Monday, September 17, 2012

How I Kicked My Sugar Addiction

It wasn't that long ago that I was addicted to sugar.  
I was so addicted to sugar that I once pulled over at the dollar store when the craving hit me.  I had to ban Nutella from our house because I would eat nothing else until it was gone.  
I would eat it spoonful by spoonful all day long and even skip dinner.  I asked my husband to stop bringing me chocolates because I would not eat anything else.  

I had absolutely no will power. 

My drug of choice.  (photo credit)
One day I was visiting a friend and I was talking about my acne and about how discouraging and upsetting it was.  I told her how I felt that it was effected by my consumption of sugar.  She told me that an overabundance of yeast in your system would make you crave sugar because yeast eats sugar.  So I spent about 6 months doing research on it and found a lot of information about the candida yeast.  
There is a lot of information on-line about it.  

My favorite web-site for information on candida is  
I feel it is the most comprehensive and they don't require you to buy anything to get the information you need.  
I looked at a lot of sites and this one had it all. 

I started reading about the symptoms of candida overgrowth and decided I needed to follow the candida diet. 
I was worried about what eating so much sugar was doing to my body.  I also have a family history of diabetes and so I was really worried about becoming diabetic.

Using the Candida Diet website, I pretty much diagnosed myself and laid out my own treatment plan. 

I did want to consult a medical professional first, to make sure I was healthy enough to do the diet.  I printed out a list of my symptoms, what I felt happened in my history to cause the candida overgrowth,  and the treatment plan from the website.
When I met with my Nurse Practitioner I thought she'd roll her eyes and think I was an "internet hypochondriac", but she listened to me and looked over the information I'd brought. 
She'd only had 1 or 2 other patients that she'd gone through this with but she felt that my discovery was valid.  
She did want to do a liver function test to make sure I was healthy enough to take the anti-fungals. 

According to, phase one is a cleanse.  
I tried the cleanse for one day and I couldn't do it because it was just too icky for me, so I skipped that and when straight into phase two.  

I have a good friend who went to a doctor for candida herself.
Her doctor told her that you only have to reduce your carbohydrate intake by 80% for 5 weeks in order to kill off the candida overgrowth.  That is because carbohydrates are turned into glucose (sugar) by our bodies.  So cutting out the carbs basically starves the yeast of it's food.  I thought, I can't measure how much I reduce my carbs because I'm just not smart like that. But, if I set a goal of eating no carbs at all, even if I cheat a little bit it would be okay.
On the diet you can only have plain kefir.  But now the flavored kefir is my go to treat.
I started my pro-biotics two weeks before the anti-fungals. 
When I was at Sprouts looking for the anti-fungals, a lady there told me she used Raw Apple Cider Vinegar to help cure her candida overgrowth, so I decided to try that too.  

I started by drinking 1/4 tsp of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar in water (with a straw so as not to damage my teeth) and also eating a little chunk of garlic* (about 1cm square) each day.  
Yes, I was pleasant to hang out with :)  
After about 2 weeks I started the other anti-fungals, rotating and overlapping as directed on so that the candida yeast wouldn't become resistant to them.  

I also drank plain kefir.  
It is like a drinkable yogurt and is packed with pro-biotics.  
The plain kefir tastes a bit like sour cream, which sounds icky but I actually grew to like it. I added a few drops of stevia to it and the taste grew on me. It also has a fun, tingly feeling. 

Flavored kefir has carbs, so it's not allowed on the diet, but I drink it every day now that I'm done. 
By the way, my NP said that everyone should take a pro-biotic every day and that you can't over-do it.

