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Breaking habits - getting healthy  RSS feed

 
Tracy Wandling
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Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
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Hello. My name is Tracy, and I am a Pepsi-holic, sugar junkie, and recent ex-smoker. Yesterday was the 6 month mark of not smoking cigarettes. I've smoked for almost 40 years, so I'm pretty stoked about that. I'm using an e-cig to quit, and it is making it much more pleasant than anything else I've tried.

So, yesterday was the first day in about 20 years that I didn't have a Pepsi. My head ached all day from caffeine withdrawals. I broke down and bought a can of Pepsi today, just to help ease the pain in my head (pills didn't work! ). Just one can. And I didn't chug it - I'm spreading it out over the day. We'll see what tomorrow brings. My head feels better now.

The Pepsi is a tough one. I think because I haven't found anything to replace it with that is even close to being as satisfying. And it's the mix of sugar and caffeine that I loved. I'm a sugar junkie, and I think that is going to be the hardest thing to kick. I love cookies. I love chocolate. I eat brown sugar right out of the bag with a spoon. I really should be huge! I've been lucky to have a metabolism that has let me eat pretty much whatever I want. But it is starting to catch up with me!

I'm turning 52 this year. I have never taken great care of myself. I've always been scrawny. I've been lucky so far, and I know it. I have some arthritis, and I take anti-depressants. That's it. But I don't exercise nearly enough, I eat too much sugar, drink too much Pepsi, and don't drink enough water. I'm pretty sure washing my organic veggies down with a can of Pepsi isn't really conducive to good health. And I feel like any day now it's going to catch up with me! I have big plans for our property and market garden, and I want to be able to be physically able to bring these plans to fruition. And I have two beautiful and wonderful grown children, so I would like to be around for them for a long time.

My 'quitting' spree is interesting when combined with menopause - my poor man spends a lot of time out in his shop . . . probably the safest place for him.

Anyway, I just wanted to put my little story out there so that others can join in and we can support one another in our efforts to kick the nasty habits, and replace them with good things!

What are you thinking about culling from your life? Whatever it is, I'm rooting for you!

Cheers
Tracy
 
Travis Johnson
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Well let me just say that I go to church so when I say, "what the hell does it matter what I am giving up, the thing that matters is that we are rooting for you", has some serious meaning.

I am being serious, right now I want to encourage you. GOOD FOR YOU! 40 years of smoking, trying to get done with soda...I am honestly rooting for you in every way. And my goodness, if you ever need a friend, just PM me and I will do whatever I can to encourage you in your newest endeavor which is investing in good health.

Awesome!!

I struggled with soda too though mine was Coke. I never could find a drink that had flavor and had no processed sugars. There were some drinks, but they were so expensive, so I found lemon juice, mixed just a capful in with 20 oz of water and it had taste (unlike water), yet was good for me. Ultimately I went off all processed sugars (natural sugar like in fruit and stuff was okay) and my word I felt so much better. I was constantly getting a sugar high before...and sugar low when I crashed, so I was actually more energized NOT being on sugar and caffeine. It was liberating. So please, see the light at the end of the tunnel. And weight wise, just cutting out sugar I lost like 6 pounds in a month. It was awesome.

Now me, I need to do exercise. My idea of exercise now is drinking coffee and watching my fitness-freak wife in yoga pants exercising to 21 Day Fix. No Good.

But honestly, good for you on your life changing habits. I know I do not really know you, but I am still proud of anyone who really tries to making a positive change in their lives and you are doing it!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I've quit caffeine a number of times in my life... I hate the headaches from caffeine withdrawal. The easiest way for me has been to reduce my dose by 50% per day. So if I'm typically drinking 6 cups of coffee, then I'd drink 3 cups one day, and 1.5 cups the day after that, and 3/4 cup the next day.
 
Su Ba
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Wow, good for you!

