4 Weeks to Wellness.

4 Weeks to Wellness and why you want it in your life!

Hi friends, wellness can be yours again!  Not long ago, I was trapped in my body and it was a completely devastating feeling.  I would get up sometime around 10 or 11a.m.  I would stay in my pajamas, and I would wander downstairs to take my medicine and slowly make my way to the couch.  On good days, I would put clothes on…and maybe even make it to the grocery store.  On bad days, the other 6 days of the week, I would not make it anywhere.  I started to believe that was my life.  That was where I was going to stay.  I live with 7 invisible diseases, and the last 3 were autoimmune related as well as fibromyalgia, which caused increasing amount of inflammation and pain.  I put on 25 extra pounds which looked like more.  You could see it in my face, belly, and thighs.

What does this have to do with you?

Are you feeling lost and unsure of your future wellness goals?

Do you feel like you could get things together if you only had the guidance?

Did you suddenly look at your weight and think…how did I get here???

Are you stuck in a rut doing the same things everyday, not seeing results, but you want to do more…be more…live more????

If you answered yes to any of the above, then this program is for you!!

I am sure you have tried many different things by now to improve your health, and I want you to know, it’s not your fault.  I was in the exact same place you are in.  I have helped coach hundreds of people who did not know the things that I am about to share with you during this program.  What you are about to learn in only 4 short weeks literally took me 18 years of research.  It’s hard to believe that you could be seeing results like I saw in less than 30 days, but it really and truly changes your perspective on wellness and what that really means!

This program is not like others because I am not trying to get you to buy anything else.  I am not selling you a magic potion, shakes, or anything of that nature.  I am merely re-training you to do what was inside of you all along.  You are guided through 4 weeks with only one task a day, and a new workbook each week that outlines the reasons behind the daily tasks and includes great resources.

What will you get?

  • Lifetime access to the 4 Weeks to Wellness course
  • 4 workbooks which guide you through the wellness journey
  • Food, Fitness, Self-care, Stress and Balance tips
  • Additional worksheets and Journal prompts
  • A resource section
  • A bonus opportunity

What happened for me when I implemented 4 Weeks to Wellness?

As I began to work through the 4 areas of wellness, my life started to change.  I was losing weight within the first few months without even exercising.  I constantly repeated my goals, and kept track of how my body was reacting.  I went from hardly being about to walk, move or have any strength at all, to being able to do things I never thought I was going to be able to do again!

VYW_4 weeksSigns of autoimmune are apparent in my puffy features…but not after!

Why listen to me?

I have reversed the pain from my fibromylagia and I became certified in Vinyasa Yoga after 200 hours of training…something I would not have been able to do prior to my plan.  I then went on to complete more hours in yoga for Pain and Arthritis as well as get certified in Sports Nutrition.  I know what we need to eat to get optimal results.  The plan is much more affordable than any monthly gym membership, and gives you everything need to do this at home.  This is so important if you are trying to change your life, but going to a gym right now is virtually impossible or a scary thought.  By the end of the 4 weeks, you will have learned enough to continue implementing the strategies at home, and possibly even be ready for some group exercise or even yoga like me!  You will have everything you need to do this at home.  I believe in you and am ready to support you if you are ready to say YES!

Here is the link in case you missed it:  4 Weeks to Wellness

Everything you need to start your transformation is available to you immediately.  No need to wait!

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What’s wrong with my thyroid?

~~This is from an old post formerly called “redemption” that is not behaving in the link.  ~~

I read this post today and felt someone needed to hear it.  I am not going to beat a dead horse; however, I am going to say that unfortunately, a few people in my life have not understood where I was coming from or what I was going through the past 4 years.  I was quiet with my other diseases as I thought it was expected.  When my friend suggested I start this blog, well, I did so under an avatar because I wanted to be honest about what was happening.  I personally believe “normal” is just a setting on a dryer too, and too often people hide what is going on inside their heads for fear of repercussion.  That isn’t who I am, and never will be.

So today, a friend shared this:

I am grateful for my supportive friends and family who have gone out of their way to make special meals and take me to special restaurants.
I feel so blessed to be where I am today, compared to the beginning of my journey…when I slept under two blankets in my Los Angeles apartment, when I had constant brainfog and needed to sleep for 11 hours to feel rested, when I was anxious all of the time, when I was losing my hair, when I had carpal tunnel in both hands, when I was addicted to caffeine and sugar… when I felt that I couldn’t do anything.