Anti-fungals.  The grape-fruit seed extract tasted so bad that I bought capsules to put it in.
I was really excited the first day I realized it was working.  
I was at my friend's house for a birthday party.  
Someone had taken the icing off of a cupcake with the paper wrapper and left it laying on the plate. Just two weeks earlier I would have snatched it up and squeezed every bit of icing out of it.  
That would have been a waste of good icing!  
In the past, I have eaten icing out of a tub I hid in the refrigerator. 
I felt so good when I realized that I didn't even want to eat it.  
I had no desire for it. My friends knew - I would have eaten the icing off of everyone's cupcake if they had let me.

I stayed on the diet for 6 weeks.  
I tried to pick a time of the year when there wouldn't be a lot of temptations, like holiday candies. I did cheat quite a bit at first. 
I had a hard time, but when I realized it was working, I was more motivated to stick with it.

One night we ordered pizza. I did cut a sliver off for myself, but for my dinner I ate a chicken breast with frozen veggies and seasoning.  
 By having that one little bit of pizza, I didn't feel like I was depriving myself.  It wouldn't have been enough for me before, but was plenty after completing part of the diet.  

Even though the diet lasts for at least 5 or 6 weeks, it wasn't has hard as I thought it would be.  I thought it would be nearly impossible to get through, but after starting to see results in a short time, I was encouraged and I was able to stick more closely to the diet and not want the carby foods that I had had before.  

Now that I'm off the diet, I am eating carbs. But, I can say "no" to them.  I haven't wanted a chocolate bar in weeks!  
(My friend shared one with me a couple of weeks ago, but I don't crave it like I did before, and I haven't had one since!)

My acne is noticeably less.  I am no longer having the large, painful zits.  I do still have an occasional pimple though.  
 I think I have other skin sensitivity issues that I need to address. 
I can do that now knowing that one cause is taken care of.  
I am currently recovering from perioral dermatitis
but I'll cover that topic another day.

Now, I'm keeping myself healthy by not going overboard on carby foods (sweets, grains, starchy foods), drinking kefir and by taking my Vitalizer every day.  
I feel GREAT!  My mind is more clear, I have more energy, and I've even lost a few pounds!

I went from piling my a plate full of brownies and treats at parties to being able to take just one and be satisfied.
If I can do it, you can do it!

*If you don't think you can eat straight garlic, you can get a garlic supplement here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Simple Steps: How to Remove a Mustard Stain

A week ago I went to a Labor Day picnic with a good friend.  They had super yummy hot dogs!  My friend's was super messy though and she ended up with a couple of globs of mustard on her khaki shorts.  

When she remarked that the oxy stain remover that she normally uses might cause light spots I told her that I might have just the thing.   Two days later I brought over my Nature Bright and Basic H Concentrate.

We made a paste with about a 1/4 tsp. Nature Bright and 1/4 tsp. Basic H Concentrate and just enough water to make it moist and easy to spread. When she applied it, it went to work immediately, changing the color from yellow to red!  

I haven't studied this in science yet, but I think this must be the enzymes working. 
I tried to google it to find out, but I wouldn't suggest that because all of the results were kind of gross.

I, of course, left before it was ready to wash but my friend told me that before going to bed she moistened the spots and rubbed them a little more. She left it overnight to do it's magic and tossed them in the wash the next morning.  Easy-peasy.



I love that it works so well!!  Even after having two days to set, the stain is completely gone!

Nature Bright Laundry Booster & Stain Remover uses natural enzymes and active oxygen instead of chlorine to brighten laundry, remove stains in upholstery more.   
Get your Nature Bright here.

Basic H2 Concentrate is an Organic Super Star!   Using 16oz. bottle of Basic H2 Concentrate, you can make 48 gallons of cleaner! There are hundreds of uses, and it's safe to use around kids and pets.
Get your Basic H2 here.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Karla's Daybook

Outside my window...     the world is waking up.

I am thinking...     "Wow.  It's really quiet early in the morning!"

I am thankful...    for my wonderful husband who works hard to provide for us.

I am wearing...    my Eskimo Joe's T-Shirt and jammie pants (yes I'm still in my jammies!)