If it helps, I was 52 when I took steps to change my life. It took 3 years to switch from a highly commercialized urban lifestyle to a more naturalized rural one. My diet changed along the way. I was a diehard Coke-aholic. And outside of the lettuce and onions on a sandwich, not much fresh food passed my lips. Sugar was my friend, and lots of it! I'm now soda-free, no commercial foods, and the only sugar is naturally occurring in fruits and honey. I've lost a lot of weight and toned up. And I feel sooooooo much better! I actually feel healthier at almost 70 than I did at 50.

The triggers for sticking to my changes were two: 1- 9/11. I saw it happen and realized that I was going to die having never lived the life I really enjoyed. 2- after 9/11 I went to a doctor for a general physical to establish is starting point for my life change. I was shocked to learn that I had significantly elevated liver values. After many tests, the verdict was advanced fatty liver syndrome. The doctor scared the heck out of me when he outlined my probable future. Then and there I had a real good reason to change and stick with it. I did.

Coke and sugar we're NOT my friend. Commercial food chemicals were NOT my friends. They were making me sick without my knowing it. I've now outlived the doctors' predictions, and my liver values are down in the high normal range. I was lucky to have caught things in time to respond to the changes I made in my lifestyle. Changing was not easy. It was hard, real hard. But dying horribly and early scared me worse.

I wish you the best in your life changes. I know it isn't easy, but keep in mind that there are people here that will be rooting for you. I'm cheering for ya!
 
Tracy Wandling
steward
Posts: 1650
Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
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Travis: Thanks so much for your support and enthusiasm! Yes, the soda and sugar are tough ones. It's crazy. But I'm determined to get healthy and be a little more kind to my body than I have been in the past. Hearing someone else's story of kicking sugar always helps. I'm looking forward to having more energy!

Joseph: Yes, I shouldn't have done the cold turkey thing without first cutting back more. Sipping on a can of Pepsi through this afternoon and evening has helped the headache. I might get one for tomorrow as well.

Su: Thank you for sharing your story. I am lucky to not have any serious health problems (that I know of), so I think that if I can eliminate the nastiness that I intentionally put into my body, I will be doing myself the biggest favor.

~

I have been drinking water for two days now - I know that sounds weird, but I never drink water. We have well water, and it really is good water. I don't like lemon, and I find that fruit juices give me instant indigestion. I'm hoping that will change once my body starts to get healthy. I imagine my stomach and intestines are severely lacking in all of the good things that should be hanging out in there. So I'll need to do something about that.

Does anyone have suggestions for repopulating my tummy with the good things that should be living there? Yogurt is the only thing I can think of. I don't like plain yogurt, but I'll see if I can find some natural sweetener I like that makes it more palatable.

Anyway, thanks for the support and sharing. I'm nervous, but determined!
 
Bill Erickson
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Tracy, I have heard that fermented foods are the way to go with helping the gut healing process.
I follow Wardee through her site, http://TraditionalCookingSchool.com and she recommends a "gut healing diet" on her site. Lots of awesome suggestions for fermented foods and converting from traditional cooking.
 
Tracy Wandling
steward
Posts: 1650
Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
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Ah, yes, fermented food. I have read a good bit about their health benefits. Thanks for the reminder.

Off to learn how to ferment now!
 
Angelika Maier
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I would not be nasty to myself: One big mug of coffee with one teaspoon of sugar instead of pepsi is OK. There is a difference in drinking coffee all the time and having just one after lunch nice and with full fat milk. Chai tea is good as well. My recipe for a punchy chai is some fat slices of ginger (which is cheap here) some black pepper corns some cardamon podes, a cinnamon quill, some allspice, some cloves maybe I forgot something. sometimes I put some star anise in and some siberian ginseng and a pinch (not too much) of licorice. Let simmer for 15-45 minutes serve with milk and honey. I leave the black tea out of the chai.
There are some hardliners who say that you need a full three weeks of no sugar (I never did this) to forget about the taste. I would as well cook some good bone broths to get your depleted minerals up.
YOu did such a vaste step already!
 