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, it became a butterfly”

This is a very personal quote from my Hashimoto’s journey. I thought my life was over as a result of this diagnosis, but I now realize that Hashimoto’s has made me a better person, the person I am today.
Mark Hyman, MD once said: “I didn’t choose this type of lifestyle, my body chose for me”, and this really resonates with me.

The person who wrote this is Dr. Izabella Wentz.  I don’t know her at all.  In fact, I just found her site today.  What I like about what she said, is that it’s honest.  The doctor who told me about mine acted like it was no big deal.  Period.  No one, and I mean no one, put anything together for me.  They left me alone to hurt, and sometimes, I would cry in their office as I asked them what more we could do.  I got blank looks and was told perhaps I needed antidepressants.

So after copious amounts of research, I have finally put together a timeline of what actually went “wrong” in my body.  I know what happened.  I also know how to “fix” it.  The crazy thing is, this lady put it together around the same time too and I think she has a better understanding of What’s Really Going on in Hashimoto’s?

As an update, I want you, the reader to know that it took me exactly 3 years to reverse what was going on.  Go gluten-free, sugar-free, elimination diet and get the allergy testing done.  You will thank me later.  Life is a Puzzle.  Don’t let your food be killing you.  <<< click on ALL of those links if you are exploring food sensitivities

Extra resources: Elimination diet

Top 4 Biggest Weight Loss Hurdles

What are the 4 biggest weight loss hurdles during the holiday season?

Funny thing…people think that they put on weight during the holidays more so than at any other time; however, it’s not the holidays that really do it.  It’s actually making a plan, having a goal, and sticking to it.  But we will get to that part.

The first one is actually Loss of Motivation and I get that reason from clients well, lots.  At first, it’s like a special thing.  You are super pumped to start this journey, but slowly you let your mind take over and put you back where you started.  Negative Ghost Rider.  Abort.  Abort.  It’s cold.  It’s raining.  I saw a big piece of the best flan ever and had to put it in my mouth.  <<< that one was mine.  Anyway, I have been there.  What has helped me to stay consistent for over 2 years?  I will tell you.

  • I lay out my workout clothes (yoga for me) the night before.
  • I make sure my water bottle is ready to go and clean.
  • I get to wear the pants at the back of the closet.  I remind myself that.
  • I got rid of the pants that I had saved that were the “big” pants.  No lie.
  • I use a dry erase marker and write on my bathroom mirror where I can see it.  Daily.

Number two is “I’m too  busy for that.”  This one really gets on my nerves the most I think.  It’s not that I don’t understand, but I remember how I felt when I was at my worst.  My stomach was bloated, I was suffering from leaky gut, and I had tried everything including a personal trainer who kicked my ass to no avail.  The real reason you say you are too busy, is what if it fails?  That’s right.  I know your secret.  Being scared is part of the process, so please be honest with yourself.  Sometimes, you have to go back to the starting point.  But if you are working with a trainer, wellness coach or anyone else, check in with them and be honest about what you are afraid of.  Be specific.  Put it in words.  I opened up with the person who asked me to come back to yoga and I specifically said “I am worried that I am in so much pain that I won’t be able to do these things.”  And you know what, I wasn’t able to do everything.  And I lived.  I got better, stronger, and then one day, the 5 people closest to me throughout my yoga training saw me do something I couldn’t do before and it was a great feeling.  I didn’t let my excuses get in the way.  Side note:  I also had to come up with my own holistic wellness program in order for it to work since I knew more about autoimmune than who I initially signed up to work with.  I did have to create something that didn’t exist, but I didn’t give up.  Each and every time something didn’t work, I started back at what was working and went from there.

Number three is actually eating out.  I know that you love to go out to eat.  So do I!  Here’s how we can make it work while still maintaining your goals.

  • Research the restaurant menu ahead of time.  Look at the salads, appetizers and small plates and see if there are healthy options.
  • If you can’t find anything healthy, pick a new place.  If that is not an option because a function is scheduled there, call the place and ask about broiling or baking items that are on the menu instead.
  • Split a meal that is huge…they are almost always larger portion sizes!
  • Ask for salad dressing on the side, or better yet, ask for oil and vinegar so you can do it and you know what’s in it.
  • Skip the dessert if at all possible and ask for black coffee.