I am creating...    another to-do list because the other one is full and I'm not actually going to do any of that stuff anyway :)

I am going...      to have a productive day if it kills me!   

I am reading...    through Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot series chronologically.  ♥

I am hoping...    to get a good start on catching up on the housekeeping today.  It's a wreck!  Don't worry, there will be a picture below ;)

I am looking forward to...    moving to a house in a few months (God willing).  I really need to start purging stuff in preparation.  

I am learning...    to be brave.

In the kitchen...    there is stuff piled all over the counters that is keeping me from cutting up the chicken that I really need to prep and put in the freezer today.

Around the house...    are legos and toys that seem to come from nowhere.

One of my favorite things...    used to be to lay in bed a long time after waking up and just be; but now it seems to be to get up when I wake up and get something done.  What happened to me!

A favorite quote for today...    from Ethan: so in that song when it says "All the other boys try to chase me" are they really trying to chase her because they like her, or are they just trying to creep her out? 

A few plans for the rest of the week...    are to hire a real estate agent and start looking at houses.

A peek into my day...  

Read more Daybooks at:

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Importance of Routine

I think routines are something most people use, whether aware of it or not, in daily life.  From your morning routine of get up, make the bed, brush your teeth, get dressed...etc.; to your nightly ritual of a bowl of ice cream during TV time.  Routine is what carries us through our days.

I know some moms who prefer schedules.  They plan each task to a certain time of the day, and that's fine.  I'm sure that works well for some moms.  I tried that when my twins were babies.  It made me feel constricted and I focused too much on the when and not enough on the what.

3 of my whats.
I then realized that I might not get everything done in a day, and that's OK.  As long as I was able to get a few main things done I still felt like I accomplished something for the day.

I then sat down and made a list of the tasks I felt absolutely needed to get done every day (or every other day) just to keep my sanity the house in order.  For me, these were meals, dishes, laundry and budget.  Everything else could be forgotten for even a few days.  These things are my base routine.  I gave myself a break and decided that if I maintain these four tasks, everything else is cake.

As a homeschool mom, I know first hand how important routines can be to getting anything done at all.  My routines keep me on track with meals, chores, school, budgeting...  the list goes on and on.   And I don't have just one all-purpose routine.  No way!  I have several to mix-and-match depending on the day.

My fancy handwritten routine that hangs on the front of my fridge.

Now don't you already feel better about yourself when you look at the fancy routine I have hanging for all to see on my fridge!  The way it works is simple.  I do a task in each box and then start over, picking a different task the next time round.  This way I don't get burned out by doing one thing for an hour.  And if I find myself walking in circles, because I can't decide what to do next, it's right there on the fridge.  There are permanent tasks written in sharpie on the paper, and temporary tasks, written in dry-erase on the sheet protector.  I can easily slip a new task into my routine at any time.

Not written out is my School routine which goes like this:
  • Bible
  • History
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Math 
  • Spelling
  • Seat Work
I keep the books we are working from in a crate near our table.  They are kept in order of our routine.  I work from right to left (I've always been a little backwards!)  And when our new Latin book comes this week, I'll add it to our routine by sliding it in with the other books.  That way it won't be forgotten because I didn't get to that shelf which is what happens to our art curriculum on most days.

Believe it or not, there are some days that I wake up and just cannot get into my routine.   But that's the beauty of having a routine.  It doesn't matter what time we get up.  It doesn't matter if we have a play date at 1pm or a doctor's appointment at 10am.  We can just pick up right where we left off in the routine.

Do you prefer schedules or routines?  Do you display your routines; what visual cues do you use?  What have you found that works best for you?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Simple Steps: A Healthy Energy Drink!

I didn't get to sleep until 3am last night.  Not because I wasn't tired, but because my husband drank his Cinch Energy Tea at work when he needed a lift. 

When he got home 2am he was still wired and ended up keeping me awake while he watched the Olympics. Talk about an unexpected side effect! He promised he'd drink his tea earlier in his shift next time.

