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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Did I Stay? Or, Did I Go Paleo?

So, after blogging for 22 days in a row, I figured I deserved a couple of days off.  Although, it was nice to have the time to work on other things, I missed writing.  Besides, I have been getting tons of emails asking whether or not I stuck with a paleo diet after my 21 days was done.  The answer is YES. I stuck with it.

The only foods I've added, so far, are some fruits and Dark Chocolate Bar.  Happily, I've been able to make my fruit and veggie juice again. And, I'm able to enjoy my bananas, too!

On Saturday, it will have been thirty days since I stopped eating nightshade veggies.  I can then start adding them back into my diet, one by one.  I've already decided to start with cooked tomatoes, since they're the least inflammatory.  If I don't have a reaction, I can keep them in my diet.  But, if I do have a reaction, I have to remove them and try again in three weeks.  We'll see how that goes.

I've decided to stay paleo, for the most part.  I will try to add some raw dairy or goat and sheep milk products from time to time. I actually bought some goat milk cream cheese and sour cream in preparation for when I'm ready.  I'll be using them to make some treats for Super Bowl Sunday.  That night should be a real test whether or not I can handle eating those foods.

Since finishing The 21-Day Sugar Detox, I have no desire to go back to my old way of eating.  I have felt so much better, I don't want to feel sick again. The program taught me to eat within certain parameters.  It taught me to appreciate the foods I am allowed.  At the same time, it showed me I could live happily without the foods that hurt me.  For that, I am grateful.

I'm going to take tomorrow off from blogging. I will return on Saturday with some yummy recipes for a paleo Super Bowl Sunday.  For tonight, I'll leave you with some photos of some of the meals I've cooked this week.  I'm working on compiling a cookbook with recipes I cooked during my detox.  Those of you who asked for the recipes should have them soon.

As always, should you have any questions or need my help, email me or COMMENT below.

Goodnight and God Bless!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Results from The 21-Day Sugar Detox

This is me before I went grain free.
 This is NOW!

I lost 5 pounds on The 21-Day Sugar Detox!  So, the results are in.  My total weight loss since going grain free is 21 pounds!  And, that's not even the best part!  The best part is how healthy I feel.  I now have the energy to get through my day without having to take a rest break, or two, or five.  My stomach issues have, for the most part, completely disappeared.  I no longer have to run to the bathroom every time I eat.  I feel AMAZING!

I know today, I could have gone nuts and eaten everything I've been avoiding for the past 21 days.  But, I didn't.  I did enjoy a small square of Dark Chocolate Bar and a banana.  But, other than that, I kept the same diet.  I don't want to go back to the foods that made me feel sick and sluggish.  This paleo regimen is a keeper.  I may go primal on some days and add some raw dairy.  But, that's as far as I'm going to stray.

In case you are just beginning to read my blog, I'll give you a little background.  About six months ago,  after a year of feeling awful, I ended up in Urgent Care and multiple doctors' offices four times in one week.  I had unexplained internal bleeding, my hair was falling out in clumps, walking was painful, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and gurd were everyday occurrences. Oh yea, and, I had hives and rashes all over my face and body.  Several medical test showed a fibroid tumor in my uterus, a stomach ulcer and hiatal hernia, pockets of inflammation in my intestines, small polyps in my colon, gluten intolerance, and finally, lupus.  That's where I drew the line. I decided to forgo further testing.  The doctors wanted to do more testing and start me on a series of drugs which included steroids.  I refused.  In fact, I refused all medical treatment.  I chose to heal myself.

So, as you can see, this detox was just another step in the healing process.  I know there are many more to go.  

I'm going to leave you with a couple more pics. I apologize that they are selfies. I hate doing selfies. But, my husband was working all day and couldn't take them for me.  Also, excuse the fact that I have no makeup on and my hair is a mess.  I've been sewing all day and didn't have time to fix myself up.  I thought about cropping my head out of the photos; but, I thought that would look weird.

