated and moving until the end. But that day, I sat in my classroom feeling listless and ragged. I stared at my expectant students with zero desire to even stand to address them. 

Later, after collapsing on my couch at home, I continued to wonder what the heck was wrong with me. At the risk of sounding dramatic...was I dying? In genuine fear, I knelt down and prayed with fervor for the knowledge to understand what was wrong and for the tools to correct it. 

I stood up and went straight to the Internet to research. 

What I found shocked me. 

{As this post is getting reeeally long, I though I would break it into two parts. The second one is scheduled to post in a few days. See ya then!}


Breanna said...

You are amazing! I can't wait to read the rest.

Travis and Brittany said...

Can't wait to finish reading this!! So now that we live in idaho we need to get together!!!! It's been forever!!

Janiel said...

I came across your blog somehow and have been reading it work a couple weeks now. Let me guess. you were detoxing. We cut all the crap out of our diets the beginning of this year and we got the worst headaches and felt awful. Then we heard we were detoxing all the crap out of our bodies. AHHH! Drink LOTS of water and in a day or 2 you will feel AMAZING. I too suffered infertility for 7 years and now have a 10 year old and a 3 year old. (7 year gap!)
I went to dr after dr too and got so tired of the bills and the we dont know whats wrong with you, sorry, mentality. Fixing your diet will help TONS but what worked for us...just the timing. God gave us our daughter when we were suppose to have her. In the hospital after her birth they did some blood work and discovered I should have never been able to have kids..and now I have 2. When the time is right...God knows what He is doing! Trust me!!!

Jodi said...

I am hoping the best for you!! It is really hard to stay away from ALL the bad things- that is why I eat pretty well about 90% of my day and maybe a treat here and there. can't wait to read the rest!

Andrea said...

Yay!! What a huge step, and a hard one. I know in the end you will feel way better but it's tough at first. Stick with it!!! Almonds are my saving grace... whenever I want anything I grab a handful of almonds.
I wish you lived closer so I could bring you yummy things to eat.
Oh, and have Andrew do it with you ;) It's so so so so much easier and he will feel better too! (Jeff has my back on this one)

Tikla said...

This is super awesome!! Austin and I have been trying to steer further from sugar too and it's so hard!! You are amazing for going cold turkey. If you haven't stumbled upon it already mynewroots.blogspot.com has been super helpful for me. this post in particular: http://mynewroots.blogspot.com/2011/09/ginger-roasted-carrots-with-mellow-miso.html

I don't know how extreme you are going, but from the research I've been doing pure real maple syrup and honey are really healthy options.

Good luck with the withdrawl symptoms and the baby making. :) Love you.

Rikki said...

Love your blog. I'm a teacher too and my classroom is bee themed. I found your cute bee's on pinterest. I'm your newest follower.
The Hive

karen said...

please please try going gluten free. please.

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