Posts Tagged ‘sugar’

Sun rise New Zealand May 5 Jai-Jagdeesh

Photo Courtesy of Jai-Jagdeesh via Instagram: jaijagdeesh

This I believe:

Illness and wake-up calls come when you need to listen to your body, your mind, and your soul. So when I finally listened to what my body was saying a few weeks ago, I went to the doctor who diagnosed me with bronchitis.

But 10 days later, I realized that I was still in bad shape and getting worse, so I went back only to receive the same diagnosis and a change in medicine. AND this time I realized that what I needed more than anything else was to stop and really rest.

But then something in the report caught my eye.

Body Mass Index 30+ – Obesity; Bronchitis


As a past runner and someone who is totally conscious of my health, I am so aware that¬† something has to change; I’ve known this for a very long time. In fact, I started a serious health journey 45 days before my 45th birthday. That journey was amazing and changed my relationship with food. I took off nearly 65 lbs and I have kept nearly every pound off for over 6 years. But now I need to begin again and take the rest of my weight off.

As someone who is basically healthy, I strongly believe there is no excuse for “obesity”. This isn’t about looks (except that I HATE my double-chin); this is about becoming the healthiest that I can be. In fact this entire year has become about becoming the healthiest I can be.

Needing to have back surgery in early April was the first very loud message, but then there were others. So with that in mind, I am actively taking the words of my dear soul sister, Arlene Berger and the Torah, “Choose Life” (Deuteronomy 30:19). If I want to thrive and to be the healthiest that I can be, I have to consciously life into my realm. I love knowing that while Arlene and I live in different cities, we are on this journey together.

I have 123 days or 4 months between now and my 52nd birthday. And I have goals of what I want for my body, my mind, and my soul. I do believe that light is surrounding each and every step of this journey.

This health journey is not only about weight, although I do need to manage my weight better in order to be one step closer to better health. There is also such beautiful spiritual and emotional work that is calling my name.

I got this.

As I own my health journey, know that what is listed, is some of my current soul work and some new things based on my doctor’s notes and his feedback when we met this past summer. My goal is to be the healthiest I can be – body, mind, and soul. And while I am being transparent, I’d love to have your support, but I am conscious that too much good advice can be a bad thing. If I let you know that something I am choosing to do is a non-negotiable, please don’t try to convince me that I am wrong.

So, here is my list:

  1. Go dairy and meat free! I am considering whether or not I will continue eating eggs and fish. I think that I will be removing fish from my diet after tonight because we purchased salmon for tonight’s Shabbat dinner. (Note: I have been virtually meat free for many years so meat free is not a big deal. ūüôā AND I will be working with Weight Watchers guidelines.)
  2. Prepare three new vegan recipes a week. Take time to enjoy living a more healthy lifestyle.
  3. No added sugar to my diet. I will continue having fruit and sometimes fruit juices with no added sugar. I know this has sugar, but I am doing it anyway.
  4. Allow for more silence in my life. Breathe a little deeper.
  5. One of my favorite quotes by¬†Franz¬†Kafka is ‚ÄúWriting is¬†prayer.” With this in mind, I want to surround my life with more spirituality through my writing.
  6. Do more soul work! Hoping and praying that I can touch people’s lives with Door l’Door.¬†https://door-ldoor.blogspot.com/
  7. Exercise more – this includes walking 7-10 miles daily and/or finding a piece of equipment to do daily at home. I am thinking about an elliptical. Thoughts?
  8. Politically and spiritually, there is so much work that our world needs me/us to do. With this in mind, I want to listen to the wisdom of one of my favorite songs in the world, “Keep On Moving Forward” by Emma’s Revolution.¬† https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtiXT5c5jBQ
  9. Live my truths without apology. Allow for my authenticity to shine.
  10. Chant, Drum, and Dance

By choosing to do this holy work, I am choosing to fuel my soul. I guess my soul sister can’t tell me I am ignoring her wisdom!

Time to get to work!


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I have a problem. I am an addict!!! I just can’t get enough of that white powdery substance. . . .SUGAR.

With this in mind I decided to begin a new health journey  and ask for support from my friends. I did this once before and it lasted for over six years ago; the great news is that I have kept 65 lbs. off, but now I need to go back to the choices I made back then.

The good news is that all of those healthy changes made a difference and now it is time for me to begin again.

Hineini, Here I am!!

Today I started prepping for my latest health journey. Instead of counting 45 days until my 45th birthday, I am counting 21 days of healthier eating, aka no sugar. My hope is that at the end of 21 days, I will start another health journey while remaining steadfast on refraining from sugar too.

Over and over again, I have heard that it takes 21 days to create new habits. So here is the first habit I will be working to change – NO SUGAR!

Making 21 Countdown chartIn preparation for today, I made a fun little check off chart. I did this for two reasons. One, I needed to create a ritual/visualization around checking off the days. Two, I wanted a prop to share my thinking about this journey.

As a sugar addict, I need to own that part of my personality and look for ways to make better choices.