Tobias Ber
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heya....

nice to read these stories.

to start fermenting stuff, sauerkraut is easy. there are some threads on permies. if you have questions, just ask. eating some more fibre helps, too.

cola: it s not just caffeine and sugar. it has some nasty ingredients. is that phosphoric acid?
i d advice to try green tea to withdraw from too much caffeine. you brew it (first brew) at 80 degrees celsius, 3 minutes. but you can make 4 brews. so if you start your first brew in the morning, you ll get 3 weaker additional brews later in the day.
unrefined brown sugar, honey, lemon or powdered vitamin C (around 100 mg per cup to taste) should help in creating a satisfying brew. just try, what works.

my primary source for caffeine is watered down black coffee. we did quit a month or so ago. that lasted a few weeks, then back into it. thing is, it messes with our hormones. it makes us run on high power for a moment, then drops us into a hole. where you need more caffeine to get out. combine that with the sugar-insuline-lowbloodsugar-hunger cycle-thing and you have two viscious circles adding up to on another.

this video explains the sugar/carbs thing: 


some time ago i did a few months of NO carb. less than 20gramms of carbohydrates per day. after three days of withdrawal that feels fine. but i would have to tweak it. it just does not feel sustainable. my meals were mostly boiled eggs, cheese, sausages, chicken legs, cooked veggies, cucumber, oil, butter, meat balls with added lineseed etc. ... i mean, it s weird when you steam some nice broccoli... and then top it off with a few tablespoons of mayonaise ... i often had no hunger till late afternoon. i mean, that s ok, the body can go without carbs. but i would need to fine tune it. more legumes. unprocessed grains. long-chained carbs (there is this thing with glycemic index and load). more veggies (i dont feel drawn towards them that much...)

i think, in what i tried to explain, there are some clues to cure the sugar addiction.

concerning depression: our winters are grey. very grey. no sunlight for days often. so winter depression is something to deal with. i think, taking vitamin D3 and magnesium will help alot. oral intake, washings and baths with magnesium-chloride (search for magnesium oil) are helpfull. and that MaCl is very cheap if bought in bulk.


i d like to go deeper into the wim hof method. it s about breathing exercises and applications of cold water to the body. it has strong impact on our hormones, stress-level, immunesystem and autonomous nervous system. you ll find videos on youtube.

i should workout more. some exercises for my back and general mobility/strenght. yoga-stuff, thought i just can t call it "doing yoga" anymore. i ve been very deep into it (having teachers degrees, having lived in an ashram, working full time as a teacher n stuff). years ago, i started to call it "ass-bending". the word "yoga" means "to do these things to connect with god". so doing the yoga stuff was trying to become better, more spiritual, more healthy and trying to please god by doing physical exercises, meditation, breathing exercises, standing on my head etc. ... trying to make myself better, trying to increase self-worth by performance, trying to please god through my efforts, trying to work off guilt/bad-karma. this can cause even more stress. and if you don t perform well enough, then one tends to accuse himself and try even harder ... another viscious-circle of "self-improvement"
i m sharing this, because it goes to the roots of many unhealthy adictions. self-worth-issues. not feeling worthy. not feeling love-able etc. ... and then the need to be perfect and perfom stuff to get better. but in doing this, one tendes to sabotage oneself. but the root is inside us, it s psychological and spiritual. if i can feel valuable and loved, then i can stop sabotaging my health and can do stuff that is really good for me. one needs to love himself/herself in order to treat one well. it needs to start with accepting, forgiving and loving oneself. much of industrial food, modern lifestyle is hurting oneself. i feel that there are connections here.
what brought me out of this, was when jesus christ met me. it s all about love and forgiveness. i mean, a real simple spirituality. jesus took my crappy karma, guilt, sin on the cross. i accepted that he did it for me. as a gift. nothing more to do from my part, than to believe a bit and accept that gift. if he took my karma, i do not need to work my butt of to deal with my bad karma. if he forgives me, i can forgive myself. if god loves me, i really can start to love myself. if god love me the way i am, i do not need to work my butt off to become more spiritual. it s by grace. love is a higher force/energy than the negativity human-being tends to carry. if human beings accept gods love to fill the "problem-places" inside them (soul, spirit, psyche...), then we do not need to fill these places with sugar, chocolate, cigarettes, alcohol etc.  ... it s going to the roots of addictions. and if we feel loved and valuable, then we are changed by it. then: "be nice" and "don t be a dick" become natural (again) for us.

