Oh, Sweet Mystery of Life ….

You know how I’ve made this life style change in as far as food goes …… well, there’s been an interesting outcome – apart from all the benefits I’ve mentioned in another post and I’ve made a discovery!

And just to remind you, this is what I’ve done:  12 weeks ago I gave up on sugar and wheat.  This meant I had to make all my own food to ensure I wasn’t taking in all those hidden additives and I also haven’t eaten any fruit the whole time.  I’ve been very wary of high sugar vegetables too – potatoes have rarely made it to the plate for instance – concentrating instead on leafy greens, home-made sprouted seeds and the like.

I’ve loved it, and the results have been so spectacular that I have no intention of reverting to my old habits.  I have been pleasantly surprised by the fact that I haven’t missed my old friends – bread, buns, fried chicken, chocolate, ice-cream, fries, crisps.  Pasta and potatoes have been replaced with brown rice, quinoa and lentils. .A staple foodstuff has been chicken soup the way grandma used to make it,  and my daily diet mostly consists of my old friends those cheese and oat cakes mentioned in another earlier post and a variety of salads.

On two occasions in these twelve weeks I found I wanted something sweet – and wandered over to inspect the fridge, the freezer and the pantry.  Finding nothing, I drank a glass of water and, getting out of my own way, forgot about it.

But after the initial detox period of eight weeks you are supposed to gently reintroduce fruit back into your life.  I’ve been slow to do this for a couple of reasons.  One is I’m scared.  I don’t want to undo the good that has been done.  I don’t want to live in a sore and painful body again, I don’t want to risk regaining the inflammation and weight that has so miraculously disappeared.  So for three weeks I conveniently forgot to purchase some fruit from the market and carried on as usual.

But I found a yummy and healthy sweet recipe – something for those times when you just want a little something extra – and thought I might have a go at it.  In place of sugar it uses pear syrup, so I duly went on-line and purchased a bottle of organic pear syrup, guaranteed to be nothing but and therefore free of those nasty things that scare me.

When it arrived I took the cap off and removed that little plasticky cover from the top. It had a film of pear syrup on it.  I ran my finger over that plasticky cover and put my finger in my mouth.

A few moments later I removed myself from the ceiling and, holding the top of my head firmly in place, gathered my wits about me and said to Orlando “Wow!”

My palate was buzzing with flavours and sweetness and layers and layers of summer memories.  It kept on buzzing for at least a half hour.  The taste in my mouth would ease back and then zoom up again.  I gave myself over to the extraordinary sensation of experiencing a natural sugar high.  I wandered if this is what it is like for a heroin addict – you know the effect of that first shot that they try to recreate by using again and again.  [Have I just discovered the cure for drug addiction?  You can only use once every three months if you want the high!]

So this is my discovery:  ‘Sweet’ is not found in our daily intake of sugar in all its disguises.

This is my suggestion:  Remove sugar from your diet – and all those nasty pretend sweeteners also – live your life for three months, then stick your finger into some natural fruit syrup and taste it.  Then you will understand what ‘sweet’ is.

I tell you, an orchestra will play, violins will soar through your palate, cellos will hold the base-note, and a soprano will trill her high C’s through the top of your head!

And I know you will join with me and holler “Wow!” as you remove yourself from your ceiling…….

.Now go listen to the other post – it’s all in there!

Thanks for dropping by and have a great day…………

Eight Weeks Later …… An Update

I started this blog at about the same time I decided to improve my life style – the two were not linked, purely coincidental …….. My reason for starting [the blog] was to make myself keep track of what was coming from my craft room, something I was – and am – notoriously shabby at!

The reason for changing my lifestyle was to get out of my own way and do something about the state of my overall health.

If you have read previous posts – about 6 of you I believe – you’ll have a bit of an idea of what I’ve been doing in the kitchen.  I thought I might do a couple of days and then quit – missing bread and sugar too much – but I didn’t.

So I said to myself ‘Well, I’ll finish the week and see’.  I did and carried on.

I said ‘Well, I’ll do it til I can’t any more’ [which statement can only come from a place of deprivation].  And still I happily continued.

Somewhere along the road I realised I wasn’t deprived – I was eating more than I did before – now partaking of delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners whereas previously I had often not eaten all day and found myself on the verge of keeling over about 4 pm.  At that point I would head for the fridge and start grazing, often continuing until late in the evening……  Now I happily potter about in the kitchen creating great tasting food which heals my body and feeds my soul.

Now I’m not a person who likes to share her aches and pains with the rest of the world.  If you ask how I am I will smile brightly and chirp ‘Just fine thank you – and you?’  Or if it’s a person I know will share all their woes with me and I’m in a ‘can’t be bothered’ kind of a mood I’ll chirp ‘Why, just a box of fluffy ducks thank you’ and continue on with a change of subject or bustle busily away.

