Friday, August 12, 2016
Sugar, it's part of our everyday lives. We add it to our coffee, its added to our morning juice, often without us evening knowing it. We celebrate with sugar, we use sugar as a reward, and even withhold it as a punishment, 'NO DESSERT FOR YOU TONIGHT". We can't escape its hold on our foods and our society. We consume 700,000 tons annually, that is a staggering amount. It's not always obvious as to where the sugar is hidden in our food. We all know that sugar is in candy, but what about that hidden sugar masking as healthy-type foods? Look in your pantry can you identify the hidden sugar? There are over 61 names for sugar; fructose, sucrose, and barley malt just to name a few. All this sugar consumption has had a huge impact on our health.
What is all this sugar consumption doing to us? Its wrecking havoc on us. Sugar consumption can be linked to metabolic disorders, dementia, heart disease, increased type 2 diabetes in children not to mention fatty liver disease. The increased rates in children have been steadily on the rise, and as research shows a correlation to our increased sugar intake. The average sugar intake for the FDA is now 5 teaspoons per day, on average we consume well over that. The average child is eating approximately 32 teaspoons per day and the average adult is consuming around 22. To to put this into perspective for you in 1822 the average American consumed 45g of sugar per day, that's equivalent to one soda. This sugar consumption is making us sick.
Which prompts the question ''Why is this happening?" Well to understand the full impact sugar has on our bodies we must first understand what sugar is, and how are bodies use it. Sugar or Sucrose is made up of glucose and fructose. Glucose is easily digested by the body and is what is commonly referred to as your blood sugar, and is regulated by insulin produced in the pancreas. Fructose, however is primarily filtered through your liver and causes the increase in fat which can cause your liver to become fatty, as well as cause an increase in triglycerides. This can lead to liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. We are also now seeing children with Type 2 Diabetes and fatty liver disease, and even teenagers with heart disease. These conditions were mostly found only in older seniors just a few decades ago.
If this sounds frightening to you, you're not alone. Dr Robert Lustig a pediatric endocrinologist from Canada has been seeing this steady increase in children, and has been a champion in the fight against sugar. He has even gone as far as to say sugar is toxic perhaps even addictive, which has made him an enemy of the sugar industry. In the documentary Sugar Coated (available on Netflix) Dr Lustig lists several maladies that can be associated with sugar, and how sugar can be linked to most non-communicable diseases. What's even more frightening is how The Sugar Association has gone out of its way to keep this quiet. The sugar industry has manipulated the research process, and produced conflicting information to steer people and the FDA away from the facts about sugar and the harm it can cause.
There was a report published in Newsweek on The Sugar Lobby written by Zoe Schlanger that plainly stated that the Sugar Association as well as other trades stated in a letter to, then Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson asking him to intervene, or they would persuade US Congress not to fund programs for the World Heath Organization, which apparently worked, because when the WHO published its findings there was no mention of the effects of sugar .The article also stated that the sugar industry has gone out of its was to downplay scientific data that explains the dangers of sugar. I'm not a conspiratorial individual, but you have to ask yourself, who benefits from withholding these studies?
I must admit I'm a bit overwhelmed by these findings. This information seems very compelling, and deserves further research. I have suffered with a fatty liver as well as diabetes for many years. Perhaps I would have made some different choices if this information was made available to me when I was younger. This however just reinforced what I advocated for myself. Knowledge is power. You need to know exactly what your are putting into your body and what effects it has on you. The information is there we just have to look for it. I know I will will be removing some sugar from my diet. I'm making changes daily to make myself better, and it's a ongoing quest to be my absolute best. It all starts from within!! I will be posting more data including a list of names for hidden sugars. This is a subject that I will be revisiting in the near future. Stay tuned!!
Be Safe. Be well. Be informed!!
