Category Archives: Rants & Raves

I’m Not Trying to Be Hip – Just Healthy

I just read this articleJust because you have given up sugar, gluten and carbs – don’t ram it down my throat,” and I expected to be really pissed off. But in the end, I actually chuckled and realized the writer has a point. And I’ve noticed it, too.

Yes, it’s true – everyone’s giving up something these days – sugar, gluten, dairy, etc. And I’m one of them. I gave up gluten last August, and in January it was dairy. I feel like I’m just another one of the many people out there who are taking on the air of superiority because I have eliminated whole food groups. I know what she’s talking about – I’ve seen it and heard it myself.

But I’m not one of those people. I did have conversations with my doctor. I did get tested for Celiac. (I tested negative, thank goodness!) My doctor and I had very candid conversations about what was going on with my body and how to make it feel better.

In the end, once we figured out which two (yes, TWO) foods I had to give up, he asked me, “Can you live like that?”

I knew right then that I had to make a choice – to either fully give up two food groups that I dearly loved or suffer the consequences, including surgery to “correct” a problem in my stomach. Is surgery preferable over changing my diet? I don’t think so…

So, yes, I do understand why this person (and many others, I’m sure, as is evident from the various quotes in the story) have come to hate on the abstainers. Normal people must look at us GFCF (Gluten-free Casein-free) folks and the other various groups out there who have given up on the good stuff and think we’re idiots.

Who would give up all bread, pasta, cake, cheese, yogurt, etc. if they didn’t have to? Seriously!!

So, I agree with her point – not everyone should be doing this! If you don’t have to give up food groups, then DON’T!! It’s really a lot more of a challenge than you might think. And it’s sooooo hard to do every day.

It’s almost as hard as giving up cigarettes.

I read Dr. Davis’ book, “Wheat Belly” and couldn’t stop reading it.  I actually agree with him on most of what the book talks about, especially the fact that wheat has been fundamentally changed, and is now a widely used GMO. And giving up wheat is probably a very good idea – or at least cutting down.

The real problem is that we, as in humans, eat far too much of it. No wonder it has had such an impact on our waistlines over the past 20+ years. No one was ever meant to eat bread three times a day! That’s a lot of starch…

But what of the superiority? What about the fact that in my childhood, food allergies were so miniscule, I never knew anyone with a food allergy until college, at that was one of those Anaphylaxis types to nuts!

No one ever had food allergies. No one ever had Celiac (never even heard of this until much, much later.) No one was sensitive to certain foods.

And no one weighed 200 lbs. at age 14, either.

Today’s world is not the same one we grew up in. We’ve been subjected to far too many changes in our food supply. I strongly believe there are consequences for that. We have been eating highly processed food for far too long and the effects of that are catching up to us.

Yes, we have a lot more intolerances and allergies these days. What we’ve been eating has attacked our defenses and made us all more vulnerable. I think that living the way I did for more than 20 years created a perfect storm in my body, causing it to attack itself when certain foods came into play. And wouldn’t you know it? It was the two food groups I ate most of the time – bread and cheese! I think my body just got to a point where it just couldn’t handle it any more. It was trying to let me know by acting out – like a child.

I hate that I can’t eat bread or cheese anymore. It really sucks. But at least I don’t have to have surgery.

And if I ever get all high and mighty with my friends about the fact that I’m GFCF, I would hope that they care enough about me to let me know I’m starting to sound a bit like an ass.

To a healthier, happier and longer life.


Another Great Way to Beat the Late Afternoon Sugar Craving

I’m no stranger to dieting, battling cravings, trying to fit fitness into a busy lifestyle, or any aspect of trying to balance personal fitness into my life. If there’s a popular diet out there, I’ve most likely given it a go at some point.

Over the years, though, I’ve learned there’s no short-cut to getting healthy. It takes work and determination has to become your new best friend. It’s a struggle every single day. And you will have good days…and there will always be bad days.  But I’ve learned a lot of things about me and my body and more specifically how to listen when my body is trying to tell me something.

One of the biggest things I’ve had to realize is I didn’t listen to my own body nearly enough before. In fact, sometimes I would actually tune it out, which is counter-productive to getting into shape and in-tune with your body. Obvious, right? But I didn’t realize I was doing it for a long time. It’s about reading the signals and deciphering them correctly.

If you are anything like me, you may have started a gazillion different exercise programs over the years and found that your body is more tired when you add a lot of exercise into your life. That’s normal. So, it’s important to make sure you give your body more time to repair when working your body so hard. When you add stress, physical and mental, to your daily grind, your body is in more need of repair. So, if you were getting 7 hours of sleep before you began your exercise regimen, you should probably bump that up to 8 or 8 1/2 hours until your body has adjusted.