The last hurdle this season is going to be parties.  Wooo-hoo.  I love me a good party.  Yes, I just said that.  Say it in a southern accent and you might be close to how I sound.  Anyway, just so you know even I have a hard time with this one.  This is difficult.  Hugely difficult, but I have some great friends who are aware of my food sensitivities.  Some non-tacky things you can do to make your life easier at parties include:

  • Make your own snacks to bring and share.  Oh what did you bring to share?  Ohhh, gluten-free, sugar-free, paleo pumpkin cookies says me.  No one eats them but me.  Winning!  I get to take them home too.
  • Bring your own rice crackers and humus or veggies, etc.
  • Call your hostess, maybe less tacky, but you can say I am super excited to come to the holiday extravaganza at your beautiful house!  You sure make the best food.  What’s on the menu this year?  <<< sounding tacky no more.  Now you are complimenting and fishing at the same time.  Ask if you can bring something while casually mentioning your lifestyle change.  She will want a lifestyle change too and you won’t feel left out then.

So these are my tips to you this year.  Carry on my gluten-free, paleo, sugar-free, possibly vegan warriors.  Whoever you are, you can do this!!!

 

powerNew ^^^ linked to 4 Weeks to Wellness

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5 Steps to Being Healthier Today!

5 Steps to healthThis post was so popular that I have decided to add a contact form about the greens if you are interested in learning more about them!  Read until the end!

5 Steps to Being Healthier Today!

1. Eliminate processed foods.  Have you ever looked at the back of a “FAT-FREE” box of coffee creamer as compared to real cream?  Just look at the ingredients.
2. Drink more water.  Why?  “Water’s involved in every type of cellular process in your body, and when you’re dehydrated, they all run less efficiently — and that includes your metabolism.
3. Add a Greens smoothie to your day.  Why the “Greens”?

  • Detoxify, alkalize, and promote pH balance within the body
  • Acidity-fighting magnesium and potassium blend
  • Cutting-edge probiotic support for digestive health
  • 38 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods
  • Multiple servings of fruits and vegetables in every scoop
  • Free radical-fighting antioxidants

4. Add protein in the morning.  I prefer the things I have linked to because of these reasons:

  • Experience quicker post-workout recovery
  • Build lean muscle mass with fewer calories
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Get feel-good, mood-elevating energy with maca and cacao powder
  • Promote healthy digestion with seven different soluble and insoluble fibers

5. Cut the sugar…but you can keep the fruit.  I have gone white processed sugar-free in the last two years and don’t miss it!  What do I use if I have to make a recipe with something like sugar?  Buy coconut palm sugar.  But if you are worried about sugar in fruit, check out this link.  I am guilty of loving mangoes.

So, in a nutshell…drop the sugar, add the water, add protein, and greens, but drop the processed food!!  Contact me here if you want to know more about the greens or visit vitalizeyouwellness.com click shop!

 

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Stop listening to fear.

Stop Listening to Fear.

Originally published last July 2014.

Procrastination.  Excuses.  Reasons why your path looks like Billy’s from The Family Circus when he had a job to do.  I don’t want to hear it.  We all know deep down what’s holding us back and usually it has one name.  Fear.  You need to pull a Bruce Willis on that thing and just go for it.

Things do come up.  I know they do.  But if you let these “things” get in the way of your goals, then your life will become a string of excuses.  I meant to do that, but…   We were going to, but…  I’m not saying I don’t have my own fears because I do.  I certainly do.  It’s just that I am ridiculous when it comes to them and do stupid things to get over them so I can move on.  Like the time I got bit by a snake, then was afraid of snakes for a while.  So then I volunteered at the local Virginia Living Museum, and learned how to stick my hand in a pillow case and pull out a snake.  Yes.  True story.  I also learned how to identify which ones were venomous in my area.

Quitting my job when I had no extra income was like sticking my hand in that pillow case.  I knew when I went on my “sabbatical” I was never going back.  I knew I needed more.  Starting my business was that more.  I love getting messages from clients asking me for help.  That’s brave of them as well.  They have tried lots of things to lose weight, feel better, get healthy, but for whatever reason, fear, they need a little extra help.  And that’s ok.  I did too!!  I was afraid I was going to stay stuck at my old weight forever.  When I got on the scale and realized how much I weighed compared to old me, I was shocked.  At 5’2 I knew I needed to get a handle on it.

