Questions about getting off sugar and eating more raw foods

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

My friend Amy sent me this email today:

I have been reading a book about giving up sugar. I am a major addict- I know I am- driving to McD for a coke....... ridiculous! I believe that it will be possibly my ticket to lose the weight i need to lose- I could use to lose at least 35 pounds but 50 would be perfect! At any rate, I was wondering about how hard it was to quit, why you decided to, and if you use a "cook book" for your raw creations? Time consuming?
thanks for answering my many questions!

Here's what I wrote back:

Hi Amy!

Good to hear from you.

I was stuck at the same weight for a long time, despite doing several different things to try to get it down. It was like it just couldn't budge. Back in March I started thinking about getting off of sugar, which I have done before. I felt like my health needed it, and thought that it might also pay off in the weight loss dept. too.

This time what I did to quit was just stopped eating anything overtly sugary (cake, cookies, etc.) but didn't go the whole nine yards on weeding out spaghetti sauce that has sugar as an ingredient. I just took it slow. (I now weed out more of these things, but still am not completely perfect at it)

I have a lot of recipes for healthy treats that I use as a bridge to get over wanting sugary stuff. I did use honey and agave nectar (still do) but was more mindful of what I was eating, and didn't just replace every sugary thing with something made with honey. I really hadn't been eating a lot of junk, but for whatever reason weight started to come off just from changing to no sugar. I lost about a pound a week like that.

In May I started really ramping up how much raw food I was eating. Again, I've done that before, usually very gung-ho and then burning out because there was so much new stuff to try to get used to. By this point in my life I've done enough raw foods that I had a lot of things we like to eat that happen to be raw, but we just eat it because we like it. So this time eating more raw has actually felt easy for the first time ever.

I've purposely not made a ton of rules for myself. I stick to the no-sugar pretty hard, just because my past experience is that once I'm off of sugar, eating something with sugar tends to give me a bad headache and sometimes other unpleasant symptoms. So I just avoid that and it hasn't been a problem.

I didn't run into hardly any problems with getting off of sugar. I don't know if it is because I did it sort of gradually or what. The main trouble I have is during PMS I want chocolate so bad that it can be tough. I now have a bunch of awesome raw chocolate treats that I make, though, so as long as I am stocked up on the ingredients I need I am all set. :)

The first time I got off of sugar it was a lot harder. We also went to all whole foods at the same time, all cold turkey, and the process was more difficult. But, really, I hit a hard spot several days into the process, and just rode it out for maybe 2-4 days, and then it was done. It is amazing how once I'm off of sugar it doesn't seem hard. I can go to a church potluck and feel no pain to pass by the desserts. :) We have had 6 birthdays in our home since me stopping the sugar and it has been no problem for me to not eat cake. (even the kind that was my favorite) Breaking that cycle is really, really nice. Also, taste buds really do change, and I am finding it really interesting to see how even healthy treats will seem too sweet to me if I have not had any for a week or two.

I just got two wonderful raw recipe books by Ani Phyo. You can find both at any book seller. Her stuff is delicious, but very easy to put together. Some other raw foods books I've had are very gormet and just too time consuming. Ani's style is just what I like. Quick and easy and tastes great. She has a lot of recipes at her web site (on the blog).

I also like Serene Allison's raw recipe book Rejuvenate Your Life which is available at the Above Rubies store Some of her stuff is a lot more fussy to make, but we have many favorites from it that we love.

I have shared a lot of recipes on my blog at and that includes raw stuff, no sugar stuff, and dehydrator recipes.

What I teach people in my healthy eating classes is that baby steps is the key to long term success, and it certainly seems to be true for me.

The raw foods aren't really time consuming, so much as sometimes needing to plan ahead. For instance, today in my dehydrator I have these raw foods:

peach spice grawnola
breakfast toast
sunflower bread
some sort of raw burger

Some of these things had ingredients that needed to be soaked ahead of time. Some of it needs to be ground (flax) or whatever. Some of it is simply mix and throw it onto the dehydrator tray. This stuff was overwhelming to me back when I first started and I had to map out which days to soak or start sprouting things or dry things or whatever. It was sort of hard to get it to all come out "on time." Now that I've done it long enough it doesn't seem that hard. I just think to myself what I'd like to have this week and just start the process and then I've got it.

With everything in my dehydrator today, I'll have food for today plus leftovers for another day. Many days I don't have to make anything "fresh" except for my morning smoothie and a salad. I typically have some sort of raw bread, crackers, and treats on hand. When it is time to eat I will sometimes just have whatever everybody else is having, but often I will just ask myself, "Is there something raw I would like to eat?" and usually there is.

Another interesting thing since making these changes in eating this time around is that I need less food to feel satisfied, and if I overeat I really feel gross (and my old normal sized portions are definitely too big now). This seems to help keep things in check.

About 3 weeks ago I added in some exercise with a friend of mine. I do a 3 mile walk workout about 3 times a week. Since adding that the weight is coming off a little faster.

This is the first time that I've done anything that is bringing me weight loss that feels like the regular way I want to live, instead of like a punishing place that I cannot wait to leave. I've lost 12 pounds since March which is a little less than a pound a week, but it seems sustainable, so I am really pleased about that.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Gentle Exfoliant for Sensitive Skin

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Some exfoliants feel like you're taking sand paper to your face. This one feels heavenly!

Natural jojoba beads safely and gently remove dead, dry surface skin cells, promoting a renewed and glowing skin. Contains organic lavender to calm and soothe the senses.

A build up of dead skin cells causes a rough and dull appearance. Exfoliating the top layers of dehydrated cells promotes a youthful, glowing skin.

I love this product even though I don't really need the sensitive skin products. The jojoba beads feel wonderful!

Enjoy a sale price on this and all Miessence products from now until July 17.

Baby Bottom Mist

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I never have understood the point of diaper ointments that are gunky and difficult to spread. If your baby has a sore bottom, they sure don't want you smearing ointment all over the painful area! Finally, here is a perfect solution that makes sense and is completely safe.

A soothing and calming diaper area salve in a convenient spray. Use daily and at the first sign of redness or irritation for quick relief. Hygienic and convenient. No need to touch sore bottoms; just spray and soothe. Also beneficial for itches, rashes, nicks, scrapes and cuts, sunburn, windburn and other skin irritations. Helps to restore skin to its natural healthy softness.

All Miessence products are on sale from now until July 17.

Heading out of town

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Many of my regular subscribers will remember that back in May my grandmother was doing very poorly and I made an urgent trip to visit her. As it turned out, she enjoyed many more weeks of decent enough health to enjoy her gardening and family. She took a turn a week ago and passed on to eternity yesterday.

I have been blessed in my life to have wonderful grandparents. My Gram has been a huge part of my life and will be missed in so many ways.

Late next week I'll be traveling out of state for her funeral. Orders placed from July 10-16 will be processed on July 17 and 18.