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Breakfast, Pinocchio, and Gratitude

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Disclaimer - None of these topics tie into each other. Just random thoughts.

Wow, did I ever get a refresher course in basics during my last three months of total rebellion! For the past two years on this healthy lifestyle change, I made myself follow the rules. You know, the same ones good ole mom tried to reinforce early on when I blew off breakfast? What an amazing difference breakfast has made.

And this important meal (the foundation to the rest of the day really) was one I started to skip during my rebellious last few months of wild food abandon. Just wasn't hungry and that was that. Have a nice day. Well, you know the end of this story? By mid-morning or lunch time, I was ravenous. And the rest of the day went down in Ripley's Believe It or Not, or that disgusting show called, "Man vs. Food."

Yes, I am back, Jack. Now I don't miss breakfast, no matter what. It makes all the difference in the world and I think I've truly gotten the lesson now. EAT BREAKFAST!

Okay, Pinocchio. How did the author of that book know? Over the past few years, I have occasionally wondered why I don't have the same nose I used to have. Not being a liar (as his nose grew when he told little fibs), and not that my nose is necessarily getting longer (just changing), how could it have left town? The writer of Pinocchio must have known something that I just recently discovered - that our ears and nose continue to grow until our last day on earth! Wow! Am I going to turn into a Beagle, I wonder. Now, none of this makes any sense except that I just thought it an interesting fact.

And last, but never least, gratitude. I have never failed to be amazed, since joining this site, by the kindness and importance of sparkfriends. I'm usually a very private person, but the other day, I opened the curtain to reveal a peak at what has been a tidal wave of grief for the past few years. The kind words and thoughts were very much appreciated. Last month, when I was ready to quit SP (as I occasionally want to quit everything), EJ (leader of Supplements team) reached out and pulled me back to reality without saying a word to harnass my determination to leave. She just kindly gave me her email address and said she'd be there for me. And that she would really miss me on the team. Iwas touched because I sometimes think this is just a virtual, non-existent world. But due to her subtle reminder of the importance of healthy connection, including people who care, I did not quit. It has made a big difference in my staying on this healthy course. Thanks to all, and big hugs.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/9/2010 7:02PM

    I'm glad you didn't quit and I'm glad you opened up about your grief so we could support you.

I love your "disjointed blog", your nose won't look like a beagle, but your ears lobes can get pretty big. It's interesting to look at people in their 80's and 90's.

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EJHEINRICH1 10/8/2010 11:28AM

    I am sooo glad you stayed with Spark People and if you ever need me you have all the ways to reach me I think. If you don't have my Phone # let me know And you can have that too!
I love ya my friend! Here to all your success!


Team Leader of Herbs Supplements & Vitamins

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JOYATLAST 10/8/2010 10:59AM


You inspire me.


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    I still fight the breakfast battle, too. I'm so glad you're still here! If you do ever leave please let's keep in touch.

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/7/2010 11:33PM

    I for one would be devastated if you left . Keep on doing the things to regain your health!Breakfast is essential!

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SHOOTIN4STARS 10/7/2010 8:38PM

    Hugs back! Please don't ever leave us! The SP world wouldn't be the same without you! Love this blog-- very well stated. You are a writer after all. Hope you're doing better.


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AYAMMAYA 10/7/2010 8:14PM

    You speak often of the loss of your cousin, who was even more than a sister to you. Do you know that for me if you disappeared off Spark People and I could not connect with you that this would be an almost unbearable sadness? I am dealing with so many losses similar to yours except I have lost some siblings and family members. The only thing that has been keeping me going each day are the blogs, postings and comments from the Spark Friends I have kept close to me...

Please think about how important your soul and spirit are here in this virtual world which is a reality. It's like virtual penpals except with much quicker responses and no waiting by the mailbox. You are loved and appreciated so much. I understand you are undergoing the grieving process and that this is so much more than one ought to are not alone. You are surrounded by friends who love and adore you.

Me kealoha pumehana ~ M

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TINNATEE 10/7/2010 4:39PM

    Loved your blog! Ej's awesome and so are you!

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JLITT62 10/7/2010 2:24PM

    They may have been random thoughts, but they were GOOD thoughts!

Can't imagine not eating breakfast personally. I love breakfast. This said from a person that didn't eat breakfast all thruout HS (which is where her first weight gain startout, hmm, do we see a pattern there?).