i totally believe that the human body is made to be healthy and live to a very high age. but we messed it up with the modern stuff, industrialized "food" etc. ... we just messed things up by trusting big, educated brains more than trusting our bodies, inner wisdom etc.


ok... i hope anybody can get something out of this. for my part, i ll do some ass-bending and breathing. while the beans are simmering on the stove. and maybe then eat some BANANAAAAAH!!!
 
Travis Johnson
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Sorry about the lemon juice idea not working; I was just tossing out ideas that worked for me...certainly not expecting you to feel compelled do do any of them. That applies to this short list of sugar alternatives that you may or may not like.

Honey: this is my go to sweetener
Molasses: It is a New England thing, but hot biscuits and molasses is a meal unto its own.
REAL Maple Syrup: What can I say I am from Maine and married a New Hampshire girl. Is against the law practically to run out of this!



 
Belinda Roadley
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I would say "best of luck Tracey" but I don't think luck has much to do with this kind of thing!

I'm trying to eat healthier, too. I've never had vices like smoking or caffeine or alcohol, and my diet has never been terrible (my go-to drink has always just been water, and I've almost always made my meals from scratch). But I love my refined carbs (I blame the italian blood- I go nuts for fresh bread with olive oil). And those things really don't like me. I've gained weight and spend a bunch of time being bloated. Woohoo?

Have you tried replacing your pepsi habit with kombucha? I've only tried a couple types so far, but I hear that the black and green tea kombuchas are real successful. Caffeine, fizz, and gut healing. Even the ones with sugar in them might be a step in the right direction.

I've also found that fermented carrots are pretty awesome as a snack. I cut them into sticks so I still have something to crunch into. Your choice of spices (I was partial to a bunch of oregano and garlic from my garden). They have tang like pickles, a hint of fizz (which I find pretty cool), and the sweetness of good carrots.  Eat them every day.
I don't like cabbage, so it's unlikely I'll ever go for plain saukraut, but I DO love asian spices, so I'm about to give kimchi a go.

I think the key to eating healthy is to find foods you really enjoy. If you have to force yourself to eat your meals, you're unlikely to stay on the path. Plus, we all have enough things on this planet that royally tick us off. Food shouldn't be one of them!
 
Casie Becker
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Something that I haven't tried, but would like to if I find a source, is raw milk. I don't like the taste of most fermented foods (milk kefir is the rare exception) so I was interested when I heard many of the beneficial bacteria are already in raw milks. It's on my someday list, but maybe you have sources in  your area.
 
Tobias Ber
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perhaps you can sneak ferments into salads, veggie-juice, smoothies etc.
they could be put through a blender.

you could even add them into stews, soups, curries, casseroles etc. but don t cook them. high temperatures would kill the beneficial bacteria of the ferments

it might sound very weird. last winter i got some green kale (curly kale?). i fermented the stems of the leaves and leathery parts of the leaves with sea salt. then i forgot the (it had fermented by room temperature with sauerkraut brine for some weeks) ferment in the fridge for some weeks. it totally tasted deliscious. EDIT: before i forgot it, it tasted really yucky.
so sometimes more time makes ferments more acceptable, but that will vary from recipe to recipe
 
Anne Miller
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Tracy, good for you! I wish you the best!
 
Tracy Wandling
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Thanks, Gang! So, heading into day 3. No Pepsi yesterday. No Pepsi today. Head is feeling better, and I'm pretty proud of myself. I think I can kick the Pepsi.

The sugar in general . . . well, one step at at time. I'll be cutting back on the sugar, not going cold-turkey. I'm gathering recipes that use honey and other alternative healthier sweeteners and will soon be baking up a storm.