When I put all my research skills into formulating a plan that worked best for my diseases and body, I knew I was finally on the right track in December.  I have now lost 15 pounds, but I am not done.  I have 6 more to go, and the extra 21 will be gone.  I am going to be adding yoga back into my routine again and I will also write about that.  I have been being a taxi cab, so I made excuses why I didn’t make it to yoga.  I sat down today and wrote out the yoga schedule so it was in front of my face!!! I know that going back worries me.  I am afraid it will hurt because of my existing pain, but I know that it will help me.  I have researched exercises for fibromyalgia and this is one of them.  So, I’m going to pull a Die Hard and go for it.  Stick your hand in that pillow case folks.  Go for it!!

No fear

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Ways to Overcome Cravings.

It never fails…you sit down at night to watch T.V.  The kitchen is closed for the night.  Closed.  But you start to watch your favorite show, and you get distracted.  You think you need food.  Here are some helpful tips to help you determine if food is really what you want.

Ways to Overcome Cravings

  1. Remember your goals.  Write them down and put them on the fridge.  If you happen to go there, you can see your goals.  Your brain will shift and remember your long-term goals and hopefully ignore the cravings you have.
  2. Drink a glass of water.  A lot of people don’t realize that drinking a glass of water can be a great tool for making you feel full.  Proper water intake actually helps you metabolize food and without the presence of water, your body might not be able to get the nutrients it needs.  Many food cravings are based on your body’s need for specific nutrients.
  3. Get moving.   If your craving triggers you to get up, why not pair it with something you want to get done.  If you think you need a snack, tell yourself you can only have one after walking around the block.  Or lifting the kettle bell for 10 reps on each side.  You get the drift.  It will help you form new habits instead of eating mindlessly just because it’s there.
  4. Take a hot shower and relax.  Give yourself a sauna type shower so that it opens your pores.  When you get out, you will most likely have forgotten your craving.  Have a large glass of water by your bed or some hot tea and relax and get ready for the day ahead.  If you are not in the area where food it…and your mind is then on bedtime routines, it really does help.
  5. Out of sight.  This one sounds easy, but if you live with someone who is constantly getting up to fix snacks late at night and making all kinds of noise in the cabinet, you are actually going to want some of whatever they are having.  I asked my husband long ago to help me stick to a plan.  It was hard at first, but it gradually became easier.  I also make sure that only veggies and fruits are there for me to reach.

Last but not least for me, I drink greens in my water to help me fight against sugar cravings.  There is so much more I could tell you that as I began to heal my sugar cravings, and the “gut”, things began to improve in many areas of my life.  To read more about the program I developed based off my research check out >>> Work with me. <<<

Overcome Cravings

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How I beat bloat…

This might seem like a strange title, but I get asked this question all the time.  So the way I navigate my blog, is just like you.  I have written about many topics, so I type in the word I am looking for using the search button.  When I type in “bloat” a bunch of old posts come up, but specifically, the one that most people need to read is My break up with sugar and gluten.

So, I’ll be over here while you catch up.  Now that you know I have thoroughly done my research, I want to tell you about the next steps.  First, go to your pantry.  The one with all the yummies that perhaps the kids eat.  Maybe you eat them too.   But put them way out of sight.  Or buy bins and label them Kids snacks, but don’t go there for yourself.  I know, I know.  But believe me, you will feel better.  Next, make yourself a snack shelf.  Read the label of everything you put there.  Everything.  If the first ingredient is sugar, it goes in the kids bin.  If it includes any sort of wheat, etc.  Click my hidden links on those words if you don’t know how to figure this out.  it takes practice.

I’m sure some clients get mad at me…and I say GOOD.  Get mad at me for telling you that includes diet sodas.  It’s like Hell’s Kitchen up in your pantry.  But for real.  You want to feel better?  Do or do not.  There is no try.  Imagine tiny Yoda up there if it makes you feel better.  Use the force.  Push the food away.  Erm.  I went off on a geek tangent.  But I know this is hard.  I detoxed like I was having withdrawal symptoms…for real.  And you know what?  I lost 25 pounds.  My back was bending, my stomach was bloated, and I was actually shrinking.  I lost an inch in height!!  Can you believe that?  I did.

