Friday, August 23, 2013

Sugar and Salt

First, let me clarify that this photo of the bluffs taken from my roof terrace has nothing to do with today's post.  In a natural, raw way though I do think its beautiful during the green rainy season.

I'm going to write about sugar and salt.

I've hesitated to write this post.  If I read it somewhere else, I wouldn't believe it.
It's rather personal but I hope my writing this it might spare someone else the pain that I have endured for close to a year.

About a year ago I had difficulty walking.  Especially when I got ready to stand up the pain that shot up my legs caused me to lean over like the "crooked man" from fairy tales.  It was very severe.  I have a high tolerance for pain so I knew something was wrong.

Going to the Dr. he took x rays and said "sciatica".  What?  What to do?  Specific back exercise and pain meds like Ibuprofen until I couldn't tolerate it anymore and then perhaps surgery.  WHAT?
No way.

I adapted.  Instead of walking down the hill, I started using the car.  The pain affected my balance and in the period of a couple of weeks, I fell three times.  Nothing serious - just bruises and swelling.

To go up the stairs after a while from my bedroom to the living room/dining room/kitchen required that I hold the wall and walk slowly.  It was darn depressing.

Then the next thing that hit was unbelievable pain in my lower legs like the nerve endings were being rubbed with sandpaper.  Went to the Doctor.  He said "Gout".  WHAT?  Gave me meds which I never took.

About a month ago there was a convergence of events that caused me to sit up and take notice.  First was a show on TV about knee replacement and the recovery period.  I was astounded at how complicated and long the process would be. My knees and hip have hurt for years.

Then the National Geographic magazine came out with Sugar on the cover.  I read the article and was astounded at the statistics and the toxicity of sugar.

Then I ran into a friend who has lost 45 pounds in a year by eating correctly.

That was it!.  That very day I said, "I'm through not eating correctly".

I have eliminated sugar and salt.  I have not had processed foods only seafood such as salmon, tuna and tilapia. Fruits and vegetables along with beef once a week. A piece of bread a day.
No cheese, pasta or potatoes.   I hardly miss any of it.
If I do eat something I shouldn't have, I'm back to being "correct" at the next meal.

By week three I had NO joint pain, back pain or any other kind of pain.  NONE.  I'm running around this house like a 50 year old woman on a mission. I have my energy and dexterity back.  Truly.  I'm no longer taking ibuprofen.  Of course since I'm eating correctly, I'm losing weight.  I wouldn't say I'm dieting.  I'm just eating healthy.

It is truly amazing.  More then I could ever have imagined.

Who knew that those two ingredients could be so hazardous to your health?
I certainly didn't.  I'm delighted that I have learned a very valuable lesson.

Hope this helps someone else who might be in joint, back and other pain.
Thanks for listening.
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Unknown said...

I can't thank you enough for sharing this. Oh my word - I think you may have just given me the answer. An answer, at any rate. And a darn good one. Bless you!

Barbara (at Dean's)

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara,

I'm glad you discovered this info on your own. Over the Holidays, I read a book that I'd highly recommend -- Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. As you know, I don't need to lose weight, but my parents were reading it, and it sounded interesting, so I bought a copy. Dr. Joel Fuhrman, the author, is an MD who is extremely interested in nutrition, has read about three thousand academic studies on the subject, and condensed a lot of that into this book. The bottom line is that our western, meat-rich, processed-grain, and sugar-rich diet is toxic.

For me, this is not a wild idea, and while I have eaten pretty well through my life, I certain ate plenty of meat, eggs, dairy etc. Well, after reading Dr. Fuhrman's book, I shifted my diet pretty heavily in a vegan direction. And you know what? I have lost a little body fat, but more importantly, I'm reenergized. It's amazing. I feel younger and healthier. And I haven't gone whole-hog. I still eat cheese (though less) and I still drink milk (though less) and I still eat meat when I go out (though, again, less).

Another thing which might interest you is a video lecture by Dr. Robert Lustig, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology. The video is fairly long (hr and a half) and intended for a graduate school audience, but I'm sure you'd have no trouble with it. The video is called "Sugar-The Bitter Truth." It explains the obesity epidemic in the USA by showing that it correlates with sugar in the diet, and also goes on to explain all the other evils besides obesity that sugar causes.

I watched that video several years ago and as a result, dramatically cut my sugar intake, started using sweet & low in my iced tea, stopped drinking fruit juice, and lost 20 pounds in no time. And I'm sure I'm healthier as a result.