AND here is the ask, please celebrate my successes and support me through my challenges. If this isn’t comfortable for you, simply ignore me. ūüôā

Transformation needs to happen. Being healthy is literally a non-negotiable.  So tonight at sundown, I will officially begin my 21 day countdown.  I will share my journey via Facebook and my blog.

Don’t hesitate to ask me how I am doing. Your mentioning it won’t sabotage the work; in fact, it will probably help me remember that I am not alone!

l’Chayim, to life,


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Yesterday was a bad sugar day in my sugar elimination journey and that is OK!  Some days are like that.

 Just Say No

We decide how to move through our journeys. Yesterday I believed all would work! When something didn’t, I navigated & made it work. That included so many different aspects of life including work, family dynamics and food. ¬†Sometimes everything works out and sometimes it doesn’t; I am on a journey to be a better person in every way.

Yesterday’s food challenge was when I picked up a bag of Terra Chips and was enjoying a bite or two before I realized that my arch enemy sugar was in them. ¬†Oy. ¬†Before that I had a diet soda. ¬†Please note, I think diet drinks are toxic; in fact I know it. ¬†And fake sweetener, like sugar is consider a non-negotiable too.

And with all that in mind, I am allowed to make mistakes and have poor judgement; it happens.  And in the end of the day, I can choose to break a bad cycle or cope and improve.

And the bottom-line for yesterday is that it was a crazy day professionally and still I didn’t fall that far off the bandwagon; for that I am grateful.

Hineini, here I am – my goal is to keep growing so moving forward is what I will do! I have work to do and people to serve!

With light and blessings, Chava

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Today is Day ¬†7 of my eliminating sugar from my diet. ¬†In this moment, I am feeling pretty good, but tired too. ¬†I haven’t been partaking in the sugar and caffeine pick me ups in the middle of the day; this is a good thing. ¬†The biggest challenge in this journey is that when I am feeling anxious or just bummed, I really want ‘junk” and I have chosen to function differently. ¬†All day yesterday, I would have loved peanut butter (the kind with sugar and hydrogenated oil) and chocolate. ¬†In fact, I would have loved to chow down on a fair-trade chocolate and peanut butter bar (homemade or even a¬†commercially¬†made bar).

Yesterday was full of blessings, many of them, but still I had a few hours that felt a bit dark and overwhelmed. ¬†I was feeling challenged by some intense issues that don’t usual wipe me out. ¬†To begin with, I have four friends that are having intense physical challenges and I fear for their journey. ¬†Secondly, I am navigating some financial challenges that sometimes feel overwhelming, but really aren’t. ¬†And lastly, I needed time to write, to rest, and to chill, but that didn’t happen. ¬†With all of this going on, I still found myself allowing my mind to wander to Israeli politics, the United States economy, and our environment. ¬†My mind was full, too full.

With all of the intensity, I functioned well and didn’t let my mood stay down for more than an hour or two. ¬†Work was busy, but manageable. ¬†I even went with Aryeh to the 4th Avenue Street Fair in Tucson; I liked watching the people, but NOTHING really caught my eye. ¬†We wandered without really feeling a strong need to pop into many booths and when we did stop, I was amazed by how many artists/booth operators ignored us, so we kept moving. ¬†When I stopped at one booth, I would have asked some questions and perhaps purchased a mobile, but when no one noticed us, we just kept walking.

While lack of excess funds and a strong value for Voluntary Simplicity often guide me, I was still intrigued that I navigated a Fair that we were told about since arriving in Tucson 5 months ago. ¬†It was an experience . . .I think ¬†Aryeh and I enjoyed people watching more than anything! ¬† I really do love walking on 4th Avenue and I was sad that I didn’t have time to curl up with my computer and go to Cafe Passe. ¬†The one thing Aryeh and I noted with alarm was that we love amazing Tie-Dye and none existed at the 4th Avenue Street Fair. ¬†Of all the things we could be¬†judgmental¬†about, it was Tie-Dye. ¬†We love Milky Wave Tie-Dye; not only are Laz and Jess amazing artists, they are¬†phenomenal¬†people. ¬†We love their business, their art, and their family too. ¬†We loved their parents’ work too; we miss them. ¬†So, Tucson, if you want to purchase real tie-dye, go to Opal, Virginia or look on FB.¬†https://www.facebook.com/milkywavetiedye?fref=ts.

Tangent over. . . .

My biggest trigger food in the world is junky peanut butter.  If you ever see me eating junky peanut butter, you have two choices: get out of the way or gently ask me if I am ok.  If I am eating it, I am not ok.  And if I am eating peanut butter and chocolate together, do yourself a favor and get out of the way.  When I am dark, my natural inclination is to build a cocoon around myself and eat the foods that do nothing for my waist-line or my blood sugar level.  What I learned two years ago and what I am learning now is that tough stop happens and I can manage my emotions without the junk.

