Setbacks are a part of the journey.

Setbacks are a part of the journey.

Whether you like it or not, setbacks are a part of the journey. You can let them derail you and cause you to give up. OR, you can learn from them and correct course.

When I came up against a major setback in how I was feeling, I chose to dig a little deeper and understand why things had stalled out.

A few days ago, I stopped feeling so great AND my sugar cravings (you know, the ones I talked about being 100% gone) started to creep back in.  I was having a lot of indigestion, intense stomach pains, bloating like crazing, and an uncomfortable tightness underneath my ribs. I also started to gain back some weight.

A closer look at what I was eating and when revealed that the discomfort was being triggered by onions, balsamic vinegar, almond butter, fruit sugars (even in extreme moderation), and macadamia nuts.

As soon as I knew better, I did better.

A few days later, I also started to feel better.

I’m officially back on track and feeling good — indigestion, bloating, and tightness under my ribs are gone. I’ve also started to lose weight again. All signs that I’m on the right path.

This experience has been a powerful reminder that setbacks are a part of the process. Also, setbacks do not discriminate. Everyone experiences setbacks along the way. It’s how we deal with them that matters most.

Have you experienced setbacks when making a big change? How did you deal with it?

The easy way to get rid of sugar cravings (for good).

The easy way to get rid of sugar cravings (for good).

One thing I’ve been absolutely astounded by is how easily my (totally insane) sugar cravings went away. And I’m not talking my cravings have subsided and they are now manageable, I’m talking I don’t even have them.

Coming from someone who used to crave chocolate and sweets like gummy candy all the time, that’s pretty darn amazing.

So, what exactly caused them to go away?

I think the success was three-fold.

  1. I stopped eating the chocolate and candy. (Duh. But also, seriously.)
  2. I removed all other sweets and sugars from my diet, including natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey, fruit, and sweet vegetables (i.e.—sweet potatoes, plantains, carrots) as well as all gluten-containing foods like bread and pasta.
  3. I added in a TON of lemon juice and leafy greens.

That’s it.

No fancy supplements. No special affirmations, treatments, or processes. A simple dietary change and a whole lot more of the good stuff.

Once we moved out of the detox phase (AKA Phase 1) and into Phase 2, we were allowed to add fruit (berries, mostly) and some dark chocolate back into the mix. Once that happened, I actually noticed my hankering for something sweet creeping back in.

So.

Interesting.

Apparently any sweetness — even in moderation — can bring back my sugar cravings like crazy.

I’ve actually been contemplating going back to that original phase of eating, as I’ve been craving sweets again. But for now, I’m going to be watching my intake of fruits and approved sweeteners like Stevia and Swerve and will be loading back up with lemon juice and greens.

Are you craving sugar like crazy? What have you done to manage the cravings? And what, if anything, happened as a result?

It’s almost too good to be true. (The Plant Paradox Diet, that is.)

It’s almost too good to be true. (The Plant Paradox Diet, that is.)

The Plant Paradox Program is almost too good to be true. Almost.

You may remember last week’s post about how my husband and I were embarking on The Plant Paradox Program, as outlined by Dr. Steven Gundry.

Well, we are officially on the other side of the 3-day cleanse (A.K.A. Phase 1) and something miraculous has happened: my sugar cravings are GONE. As in, I do not have an overwhelming desire to stuff my face with chocolate, candy, or even fruit. Which, if you know me, is a freakin’ miracle.

My joint pain has all but disappeared. I say all but because I still wake up feeling stiff in my hands, but that has also started to dissipate. (But, hey, it’s only been 3 days.)

I’ve lost 6lbs and am now officially under my pre-pregnancy weight. Another miracle, y’all. This is seriously the first time my weight has done anything other than go UP in the last 3 years. Even with 100 days of yoga. Even with HIIT workouts. Even with restricting my diet and cutting out dairy, nightshades, gluten, corn, and eggs.

And I’ve discovered a host of new foods to add to my repertoire: arugula (delicious wilted and added to burgers), jicama (bland and crunchy), and lemon juice on pretty much everything. I’ve also discovered the sheer joy that is cauliflower steaks and salads with lemon juice, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

The best part?