You can find the video here:

The message that our western diet is toxic is not one people want to hear, so I seldom bring it up. But I'm so happy for you that you've taken this step on your own.

There's no reason we shouldn't be healthy and fit until the day we drop dead!


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we plan to live to the age of 100 at least.

Babs said...

Barbara (at Dean's) SO glad if I did give you an answer. I so hope it helps. I'm beside myself to be pain free!

Kim - Thanks so much for taking time to write such a long response. I don't want to be a vegan. Have my reasons that harken back to what the geneticists and nutritionists at MD Anderson had to say about diet.
But I am cutting way back on lotsa stuff just cause I want to. I could eat tuna every day so that is not an issue. Scrambled eggs too. Love here it is. A new way to eat - actually I ate this way before. I've just had bad habits for a number of years.......
Heavens I pray I don't live to 100 - maybe 85?

Anonymous said...

I don't want to be a vegan either. But I save my meat for special occasions or eating out. I don't follow Dr. Fuhrman's diet to the letter at all. I have just drifted in that direction after reading the book, and I feel healthier for it. I'm glad that you are better from your dietary changes.


Tancho said...

I lost a lot of weight by changing the habits also, It makes me cringe to see locals carting around those big bottles of Coke, knowing how many cups of sugar each one contains...and they wonder why Mexico has an diabetes crisis.
Kids running around with all that candy too...if they only knew what they had in store for them 20,30 years from now.
Glad to hear of your return of energy and health.

calypso said...

Thanks for sharing Babs - sometimes these personal disclosures can really help someone out there.

I am a pescatarian and have been for 30 years - no worries on that front - except maybe the radioactive tuna coming from Japan ;-0

I am really happy you are doing well - that is the important thing.

Unknown said...

I woke up still thinking about your post and how to implement changes in my life. Even without starting (I've not had a meal since I read it last night) I already feel energized just from reading your experience! :)

Here's one I'll share with you that I'm embracing - easy, inexpensive, has many, many uses, and seems to do a world of good. Get it at Mega (and other places I'm sure):

Thank you again!

Barbara (at Dean's)

Shannon said...

Barbara, this is wonderful! I am so happy for you. I knew that sugar and salt are bad for you, just not to what extent. I will be more careful in the future! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on changing your diet. The work I do as a nurse in Disease Management deals with exactly this, and pretty much focuses on diabetes and can do miracles, as you've found. But trying to convince people to make a change in diet is incredibly hard.
Artificial sweeteners should be considered for elimination too; try to get used to going all natural and no artificial stuff; a nice squeeze of lemon in your iced tea and leave it at that.
Thanks for putting the word out there on how diet can really change your life.

Babs said...

Shannon and all - This morning I was RACING on foot with the grandchildren in a parking lot. OMG, haven't been able to do that for a very long time. They were squealing with delight, as was I!

Babs said...

Angelinem - I don't think anyone telling you to change works. As in my case, one has to make up there own mind. I don't want to read diet books or anything like that. I'm just eating correctly. But thanks for the info on artificial sweeteners, I'll cut back.

Babs said...

Thanks Calypso. That's a new word for me. I think it means you only eat fish. I do buy Atlantic salmon. Hopefully it is....from the Atlantic!

Tancho, I don't understand the fascination with Coke. I probably haven't had 10 bottles in my whole life. Luckily I don't like carbonated drinks.

Anonymous said...

Dear friends we have not seen in a year just left after a week visit. Each have lost over 20 lbs and feeling great. Best of all for her no more hot flashes. Gluten and sugar free eating. We are beginning week 2 of our food change.

Babs said...

Del, its absolutely amazing, isn't it?

Unknown said...

Babs, Stevia is a natural herb and no after taste. I use Stevia clear (liquid). If I use salt at all, it is sea salt. Yes, it is amazing. One other thing is to stay away from processed foods and all those chemicals. You are very lucky as you have those lovely fresh fruits and vegetables in your marketplace.

I am so glad that people are starting to realize how this can change your health as that will put pressure on the manufacturing companies to change their ways (GMOs) I have been staying away from sugar, etc. for a year now and I feel like a new person. I also eat gluten free.

Steve Cotton said...

And this is why God gave us all different opinions. But I am extremely happy you have found one that works for you. I am on the all-grease diet. And I feel like I am 12. Looking forward to puberty and dating girls.

Babs said...

Steve, I never KNOW what you're going to say......all grease, ewww.