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On Becoming a One-Legged Skater

Monday, October 04, 2010

I heard this analogy a long time ago, but now am experiencing it first-hand. The past three years' myriad losses of loved ones and friends (8) have chipped away at me in ways that are sometimes undetectable. The proverbial straw that broke me (in a manner of speaking) was in July, with the departure of my dear cousin (like a sister). She also took with her an entire lifetime of shared experiences, including shared experiences of a large family in which rich cultural, loving memories (grandparents) were better than gold. Unconditional love, a detailed knowledge of childhood fun we both held dear, priceless sense of humor, etc. all seem to have gone with her. So the loss is symbolic as well as just missing her.

Be that as it may, over the past three months (as well as the past three years that cancer spread throughout her body and I tried to help despite really being helpless), I have changed. Not in ways that I'm too fond of. I keep trying to get back to the person I was,but it feels like I'm moving in a room filled with jello with just flailing arms and legs. The person I was was totally different than what I seem to be now, and the harder I try to reclaim my positive attributes, the more they seem to elude me.

The other day I cried for the loss of who I was. The loss of self who has seemed to slip away with my cousin. I also came to the realization that this stranger who is now inhabiting my body may be the one I have to get to know, accept and love. Like playing the hand I've been dealt.

Broken and trying to crazy glue pieces of myself back together (like Humpty Dumpty who has fallen off that wall once too many times), I am a patched piece of work. And I realized yesterday that I will keep trying to heal in ways that I can, will try to accept the things I can't, and will try to muster the wisdom to know the difference. (yes, the serenity prayer)

Meanwhile, I have to learn to skate with just one leg. This site, and sparkfriends, have been a tremendous help.

Wishing all a good day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I can so relate to what you wrote. I changed too. I don't have any answers. I do try to filter my thoughts and contemplation and subject matter of my thought life through this filter:

Is it true?
Is it worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly?
Is it just?
Is it pure?
Is it lovely and lovable?
Is it kind and winsome and gracious?
Is it full of virtue and excellence?
Is it worthy of praise?
Think on and weigh and take account of these things
[fix your minds on them].
Philippians 4:8

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REBECCAMA 10/6/2010 7:57PM

  Sorry for your loss. Interesting idea about skating on one leg.

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GRAMMACATHY 10/6/2010 12:23PM

    Jesse, I am so sorry about the loss of your cousin. Your blog is so very eloquent and heartfelt. I always called it wading in the mud. The jello analogy is so similar. It won't be easy, but I promise you that you will find your old self again with some new growth and insight. It just takes a long long time. Know we are here to listen and give hugs as needed.

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CHATTIEGIRL 10/5/2010 10:12PM


I have stopped by to see how you have been doing and your weight
loss has been great. You have chosen to eat healthy and exercise to obtain a healthy life style. Good for you and it is the best step you could have taken.

When it comes to the lost of a love one I have been there and in the last 5 years i have lost my husband, 3 brother in laws and 2 sister in laws, that I was very close to. we all live right on the same road in the country. I was married to my husband for 36 beautiful years and it took part of me away. I loved him dearly and still miss him every day. I just had to put the pieces back together and try to live on my own. Now I am faced with having no family around me on this road and I have leukemia and may have to go for treatment. if that isn't a scary situation to be in. But I put it in God's hand to find me peace and someone to help me. Life hands us a lot to deal with at times and it is hard but we do survive.

Stay true to your healthy eating, routine exercises and reach your goals of a healthy life. May God watch over you.


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RAINBOWFALLS 10/5/2010 8:41PM


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CIERAPOET 10/5/2010 2:10AM

    Sorry to hear about your loss and pray you will be happier in your time. A loss is hard especially someone close. I still cry and my mom has been gone since 2006 and a real close like a sis went home in 1998. So we miss those we love. By the way thanks for stopping by my blog. I have been here since 2007 and I am on my end of year count down. So that's the reason for the day count. God bless you and enjoy your Tuesday!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/4/2010 8:24PM

    I just think it is so great that you are blogging about your feelings. If you didn't, people wouldn't know about all you are going through and reach out to support you.
Keep on doing that as long as you need to, and we will be here to support you through the grief. It does take a long time. Losing someone who knew you as a child and had so many shared memories really is like losing a piece of yourself.

Just keep being gentle with takes time, but you will feel better. I read once that grief is something we have to go through, not around. You are going through it just like you need to.