Me_1_yearWhen my friend took this before photo, and lied like a good friend, and said oh girl, it’s not that bad, I wanted to cry.  I kept saying something was wrong.  Why won’t doctors listen to me.  25 pounds in 6 months was not normal.  I was swollen, and working out.  I wasn’t losing a thing.  I never would have either.  If I hadn’t started researching what happened to my body after eating white bread.  Then the IBS symptoms.  Then the stomach pain.   You get it.  I thought I was doing great with the gluten-free, nope.  Sugar was still causing bloat.  The after photo is after 3 months without sugar as well.

I did start using things to help.  The “skinny” pack.  Why did I buy into it?  Here’s why…the wraps are completely all natural phytonutrients.  I looked up what everything did and saw that it could work to help relieve my bloat.  I needed to be on it for 3 months as well as do the above to really get the harmful effects of sugar and gluten out of my body.  My lymphatic system has slowed down to almost no movement.  I was sore in all 18 trigger points for fibromyalgia.  I knew I had it.  But, quite frankly, I had enough to worry about. If I accidentally ate something to cause bloat, I would take a fat fighter to stop the carbs turning into sugar.  It also helped to balance my blood sugar.  Next, I would take a hot shower and wrap every single Sunday night and leave the wrap on.  I felt amazing on Monday.  I would rub on my defining gel because my veins were doing weird things in my legs too.

I continued to research ingredients and put myself on the greens due to the probiotics I needed to fix my gut lining.  More research into leaky gut…you may use that and search on this blog.  I also took a ThermoFit if my gastroparesis (food just sat there for a million years) was doing it’s thing.  Again, I went to doctors and had tests so I knew what was wrong…they had not one suggestion on how to move forward that didn’t include drugs with horrible side effects.  Being on acid blockers like omeprazole would make me worse over time…so I took myself off based on more research.  I drink apple cider vinegar (unfiltered) now.

As you can tell…it does take hard work and determination to fix your gut.  If any of this sounds like you, I have more tips on my Facebook page Vitalize You, plus the tab at the top of this blog talks about more.  I had an open mind when I started this process because I truly believed I could help myself with all-natural products.  That’s why I started my business.  I believe you can do this!  Hashimoto’s, autoimmune, leaky gut, gastroparesis, IBS whatever you want to name it, it starts in the gut.  Don't quit

Author’s note:  I have now developed a new program, and it does not include any supplements, but will help you learn everything that I researched for years, in the space of 4 Weeks!!!!  <<< click there to learn more.

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Wellness is near…

I am happy to be part of The Wellness Universe directory which is launching tomorrow at 11:11a.m.  Both my blog here and my page Vitalize You are members!  I have come a long way in a year, but I am not done yet.  Wellness is an entire process.  Spiritual, Social, Physical, Occupational, Environmental, Intellectual, and especially Emotional all fall under our wellness directory.  You might just recognize a blog writer!!  I am passionate about changing my life.  I have changed my body by finding my triggers and I am great with working with others who have autoimmune issues…the problem is, they really have to want to change as well.  Things that are worth doing are sometimes not easy…I know that.  But if you read all of my history you will realize that if I can do this as bad off as I was, you can do this too!!

Whew…get ready.  Me_1_yearIf you are bloated, in pain, have fibromyalgia, autoimmune, hashimoto’s thyroid or anything similar, consider talking to me through my Vitalize You page.  I am here to help.  I have recipes on Pinterest, and plans that can actually help you begin to make the changes on your path to wellness.  Just let me know!  Happy to be part of the launch tomorrow!!

wellness

Here’s to you…New Year’s You!

New youHey there friends.  I’d like your help.  We are working on a way to change ourselves.  Really and truly in the New Year.  Not resolutions that can be broken, but a plan.  A real plan.  On my Facebook page for the blog I am making a few posters about ways to help yourself, but I want you to sit quietly and think about all the ways you are blocking yourself from your greatest potential.  Whether it is weight loss, healthy eating, negative thinking, depression and/or anxiety, excuses for why you don’t leave the house, excuses for why you don’t exercise, well you name it, you and only you know how to change yourself.  The fact is, we can go to all the therapists in the world, but until we are ready to make that change, that commitment, we are simply going to continue hoping what they tell us will work one day.

