I stopped eating sugar in June. June 25th, 2013, to be exact. My health history is long and complicated and just gross, but if you want to hear all about it, you can read one of my very first blogs called Camel Key:
I started Camel Key in January, 2012, with high hopes that blogging about my efforts to reclaim my health might actually make me healthy. It did not really work out that way, but about a year ago, I met Dr. Glenn Toth http://springcityhealthcentre.com and we spent all of last year trying to get my thyroid back on track (it was removed in 1997 from Graves Disease; stupid decision). By the end of our year, I was on almost 4x the dose of thyroid medicine that I have been on for the last decade. For those of you who are fellow thyroid sufferers, I currently take 240mg of Armour each morning. 240!
I feel a zillion times better, but still, as of this June, could not rid myself of the constant itching and awful rashes. See post https://kellyinrepeat.com/2013/06/11/you-too-fat-for-your-feet/ for a lovely picture of the rash. We had already tried cortisol to kick start my adrenals, but this did nothing, except to raise my blood pressure. So, on June 25th, Dr. Toth took me off all sugar and yeast (and mushrooms and vinegar) and put me on two heavy duty anti-fungal meds.
This has been life changing for me. I have done candida diets before, but not with the prescription meds and not with a thyroid. I feel better than I did before I got sick more than a decade ago. The rash is gone. The itching is gone. Fifteen pounds are gone. Summer heat no longer bothers me (amazing). Mostly, the cloud of fog that swarmed me has lifted and I am so happy, so excited.
I had to skip eating William’s birthday cakes though. And last Saturday, my mom made my favorite chocolate squares for Noel’s shower. As it turned out, I could not eat anything at the shower (bbq sauce on the meat, mayo in the deviled eggs, sangria, macaroons). On Sunday, Sean brought home donuts and last night, when I made Indian food I had to skip the naan. I have found myself not minding these things so much though, skipping food like that, I mean. If I really look at the food, I know what it tastes like. I have tasted it before. Plus, Dr. Toth lets me drink coffee and vodka and really, what else is there?
Eventually, perhaps in late October, Dr. Toth will likely start slowly introducing certain foods again. I am not sure, though, that I will want sugar to be one of them. The way I feel is so remarkably different. I literally feel fifteen years younger. I can walk without pain. I wake on my own. Every once in awhile I have some pretty severe die off symptoms and those days are a little harder, but all in all, I am a new person.
I am allowed two fruits a day. I have the same smoothie every single day and it is the most delicious thing in all of the land…at least it is to someone who is not used to the sweetness of sugar. Some of you, I know, are looking for healthy breakfast alternatives, easy breakfasts before you start the work day, so I wanted to share the recipe here. It’s the only sugar (well, and vodka) that I consume:
KELLY’S “YAY ME” SMOOTHIE:
Blend until super smooth (about a minute in a great blender or Nutribullet)
1 cup of ice (I like ice more than frozen fruit. Smoothie is colder. Fresh fruit, yummier).
1 cup kale
1 tsp. Trader Joes fig butter (the amazing power of figs)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (anything not from concentrate is okay)
2 scoops vanilla Aria protein powder (Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup plain Trader Joes Organic Yogurt (I am not a fan of Greek yogurt and this stuff is really runny, almost like kefir and so far, it is my favorite in smoothies).
1 strawberry (seriously)
3/4 cup blueberries
1 tsp. chia seeds
dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
sometimes, rarely, I add a chunk of a banana (when I am craving sweets)
This smoothie is my crack. Sean cannot stand the sound of the blender in the morning and I feel bad about that, but not bad enough because pushing the button that says “ice crusher” is thrilling to me. I feel like each smoothie is one day closer to a fully restored me.
I am still going to draw cakes though. Cakes and pies and all the other fancy foods that decorate bakery cases. I love bakery cases. I love pretty wedding cakes and slices of cherry pie and the way donuts look, all lined up in a box. I look at them differently now… not as temptations or sins or delicacies or treats or art. I see them as beautiful things that I really cannot have. I was about to say that they are like a married man, but Sean would freak about that and press me about whether or not I have been longing for some married man out there. No. As a matter of fact, I am not longing for anything in particular, which is a new feeling for me.
There are, of course, things I want, things I wish for, things I am working towards, but it seems like eliminating sugar has also eliminated my need to live in a constant state of anticipation. I no longer lie awake in bed at night thinking about the things I do not have. I do not toss and turn and wiggle in my sleep or wake up scratching invisible rashes on my forearms and feet. Sleep is for sleep. If you have been depraved of that for years, you know what a gift that is.
As I look back on a lot of my drawings from the past few years, I wonder if my spirit was trying to tell me something. Maybe all of the cakes I was drawing were not odes to domestic life, but really, prayers from my core, trying to get me to see these things as “the thing.” The thing that would change everything else. Angel cakes.