It's funny - I've been drinking a LOT of water, and I assumed I'd be having to pee more often, but I don't. I think my body is saying, "Finally, water!" and just soaking it all in.

I'm also looking into water kefir. I tasted some a friend made, and it was pretty good. So I'll be getting some from her and brewing up a batch. Nobody on the island sells whole milk, so the milk kefir is out. But water kefir is cheaper anyway, so that fits into my budget better.

Thanks for all the tips and support!
 
Galadriel Freden
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Tracy Wandling wrote:I'll be cutting back on the sugar, not going cold-turkey. I'm gathering recipes that use honey and other alternative healthier sweeteners and will soon be baking up a storm.


I find it REALLY hard to quit sugar.  I have to do it cold turkey (and I have to forgive myself and move on when I relapse, like over Christmas).  If I don't go cold turkey, I just don't stop.  To mitigate the cravings, I have a lot of fruit on hand.  And of course, NO sweets in the house.  It takes about 2 weeks for the cravings to stop (for me, anyway).  I really need to steel myself this time.  I bought extra fruit at my last shop, but my little boy has been eating lots of it too (maybe he's also got Christmas sugar withdrawals). 

It's cool though, once I stopped eating sugar, a lot of other things started to taste sweet.  I don't like plain cooked carrots any more because they're just too sweet.  And plain yogurt is plenty sweet for me, and black tea with milk.
 
Anne Miller
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Tracy Wandling wrote:Thanks, Gang! So, heading into day 3. No Pepsi yesterday. No Pepsi today. Head is feeling better, and I'm pretty proud of myself. I think I can kick the Pepsi.

The sugar in general . . . well, one step at at time. I'll be cutting back on the sugar, not going cold-turkey. I'm gathering recipes that use honey and other alternative healthier sweeteners and will soon be baking up a storm. ..

Thanks for all the tips and support!


I always just substitute honey for sugar using the same amount of honey as sugar.  Works fine with my regular recipes.
 
Tracy Wandling
steward
Posts: 1650
Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
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Thanks, Anne. I'll try that. What do you think about doing the same with maple syrup? It's runnier than honey, so maybe I should use a bit less? I'd like to try it with my oatmeal cookie recipe. I'll try the honey first. Yep, I think I'll do that right now.

Day 3 without Pepsi today. I miss it, but I'm feeling confident that I can be done with it. But I am craving sweets, so it's time to start baking without sugar. I have real honey and real maple syrup. Hopefully that will help.

Thanks for the support. I'm rooting for you, too!

Cheers
Tracy
 
Casie Becker
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I've gotta run out the door for work so I don't have time to search for it right now, but...  If you can find the correct episode of the cooking program "Good Eats" he actually explains in one of the episodes how to convert recipes to take honey instead of sugar. It takes into account the different sweetness level of sugar vs honey and the extra moisture in honey. That was one of the best things about the program, that it explained the reasons behind why you did things a certain way when you cooked.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Congratulations!

I'm back on daily coffee again so I have no concrete advice on conquering habits, but in the past I've been able to go off coffee without headaches by switching to tea. Otherwise, ugh, those headaches persist for a few days! But if I go off coffee and onto tea I don't get headaches, and then I can quit the tea and not get headaches again. For me, tea means strong cheap Indian tea (ie the original chai), boiled, with milk and a little sugar, and sometimes but not usually spices. Currently I'm back on coffee but controlling myself to (usually) have no more than one cup, and not make it too strong, so I hope I can quit easily again.

So for anyone looking to get off a caffeine habit, my suggestion is stepping down via tea, or Joseph's suggestion to reduce the amount of caffeine day by day.
 
Tracy Wandling
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Yes, the headache was nasty. But the head feels pretty good today. At least the achy part is better - the craving part is on full tilt!

I think that it's not so much the caffeine that I'm trying to kick - although that is a big part of it - but more trying to quit eating all that sugar. I'm going to try some different teas - but really, to me tea just tastes like hot water with dead leaves in it. I never did see the attraction . . .   It's the sugar and milk that taste good! And I'm trying to kick sugar. But maybe as I cut back on the sugar, the tea will taste better . . . ? We'll see.