Wake up and open the curtains.  Remember my last post about getting more light?  Hint, you had to watch the video I posted.  Clean your room and get rid of anything you are not using.  It makes you feel better.  I don’t know why or how, but it does.  Make ROOM in your life for things you need.  You are getting rid of things you no longer need in your life.  I guess it could be the symbolism, but it really does work.  Fluff your comforter, change your sheets.  Go to bed earlier.  I personally know how hard this one is.  I am erm a night owl.  Nevertheless, I am going to be shutting down 30 minutes earlier and working on a new routine.

Get your refrigerator ready for good food.  Throw out the Christmas fruitcake…no not your relatives, the sweets you still have.  Wash and prep veggies for the week.  Make your list of smoothie items or simply use these greens I use everyday.  I use berry but you can try orange or whatever you like.  It actually is cheaper than buying all the veggies to throw in the blender.  I also take my supplements for my pain and drink turmeric milk or tea.  I immediately change my thinking even if I am in pain to thinking that the tea or whatever I am using is helping me.  It really is helping but I try hard not to concentrate on what is wrong.  I work daily at this.  Do NOT dwell in the negatives.  Let the negative thoughts pass by, but don’t stay there.

I am also working on a yoga plan as well as a getting out of the house more plan.  This is very important if you have fibromyalgia and tend to sit too much.  Stop dwelling.  Just stop.  Make a plan.  If I can do it, you can too.  So let’s go.  2015.  It’s almost here.  Move more.  Eat better.  Do good things.  No resolutions you won’t keep, but goals.  Gather your supplies, your buddies, if you don’t have buddies, get out of the house and make some.  NO excuses!  Ok, pep talk over…and today wasn’t even Motivational Monday.

Note:  see the top tab on working with me and my new for 2017 group coaching option.

 

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My break up with sugar and gluten…

FYI…I originally wrote this for a magazine, well actually an e-zine that has published me before, but I am not sure if they actually published this piece, and quite frankly, I like it.  Plus, sigh, I write for free anyway.  So here it is:

A little over three years ago, I began to notice food was not my friend. It was a difficult concept and one I ignored for a long time in hopes that my instincts were wrong. Sadly, they were not. I started to have stomach pains, headaches, irritable bowel symptoms and more. Never in my life had I bloated from eating bread…until now. I was beginning to see a pattern so I scheduled an appointment with a gastroenterologist. The only thing he could really say was my stomach appeared to be having problems digesting food…and that I was NOT celiac. Okay, but that didn’t answer my questions at all. He put me on an acid blocker and sent me on my way. Why would someone who had been able to eat bread her whole life suddenly develop gluten intolerance? He could not help me. Not a clue. The idea came to me that perhaps I had developed gluten intolerance since I had also recently learned of my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis diagnosis.   When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. So for whatever reason, I knew that food was setting this off. I just couldn’t explain it.

I learned that the best way to figure out what was triggering my reactions was to start an elimination diet. First up, and one of the hardest things ever, was to eliminate gluten. To do that, I had to educate myself on what that meant. From the Celiac Disease Foundation: Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (durum, emmer, spelt, farina, farro, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected (see Sources of Gluten).

I recently read that Celiac disease currently afflicts about 1% of the population, but the prevalence is increasing. 80% of people with celiac disease are unaware of it. So if you were to try to go gluten-free because you are experiencing some symptoms, it might actually help you. Because I am classified as having gluten-sensitivity, the side effects are actually very serious. And in this same article, it states that there is no clear definition of gluten sensitivity, or a good way to diagnose it, the only true way of knowing is by eliminating gluten temporarily from your diet, then reintroducing it to see if you have symptoms. More can be found from 6 Reasons Why Gluten May be Bad For You: http://authoritynutrition.com/6-shocking-reasons-why-gluten-is-bad/

Several disorders have been proven to show improvement when gluten was cut from their diet. When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, the doctor did not even try to help me. No diet changes, no mention of it being autoimmune, nothing. He was talking into his tape recorder and sent me on my way. RIGHT then he should have said “I want you to eliminate gluten for 30 days, and let me know how you are feeling.” But the thing is, 30 days is NOT enough. Over and over again in these support groups on autoimmune diseases, people say things like “Whew, that 30 days was hard, but now I am going to eat gluten again.” Stop!!! No!!   Wheat is completely different from what our ancestors ate back in the day, and adding it back in will just re-contaminate that tiny amount of work you did to start feeling better. After 6 months of being gluten-free, if I slipped up once, just once, I felt very sick the next day. I was in more pain, my stomach would bloat and I was back to running to the bathroom. My eyes, which had cleared up, would go back to red and itchy. From that same wonderful source of information I was reading about gluten, I found out that Modern wheat was introduced around the year 1960. It was developed via cross-breeding and crude genetic manipulation, which changed the nutrient and protein composition of the plant. This is a very interesting read: http://authoritynutrition.com/modern-wheat-health-nightmare/