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JOYATLAST 10/4/2010 7:16PM

    I tried to respond earlier from my phone, but that didn't work out.

A part of you died, baby girl. Winter found you and the sap goes dormant. A part of your life has been pruned. We can't control the seasons.

But you will bloom again. Your life will flow and it will be YOU.

I like your analogy AND your attitude! That frozen leg will thaw out and warm up to serve you well. One step at a time.


Comment edited on: 10/4/2010 9:45:23 PM

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ALEXSGIRL1 10/4/2010 5:02PM

    you have lost a tremendous amount , it will take time and a lot of it. i had a lot of trauma in my childhood and early adult hood that i carried around with me , and felt broken and sad and hopeless. all i saw and felt was doom gloom . then one day i got a letter and the person wrote (May the rest of your life be filled with joy) I thought he has got to be kidding . me have a happy day, but then i thought maybe he is right and i found one good thing one day and built on it. and then after weeks it came to me i can have joy again , i can be happy. i think this will happen to you too, after time you will find joy in little things and build on it and you will get back what you lost, or maybe you will be like me and come back stronger. that is my wish for you. may the rest of your days be filled with joy . emoticon emoticon time is all you need and hugs from us

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LIBBYFITZ 10/4/2010 3:35PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonI agre with the other comments. Also 3months is a very short time. give yourself time. emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/4/2010 2:31PM

    What a thoughtful blog ,yes you are forever changed but you are still special and cherished by many as the comments here are firm evidence of.We do change throughout our lives and it takes time to come to grips with the new "Us" But you still have so much important to share and other people who will feel for you and understand you."While grief is fresh every attempt to divert only irritates.You must wait till it is digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it ." Samuel Johnson We your friends will support you through the shock and grief of Carole's passing.You will learn how to heal and how to find your rhythm in moving through life's good and less than stellar times together with your friends.Your heart will become light and your spirit will soar to hope as you remember your beloved cousin Carole's life and sparkle.

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PEGGY-BEE 10/4/2010 1:54PM

    I am so sorry about your loss of your old self! I experienced something similar, a blow to the head and it changed me. Nineteen years later I still mourn her and wish my daughter knew that woman. But this is me and i cannot go back. So, yes, mourn. But embrace this you and love her. She deserves it.

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JLITT62 10/4/2010 12:55PM

    You know what? We aren't meant to stay the same thruout our lives. We are meant to be constantly changing, striving, growing -- shedding the skins of our previous selves like a snake sheds its skin (hmm, I sense a blog in there somewhere).

So no, you'll never be the same. But sometimes things that are broken and glued back together are actually stronger -- I think eventually that will be the case for you. Mourn the person you were. But learn to love the person you are.

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Caffeine Detox - This Time I Have to Make It Last- 4 Tough Weeks Ahead

Sunday, October 03, 2010

And I might as well do sugar detox at the same time since it'll be a miserable 3-4 weeks anyway with caffeine withdrawals. I've done this before. About five months ago, I got it all out of my system for about three months. I've recently tried to wean myself gradually, but that doesn't work for me. (Longest success was two years. Man, I keep trying to get these out of my life again and again!)

Even though I drink a very small amount of coffee daily, I go through intense withdrawals. Not just amazing headaches, akin to migraines, but adrenal pain and other body aches. It goes on for several weeks.

So, if I'm going to put myself through this again, I really have to make it stick. The downside is that, once my body is rid of sugar and caffeine, my energy level is noticeably lower despite trying healthier aids.

But in the long run, I feel better overall when I've gotten these two demons banished. Since it's a tough time in other ways, why not get all the tough stuff out of the way all at once?

Wishing all a good day.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Wow I'm so glad I don't have all that, and am so sorry you do! You must be really sensitive.

Why is it we always try to start exercising, quit smoking, lose weight, change our hair color, and quit caffeine all on the same day? LOL

I'm glad you changed it to just ONE thing. Baby steps, baby steps.

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RAINBOWFALLS 10/5/2010 8:50PM

    Good Luck

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TINNATEE 10/4/2010 4:28PM

    I have been trying to do the same thing. I went to the local health food store to see if they had a substitution for coffee and I got something called GanoCafe Classic - it's like an instant coffee and I am totally addicted to it. You can google it on line and see all of its health benefits. It's made from red mushrooms but it doesn't taste like mushrooms and it doesnt have any caffiene. I still cant stop putting sugar and creamer in it though :(, one thing at a time!