If you have any questions, please leave them in comments below or email me.
 Look! I have a waist again!
 No more tummy!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The 21-Day Sugar Detox- Day 21

I DID IT! I have finally reached day 21 of The 21-Day Sugar Detox.I'm not going to lie. It was tough, especially in the beginning.  I have never been on such a restrictive program in my life.  Now, grant it, I was on the most restrictive level ( there are 3).  And, I had Candida and Autoimmune modifications which restricted me even more.  I also know, I haven't felt this good in a long, long time.

Diane Sanfilippo, author and creator of The 21-Day Sugar Detox, asked on her Facebook community page today, if anyone was continuing with the program after completing it.  I'm going to have to give that a BIG NO. With my modifications, I just don't think it's sustainable.  I need my fruit and nuts.  However, I will remain grain free. I'm also going to stay away from nightshades, pasteurized dairy, and some fruits and nuts.  Strawberries, walnuts, and cashews can be inflammatory.  I will continue to avoid these foods for the recommended 30 days.  Then, I will introduce them back to my diet, one by one, to check my body's response.  If they cause any bad reaction, I'll cut them out for another three weeks before trying again.  Yes, it's a process.

Tomorrow, I'll post stats and photos. I know I've lost some weight on The 21-Day Sugar Detox.  I'll weigh in in the morning to see the results.  I certainly feel as though my body has been detoxed.  I have more energy and can move around better. My skin is starting to clear up, too.  Of course, I've been putting Oil of Oregano on all of my spots and rashes religiously.  I think I'll leave my face out of the pics tomorrow.  I don't want to discourage anyone. Like I always say, sometimes you have to destroy before you rebuild.  Too bad it's on my face! Arg!

Meals today were pretty simple.  I cooked my husband and myself brunch around 1 PM.  For myself, I cooked bacon, zucchini and red onion hash, with a side of avocado.

My CrockPot was occupado, cooking up some healthy, chicken bone broth. So, for dinner, I reheated some of the chicken from last night.  On the side, I smothered green beans with bacon; and, added a cup of my last batch of chicken bone broth.  All was delicious, anti-inflammatory, and healthy.

Well, I'm looking forward to my first day of freedom tomorrow.  Although, I felt a little nervous over the last couple of days, that nervousness is gone now.  I'm not sure if I gained confidence by completing the program. Or, if I'm just happy to move forward.  Either way, I feel strong and ready for the next step.  I DID IT!

I hope I've encouraged some of you to begin or continue your journey to wellness.  If I did it, you can, too.  I'm not superhuman or special in any way.  I'm just like you.  I got sick of feeling sick.  So, I did something about it.  Was it worth it?  Without a doubt, it was.  

And, to those of you who don't think you can do it because it's too hard, I say, being sick is harder.  Going in and out of the doctors' offices, hospitals, and urgent care clinics is hard.  Having your organs removed, repaired, and probed is hard.  Getting poked and invaded with needles and instruments is hard.  Running to the bathroom every time you eat is hard.  Suffering in pain is hard.  Compared to all of that, this was easy.  I'll take a change in my diet over all that mess, any day of the week.

If you need or want my help or encouragement, all you have to do is ask.  I believe God put me on this earth to heal others.  The fact that I have an autoimmune disease strenthens my belief. How better to heal others than to feel what they feel, suffer the way they suffer, and restore health the way they restore health? Email me or comment below. Start your healing.

Goodnight and God Bless.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The 21-Day Sugar Detox- Day 20

Hey! There's a chicken in my CrockPot!

Wow! Only one day left of The 21-Day Sugar Detox!  I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I'm sure everything will be fine.  But, I know the task of adding foods back into my diet could possibly bring  back some of my symptoms.  That makes me nervous.

Luckily, I didn't have much time to fret over that today.  It's housecleaning day.  Knowing I would be busy all day, I put my chicken in the Crock-Pot and let it do it's thing.  I scrubbed, wiped, and laundered my day away. At around 3 PM, I ate my lunch, standing at the kitchen counter.  Since I didn't have time to make a proper lunch, I threw some beef from last night's dinner on some lettuce leaves, added some chunked avocado and a splash of red wine vinegar. Voila!

