Addiction, Alternatives & Advice

I recently was asked a question from a friend who's looking to eliminate sugar (and gluten) from her life, asking what I would recommend or advise to someone starting out on this cleanse.  So I thought I would write a blog entry to give any recommendations or tips on this subject because I know that sugar is in EVERYTHING that most people are buying (even things seemingly innocuous like dressings, condiments, salsas, etc.), and that can make people feel like it'd be difficult to quit sugar (it's not - there's always an alternative :)).  Plus, this is a multi-dimensional subject that actually spans so much more than just what you're eating, but also how you're thinking, how you regard "activities" or "working out", your relationship with yourself and food, etc. (but we'll get into that - maybe not in this blog entry so much, but definitely soon).
When we moved out west after my six months in The Bathtub™, my husband's sister had gone …

Living In the Bathtub

Four years ago today, my mother left her body after a twenty-year struggle with herself.  To the casual observer, she died of "MS", but thanks to fighting tooth and nail through my own traumatic experiences, I see the whole thing very differently.
For as long as I can remember, our home was filled with unhealthy "food".  My father was self-employed, so the financial aspect of my childhood wasn't always all that secure or dependable, but even during our poorest times, our cupboards were stocked with cookies, pasta, chips, bread, and "treats" (I call these "mis-treats" today) of all kinds.  Even in the winter, our freezer contained ice cream, frozen waffles, and popsicles, and we definitely ate them.
My father would pass us twenty-dollar bills whenever my sister and I would head to the convenience store at the end of our street, and rarely was there ever any change as we lugged home plastic bags filled to the rim with penny candy, pop, freezies,…