Healthy Living 101: Five Unhealthy “Healthy” Habits

Changing my eating habits has brought me to the knowledge that these low fat/no fat, quick and easy meal options are NOT the way my body feels best. It hasn’t been easy, but I have found that it’s much easier to take a little bit of extra time to pack my lunch, or place supper in a crock-pot than it is to fight the attack my body gives my immune system when I eat “lazy”.
I have a saying that I remind myself when I start to feel too tired or get lazy. “Nothing tastes as good as healthy FEELS”! After years of being sick, I can attest that this statement is true. There isn’t a single thing that I have put into my mouth that makes me feel better than something fresh and natural because I know first hand how it FEELS after eating fresh, all-natural foods vs sugar, chocolate and processed “food”. I’m not going to lie to you and say it has been an easy road, but I will tell you that it has been worth it. Hope you enjoy reading the below blog post.
Happy Reading ūüôā

Find Me Gluten Free

Healthy living

Welcome to Healthy Living 101, a monthly health column featuring articles written by Marla Brodsky (RD, LD, BCIM). Marla is a Registered Dietitian and specialist in integrative medicine, with many years experience in clinical nutrition and research. To learn more about Marla, read her bio here.

In this monthly nutrition column, I plan on giving you easy, quick tidbits that can move you in the direction of health by reducing inflammation, healing your gut, and giving your body the nutrients it needs to function properly and naturally.

To start, here are 5 things that seem ‚Äúhealthy‚ÄĚ but are actually unhealthy:

1. Counting calories and relying on ‚Äúdiet foods‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúA calorie is a calorie‚ÄĚ is not true. The body uses different types of calories differently in storing fat and affecting metabolism. Focus on quality ingredients that are found in nature rather than the number of calories. Your cravings will subside and‚Ķ

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Talk to me baby…

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01¬† ¬†Yup, this just about describes my mornings this past week while learning to change my eating habits towards¬†the Paleo AIP diet. I’d be lying if I told you this past week was easy for me to fully stick to this elimination diet. It’s hard to avoid the soda, the sweets, the hunger, but the hardest thing for me has been breakfast. My blood sugar dips every morning and I struggle to know what to eat to help boost it, so I end up breaking the AIP protocol and have a KIND bar. It works, but I know it’s not what I’m supposed to be doing. I never realized how many carbs I must eat for breakfast. At least that’s what I’m assuming because why else would I be struggling with my blood sugars every day? ¬†Once I eat the KIND bar, I’m fine for the rest of the day, and then I’m just dealing with the hunger and fighting my urge to drink a Pepsi! ūüôā

pepsiI don’t know why this little bottle of sugar is so appealing to me. I can just feel the bubbles in my mouth and the sweetness running down my throat…I can’t wait to take that first sip…And then I remember exactly why I can’t stand drinking soda. The sugar crash is horrific! The bloating in my stomach is uncomfortable and ugly. I feel so gross I never¬†finish the soda, so why does it have such a sweet hold on me? I don’t mind drinking water; in fact, I actually prefer it to most anything else. I can feel my body crave it, but yet, I still play these mental games that I want that damn Pepsi. Thankfully my body knows better than my brain and makes it quite challenging to¬†continue drinking it.

So onto another week. I’ll keep trying to figure out the low blood sugar thing, but if anyone has any suggestions or advice, I am all ears.

i'm all ears


Is It Possible To Be Hung Over Without Ever Drinking Alcohol?


Is it possible to be hung over even though you don’t drink alcohol? ¬†Maybe it’s food hangover? ¬†Maybe I had one too many Keebler cookies; I don’t really know what it is, but the cleanse was not fun at all. I couldn’t even get to the point where I felt hunger because my stomach hurt all the time; my migraines came back in full force, then the allergies kicked in…and que the dizziness! I figured after a couple days of yuckiness, I would feel better and I¬†did…sorta.


I never realized how much I love breakfast! ¬†The AIP diet does not have a lot of solutions/recipes for breakfast unless it involves bacon, pork or sausage. ¬†ICK…I am all about the pancakes, french toast, waffles, eggs, omelets. Oh yummy, yummy, yummy! Sadly those days are gone for a while, and I’m finding it hard to get myself going in the mornings. ¬†I wake up hungry and I don’t know what to eat, so I can’t seem to feel awake until late morning when I grab a snack. When your day starts at 5:00am, late morning is a long time to wait! ¬†It’s only been a few days, so I’ll figure it out, but right now, I really miss my breakfasts.

chicken bone broth

One thing I am really liking is the bone broth. I made a batch of beef bone broth and now I’m making chicken bone broth. Surprisingly I don’t mind drinking it. I have to admit, it was really bizarre to go to the grocery store and buy bones. I felt like such a caveman (pun intended), if truth be told! But I believe it’s because of the broth that I started to feel better after the initial hangover effect of the cleanse.