The blessing of today is that life happens and if I manage my emotions without sugar, I will soar to a healthier place. ¬†Navigating discomfort and pain is hard; there is no way around it. ¬†For me, today, comforting myself with unhealthy food is not an option. ¬†I need to find a new ‘normal’ again. ¬†Yesterday, I allowed myself tears, quiet time, and ultimately I functioned; I did everything I needed to do without feeding into my sugar addiction.

There really are many payoffs that are coming with this journey, I am:

  • learning to manage my emotions without sugar.
  • taking control of my life a little bit more than before.
  • losing weight (nearly 4 lbs. since last Sunday).

Today is a new day and I am thriving.

With blessings and light,  Chava

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sugar1As soon as my eyes opened this morning I realized two important realities.  The first one was that I am starting to sleep longer hours then ever before; yay! And second, I am feeling really good about taking control of my life again.  Taking sugar out of my diet is really just a start.  With this one step, I am also seeing a few more changes in how I am walking in the world.  I am:

  1. believing I can be a really healthy woman.
  2. not stressing over momentary lapses of forgetfulness. ¬†Did you know that lemonade has sugar? ūüėČ
  3. listening to my body more.  When I need to rest, I am allowing myself to do so.
  4. not drinking enough water or eating healthy enough foods throughout the day.
  5. enjoying having herbal teas at coffee houses.

The bottom-line is that I am finding new norms for how to handle stress and exhaustion.  I am not grabbing for sugar, so I have to find substitutes.  Herbal tea is great! Yesterday I had two cups of a peppermint-chamomile tea that was amazing.

The journey to health and eliminating sugar is not easy, but it is the right thing to do!

With light and blessings, Chava

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Giving up all added sweeteners is a journey worth taking, but in the beginning mistakes happen.

Yesterday, I walked into my day with a positive attitude and a conviction to succeed. ¬†For the most part I did until lunch time. ¬†My work serves this awful powered lemonade drink and it is often what I drink out of habit. ¬†Can’t really understand why that is a habit except for maybe it has SUGAR. ¬†Well I offered lunch and drinks to my teachers for our teacher meeting and I did what I always do. . . .I took a cup (or 3) of the lemonade.

Ugh, on my way home from work I realized that lemonade has sugar! OY!

Mistakes happen, especially in the beginning.  I have also not created my new rule list for moving forward, but I do know that lemonade is not on the approval list.

I am learning; I am growing.

Let the journey to being kinder to my body continue.

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Last night, the lightbulb went off and it was a little too bright for my eyes. ¬†After looking back at my day, I realized that I was facing a head on collision with my arch enemy – sugar. ¬†I’ve always struggled with weight, but last’s nights realization wasn’t about weight, not really. ¬†It was about my inability to stop eating all foods with sugar.

Looking back I am seeing a cycle that began early in the afternoon.  I wanted something sweet so I settled for a trigger food of mine, nut butter.  I ate a spoon full of almond butter and that was enough.  I was proud of myself for getting under control.  Well then I went out for a meeting with some colleagues and I ordered something I never order; I ordered hot chocolate.  By the way, I had also had hot chocolate one week prior as well.  Wait, I ordered a hot chocolate last Saturday night too.

For those of you that know me, at this point you should be nodding your head at me. ¬†For years, I have only supported the purchase of fair-trade chocolate. ¬†Slave labor in the chocolate industry is rampant; my entire family stopped benefiting from slave labor years ago. ¬†Well, in the last few weeks maybe even months, I have found myself eating any chocolate and then saying, well I didn’t purchase it – of course that makes it ok, right? NOT so much.

Addiction is not something I have thought about much over the years, but this is what I think I know. ¬†If you are willing to forfeit your values so that you can enjoy what you know to be ‘blood’ food, then perhaps you have a problem. ¬†For me personally, I have felt a strong conviction that our family has no alternative to purchasing fair-trade chocolate. ¬†This has been a non-negotiable practice in our home. ¬†So, last night, I realized that I had fallen hard off the bandwagon.

There really is no time to lament.  I have decided that I need to go back to my values and learn to control my eating habits again.  Just over two years ago, I did a count down for getting myself off of sugar, caffeine, and soda.  I counted down 45 days to my 45th birthday.  The good news is that I was fantastic and maintaining this practice until this past May when too many transitions hit at the same time.  Moving cross country nearly wiped me out and the reserves it took pushed me to my limit.  While I ultimately succeeded, there was a cost, I started eating the foods that were toxic to me.

With 73 days to my 47th birthday, I think it is time to actively take my life back.  Lately, I have made some great choices. I have been biking more, moving lots, chanting, connecting with friends, and spending quality time with my sons.  Now I need to rid myself (again) of toxic foods.  I also need to remember to live according to the values I hold.

How did I lose sight of my values? ¬†Addiction. ¬†Sugar Addiction. ¬†What I know is that I don’t have to succumb to the addiction, I have to reach inside myself and do the physical and spiritual work of listening to the inner voice; I have to simply stop eating food that is not good for me.

For those of you that live in Tucson, help me by not giving me sweets or making me goodies.  And everyone else, feel free to support me on my journey and to send good thoughts my way.

Let the journey begin. . . .

With light and blessings, Chava

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