Thursday, May 5, 2016
I am blessed with gifts. The gift of life changed my entire world. It made see things differently. It opened my eyes to world I never knew existed. I was too busy creating what I thought to be at the time my ideal life. My ideal life before transplant was an illusion. It was sprinkled with great moments at times but it seemed to lack substance and purpose. The struggles I had before transplant I often did not share for fear of judgement or pity. My life with diabetes had become something I was ashamed of, because I couldn't control it and I felt like a failure. I felt dissolutioned. I hid those emotions and tried to seem happy and move forward. I what I didn't realize at the time was that I wasn't moving forward I was just running in place.
After transplant my ideal life was different. I knew what hope and survival was. I truly learned what God's love was, and I became grateful and humbled by the miracles he gave to me. The sense of purpose was what became my war cry. I felt I needed to share what had happened to me, not for pity's sake, but in hopes that what led me to transplant didn't happen to others.
I floundered with what my path should be and how to make it all fall into place. I found that despite my willingness to do something to be effective and prevent others from experiencing my outcome I had to think bigger. I had to think beyond my little bubble. I had to dig deep and move forward with a loud voice to be heard by all. I had to realize that what I was enduring was my path to share. My purpose resides within a voice I had stifled for far too long. I'm finding my voice more each day, it gets louder and louder as my strength builds and my soul fills with purpose, hope, and optimism!!
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
What happens when your world is turned upside down? When you're hit with a chronic illness, a death of a loved one, what do you do? Do you learn anything from the experience? What's you "take away"? Do you give up? WHAT DO YOU LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE?
Questions flood our daily thoughts through any crisis. Memories come rushing back like flood waters breaching a levy. We rethink situations, we may even have regrets at how we handled it. Despite any regrets there is always lessons hidden in the moments of our lives. Whether or not we pay attention and learn from the experiences is up to us.
Every experience forms us and shapes us, like a ball of clay. When faced with chronic illness, it's easy to succumb to the pressures of feeling disconnected from what's happening. Your world as you know it stops. It changes and becomes something entirely different from what you've been accustomed. Things you once took for granted may seem out of reach.
When I became ill and spent hours in the hospital, I would look out the window and see a sunny day. I wanted to feel the sun stinging my skin in the August heat. When my mother passed away, I would wake up in the morning without that familiar smell of Maxwell House brewing in the kitchen. Those things I took for granted, those things I missed. I still smell the coffee in the morning and I still feel the hot August sun, but I never take them for granted. Now I inhale that aroma of coffee a little deeper, and I stretch my arms out and hug the hot sun. I'm thankful and grateful for those simple pleasures. My lessons are endless, and I learned not to take anything for granted. I relish each experience whether good or bad.
I live to believe that each experience holds a lesson for me. I learn more about myself, and hopefully it maked me a better person. A person open to change, and a person who wants to experience what life has to offer. I accept all these changes in see the beautiful knowledge locked within each experience, for that is how I became me. I move on, I live, I learn, and I evelove and in the end I'll be better than yesterday and ready for tomorrow.
Monday, February 22, 2016
Well I have returned to my blog. I had some health problems and unfortunately the blog fell to the wayside, however I feel that the time has come voice my opinion.
The elections looming upon us means different things to different people. Some of you may be staunch supporters of the Republicans some are die hard Democrats, others may be Independents or even indifferent altogether. My feelings on politics vary based on platforms and character. I really could care less what side of the fence you fall on as long as you are fair, honest, non-judgmental, compassionate, and posses some sort of bipartisanship. That being said none of the potential candidates posses this traits.
My biggest concern in politics has always been about Healthcare, and for obvious reasons. I grew up without insurance and did not qualify due to pre-existing conditions. My mother was forced to be on welfare in order for me to obtain Healthcare. Yes she was forced, nothing was available at that time, that would allow her to work and still provide Healthcare for our family.
Obama care I think we all can agree has been a huge mess. I don't presume to know how to fix the problem that Healthcare has become all I know is what I have endured. I do know this... I am a product of the failed Healthcare system. I grew up in a terribly flawed system and I paid for with my life. I underwent reusing needles to point of pain, reusing lancets, rationing out test strips, picking up change on the side of the road to buy another bottle of insulin, because I was only allowed one per month, but used two.