It’s occurred to me that I don’t know anyone who eats the way I am choosing to eat; better yet, I don’t know anyone who chooses to live this lifestyle. Learning to heal myself through food really is a completely different lifestyle that people don’t necessarily understand. It’s a totally different mindset when looking at food now, and it feels slightly isolating. People think you’re joining the next “fad” and will actually roll their eyes. It’s hard to feel alone. I enjoy the blogs and the advice I receive through¬†those blogs, plus books and google, but it’s not the same as being able to talk to someone else who cares about you and understands what you’re going through. It’s hard to not feel like all eyes are on you when you’re going out to eat with a bunch of people and you have to quietly ask the waitress/waiter very detailed questions to make sure I understand what I’m putting in my body. Gone are the days when I just ate a piece of pie because I felt like it. Everything is different now, and I’m sure I’ll learn to adjust mentally, but I’m not there yet. I guess it’s just going to take some time.


Let the journey begin!


It’s time to start getting serious about the food I allow into my body. ¬†When I realized that I could no longer eat foods containing gluten, I assumed things would get better…and they did, for a while anyway. I think my body was suffering and inflamed so much that avoiding the gluten made a pretty powerful impact, but here I am almost a year later and I’m still suffering with fatigue, brain fog, pain in my muscles, migraines, etc. ¬†Don’t get me wrong; I feel so much better than a year ago, but I am not even close to 100% either. ¬†I’m grateful I don’t spend most of my time in bed, but I would like to get myself back to a level of activity that matches my spirit.¬†

I have noticed over the last few years, during my worst flare ups, I have started to notice a shift in my eating habits and food cravings. ¬†In the past, I was more apt to eat vegetables. I’d choose vegetables over meat, dessert, starch, etc. If my hubby asked me if I wanted to get some ice cream, my immediate response was “no thanks”, and I’d proceed to grab myself some snack in the vegetable family. ¬†I didn’t even prefer fruit because it was too sweet, but over the years, things have changed…my cravings have turned from veggies to sweets. It seems the more sick I am, the more I crave sweets, yet the sweets make me feel even more gross.¬†


I didn’t want to feel this way anymore; I missed being able to turn down a sweet treat, so I reverted to my usual research. ¬†Through my research, I came across lots of information about clean eating and the Paleo approach to eating. Slowly I started to toy¬†with the idea of moving to a Paleo diet; eating cleaner, more “real foods”, but I’m a little bit of a research junky and I wasn’t satisfied with the information I had attained thus far. I won’t start something or do something until I have completely vetted out all the options and know exactly what I’m getting myself into, but once I have made a decision, I move forward full steam ahead. ¬†Hence after months of research and discussions with nutritionists and doctors, it’s time to start the AIP diet. ¬†There are lots of sites out there that help walk you through this elimination diet, but my favorite is probably Jessica Flanigan’s website, http://www.aiplifestyle.com. ¬†Her approach is easy to understand, and that’s really important when you are eliminating so many foods in the first phase. Until I found her website, I was overwhelmed and confused on how to start. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I’m not nervous, but I know I’m not alone. The Paleo community is incredibly supportive, helpful and encouraging. ¬†Below are some of my favorite paleo leaders. If you ever want to investigate the Paleo lifestyle, change your eating habits and learn to eat clean, these leaders are worth getting to know. ¬†









Rendered Speechless

To say the last few weeks have been my own personal hell is beyond an understatement, and through it all I keep hearing sentiments like, “this will make you stronger, Rachel”, or “the Lord doesn’t give you more than you can handle”, or my all time favorite, “what are you supposed to learn from all of this, Rachel”. ¬†Ah, heck…my cover photo to this blog says “I’m strong because I’ve been weak”! ¬†I don’t even know how to make sense of all that I’m thinking and feeling. ¬†I so desperately want to just get it all out; just start writing and not have to make it make sense but then it would be a bunch of ramblings and nonsense, which wouldn’t do me any good anyway! ¬†So I’ll try to start at the beginning without completely vomiting all over the page!