But that’s not what I did.  I was still going to bed and waking up at the same time every night, same as I had done before. And I would wake up tired. I upped my coffee intake, which wasn’t that bad since I drink it black, but the added caffeine would deplete my waterstores. Then, I’d need to drink more water and couldn’t drink enough to overcome the caffeine. Plus, with the added exercise, I actually needed even more than that. It was like burning the candle at both ends. Not healthy at all.

Cupcakes. One of my favorite foods to satisfy a chocolate/sugar craving. Why is it that there are so many holidays where sweets are involved. I say we boycott them all! (Just kidding.)

The other problem I started to encounter is the late afternoon sugar craving.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had trouble with sugar cravings before, but these were serious monster-like cravings that I just couldn’t control. Every afternoon after lunch, I would pace like a prowling cat, wandering around looking for something to satisfy my craving. Once I found what I wanted, usually something chocolate and loaded with all the bad stuff and tons of calories, I would literally binge. This is the kind of binging that gives you tons of guilt afterwards. I would feel so badly after, I believed all the exercise I had done was for naught. And inevitably, I would eventually give up whatever program I was on and go back to my usual ways. Defeated again.

What I now understand is my body was trying to help me. My own body was trying to tell me what I needed and I interpreted the signals completely wrong. I was exhausted and water-depleted. My brain was trying to send signals for me to rest and drink more water, and I was interpreting those signals as sugar cravings. Most of the time when we feel strong cravings come on, it’s a sign that something is missing. But the secret is to figure out what it is you’re missing instead of going with your first feeling. Mostly, you body will not need sugar or chocolate, no matter how strongly you feel the urge to eat it!

Now, when I know the late afternoon is approaching, I’m very mindful of my food and water intake. I want to make sure I have given my body the proper nutrients and water before the cravings have a chance to sneak up on me. That’s the first step. Next, when I feel cravings start, I don’t react right away. When I catch myself pacing, I analyze what I’ve missed in my diet first. Then, I evaluate how much water I’ve had and how much exercise. If I’ve exercised a lot and haven’t had a lot of water, I make sure to correct that.

If, after all of that, I still have cravings, which I sometimes do, then I take a nap! This is my latest tool in the battle of the sugar cravings. If I’m having some bad cravings even though my diet and water are in check, then the last thing I go to is my sleep. I’ve found that when I’m tired my cravings shoot up and my resolve sinks to almost nothing. So, I lay down and take a power nap. Usually not for more than half an hour, but it works wonders on my brain and body.  It sounds simple, and it is, once you learn how to interpret the signals your brain is sending.

I’m still no expert on reading my body’s signals but I continue to learn every day. It’s nice to know that my body is looking out for me. Especially when I just thought it was trying to sabotage all of my efforts before. Still, it’s a continuous journey to health. The more I learn, the more I grow…healthier!

To a healthier, happier and longer life!

Food Democracy Now | Obama Goes Rogue on GMOs – Tell him to say NO to Monsanto

The battle over our food supply continues. Obama and his administration continue to ignore the protests from family farmers, organic growers and consumers of organic and local farming goods. Monsanto is pushing for more contamination of our food supply with GMOs. The latest in this trend is the deregulated GMO Alfalfa and partially deregulated GMO sugar beets. These two crops could enter into our food supply as early as this spring.

It’s frustrating to people like me who are always trying to keep GMOs and other unnatural specimen from our household foods. The only way to stop this is to let your voice be as loud as ever! Read the article. Sign the petition. Share with everyone who prefers to eat clean foods. This issue is very important to me and should be important to everyone who strives to be/live/eat healthy. This is an outright contamination of our food source and a certain death to small, organic, family farmers. Put a stop to this insanity!

Food Democracy Now | Obama Goes Rogue on GMOs – Tell him to say NO to Monsanto.

Food Democracy Now | Stand up for Farmer and Citizen Rights – Tell Obama to Ban Monsanto’s GMO Alfalfa!

After watching the movie, Food, Inc. this past week, I feel even more strongly about abolishing GMOs from our food supply, among other issues. Click on the link below to read about Monsanto’s new GM Alfalfa. Sign the petition to send the message to President Obama to stop genetically altering our food supply.

Food Democracy Now | Stand up for Farmer and Citizen Rights – Tell Obama to Ban Monsanto’s GMO Alfalfa!.

