Friends, I have been looking forward to sharing this post with you so much! It’s no secret to people who know me that I geek out about natural health. I’ve spent at least half of my life learning about food and how it affects us, body and soul. I was very athletic from a young age, and I’ve always enjoyed being active. Living a healthy lifestyle has always been important to me, and when I’ve veered off track, I’ve suffered for it.

All that being said, there were still a lot of things I’ve done poorly. This life is a journey, and we have to keep learning. If we stay the same, we’ll become stagnant and risk keeping habits that aren’t truly healthy.

Although I’ve maintained a relatively healthy weight through the years, I’ve battled chronic pain since I was in my freshman year of college. It’s only gotten worse through the years. Poor Dustin is probably so sick of hearing “I don’t feel good.” I’ve dealt with anxiety, depression, fatigue, poor temperature regulation, low blood sugar, low iron, PMS (before, during, and after that golden time of the month), menstrual migraines, weather induced migraines, sinus headaches, seasonal allergies, and food sensitivities…

Um watch out, I’m the hot-mess-express! I’ve been way sicker, weaker, depressed, and tired than a person my age should be. I’ve had doctors tell me my joints are older than my biological age…not where a health conscious momma wants to find herself.

So…what’s the deal? I mean, I eat healthier than the average American, and I’m active.

Like I said before, I was still doing things wrong for a long time. I wasn’t feeding my body what it needed, and I was giving it a lot of things that were causing me harm.

The first year Dustin and I were married, I figured out that gluten really contributes to my pain and fatigue. Dairy contributes to my allergies and stomach pain. For several years, I was faithfully off of gluten, and I began to eat as a vegetarian. I considered myself pretty healthy then. I suffered a lot less pain, and I was able to get pregnant with Josiah during that time.

Apparently, Josiah has been a carnivore since conception, because not long after I got pregnant, I began CRAVING meat. “Eat all the hamburgers!” was the message I was getting from the womb. Suddenly, my diet did a 180. I went from eating veggies, some dairy, eggs, and healthy grains and legumes to eating meat and starches. Yikes. I gained about 40 pounds and did not manage to go back to my previous lifestyle.

Although I was able to drop the pregnancy weight, my chronic pain increased dramatically through the years, and I continued to experience fatigue and the inability to keep up with other people my age. 

I’ve been told I’m an old lady more times than I’d like to admit. It sounds funny, but if I let myself think about it for too long, I’d probably melt into a puddle of tears. I despise feeling run down and having pain that interferes with living a normal life. I do not want to be able to determine the forecast with my joints, for the love. 

Over the last few years of chaos, my diet has basically been eat-whatever-is-available. If someone else cooked it and offered it, even better. As you can imagine, consuming dairy and gluten, along with all sorts of other convenience foods have reeked havoc on my body and mind. So. Much. Pain.

Recently, though, I’ve been cleaning up my diet and trying to get back on track. My family is doing great, and I want to be my best me.

The more I researched and the more migraines I had (In spite of being gluten free and very low in dairy), the more I started to believe there was a big piece to the health puzzle that I was missing.

SUGAR.

It’s the problem. I’m convinced.

If you’ve ever walked through a grocery store and turned packages over to read labels, you’d know that sugar is in EVERYTHING. Anything processed and prepared by the food industry has sugar added or some other neuro-toxin that will trick your mind into thinking fake food tastes good.

Although I’ve been trying to eat whole foods, I still sometimes go for convenience. That “healthy” organic granola bar I’d have in the afternoon was full of sugar. The homemade, from scratch, pumpkin bread I made for breakfast contained sugar. Even though I bought the far less processed cane sugar, I was still eating way too much. I know sugar is what was making me sick.

Sugar causes inflammation in our bodies.

Inflammation is a major contributing factor in chronic pain, cancer, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, PCOS, thyroid problems, fatigue…just about any ailment you can list. Sugar makes you sick. END OF STORY.

Knowledge is good, but wisdom requires action…so just cut out sugar, right?

WRONG.