I used to lecture him on how his energy drinks would make him fat and were really bad for his health in general.  I can't even get the pleasure of lecturing him now!  And I'm tired and cranky and really want to. Cinch Energy Tea is made with natural ingredients and has only 5 calories per serving.

I'm so pleased that I can replace something that he normally uses with a healthy alternative!  And it is works better than those other energy drinks that are loaded with tons sugar or high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors and colors.  Who can be mad at that! 

Where do you get your energy?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Karla's Daybook

Outside my window...    it's dark so I can't see, but I don't think anyone's out there!

I am thinking...    that I'm really good at wasting time!

I am thankful for...    my wonderful family.

From the learning rooms...    we're getting ready to start a new school year next week.  July is going to be a busy month so I'm not sure if we'll be able to stay on track.  We might have to carry some of July's work into August.

From the kitchen...    I was supposed to fillet a bunch of chicken breast today so that it would be ready for meals this week.  I managed to fiddle around being OCD about this blog's format long enough that it got to be too late.  I'm really good at that.

I am wearing...    a t-shirt and capris.  I should be in my jammies right now.

I am creating...    stress for myself, because instead of doing what needs to get done I have been zoning out on the computer all night ;)

I am going...    to go to bed in about 10 minutes.

I am reading...    nothing today.  Yesterday I finished The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie.  It was her first published novel and featured Hercule Poirot.  I have decided to read through all of the Poirot stories in chronological order.  I have several books requested from the library as a means to this end.  I'm really looking forward to getting them and hope they come in soon.

I am hoping...     my lovely daughter will be coming to visit this week.  We are all anxious for her to get here.  We have lots of fun planned.
I am hearing...     people shooting off early fireworks.

Around the house...   I have managed to clear out some tubs of clutter this week.  It feels  good and I plan on doing more next week.

One of my favorite things...   is Reese's' Peanut Butter Cups.  They are so yummy!  Ethan shared one with me today.  I couldn't resist.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
  • I need to order some school materials (Latin & Life of Fred)
  • We need to make our bi-annual trek to the mall (YIKES!)
  • My birthday is Tuesday.  I'm holding on to 29 for another year.   
  • I need to post items for sale on Craigslist this week.  I've never bought or sold on Craigslist and I guess I'm a little nervous about it.  Everyone says is super easy.  I've been putting it off and I guess I'd better just do it.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...

This cicada was on the landing of the stairs today. So amazing!

Read more Daybooks at:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Karla's Daybook

Outside my window...     all is dark and quiet.

I am hearing...     my husband talking to his buddy on the phone.

I am thinking...     that I am ready for some peace.

I am thankful for...     this moment.

From the learning rooms...     summer reading programs just started last week and I am already behind in logging their reading times.  I'm usually on top of this kind of thing, but I've been so overwhelmed with car hunting that I haven't had time to think about it.

From the kitchen...     Maia made a pineapple/cream cheese spread today.  Someday she can take over for me :)

My current project is...    de-cluttering the kids' rooms.  It is never-ending.  I will hopefully get it done before I run out of momentum.

I am going...     to make time to get my hair cut tomorrow!  It's been at least 6 months since I cut my hair myself and over a year since I've had it cut by someone else.  Tomorrow I plan on going to the nearby cosmetology school and crossing my fingers ;)

I am reading...     I just finished the 1st part of the 39 Clues series which I was reading with Maia. Now I'm taking a break to go to bed earlier and get more sleep.  I'm not sure what I'll read next.  Maybe something classic.

I am hoping...     for a productive day tomorrow.  So many things to get done!

Around the house...     I need to get a lot more de-cluttering done.

One of my favorite things...     the wonderful hugs my children fill my days with.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
  • sort the boys' tubs of clutter
  • check into getting raw milk 
  • start the elimination diet I've been putting off for 4 months.

Read more Daybooks at:

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