But now that they are all gone I think it is time to list the reasons why I needed to do something.  Her’s how it all began back in ’99:

  • Me and a stressed out, exhausted, workaholic lifestyle
  • Me, a steep flight of concrete steps and an ambulance
  • Me, a left knee and a right hip – neither of which worked at all any more
  • Me, a cigarette and a heart attack – or three
  • Me, no cigarettes and a box of chocolates stuck in bed due to points 2, 3 and 4
  • Me and a greatly increased girth due to all of the above points
  • Me and the passing of 10 years with not a lot changing except point 1

General health liabilities included unstable angina, stiff and painful joints, hip problems, knee problems, difficulty walking due to hip and knee issues. Obesity – and an inability to lose weight.  Low functioning thyroid, unstable cholesterol rates, high blood pressure or low blood pressure depending on the weather I think……  Add into this panic attacks and agoraphobia, sadness, depression, and loss of motivation and interest in life.

I worked my way out of that last part of the litany of horrors and learned again to look for the sunshine, I spent years peeling back layers to get to the bottom of the issues and learn again to take responsibility and to forgive others and most importantly, myself.  Learning and relearning – no wonder I ended up as a life coach!!

My health would improve, then take a dive again for no apparent reason.  Eventually I came to see that certain types of food might be the issue and I tried various diets and fasts and all that – none of which I stuck to for very long [due to the deprivation issue.]

Then we arrived at the timeline of 8 weeks ago and little did I appreciate how very much would change!  Here is absolute proof that our wellbeing is defined by what we put into our mouths – who knew??!!

Look back at the paragraph below the points and at every comma or new sentence add in another word in parenthesesGONE ]  

But here’s the big thing – I wake up every morning with a vague sense of elation, a feeling of joy, of excitement, of expectation that the day will bring something good.  

And it generally does!!!

You Old Bitch!

‘Beauty is not in the face, beauty is a light in the heart’


The other day I was in the supermarket and must have needed a reminder of how awful life is for some folk as I had – ta-da  ‘An Encounter’!  

A woman had left her cart parked in the middle of the aisle and as I was having difficulty  trying to manouvre around it I gave it a wee push to the side, which, it appears,  made said woman mad as all get out…… and I was the sudden recipient of a shot of venom that could have felled a lumberjack!  While I stood frozen in stunned silence she finished her tirade about my general incompetence as a human being with the words “……..you old bitch!”

Now I’m a woman with some understanding of the human condition and I know that when you scratch someone and reveal such raw hatred you have met a very unhappy being.  One should be filled with compassion at such misery – but this One wasn’t.  This One reared up and said indignantly “Excuse Me?”

She was tall and I am not, so there must have been some authority in those two words as she kind of backed off, not making eye contact and muttering under her breath.

I stood staring blindly at the assorted sweet potatoes I had been reaching for, trying to remove the venom that had been hurled at me and calm my indignation.  It took a few moments.

I pondered my role and took responsibility – lesson learned – never touch the shopping cart of an unhappy woman! But still I was rattled and indignant.  I couldn’t shake it off.

A couple of aisles further on and I bumped into YD also doing her shopping and the encounter was poured out to her.  She knew immediately who it was and reported that she had also had an encounter with the same woman moments previously – ‘murderous’ was her description.  “And she has a child with her” said YD “he’s pale and thin poor kid.”  So it wasn’t just me, it wasn’t personal – it was all about this poor unhappy person.  We just happened to be there.

I didn’t feel any better though and felt ashamed to admit that I had not noticed the child in my encounter – that’s how rattled I was.

The incident stayed with me, I put it down to the intensity of unhappiness in that woman and it was not until the following morning when I woke that the real reason made itself known.

She had called me ‘an old bitch’.  And it wasn’t the ‘bitch’ bit that mattered – it was the ‘old’.

I lay in bed giggling – she’d caught me out!  My inner picture of myself as eternally young was crushed – she had looked at me and seen ‘old’.  And that one word had sent me spiraling out of self-confidence into panicky ego-driven indignation.  Ah!

When I was a young woman in my 20’s, my favourite aunt had told me of her struggles with her aging appearance.  She was in her late 60’s at the time and yet felt herself inwardly to be a young and vibrant woman.  She was strolling down the street one day and saw the reflection in a shop window of an old lady bustling along, walking towards her.  She noted the woman was wearing a similar coat and was thinking how much nicer the coat looked on her than the old lady.  As she got closer to the mirrored shop window she realised it was herself and was horrified.  She said, “From that time on my self confidence was eroded – I had to work very hard to remember I am more than what my outer appearance says.”   She was thoughtful a moment then added, “And wise people see that.”

Now I know what she meant.

So I now have a sense of gratitude for the encounter with the unhappy lady in the supermarket [while hoping she gets some help for her anger issues!].  Yes I am getting older, and if you choose that is all you will see.  But my world is a rich place made of a life time of experiences, adventures, lessons learned and non-material wealth gathered.  It is a place full of love and contentment.

Come visit me here sometimes and share it!