I baked some oatmeal cookies last night, and replaced the sugar with honey. They turned out okay, but are a strange orange color. Not sure what's up with that. They don't taste quite as good as they do when made with brown sugar, but they help to take the edge off the sugar cravings. I'll try some real maple syrup in the next batch. I know it's still sugar . . . but it might be a bit less poisonous than the alternative?

Day 5 without Pepsi. So far so good!
 
Tracy Wandling
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A week! I've gone a whole week without Pepsi, and I didn't die! I feel fine! That's some crazy shit right there . . . 
 
Tracy Wandling
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16 days no Pepsi. Also, no refined sugar. A little cranky here and there, but definitely alive, and feeling like I can do this. The man isn't ready to do the same, but since I do the baking and cooking, he'll have to do his own hunting and gathering of sugary goodness.  

Maple syrup - real maple syrup - makes a good substitute in baked goods. I like it better than honey, although honey is good in some things.

I'll be starting my first batch of water kefir tomorrow! Looking forward to that. I've been drinking water for the past 16 days, and I miss the fizz of Pepsi. And I know it will be a good step in the right direction of getting my innards healthy again. I was looking all over for something to replace the Pepsi with, but everything has so much sugar in it. I know that water kefir is made with sugar, but from my research I think that most of the sugar is eaten up in the fermentation process.

Anyway, I'm off and running! Sugar free - ish.
 
Daron Williams
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Hello! I'm also working on giving up sugary foods n drinks. For me the hard one to give up was Dr. Pepper. So far I have gone about every weeks with no sugary foods or drinks. Been really hard at times but I found having a lot of fruits on hand really helped me and the sugar cravings have finally stopped. I have also lost about 7 lbs so I'm very happy about that.

You are not alone in this struggle! Lots of us are working on making this change!
 
Tina Horsefield
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Way to go! I'm impressed! And do keep it up, it will get easier the longer you do it. And small steps makes it easier to actually do it for any length of time.

For your gut: Bone broth! Drink it, use it in soups and stews, boil and mash potatoes (or rice etc) in it, mix it in everything you can think of. It helps seal your gut, and thereby heal from the sugar. It also contains a lot of goodies for your body! Kefir is great! Water? Fantastic! Switch margarine with real butter, if you haven't. More nutrition, less gucky over-processed bad things.
Use barley and quinoa instead of white rice, those too, have much more healthy stuff than plain rice, wich contains mostly carbs.
Cardamom is sweet, and a little on your tounge (just a tiny dot) will help stop sugar cravings.

As for tea - I've never liked tea with actual tea leaves (black, green, white).
But, then I discovered herbal teas! There are endless variations, but something as simple as peppermint tea will both be good for you, and taste good. Add a teaspoon honey if you like.
If you have low or medium blood pressure, licqorice root in your tea will sweeten it a lot, and it also has gut-healing properties. Great when you're craving sugar!
Personally, I buy a lot of Yogi and Pukka teas, but you can make them yourself too. Buy loose weight, or grow them, then dry them. 1 teaspoon dried per cup, 2 teaspoons fresh is a general guideline for herbal teas.

Other than that, know that I also cheer you on!
 
Travis Johnson
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Tina thanks for bringing this up.

And Tracy forgiveness for forgetting about you and your effort to get healthier and giving up cigarettes. I just wanted to say good for you and that I am proud of you. Its a hard thing to do and after 21 days, they say things become a habit. I am glad to read that you are sticking with your plan, so few do that.

Keep it up!
 
Tracy Wandling
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28 days Pepsi free. And I have made great strides in getting myself off refined sugar in general: baking with honey and REAL maple syrup, not eating any processed foods, and skipping the chocolate bar aisle.