It’s taken three days for the changes to take place.

Three.
Measly.
Days.

I’m more geeked than ever to see what happens during Phase II, as things start to become more routine and even out for us. I’m also geeked to be out of Phase I because The Husband was NOT a fan of the green smoothies we had for breakfast, nor was he a fan of the lack of animal protein in our house. He’s a much happier camper now that we’re into the next phase and eating more substantial meals.

Did you pick up The Plant Paradox? If so, what did you think about it? And are you planning on trying out the eating plan he lays out in the books?

Can cleaning up my diet really do THAT?

Can cleaning up my diet really do THAT?

Even though I’m less than a week into this dietary change (I totally cheated and started early), I’ve noticed something exciting: my period has been a whole lot more manageable.

Instead of the usual large irritated red bumps (likely cystic acne) on my forehead and hair line, I’ve had two very minor red spots or blemishes that have disappeared in a day after a long hot shower. Also, my sugar cravings have reduced tenfold and are now officially satisfied with one fig and a small Saturn peach here and there.

While I was extremely tired one evening and went to bed much earlier than usual, I have had zero PMS symptoms. No back pain, cramps, chocolate binges, crazy mood swings, or major bloating. No weight gain, either. In fact, I’ve actually gone down a pound or two. And that NEVER happens when I’m on my period.

I did have some cramping yesterday after my period started, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d call it a 6. No need for medication or any other kind of intervention. Laying in bed and reading seemed to be all the therapy I needed. I also had a few weird dreams last night and have been a bit more irritable today, but compared to what it’s been in the past, this period and the associated symptoms feels like a cake walk.

I knew rationally that eating better can have a positive effect on my period. But to experience it, and so quickly to boot, has been surprising, to say the least. A happy surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.

I’ll be curious to see if this continues to be the case with continued adherence to the PP Plan. And I’m actually looking forward to getting my period again. Which, seriously? Who says that?!

There is something seriously wrong with me. 😂

Have you ever noticed that the way you eat has an impact — positive or negative — on your period?

Knowing WHY can make all the difference in the world.

Knowing WHY can make all the difference in the world.

When making big changes, knowing WHY can make all the difference in the world. (Tweet this.)

Over the years I’ve eliminated just about every single food possible in the quest of feeling better. Some days were easier than others, but the ultimate quest for better health and happiness has been a solid anchor to keep me in check.

Of course, my brain gets the best of me and convinces me that it’s okay to have an occasional french fry or helping of pasta with tomato sauce. Even though I know with absolute certainty that it will lead to feeling like shit for a few days after.

It’s worth it for a bite of pasta, I say.

Or, I would happily suffer if it meant I could eat french fries again.

But the truth is, it isn’t and I wouldn’t. I’m miserable when I veer off course. My body knows it. My head even knows it, it just likes to play tricks on me to see how committed I am to my goals.

This time around, I am embarking on a major change in my diet (and life) with the ultimate goal of finding health and happiness. Why? Because the alternative is, quite simply put, miserable.

So anytime my head tries to get me to veer off course, my gut will step in and say: Will this add to your life or take away from it?

While things may feel good in the moment (a heaping plate of french fries or spaghetti with tomato sauce), if it makes me uncomfortable or unhappy in the end, it just isn’t worth it. Anchoring myself in that deep sense of purpose will ultimately lead to my success and happiness.

Discovering YOUR why.

When taking the leap and creating change in your own life, it’s easy to focus on the simple or surface level reasons for creating change. But the deeper you can go, the more likely you’ll be to stick with it.

Here’s how to go deep:

Ask yourself the following question: Why do I want to make this change?

And then ask it again: No, really. WHY?

Keep asking why until you have literally exhausted every single thing you can think of.

You can write it out or you can talk it out with a friend. Both are effective tools for getting to the heart of the matter. And once there, you can use that knowledge to stay motivated when things get tough and feel impossible.

Anything is possible, so long as your willing to put off momentary pleasure for long term results.