It also HIDES in everything. Everything. I had to make my own salad dressing, muffins, cookies, chips, basically, if it came prepackaged and had even one word that was something I couldn’t pronounce, I stopped buying it. But it wasn’t enough to help me. Something was still wrong. I had long suspected there were other allergies. So back to the drawing board with my allergy doctor, who also said not one thing about autoimmune disease and allergic reactions. Not. A. Thing.   You can read more about that here: http://theburnedhand.com/2013/04/16/teaching-tuesday/

Absolutely every food I had ever loved was attacking me. It was unbelievable…but one thing struck me as odd. SUGAR. Who is allergic to sugar and what could that mean??? That led me down my path of research into people who have drastically cut sugar out of their lives and the benefits of what it does for your body. Whether or not you have autoimmune diseases, this is something that everyone needed to hear about.

Ok, so my GI track appeared to be a mess. It was getting mixed signals from everything and messing up my entire body. I was getting closer to my answer of pain, headaches, bloating, IBS issues, weight gain, stomach pains, etc. I had intestinal permeability, inflammation, and my good bacteria were completely off kilter, so I learned I had to remove all things causing this inflammation.

I became acquainted with the “nitty-gritty” of sugar. According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, added sugars show up on food and drink labels under the following names: Anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, liquid fructose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, pancake syrup, raw sugar, sugar, syrup and white sugar (See Reference 1). Other types of sugar you might commonly see on ingredient lists are fructose, lactose and maltose. Fructose is sugar derived from fruit and vegetables; lactose is milk sugar; and maltose is sugar that comes from grain. For more, read http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/different-words-sugar-food-labels-8373.html

Now that I know sugar in is everything, I cringe when my children read labels that say “High Fructose Corn Syrup”. However, I know I am doing something right, because we read labels now. I feel like I have made a huge move to keep them safe from those words on all the cans that could mean anything. Did you know From 2001 to 2004, Americans consumed lots of sugar: an average of 22 teaspoons a day, the equivalent of 355 calories, according to this section on How much sugar does the average American eat? I know not all the readers are American, but this particular report was AHA’s 2009 scientific statement on added sugars and cardiovascular health. Unfortunately, too many Americans are drinking sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks. I have never been a soda drinker really, but since I live in the south, we drink copious amounts of sweet, sugary tea. I would be so tired during my day of teaching wee ones that I would occasionally go grab the largest size tea they had at a fast food chain near my school. That was the old me. The me before my body started holding onto weight.

Sugar, quite frankly, was making me sick. My body already had a few “hiccups”, many of which cause inflammation, leaky gut, and joint pain. In How Inflammation Affects Every Aspect of Your Health, Dr. Marquis states “The truth of the situation is that FOOD MATTERS. That’s right; it’s not just a movie (which by the way you should all watch!). Hyper-permeability of the gut, regardless of whether you can feel it or not is often a significant cause of an extremely long and ever-growing list of conditions.”

I would like to urge all of my readers to consider changing their diets, even if it was just for a month. Again, I must refer back to more of my research on the ever-changing food we eat. This said everything I needed to say and more: http://theburnedhand.com/2013/05/01/killing-me-softly/   When I watched that TEDx talk from Robyn O’Brien, I again felt validated. I kept finding so many pieces of this puzzle it was eerie. I’d like to conclude with some of the scariest facts. Friends around the globe are getting diagnosed with cancer before the age of 40 or close enough to it. I have five friends who I know of actively fighting. Two who have lost the battle with the big “c” and one newly diagnosed.   Wake up friends. Wake up. This is real. Start thinking about the bottom line: nutrition does matter.

Eat realAuthor’s note:  The road to wellness is paved with many pitfalls.  I learned my lessons over the years and now have healed my gut, my pain and am moving again.  I completed over 200 hours of yoga and additionally was certified in yoga for arthritis.  I also received my sports nutrition certification and created a plan off my years of research into the body and healing people using my Head, Heart, Health method.  Read more about it here.

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