Saturday, February 7, 2009

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear

Something I have learned over the years is this: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I do believe that another teacher has appeared in my life.

I told you that I wanted to learn to be healthier this year. I have also said over and over that I believe that most of my health issues are food related but that I need someone to just make me a menu, give me the recipes and perhaps even a shopping list and I would be able to do it. I just don't have the time, or energy to do all the studying and learning and changing of favorite foods that I need to do to make my eating habits healthy habits. I have outlawed anything with high fructose corn syrup, aspartame or its evil equivalents (if I know what they are called). Sugar consumption is down and is in the process of being outlawed. I know that I need to make more changes, but I am stumped.

Matthew has been having some symptoms that have me worried enough that he was at the doctor 3 times in two months. He hasn't been to the doctor 3 times in the last 6 years! He even had an MRI. Nothing. All blood work and the CAT and the MRI came back normal. I was talking with the doctor about the possibility of putting him on an anti-depressant. I also asked him about food related issues. When he said that some people think that cutting out all sugar could help in the issues that he was having. It was like a light bulb switched on in my head. Sugar. Refined sugar.

Donovan used to have a real problem with candy and sugar. When he was 13 I told him that if he did not eat any candy from then until he was 17 I would pay him $1,000. I didn't think he would be able to do it. He did. I paid him. Jess and Trevor choose not to do it, but my overachiever Matt decided to start when he was 11. He went until he was 17 last April. In June I started noticing that he was having 1-2 headaches a week. Headaches bad enough that he was asking to take Tylenol. By Nov/Dec his headaches never went away and some other more troubling symptoms began to show up and we visited the doctor. The light bulb that went off was the association between Matt eating candy again and the beginning of his symptoms. I asked him to stop the candy again. Symptoms are almost gone and he is more like the Matt I have always known.

One of my co-workers is a very healthy person. I spoke with her about my struggles and desire to become more healthy and even to see if I can stop taking all the meds I take on a daily/weekly basis. The other day she brought in a cookbook that she had discovered at her chiropractor's office.

(click here to go to her website:)

I looked through the book and I was impressed. Impressed enough that I went home and placed an order for two of the books. (one of them is for you, Mom)

First the blurb from her website

There is a strong connection between food and feeling good, between diet and disease. Read on and be amazed at how directly the foods we eat can affect the way we feel - in energy level, in mental clarity and mood, even in the degree of pain, inflammation and stress our bodies experience.

When I learned of the link between food and feeling good, I began looking for ways to feed my family healthier fuel -- free of refined sugars, flours and allergenic dairy products. Also, wheat and gluten sensitivity for some family members invited me to explore the strange new world of gluten free dining. Discovering the goodness of whole foods has rendered some wonderful new meals that my family actually prefers to the canned soup casseroles of the past.

Whether you want to eat more whole foods, build your immunity, or heal a specific health problem... this book is for you!

The books came in the mail today. I sat down to skim through it. I quit reading two hours later! The first thing Jonell tells us is her story of learning to be healthy and healing from fibromyalgia and a myriad of other things. Then she helps us understand the connection between our western diet and our declining health. Some of it I knew, and some I had heard before but not in a usable form.

The next section is full of recipes. Things like Café Rio Salad or Burrito, Guacamole, Café Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing, Creamy Potato Broccoli Chowder, Raspberry Sauce, Lime cilantro Vinaigrette, Buttermilk scones, Magelby's Muffins, Huevos Rancheros, Lemon chicken, Tangy Coconut Lime, Raspberry Chicken Crepes, Olive Garden Salad, Raspberry Lemonade, PF Chang's Curry, Ginger Sesame chicken, Mrs. Field's Raw Oatmeal Cookie Dough, Orange Date Bars, Applesauce cake, Berry shortcakes, Blueberry apple crisp, Lemon bars, snickerdoodles, Key Lime Pie, Raspberry Banana Ice cream, Creamsicle Ice cream, Italian Gelato, English toffee, Creamy caramels (these last 2 are just a few of her sugar free candy recipes), snacks and party food, drinks, and some goodies and home remedies.

Too bad I went to the grocery store before the mail came. I am going to see how many of these I can make this week using stuff that I have in the pantry and freezer.

As I was reading, I knew the Lord was answering my recurrent prayers that I can learn to be healthy and happy. That I am sick and tired of being both sick and tired all the time. Sick and tired of never feeling quit myself. Sick of never being free of pain, even on my good days. Tired of never having enough energy to do all the things I need to do, let alone any of the things I want to do. And I just didn't know how to change it. And I asked for someone to show me the way with a guide, menu and shopping list. Ask and you shall receive. I am ready, and the teacher has appeared.


ShazBraz said...

Very cool. Let me know how you like the book after you've used it a few weeks. I may have to add it to my new but growing healthy cook book collection!

Sandra said...

I will. In fact I think I will post the first recipe I try on Hulsey Family Cook Book. I am still trying to decide which one I want to try first!

loretta said...

You know that Tanner is allergic to chocolate, oranges & purple grape juice. But did you know I'm allergic to poultry? That means chicken, turkey, eggs...I went without eating any for 1 year. What a difference it made. I can eat it now, but I have to watch how often. I can tell when I've had it too much. I'm also carbohydrate insensitive as I think you found out you are too. Now I know why I always got sick eating pancakes. I ate 2 small pancakes yesterday & was sick. Does this book have recipes for things other than chicken for dinner? I might have to look into it.

My Year Without said...

Just thought that I would let you know that I gave up refined sugar for 2008 and again for 2009....YOU CAN DO IT! I have never felt better in my life. Yes, there are cravings, but I eat naturally sweetened goodies with honey instead of sugar. Also, dried fruits and fresh fruits and other "natural" foods make excellent substitutes.

I hope that when you are ready, you try to give up sugar completely, too. I have tried eating it in moderation, but no can do. I had to nix it completely. To this day, I have not heard from anyone who can eat the white stuff in moderation. That seems to be the main problem with sugar/corn syrups. Not that a teaspoon is bad, but there is so much sugar in everything, that we end up eating so much more than a teaspoon every day.

Also, since you are studying school counseling, I thought I should mention that psychologically, I've never felt better. The psychology of sugar is deep and intense!

Would love to hear your thoughts and especially come on over to my blog where I've journaled my year-long endeavor of going without sugar. I have a lot of tips for people that are trying to cut it out!

Best of luck to you.

Sandra said...

Loretta- yes, get the book. I think you and Tanner both will be surprised at what you will be able to eat. And the carb/hotcake thing. Ya, Matt made Norweigan pancakes last night (kind of like crepes). I ate a really small one and 5 minutes later I had a headache.

MYW- I will head over to your blog and check it out. The cutting out of refined sugar is "easy" for me, but harder to get the kids to do. Last time I tried, I didn't have good results because I didn't know how to replace things and they felt deprived. But this time it is going to be different with the help of this cookbook and people like you to guide me and help me we will all be in a better place this time next year.

Karlene said...

Sugar free creamy caramel candy? What is it sweetened with??? I need the recipe now!

(You knew that would be the part of your entire post that I noticed, right?)

Makes sense about Matt and the headaches being sugar related.

G. Parker said...

I tried cutting out sugar (well,candy) when I was about 20, and went for three days before I got a migrane. I haven't done it so seriously sense, but I am planning on doing it for real. I've challenged my overweight daughter to join with me.
You wanted the drink maker, right? At least I think that's what we've got...I think we wanted $300, but I'll confirm with my hubby. It is 5 years old now, so it should probably be less. (grin)
Good info on the book!