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MARIE625 10/4/2010 10:47AM

    Ouch! Caffine withdrawal is painful! A few years ago, I was in the hospital and getting iv fluids only, nothing at all by mouth for several days. Even the morphine didn't knock out the headaches. Sure knocked out everything else, but not the coffee withdrawal!

Good luck.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/3/2010 8:48PM

    You really have a rough time with coffee. It's amazing how hard it can be to get off of it. Sugar is really unhealthier than coffee, so you've made a wise choice to start with the sugar first.

I track being sugar free in my "other goals" section. I had some Friday night when DH and I went out to eat, so I'm starting all over again with that streak.

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LIBBYFITZ 10/3/2010 6:35PM


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CHERIRIDDELL 10/3/2010 12:58PM

    Good Luck ! You are a brave woman!!!

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ALEXSGIRL1 10/3/2010 10:33AM

    i wish you much success . you must be allergic .

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KMICHA 10/3/2010 6:21AM

    Yikes!!! Sounds dreadful!! I do love my coffee . . . Hope it goes better this time . . . the sugar I could handle, the caffine, I'm not willing at this point! Hang in there!

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Thinking of Unique Memorials & Naming My New BuildABear

Saturday, October 02, 2010

My dear cousin (like a sister to me) passed away on July 3 after a three year struggle with cancer that spread everywhere. I did everything I could to help her from a distance - phone, skype, finding resources to help her, sending stuff, praying, etc. I was mentally and emotionally there for her 24/7. Since her departure, I've really been working hard at crazy-glueing my heart and life back together. Like Humpty Dumpty who has fallen off that wall one too many times, there are just too many tiny shards that I don't even know how to piece together anymore.

The harder I work at feeling/doing better, the more I feel that I'm chasing my tail. Maybe time does heal. If it does, great. Meanwhile, I have changed in many ways through all this - not all of them good ways. Be that as it may, I will just have to learn how to do life as this new me.

I've been trying to think of unique ideas for memorials. So far, I have named a tree in her honor, as well as doing a couple of other things. However, I am always trying to find new ways to honor her. Yes, I know. Getting back a quality of life will be the best way I'll honor her, but until then...who knows?

She was given a gift that she loved - a Build A Bear. But that was stolen by someone a mere few hours after she passed. Funny how people just ravage your possessions and take whatever they want. The person who took it was one of the family members who spit in her eye (in a number of ways) the entire three years she was sick. And was rotten to her right till the end. And that is the person who gets to have her beloved bear! Oh, the ironies of life.

Yes, of course, they also took her "valuables." Stole them. But I have to let that battle go as it only harms me in thinking of how terrible her family members were to her.

Long story short, I have ordered my own BuildABear that will be arriving next week. No, I'm not 5 years old (smiling), but I'm a person who has always felt that age is irrelevant and that I'll do whatever I want at any age. With that said, this bear is a symbolic bridge to her as a shared experience. Now I have to name it. And I want something unique and androgynous. Maybe "Tree" since she and I love/d the outdoors?

Any ideas for memorials or names would be welcomed and appreciated. (smiling)

Okay, this has nothing to do with weight. Yet, it has everything to do with it because I've had a three-month long grief-eating rebellion going on that has got to stop. And these little things I can do - memorials and bears - provide a bit of comfort. And a little bit of comfort goes a long way these days.

Wishing all a wonderful day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Any steps you take to work thru your grief, including bear, is fine.

What worked for me (fiancee, leukemia) was a yearly activity on or as close to the date as possible, first I started doing charity things he believed in. I was his hands, his heart, still beating. It wasn't easy. Sometimes I cried as I did them. Gradually over time it morphed into other symbolic things, always very meaningful, but sometimes not directly related to his wishes.

It is despicable her "family" stole those things - stole anything. Wow who needs enemies with family like that.

So my idea for a memorial is to have a Living Memorial. Change one small piece of the world for the better, and do it in her name. It doesn't have to be fancy. You can wash dishes at a soup kitchen. Sort food at the community food bank.

Time doesn't heal, it just makes it easier to deal with as time goes on. Acceptance comes over time.

Also I still do this exercise: positive memories. I call up 5 positive, beautiful, wonderful things. With one caveat: this can be painful some of the time, and bittersweet often. It's so easy to remember the bad, but I intentionally call up the good memories, and linger on them.