I would not be here typing this blog if Obama care had not forced insurance companies to insure me and those like me. I would never have had a transplant, and I would most likely be dead at this point. I'm not being overly dramatic these are the facts. I am the failed Healthcare system that needs to be fixed.
We as a society have the power to cure so many, and yet we deprive those who could be saved. Why is it so hard to help those who are less fortunate?
I realize there are several factors for treating people and insuring them. If other countries can do it, and do it productively, then I think we could as well. When did it become a flaw in one's character to help others? When did we become so heartless?
You want to make America great again? Start with helping one another. Start with compassion. Start with tolerance. Start with love for humanity ,and leave the judgements for God.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
The process leading up to transplant is arduous, with constant testing, the labs, the setbacks and the endless waiting. The changes that our bodies undergo and the emotional rollercoaster we encounter is all part of this process. The biggest challenge I faced was all the changes.
The first thing I had to change was the way I worked the way I performed my everyday task. I had to step down from a position, and take a easier job [with a pay cut]. I then had to begin the endless doctor visits while trying to keep a job. Then came the dietary restrictions the vitamins and long list of " Do's and Don'ts". Hurdle after hurdle was met until that fateful day.... TRANSPLANT DAY. Those changes saved my life, and started me on new awakening. This meant I had to change the way I thought about things. Leading up to Transplant there really wasn't time for thinking or contemplating. I was focused on my goal which was a transplant. The way I handled things was to meet everything head on, no time to think about all the other stuff. I approached it just like it was a job, which I guess in retrospect it was. Post transplant my mindset began to change. Things settled down medically, me no longer able to work as I once did gave me time for reflection. I thought about "What roll do I play now?" "What's my purpose, my reason for being?" you know all those life questions I thought I dealt with in my twenties. I thought perhaps I was having a midlife crisis. I always had a plan, so I had to change....again. Well my life was upside down, I had a doctor appointment coming up soon so I thought I'll just ask a few questions and see if this is normal behavior. I had such anxiety when the doctor walked in the room, he said, "Hey Tabatha how are you today?" I burst into the ugly cry, trying to explain through the sobs what was wrong. The doctor... clearly taken aback by my outburst said to me, "No wonder your like this, you have undergone some serious changes." "Its okay all the feelings your experiencing", and added "All this anxiety is perfectly normal, lets get you to a counselor and possibly some meds." Needless to say I saw a counselor and got a prescription to help with the anxiety. Through change I am growing, although the anxiety subsided I still had all those lingering questions. I'm learning through all the changes... good and bad and some of my questions may never get answered, and that's okay. Sharing my experiences and changes with others is helping me find my way.
I have learned to embrace changes, not only to embrace them but to view them as inspiration. I now go beyond the everyday to see within myself. My change is not over, it is only beginning. Changes are not be feared they are to reveled in. The changes we endure enrich us whether good or bad, there is always something to learn from them. I changed to be better and I continue to change to gain understanding and clarity.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Saturday, January 17, 2015
I woke this morning!! It sounds simple to some but for others like myself (with chronic illness) it's the greatest victory in our journey of wellness.
Sometimes our simplest task are tiresome and daunting. I know first hand at the frustration of not being able to accomplish what the heart is willing to do. I've had to learn to take my time and not rush. "It will get done when it gets done" is my new mantra, and it is helping me adjust. Letting go of the rush of hurrying along all the time, has relieved some stress.
I had to say the "the hell with it" and " so what"!! Let it go (now that song is stuck in my head). It's been a freeeing process of not having that burden on me to rush everything to completion. "So what" if there is a dish in the sink, "so what" if there is dirty towel on the floor, "so what" if I don't want to cook! It all eventually will get done when I get to it.....and that's ok!