Claiming Health – A Study of Children’s Favorite Foods

The claims on the front of packages has been something I’ve been worried about quite a bit in the past few years. Food manufacturers boast many claims on the front of their products without any reprise from the Food and Drug Administration. Since front of packaging claims are not regulated, manufacturers are free to make bold statements about “health benefits” of their processed products. It’s unbelievable to me that these manufacturing companies can get away with such practices even though studies have come to the surface showing the misleading nature of these practices.

The worst culprits are the manufacturers of kids food products. The lack of nutrition or high levels of ingredients like sugar, artificial colors, sodium and saturated fats are disguised by front of package statements. Parents must educate themselves against these manufacturers and their deceptive practices. Don’t be fooled by the bold claims on the front of these packages. Flip the package over and read the Nutrition List and the Ingredient List. Your child’s current and future health depends on it.

Read the full report and see the list of foods tested – see which ones passed and the many who did not….

Claiming_Health.pdf application/pdf Object.

Is Raw Milk Wrong?

Is it just me, or is the FDA trying to look like they’re cracking down while actually barking up the wrong tree?

Raw milk is something Isabel De Los Rios advocates in her Diet Solution Program. She points out that many more people in the U.S. suffer from lactose intolerance along with many other dairy-related ailments than any other place in the world.

There are many studies that point out that heat pasteurization kills all of the good bacteria, along with the bad, as well as a lot of nutrients and enzymes.

I currently live in Germany where pasteurization of milk products is done universally with the UHT method, providing milk that will sit on a shelf for extended periods of time without refrigeration. But more people get their milk fresh from dairies than you might think. There are trucks that will deliver fresh milk to your home a couple of times per week. Just like in the old days.

Personally, I think that the processed food industry in our country is what should be in the cross-hairs, but it seems that these small, family-owned businesses are much easier targets.

Raw-milk cheese in Northwest, elsewhere on the FDA radar |

So, when I read this article about the FDA going all stealth on these small dairies I was amazed. I was amazed at the fact that the FDA thinks this is what we, the people/consumers of food products, want the FDA to focus on.

Again, I post the question, what is it that we, consumers of food in the U.S., want to direct our attention to in regards to overhauls of the industry? The FDA seems a little unbiased to me, attacking small businesses that specialize in small, specialty and localized foods, instead of looking at the industry giants who create “un-foods” that are cheap to produce and maintain shelf-life for eons.

To me, the biggest problem we have is the lack of monitoring, regulating on the part of the FDA, of the large manufacturing plants producing the majority of the foods Americans consume. These giants have been feeding us crap for far too long. So many additives, preservatives, artificial colors, sodium and sugar…our “food” is hardly recognizable.

It’s very hard for modern families to produce up to five meals a day (or three meals plus two snacks) that are 100% pure, unadulterated and non-processed food. And walking the grocery store aisles, it’s hard to resist the marketing ploys of the big food companies beckoning you to take the easy way out. Not to mention the convenience. Who wants (or has the time) to spend all day in the kitchen preparing fresh food?

So, FDA please, stop harassing those small people who are standing up for fresh food, trying to offer an alternative to the processed, plastic-wrapped, hardly recognizable as food choices that today’s families have. Please focus your sites elsewhere…like the creator of American cheese food products that contain things not even remotely close to dairy. Thank you.

To a healthier, happier and longer life.

Twinkie Diet?? « Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

I couldn’t resist re-posting this! I can’t believe that people actually still hold any stock in crazy diets like this one. But thanks to an iron-stomached professor, we can see the results without having to undergo the actual torturous application of such an insane program!

Twinkie Diet?? « Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

Happy Tuesday!! How’s everyone doing on this lovely, dreary, snowy day? ;)

So yesterday afternoon, a co-worker of mine brought an article to my attention that I immediately had to check out; as soon as I read it, I thought it would be rather interesting to share with all of you this morning…

Turns out, there is a man who decided to follow a 10-week diet that consisted mainly of this stuff:

Yes my friends, that is Twinkies.

Instead of eating regular meals, Mark Haub, a professor at Kansas State University, ate snacks consisting of Twinkies, Little Debbie Snack Cakes, and other convenience store “treats” every three hours.

Read the full article here.

I still can’t believe the results. He lost 27 lbs in just two months!

So, now my question to you is:

How many fad, crazy diets have you tried in the past?

(I’m very guilty of this…I think I’ve tried nearly every one that ever came out!) Post your stories in the comments! I can’t wait to read them!

To a healthier, happier and longer life!

Twinkie Diet?? « Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life.