I'm drinking my first batch of water kefir today! I added a tiny bit of natural fruit juice, and it's quite delicious. I'm going to experiment with more flavors as soon as I get more crystals. When berry season comes I'll have blackberries, huckleberries, and salad berries to play with. As well as some herbs - I'm hoping lemon balm adds a nice flavor, 'cause I love the smell. I'll also have plums and figs to play around with. So, lots of possibilities. I'm hoping the man will imbibe as well. He's been having some gut problems, and could probably use the boost. He is coming off of 'the single guys diet' that he had before I met him almost 3 years ago, and I'd wager that it was 80% store bought, processed, restaurant and fast foods. So, I'm hoping he will get on the bandwagon with me. He still believes that he needs sugar (as in refined sugar) to have energy, and that meat is the only way to get protein. It's a process . . .

AND! I'm 7 months without a cigarette.

So, all in all I'm pretty thrilled with my progression toward the new healthy me. I think that my joints are going to feel better, as caffeine is hard on the joints; my skin is already looking better because of all the water; and I've lost 5 pounds.

Life is grand.

Cheers
Tracy
 
Tracy Wandling
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50 days! 50 days without a Pepsi!

Doing pretty good with the 'no refined sugar' thing. At least I don't buy processed stuff anymore (oh, how I miss Oreo cookies! - the man still has his sugar-laden hot chocolate with marshmallows and18% cream every night.    I have baked oatmeal cookies with maple syrup, which I like, but it's expensive; with honey, which we don't like nearly as much as maple syrup , and it makes the cookies a weird orange color; and demerara sugar, which we like waaaayyy too much, but at least its not refined white sugar.

I'm looking for ways to bake with stevia. I plan on growing some, so I'm going to learn how to use it. If I can feed my sweet tooth without actually using sugar, I'll be a happy camper.

Anyway, just wanted to update so I can look back and see how far I've come, and that quitting Pepsi and smoking didn't kill me. Yet.
 
Tina Horsefield
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How are you Tracy? Any news? =)
 
Tracy Wandling
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Hi Tina;

April 8th will mark 3 MONTHS without a Pepsi! I think I've kicked it. The sugar thing in general is going pretty good. I'm not buying sugar-laden process foods, and I bake with honey or demerrara sugar when I can. Kicking sugar is the hardest part, but I'm whittling away at it, and trying to make the best choices I can.

And I'm also 9 months without a cigarette. So I'm pretty damn proud of myself, and am feeling quite confident that I'm past the worst of it and will be able to stick to it.

Thanks for asking!

Cheers
Tracy
 
Maureen Atsali
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This is fantastic tracy!  Congratulations!  Have you noticed any improvement in your health?

I am trying to get off sugar and wheat specifically, and reduce carbs in general.  Its been really hard because here in rural Africa, all the staple foods are carbs!  (Sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, maize, taro). My options are so limited, and expensive.  But i must get my blood sugars under control.  The benefit I have seen so far is that my energy lasts longer.  I have a disability, and before, two hours of hard labor was all I could manage in a day.  Now I can do about four hours (with frequent breaks).  I am super excited about that.
 
Tracy Wandling
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Thanks, Maureen.

Yes, I have definitely noticed a difference. I lost about 10 pounds in the first month, my skin is all glowy and looks great, and my energy levels are higher and more even. No more sugar crashes!

Wheat and other refined stuff are next on the list. My partner and I are splitting up, so that should make changing my diet radically a lot easier. He wasn't into it. So I will now be able to use the food I want to use, and cut out a lot more of the crap. I am determined, and feel it will make a huge difference in my life. So, out with the guy, and in with good things!

 
R Scott
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WAY TO GO!!!

White sugar and white flour are worse for you than smoking.  They usually kill slower, but It is a horrible slide into diabetes and other autoimmune diseases.

