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    • Time for some HCG?....or just a CANDIDA CLEANSE?

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    •  7/27/2009 2:34:18 PM
    • During my pursuit for better nutrition (and WEIGHT LOSS) I happened upon a book called The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau. (www.naturalcures.com) The whole book goes into great detail about using the hormone HCG as a weight loss cure. Human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) is a hormone found in the urine of pregnant women and something I had never heard of before.

      I decided to do some research.

      I read A LOT about the injections and honestly couldn’t find any negative side effects.  The main problem for me was that I would be injecting an unnatural hormone (for me)    into my body.  I wasn’t sure that I was ready to take that step.  The book also mentioned numerous cleanses for the body (as does his other book Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About). These cleanses all seemed a better first step. One in particular that caught my eye was a CANDIDA CLEANSE.

      The previous year I had a biofeedback reading done that said I had high Candida.  I had no idea what that meant.  I went home and googled CANDIDA only to find a whole new medical world.  CANDIDA is a natural bacteria (yeast) that grows in the body.  When large colonies of bacteria are found it can be linked to just about any problem with the natural operations of your body.

      •  Skin problems (skin infections, eczema, psoriasis, acne)
      • Foggy brain / Trouble concentrating
      • Constant tiredness and exhaustion
      • Anxiety
      • Mood swings
      • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
      • Anger outbursts
      • Irritability
      • Headaches
      • Intense cravings for sugars, sweets, and breads
      • Frequent stomach pains and digestion problems
      • Itchy skin

      My only real symptom was my cravings for sugar and carbs (which is what the Candida essentially “eats”).   I have no idea when it started, but for as long as I can remember I have LOVED SUGAR!  Cakes, cookies, pies, candy, chocolate, pastries and anything else with that delicious refined white substance!!!!  The more I ate, the more I wanted to eat.  I am not one of those people that has ever uttered the words “that’s too sweet for me. Can you say SUGAR ADDICTION!!

       Luckily I am somewhat of a disciplined person so I was always careful with my intake.  The problem was that it got to the point where I wanted something sweet everyday!  Even if it was something as small as a mint after dinner, it was the consistency with which I wanted sugar that really started to bother me.

      I figured that if these cravings were in fact due to the Candida, then it was worth a shot trying to cleanse myself of it. I decided to focus more on getting my body healthy rather than taking an injection to lose weight.

      I did some more research and decided to do the Candida Cleanse recommended in Kevin Trudeau’s book (there are hundreds of different cleanses out there).  It is found in a book called “Lifeforce” by Dr. McCombs (www.mccombsplan.com). It is a very strict plan that involves an 8 week diet targeted at “starving” the bacteria.  It also includes LOTS of water, a daily “sweat” (to release the toxins) and supplements.

      After about 4 weeks on the plan, I was still a little skeptical that my cravings would ever subside.  But by the end of it (I completed 7 weeks very strictly, and then added some foods back in on the last week), I was amazed!  Truly!  I felt SO fantastic and didn’t want to lose that.  I decided to incorporate "Eat to Live" the best I could into my daily life.

      This isn’t to say that I never eat sugar, or that I don’t have those days where I really want chocolate.  But overall I feel so much more in control of my health.  On top of that, I lost the last pounds that I had been trying to lose for years!  So no HCG for me, just a lifestyle change instead!

       
       

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    • Weight Gain Alert

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    •  7/25/2009 12:49:05 PM
    • Such a bummer....I gained 3 pounds this week...yikes.  Two of those were just from the crappy dinner I ate at Chilis on Thursday night.

      I am the type of girl that gains weight VERY easily.  When I go on girls trips it is not uncommon for me to put on 8 pounds in one weekend...seriously.  This is simply by eating what everyone else is eating (which is pure junk), yet no one else's body seems to be affected the way mine is.  While it totally sucks for me, it is information that I have known for a long time, and something that I simply need to always be mindful of.