By remembering the positive memories of her, you give part of your life into being a Living Memorial, as well.

Be patient with yourself as you go through the cycles of grief.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/3/2010 7:38PM

    My heart goes out to you. That bear will be very special for you.. You will know the right name when you hear it. It will just resonate with you.

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/2/2010 5:55PM

    I am still not sure what size your bear is LOL but sweaters stretch so I got your bear some sweaters when I was out today I saw them and they said "Buy me for The mMemorial Bear " LOL so I will tuck them in your parcel ! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALEXSGIRL1 10/2/2010 5:10PM

    that is a good idea the bear sounds great. when my brother passed , he was a drinker and loved to party and eat unhealthy i would go to the gym and do dedicate my work out to him. its been over four years now and i still dedicate my workouts to him.

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PLSOCK 10/2/2010 2:59PM

    I love the bear's very symbolic. We have one named Hope. When my mom passed, we bought a star through Nassau and named it after her. They provide a beautiful wall hanging. I often find myself gazing up, talking to her star. Makes me feel close to her :)

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PEGGY-BEE 10/2/2010 12:33PM

    I vote for "Joyatlast"s suggestion of Courage. My sweet "cousin, like a sister", passed 6 years ago and I miss her daily. What a lovely idea you have to honor yours! No one can take your memories and love you both shared.

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MONKEYSNUFFER 10/2/2010 12:20PM

    That's a beautiful idea!

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JLITT62 10/2/2010 12:12PM

    I am terrible at naming things. I had a cat named Puss, after all. Sorry can't be of more help there! But I think it's an outstanding way to honor your cousin's memory.

Weight loss is so very much mental -- the food, the exercise, the tracking -- all of that is just trappings. If we aren't in the right mental space, it won't happen.


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LESLIES537 10/2/2010 12:01PM

    You're right...finding ways to memorialize our loved ones brings with it a sense of healing and comfort. I think your Build-a-Bear was a great idea and a name should be carefully and lovingly chosen from your heart. emoticon emoticon

Realizing that you are emotionally/grief eating is the 1st big step in overcoming it. You can do this, one step at a time! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOYATLAST 10/2/2010 11:31AM

    What does "Courage" sound like?

Or "Renee" which means re-born.

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LIBBYFITZ 10/2/2010 11:16AM

    I love bears! What a wonderful idea! emoticon

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Just One Change Could Make So Much Difference!

Friday, October 01, 2010

The other night, I was listening to a radio show on which a doctor was talking about nutritional importance.

He said that he was recently asked by someone who wanted to know, that if he was going to change just one thing in his life, in his diet, what would the doc advise for a healthier life?

His response - SUGAR! Get rid of it as it feeds all of the things that make us ill. He said it's cancer's best friend.

What a coincidence that I've made today the first day (again, but I'll try as many times as I have to) on my sugar detox.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I look at sugar and say to myself, "Cancer Feed".

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/3/2010 6:28PM

    Thanks for posting this....sometimes I forget how bad sugar is for you. I ate way too much of it over the summer.

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FLORIDASUN 10/2/2010 7:55AM

    I look at sugar like 'white death' because it is! emoticon Just because something is sweet doesn't mean it is!! I kicked sodas to the curb a year ago last June...again...nothing but pure chemicals you are throwing down your gullet.

Some of the BEST books out there are by Suzanne Sommers who really blows the lid off on traditional medicine treatments and how cancer cells can actually be shut off through proper nutrition.

It isn't easy this one...finding REAL food is getting harder and harder...but it's an effort well worth taking.

Artificial sugars are killers too...throw out the Splenda the pretty pink packets and blue ones too...if you need something sweet try Stevia which is natural or better yet chop up Medajol dates in your recipes...or even applesauce...if you want to stay healthy you've got to get ahead of the big foodies and all of their's killing commercial and convenience food at a time! emoticon

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ANGE1010 10/2/2010 5:29AM

    Wow, that's interesting news. Thanks for the Goodie and support Jesse. You have been a true friend and I thank you. Have a blessed weekend.


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PAUL324 10/2/2010 1:11AM

    I have read that sugar withdrawal can be worse than heroin, I don,t know but I have not been able to totally kick it and it dose feel like withdrawal.

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/2/2010 12:05AM

    Oh my I am not a sugar fiend but I have it in my diet .Alas I try not to ban too much.I prefer to have fruits and veggies they can be quite sweet !

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