Kicking sugar is hard, but you are over the toughest part.  Your microbiome should have shifted away from Candida and other sugar dependent strains to something healthier.  But you have to cut all the white stuff to really make the switch. Sugar, flour, rice, potatoes, and milk.  You may be able to go back on some of them after 60-90 days, but after then you may not miss them at all.
 
nancy sutton
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Good on ya! Tracy... out with the cig's (amazing!), caffeine, sugar, the guy... wow!!   I loved hearing, finally, that someone else thought tea was just hot water with dead leaves in it, lol!  Now.. so many more good (currenly unknown... that's the adventure :).. things to look forward to..you're an inspiration (to me, anyway :) ... we just have to keep notes so we know how far we've come....ox

(And since you 'stood up' and said it... I'm Nancy, and I'm an anger/judmental/fear addict... but working the program - none of us is perfect/lots to work on :)
 
Tracy Wandling
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Nancy! You gave me some giggles and smiles with that. Yep, getting rid of the stuff that holds us back is damn hard work. But so worth it in the end. I'm hoping that by clearing out the crap, I'm making room for some good things to fill it back in. A girl can dream . . .
 
K Putnam
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My partner and I are splitting up, so that should make changing my diet radically a lot easier. He wasn't into it. So I will now be able to use the food I want to use, and cut out a lot more of the crap. I am determined, and feel it will make a huge difference in my life. So, out with the guy, and in with good things!


I follow a women's strength-training group and it is almost shocking how often a major breakup follows dietary changes.  I think this can cut both ways...I just happen to follow a women's group, so see that story more frequently.  It is surprisingly predictable: one partner takes some big steps to better his or her health and the relationship enters its final chapters. 

Congratulations by kicking cigs and soda!  I quit Coke about 15 years ago.  I had to quit shopping where they sold the stuff.  Occasionally I want a hit of fizz on my tongue so I'll grab some kombucha or sparkling water.  The sparkling water probably isn't really any more permie than Coke, but it's sure healthier.

I'm a coffee drinker and....tea...well....I'll make and drink a mug of broth before I'll open the tea cabinet.  A matter of taste, I guess!

 
Roberto pokachinni
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I'm super glad for you taking on the task of un-cluttering your life of all that crappy food.  Your body will love you for it!  I made a similar move many years ago, but I never smoked cigarettes.  I smoked other stuff, and that too was something that stuck around for a while in my life despite wanting to just be me and free of things that I need.  It took a job where random urine testing happens where I decided that enough was enough.  Caffeine and sugar are like twins, that burden many people.  I still have a sweet tooth, but I don't eat super sweet stuff anymore, or if I do, it is something rare... like FUDGE; but mostly I find it sickly sweet now.  I've gotten into other flavors, like bitter. I enjoy grapefruit, and sometimes eat bits of an organic grapefruit peel.  I really like (actually really enjoy) 70% dark chocolate, and have been known to eat raw cacao beans.  I used to eat Hershey's bars; there's a massive difference.  I used to put sugar cubes on my tongue and melt them because I loved sugar that much, and the feeling was pretty cool too.   Brown sugar out of the bag; you bet.  Not any more now, though.  I'm mostly pretty healthy and can't encourage you enough to carry on with the process!     

Water Kefir!  That's awesome.  If you like that you might want to also try Kambucha for variety.  It is also fermented with sugar, but it is mostly transformed in the fermentation also.

If you really want to detox and cleanse, treat yourself to a juicer.  Think of the money that you spent on cigarettes.  Now buy a good juicer and get some greens in ya.

If you have a sweet tooth, plant cherries.  Eat berries.        
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Also... not sure if anybody mentioned it already, but you might try this book on fermentation.  WILD FERMENTATION  And / or check out the authors video's at this Permies Link
 
nancy sutton
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Tracy, just gotta share that I 'gave up' hope awhile back... now I'm on to flat out ... faith!!  (or call it 'trust', if faith sounds too denominational :)  I choose to believe that the Universe is on our side (yeah, I know there are a lot 'yeah, but's'... but... I chose it and I'm sticking with it! :)  ox
 
Tracy Wandling
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That is an excellent new habit, Nancy! I think that the universe is on our side, and we're our own worst enemies. Sometimes if we just shut up, and get out of our own way, we can accomplish more than we ever imagined. So says me!
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