      Eating out 3 times in one week is a big red flag for me.  I truly believe that almost anything you find on the menu of most chain restaurants is loaded with sugars, chemicals, and toxins.  Even the "salads" are not even close to the wholesome ones you would make at home.  Not only that, but I tend to eat more at a restaurant meal than I would at home.  I rarely come home from a restaurant feeling energetic and ready for my morning workout.  And then I go into the awful cycle of guilt: "why would you eat like that knowing how it affects your body?" 

      Luckily, when I am disciplined, I can usually get the weight off.  So for the next week I will unfortunately be trying to get off the weight I put on.

      I now know that SUGAR is my number one enemy when I am losing weight.  ANYTIME I have even a little sugar when i am trying to lose weight, the scale won't budge.  I have tested my theory over and over, and FOR ME, I need to avoid ALL sugar when trying to shed the pounds.  Which is a bummer considering how much I love it!  But thanks to everything I have read and tried, I now feel armed with the proper knowledge to lose weight.  A WHOLE FOODS PLANT-BASED DIET!!!  Also, steering clear of the processed foods -just about anything that comes in a box, carton, bag, or can that is not a vegetable!

       

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    • Tip of the day - Sprouting

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    •  7/23/2009 1:09:41 PM
    • For lunch today I topped my salad with sprouted buckwheat groats.

      For those of you who have never sprouted, it is VERY simple.

      All you need is a basic sprouting tray (mine was $12.99 and is

      a litle stained from use).

      Soak whatever you wish to sprout in water overnight. Then place in the sprouting

      tray and rinse it with water morning and night until it sprouts.  Simple as that!

      You can put sprouts on just about anything. There is a fantastic granola recipe on the site that calls for

      these sprouted groats.

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    • Tip of the day - How to cut a mango

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    •  7/22/2009 4:41:51 PM
    • For any of you who might not know the best way to peel a MANGO, here's

      what works for me.

      Step 1: Cut off the top so that you can see the faint oval shape of the pit.

      (I photoshoped a thin line in the picture to show it a little better). 


      With a good paring knife begin to peel off the skin.

       

      Continue until all the peel is removed.

       

      The goal is to cut off each half as close to the pit as possilbe (along the length

      of the oval).  In the above picture I have already cut off the top "half" and am working

      on the bottom "half".

       

      There will still be alot of fruit along the sides of the pit, so trim down the sides

      of the pit.

      Last step is to slice up the 2 "halves".  You can see the remaining pit in the

      background.

      On a side note, FREEZING MANGOES is an easy snack.  Just follow the steps

      above and lay each slice out on a tray that will fit in the freezer.  When frozen

      transfer the slices from the tray into a storage bag.  These are DELICIOUS

      eaten plain, or thrown into a smoothie.

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    • Blast from the past

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    •  7/19/2009 4:34:01 PM
    • The following, is an entry I wrote on my blog in September of 2008:

       

      "Thus began my new quest (and a very difficult one at that); to make HEALTH and not my desire to be SKINNY my ultimate goal. It is such a fine line for me, and one that I have to consciously make an effort to keep in balance. I want to be skinny. Often times, this was more important to me than many other things. But I'm slowly deciding that I want to be healthy more. This may seem like they go hand and hand, but for me it is a delicate line. When I want to be skinny, I'll do and try anything to get there (even eat meat at every meal if it gets me the results I want). When I want to be healthy, I have a much better balance in my life.
      I then stumbled upon the book Skinny Bitch (horrible language but very informative). It was the first book I read by a vegan, and the first book that pointed out all the flaws in my high-protein diet. Some points were well made, but others were too "fanatical" for me. I then read (well, more like skimmed) "In defense of food". This one again pointed out the flaws. I then went to the library and got the book "Fit for Life; Not Fat for Life". This was the one that really did it for me.  As I read it, everything just rang true to me. For the first time in 5 years I decided to not have egg whites for breakfast, but to have fruit instead. This might not seem like a big deal, but for me, I was petrified that with this change would bring on unwanted pounds. For years I had been the EXACT same weight (much to my frustration), but now I was risking putting on more. Basically because everything I have read, and everything I have been told by every trainer and every instructor is that the secret to staying thin is a high-protein diet. NOT ONE has EVER told me, "Hey, you know what, maybe you should eat more carbs, and more fruit". Unheard of. I know that diets are fads that change culturally, but right now that diet (especially for those that workout alot) is a HIGH PROTEIN LOW CARB "lifestyle". This was a BIG deal for me to try and commit to. But it made sense. There are 2 basic ideas in the book. First, half of what we eat should be living (meaning uncooked; fruits, veggies, and nuts. Second, that we need to be careful of our food combination (meaning don't eat proteins with carbs). Like I said, everything just made sense to me. In the first 2 weeks I lost a pound. Which for me is HUGE. I think I just might be at my body's equilibrium; meaning that to lose weight takes ALOT of effort for me. I work out 6 days a week, and I eating fairly healthy, yet I NEVER lose weight. I was thrilled not to have gained weight, so to lose a pound was a BIG deal!!!!
      The final book I was introduced to (which I am almost finished reading) was "The China Study". I think I could discuss this book for HOURS and HOURS (my poor husband and family). I have practically begged all of my family to read this. Just so that I could discuss it with someone!!!! This could be the book that gets me off animal products for good. I suppose it is considered quite controversial, but just because it goes against what most of us have been led to believe. Basically, (through TONS of research) it says that large quantities of animal products cause disease. Now the book is MUCH more in depth than this, but that is the bottom line."