Sugar is highly addictive. Even if you don’t want to read up on it, I challenge you to watch the documentary Fed Up. In one section, they reported that cocaine addicted lab rats were offered sugar water…and they chose sugar water over cocaine. If that doesn’t convince you that sugar is addictive, I don’t know what will.

How do you give up a drug, especially one that is so readily available in our food?

In my experience, shear will power alone won’t kick this habit.

July 4, 2015 was the day I finally decided to stop whining and start taking the initiative to better my health. That day, I started following the Trim Healthy Mama Plan

Trim Healthy Mama

 

I am so glad I did.

This meal plan is like no other I’ve tried, and I’ve tried plenty…Adkins, Weight Watchers, Vegetarian, Paleo, Whole 30. None of them worked for my body entirely. Although each of them emphasize a lot of good things, none of them helped me kick my sugar habit.

This plan is one that strategically feeds my body the things it actually NEEDS, so that it can fight back when my brain sends signals to eat things that are extremely harmful (i.e. processed foods, refined sugar and starches, etc.).

The basic concept is that you only eat whole foods, eat protein with every meal and snack, and if you are actively trying to lose weight, do not consume fat and carbohydrates together. Eat the food God made. It really can be that simple.

If you are struggling with any sort of ailment, physical or mental, PLEASE give this some consideration. I would get on my hands and knees and beg the people I love to give this a try if I thought that would be effective (People think I’m crazy enough, so I won’t). I just hope someone reading this will take control of their health and experience the benefits I have.

In my first month on THM…

1. I stopped having weather induce migraines.

2. I stopped craving junk food and excess sugar.

3. I didn’t have my very predictable menstrual migraine.

4. I was NOT hungry. You get to be full on this plan! No misery over feeling hungry. Or in my case, hangry

5. I did not count a single calorie, and I ate gobs of butter. Yum! (Healthy fats are SO important!).

6. I ate until I was full 4-5 times per day. We’re talking meal portions, people.

7. I have experienced far less pain (almost none!). Glory!

8. I lost 7 lbs. (This is a big deal. That’s about 1/3 of what I want/need to lose…all in the first month!).

9. I have gotten excited about all the yummy foods I CAN eat. Hello skinny chocolate, chicken enchiladas, and Good Girl Moonshine

10. I do NOT have sugar crashes and the afternoon slump that I could count on before.

11. I have gained so much confidence that a healthy weight and overall well-being are possible.

12. My husband finds me even more attractive than he already did, and he’s very supportive of this new lifestyle. Whoop whoop!

I wouldn’t dare endorse something I hadn’t experienced for myself…That being said, I would wholeheartedly recommend this plan to anyone reading, because it’s working wonders for me. Truly, I would follow this plan even if I wasn’t losing weight, because I think it’s the key to good physical health…and physical health is a major factor in mental and spiritual health, as well.

Although I don’t believe that what we eat should be a religious matter (Read the New Testament if you disagree), I do think what we eat is a spiritual matter. Is it a sin to eat sugar? NO! Are we probably better off without it? Yes! I know that when I’m not at my best, I can’t reach my potential for Christ. The confidence and improved health I’m gaining with Trim Healthy Mama is allowing me to give my best for HIS glory. Can I get an AMEN?!

There’s a great community of ladies on Facebook who are available to offer suggestions and support 24/7, so I’d suggest joining today, even if you aren’t sure you want to try it. The testimonials on there are evidence enough for the skeptic in me. Stories of weight loss, pregnancy after years of infertility, healing from PCOS, diabetes, thyroid disease, and the list goes on…real life accounts every single day. It’s incredible and such a blessing to watch other women succeed.

Although you can start the plan without the THM Book (Here’s a quick start guide), I really think it’s a great resource. I’ve been fortunate that my mom has shared hers with me. If not, I’d definitely want to buy my own copy.

If you’re ready to get healthy, please consider this plan. I’d love to answer any questions I can. I always love to chat about food and good health. I guarantee you don’t have to do anything fancy or buy any expensive products to experience the joy that is Trim Healthy Mama. You can make this plan as simple or complicated as you like. It’s doable on a budget and on the run. Why not try it for one month and see what happens? I bet you won’t regret it!