* Week 1, Part B – 52 Weeks to the All Natural Lifestyle *

Week 1, Part A

So, what did you come up with on Tuesday when you listed everything, that to you, would make up the ideal lifestyle?

Now that you’ve decided all that, I may shake you up when I say make eating healthy at the top of your plan! Seems a bit late in the year to say that, since we’re supposed to make our New Year’s Goals on December 31st, but sometimes, those are moot points by January 2nd anyways, so why not start today?

Before we get into what that first step looks like, let me share my own map I wrote up last January for me personally, and also for my family, in my attempts to get us to be more natural with our lifestyle. Actually. . . it’s the original plan with all it’s phases, with new things added in for this year.

Phase 1

Detox Candida from our bodies
Break the sugar addiction
Break the caffeine addiction

Phase 2

Learn the different grains and rices and how to cook with them
Come up with healthier snack alternatives
Learn how to cook more with beans and lentils, and move more into a vegetarian lifestyle

Phase 3
Move to cloth products (Baby wipes, tissues, paper towels, maybe even TP?!)
Get plastic out of the house and move to glass containers

Phase 4
Move to natural cleaning products that I either make myself or find somewhere to buy.

Phase 5


Expand my gardening expertise, broaden my horizons with what I can this year, and move into root cellaring.

Phase 6
Get our own dairy goat and egg-laying chickens

Phase 7
Move to all-natural and homemade beauty products

Phase 8

Learn how to make condiments and cheeses

Phase 7

Learn all the essential oils and begin to incorporate them into our every day life and occasional illnesses.

I did not accomplish everything I wanted to last year. The goat and chickens depended on my landlord. He wasn’t keen on the idea–though he’s more open to it this year.

I was able to eliminate sugar and caffeine from my diet, but I’m sad to say, after I lost the baby last summer, I got away from healthy eating. I had a green smoothie the day my tube ruptured and up until this past week, I couldn’t drink one without getting upset. The taste brought back the memories of the pain and trauma of that day. Without my green smoothies, my desire for carbs and sugars came back – -when my emotions did allow me an appetite that is – – so this January finds me back at square one with all that. 🙁

Gardening was actually going great–until my surgery. The passion I normally had to can was gone, and instead, getting through my day was on the agenda instead. But before that happened, I actually was experimenting with some new planting methods like climbing beans, and new vegetables like black beans and artichokes and leeks. We ate most of them fresh, but very little was actually preserved.

I’m off track, aren’t I? I guess I’m evaluating my year last year and that’s not the point of this, now is it? 🙂

So back to your plan of action. Now that I’ve asked you to come up with a road map to follow, I’m going to ask you to rearrange it if healthy eating isn’t at the top.

I’m not going to endorse one particular way of eating on this blog–carb free or vegetarian. I am simply going to pursue a diet that is as caffeine, sugar, and preservative free as possible – and I would encourage you to do the same. We start by breaking the addictions we have to those substances.

If you are addicted, this isn’t going to be easy. You are going to go through withdrawel big time. I know I did! Headaches, nausea, weakness, and even down right crankiness because the cravings are stronger than you thought possible. But it’s so vital to do this. Why?

1. Numerous studies have shown that sugar feeds cancer. This can be found in magazines, books, and all over the internet.

2. Caffeine and sugar are addictive substances. None of us can deny the rush we get when we consume either or, or both. The trouble is, sugar spikes our blood sugar levels and what goes up, must come down. Caffeine too, stimulates our nervous system, but like sugar, it eventually has to leave our bloodstream and we find ourselves in a crash of sorts. We then, like addicts, find ourselves consuming more and more to keep up the high we once got from just one cup of coffee or one brownie.

The more we crash, the more we crave. The more we crave, the more we eat. The more we eat, the more we crash. It’s a vicious cycle.

3. Linking to the above statement, sugar and caffeine addicts also find themselves struggling with unruly emotions like anxiety and depression. I wrote an article on this for Totally Her.

I can give personal testimony to the fact that eliminating these two substances from my lifestyle have helped my struggles with both issues considerably. I am still on a low dose of anti-depressant that I went on when we lost our baby, but it’s a starter dose that I never increased. I have hopes that as I once again, pursue a healthier way of eating and living, I will be able to eliminate it this coming summer.

*please note, this is my own personal goal and one I will discuss with my OB who put me on it. Please do not attempt to just abruptly stop taking meds as you begin to change your eating habits. Always, always do it with a Dr’s supervision!”

4. We just plain will feel better when our diets are full of fruits, veggies, nuts, and grains. It won’t seem that way in the beginning but the day will come when we realize we have more energy than we’ve ever had, are thinking more clearly, sleeping better, and waking earlier.

How do you start?  Some of you all or nothings are going to try to do this cold turkey today. Don’t.

Let me say that again . . .

Don’t!

Go gradually. Yes, you want to move quickly, and we will, but we will move quickly, slowly.

Today, have one less cup of coffee and one less cookie.

Keep that cup and cookie (or candy bar, or ice cream bowl) eliminated on Day 2.

Day 3, remove one more cup and one more sweet.

Day 4, keep both cups of coffee and both sweet fixes gone from your diet.

You’ll feel this, but not so badly you are incapacitated from living life. The headache will be there but not in migraine form. The cravings will be too but not in unbearable strength.

Do this until you have eliminated both the caffeine and the sugar addiction. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have a cup of coffee or candy, but you won’t be in desperate need of it in the future. You’ll eat a brownie and not be able to tolerate a second one because it will be too much sugar. A cup of coffee will give you the rush a pot used to give you, but you won’t have a caffeine headache the next day from not drinking it.

To recap:

week one in 52 Weeks to the All Natural Lifestyle is about
1. picturing your ideal life and firming up in your mind by listing the areas you want to change
2. writing it all down on paper,
and
3. beginning the detox process.

Next week we’ll look at candida, what it is and how to get it out of our bodies.

Feel free to link up if you are following this series and are blogging about any changes you make!

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