      It's kind of fun to look back and read about my feelings as I discovered a new way of life!  For so long I think I have been searching, inquiring, and researching a "better" way of eating.  Willing to change and adapt to any new information that I could find (sometimes to be skinny and sometimes to be healthy). The road has been quite long, but I feel like what I know now will remain unchanged for the rest of my life.  What a relief....hooray!

      Here are some of my core beliefs:

       

      * Fruit is a miracle food that should be consumed in large quantities daily.  I personally try to eat fruit only on an empty stomach.  Fruit ferments quite quickly in the stomach when combined with other foods (other than veggies).  For some it can cause gas or bloating.  I remeber when I used to think that apples hurt my stomach, and banana made be bloated.  I now know it was just "how" I was eating them.

       

      * Vegetables boost every part of our body, the most important being our immune system.  They help us fight off disease and should be the main part of our diet.  Deep down we all know it, but the battle is incorporating it each day.  Make it a goal to eat vegetables EVERYDAY.  EVERY single day!  Start with the ones you know you like, and slowly start exploring the others.  You will find a whole new world awaiting you.  Don't be confused by high-carb or high-sugar veggies.  If it is a vegetable EAT IT (just not drowned in grease and fat)!

       

      * Grains are a delicious compliment to fruits and vegetables.  I went YEARS avoiding bread - what a shame!  A warm loaf of whole grain bread can be almost as delicious as a piece of cake (I sais almost).  Brown rice, oatmeal, corn, quinoa and so many others are guilt-free foods.  These are NOT the foods you need to be monitoring or eliminating (it is usually what you put ON these foods that need to be limited)!

       

      * Dairy is something that I will try very hard to have only in small quantities.  I promised to never say that I would "ban" anything from my diet (just setting myself up for failure).  But if there was anything, it would be dairy. I believe that my body is WAY WAY WAY better off avoiding dairy rather than consuming it.  In my mind there aren't really any saving graces for dairy (other than the first bite of very addictive ice cream :). Milk and cheese were pretty easy for me to give up.  Ideally, ice cream will be saved for special occassions (sniff, sniff, whimper, whimper). I am trying to substitute olive oil for butter in my cooking. 

       

      * Animal protein (beef, pork, chicken, eggs and even fish) is something that I will have sparingly.  I truly do believe that in the amounts I was eating it (5 small meals a day) that it would be a cause of disease to my body in the future.  It is the protein itself, so organic or grain fed or cage free DOESN'T matter. This means that that my meals will revolve around fruits vegetables and grains INSTEAD. If I happen to be at a BBQ and that is all that is served, that's fine, I'll eat it no problem.  If one day I feel that my body really wants some meat, no problem.  By AS A WHOLE, I will try to eat meat sparingly!