For several months now, I have been completely Gluten Free and to tell you it was life changing wouldn’t do it justice! ¬†The Fibromyalgia pain and fatigue has been reduced significantly…so significantly that I no longer have to take medication for it. ¬†For a while I was really enjoying the reprieve; the sweetness of waking up in the morning and not having to feel immediate pain through my muscles; the thrill of hanging out with my son and getting to participate in his jokes and laughter; I could attend church regularly and eat up the affections from the little 5 and 6 year old children I have the privilege of teaching. ¬†It was my own little slice of heaven right here on earth!

So what the heck happened? ¬†I guess on one hand I’m grateful that I’m not having to deal with the FMS and CFS while now having to deal with a sinus infection that has turned into a resistant staph infection. ¬†Doesn’t sound like much, I know, but holy friggin’ crap has this turned my life upside down these last 10-12 weeks. I have been suffering from pain, dizziness, lightheaded, fainting…..nope, that wasn’t a typo. ¬†I haven’t passed out more often in my life! ¬†Oh wow….typing it out makes it sound so…..minute! And here I thought I was going to have to avoid diarrhea of the mouth! ¬†Hmmmm, this is odd……I need some time to reconvene!

….to be continued


I’m an Oxymoron

It’s been such an odd day today, and I’m still not quite sure that I have fully processed all that is coming to light in my mind; bare with me as I try to mutter through my brain to put it down on paper.

We had a special conference for all the women today at church, and one of the talks given really opened my eyes to my own personality. ¬†I won’t mention her name in case she ends up reading my blog (and because I haven’t asked her in advance), but she was talking about some of the reasons we sometimes shy away from visiting with the ladies in our church that have been assigned to us. ¬†There was a lot of feedback and answers given by the other ladies as to what made them avoid visiting their ladies. ¬†I raised my hand and mentioned that for me it really had more to do with my own shyness; it was awkward for me to call up someone I don’t really know very well without making it seem like the only reason I was reaching out to her was because I was asked. ¬†After the conference was over, I had a friend come up to me and tell me she was surprised to hear me say that I was shy. ¬†Just that one statement got me to really thinking.

My whole life I’ve been perceived as outgoing and extroverted, and up until recently, I probably would have agreed with you; however this past month that I have been feeling stronger and healthier, I am finding I am much more aware of my feelings, emotions and thoughts. ¬†I am having to push myself to do things that are uncomfortable, whereas in the past, I knew they were uncomfortable but I just pressed forward or worked around it. ¬†I’m not sure why all of the sudden I am finding it hard for me to just “do it”; for example, almost within the first week of feeling better, I decided that I was going to jump at the chance to get myself back into the gym so I can strengthen my body before another flare. ¬†In my mind, I’m thinking if I can make my body stronger, maybe I can work through the Fibro flares without it making me bedridden. ¬†In the past, I had a personal trainer that I worked with 3 times a week, but because I still struggle with sleep issues, I knew it wouldn’t be quite that easy this time around. ¬†I couldn’t afford to oversleep an appointment, so I decided I had to join a gym.

Just walking into the gym was really challenging for me, but what I am finding even more challenging and uncomfortable is walking into the gym everyday….alone….. feeling as if all eyes are on me. ¬†I hate having people look at me, but yet, I enjoy singing and performing in front of people. ¬†Irony, right? ¬†How can I enjoy singing and performing but yet I don’t want people to look at me?

I have a job where I have to call strangers every day and try to sell them IT Management Software, but I find it difficult to pick up the phone to call a lady I don’t know who goes to my church and try to get to know her. ¬†Can you smell the irony, yet?

I think that I have always been an oxymoron but I found ways to avoid feeling the shyness, like hiring a personal trainer instead of joining the gym. ¬†I enjoy people but at the same time, I have a hard time being around too many people at once. ¬†I love hosting parties, especially fun dinner parties, but I won’t go to a “girl’s night out” because there are too many ladies that attend and I instantly get that “ants in my pants” feeling. ¬† Maybe my¬†idiosyncrasy is what makes others look at me and see an outgoing, extroverted individual because I never acknowledged my shyness in the past.

There is so much more going on inside my head right now, but I can’t make much sense of it so I think I’ll stop with what I’ve been able to decipher thus far and hope I can come back later with more enlightenment. ¬†Please feel free to respond if you think you can shed some light on my quirkiness! ¬†ūüôā