I really have noticed a huge increase in my energy level.  Before this detox, I would wake up tired. I barely had the energy to get dressed in the morning.  Now, I can clean all day with energy to spare.  The second best improvement is the lack of bloating and stomach upset.  My tummy is now completely flat.  I don't worry about eating anymore, because I know my stomach will not hurt afterward.  It's wonderful!

Now, for the downside, my skin is a complete disaster.  My body is detoxing everything; and, it showing in my skin.  I have breakouts on my face, legs, and chest.  In one way, I'm happy. I know these breakouts mean my body is releasing the toxins.  However, I hate looking like a pimply, rashy mess.  I hope this doesn't last too long.

At 6 PM, my chicken was done. I wanted a light dinner. So, I made a simple side salad of arugula, cucumber, avocado, and Greek olives.  Simple and delicious!  The chicken was so tender, it melted in my mouth.  

So, tomorrow is my last day of The 21-Day Sugar Detox.  I will be planning my meals for the week.  What will I do with so much freedom?  I have a few ideas, that's for sure!

I bid you a goodnight.  I can't wait for tomorrow to come! I hope I can get some sleep tonight.  As always, if you need my help, email me or comment below. I'll be back tomorrow with an update.
Goodnight and God Bless!

Friday, January 24, 2014

The 21-Day Sugar Detox- Day 19

I'm writing this post as the wind howls around me.  I can hear it banging against the windows. It's a bitter cold, windy night.  I am, however, tucked under my Snuggie, with a fire roaring in the fireplace.  I have just experienced a very good day.  Another good day is under my belt.

I thought I'd go into more detail for you, on what constitutes a good day.  A good day for me means, I have the energy to do the things I need to do. It also means, my pain is at a level I can tolerate.  Since I've gone completely grain-free, my gastrointestinal problems have almost disappeared.  I actually went grain-free two weeks before I started The 21-Day Sugar Detox.  By grain-free, I mean no rice, wheat, corn, or gluten-free mixed flours. I only use Coconut Flour or Almond Flour.  But, the energy and pain levels improved after I began this particular detox.

As a bonus, this program has taught me I don't need those grains anymore. I've been able to find substitutes for all my favorites, pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread.  I've also learned to like foods I didn't much care for before, butternut squash and brussel sprouts. It's taught me how to ADAPT.  Most people view living without these foods as a loss or punishment.  Before this happened to me, I thought about it that way too.  Now, I think about those foods as a punishment.  If I eat them, I'll get sicker.  I could eventually lose my life by eating them.  If that's not the definition of punishment, I don't know what is.  Food does not make us happy.  Food sustains our life.  We should eat to live, not to be happy.

Obviously, we want to eat foods that taste good.  I eat many foods that taste absolutely delicious.  These foods nourish and heal me. That's the difference!  These foods don't harm me.  Yes, it's harder to do. I mean, I can't just pop into any restaurant and order off the menu nonchalantly. I have to plan more, prepare more, and cook more.  But, my life is worth it. Isn't yours?

Speaking of delicious meals, I roasted a beautiful, grass-fed rib roast for dinner.  It was perfectly cooked, medium rare.  On the side, I served mashed cauliflower with Coconut Milk and chives.  Does that sound like I was suffering?  I can assure you, I was not.

Trust me, I know taking that first step to changing your eating habits is tough.  You question your resolve, your strength, and your willpower.  I had to change my way of thinking.  I am not punishing myself. I am keeping myself alive.  So what if I can't eat real pasta again.  I can walk up a flight of stairs, without pain again.  So what if I can never enjoy a regular birthday cake again. I don't have to cover the rashes on my face under layers of makeup, because they aren't there anymore.  Those are trade-offs I'm willing to make!

So, I ask that you take all this in.  Isn't your life worth saving?  If you need any help getting started, just email me or comment below.  Having been through it, I can help you make the transition.  All you have to do is ask.

And, for those of you already on your journey, hang in there. You're proving your health and your life is worth saving. Congratulations!