       

      * Nuts and seeds (ideally eaten raw) are a healthy part my diet. They are a great source of the fats that my body needs.

       

      * Sugar...ahh sugar.  My first love! This will forever be my achilles heal.  This is the area that my brain knows so much more than my body.  I love treats, chocolate, candy, cakes, doughnuts, and anything else with refined sugar. But I also know how these things make my body feel.  I am tired, weak, and groggy when I eat sugar.  I am in the process of "rewiring" my thinking to these scrumptious delights!  I know that I will never get rid of these completely, but when I look at them, I want to see how I will feel in an hour instead of the few minutes of immediate gratification I will get when eating them.  I will do a whole blog entry on sugar in the future!

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    • The Beginning..

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    •  7/14/2009 4:42:22 PM
    •  

       October 2001

       I was a stay at home mom of 3 gorgeous children, the oldest being only 3.  I had reached my heaviest weight (not including pregnancy) and was about 25 pounds (of pure fat) overweight!  I had been an active athlete in high school, and I was determined to get back into shape!  I bought a gym membership and anxiously awaited its construction and opening!

       January 2002

       My gym opened and I was religiously dedicated.  Juggling the kids was quite a task, but through the gym day care, great friends, and late night work outs, I became a regular.

      I also discovered “Body for Life” by Bill Philips.  I followed the 12 week program, and really transformed my body.  I still had a little weight to lose, but I felt fit!  Body for Life (BFL) became my staple for the next 6 years!!!  It helped me lose the weight from my 4th child, and I learned to love going to the gym….pause….

      For all of you rolling your eyes right now, let me just say that I NEVER in a million years thought I could in any way, shape, or form become that girl who annoyingly tilts her head to the side, and with a coy little smile, and a twinkle in her eye says… “um..like, I love to exercise!”  GAG ME!!!  But I have progressed to a place where I thrive off how I FEEL because I have exercised that day.  I go to the gym 6 days a week, and RARELY, ever miss.  But let me also say that if I can do it ANYONE can do it…seriously.  With BFL you do 20 minutes of cardio (on a cardio day).  When I first started my goal was to run for the last minute (and walk the first 19)!  I remember when even that was difficult.  And then I remember when I could run the last 2 minutes, and then 3, and soon I was running the entire time.  I just finished my first half marathon in 1 hour and 47 minutes!  Like I said, if I can do, anyone can do it.  The key is commitment, that’s all.

        May 2008

      A close friend was diagnosed with cancer.  Shortly thereafter, another neighbor was diagnosed with cancer…and then another. A dear friend moved in whose son was in remission.  A family friend soon passed away from cancer.  For the first time in my life I was becoming acquainted with this strange disease that I knew very little about.  A quiet, yet deep curiosity began to stir.

      I was flipping through a magazine one afternoon, and was stopped by an article linking cancer to nutrition.  Could this be true?  Is it possible that the things I had been eating could in some way come back to haunt me through disease?  If so, then wouldn’t it also be true that by choosing proper foods that I could somehow avoid disease? These were things I wanted the answers to.

      At about this same time, I decided to hire a personal trainer. I was fit, but still had about 8 pounds that I really wanted to lose.  I had been trying for years, but to no avail.  Part of my training was to keep a detailed food journal.  I was instructed to continue eating the way I had been eating, but to also cut out all the sugar.  Twelve weeks later I hadn’t lost a pound.  I was told to work out twice a day.

      I hired another trainer, who gave me an almost identical meal plan.  This was again consistent with Body for Life which essentially is 5 to 6 small meals a day, each involving a protein.  I was working out hard, and eating what I considered a very healthy diet.  Still no weight loss.

       Present

      Through a fantastic cleanse, in 7 weeks I had lost the weight I had been trying to lose for 7 years.  Remarkable.  For the last year, I have researched as much information as I could (while still being a very busy Mom).  I have read more books than I can possibly remember.  With skeptic eyes, but a hopeful heart I armed myself with as much information about my body as I could.

      And I am not done…not even close.  But through this website I will share with you all of excitement!

       

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