Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Update

Yup, it's been pretty quiet around here. Sometimes life just gets in the way. Sunday I sat down with my family and we decided together that my time as an employee of the printing business is up. I'm finished. Joining the ranks of the unemployed due to economic woes. This business, quite honestly, has been on a roller coaster ride for a while now. I am not surprised that it has come to this. I won't get into all the nitty gritty details because this blog has never been about work so you don't need to know all that. Just know that the biggest reason I haven't been writing is because my attention has been needed elsewhere.

Since I'm writing now, I should tell you that the sugar experiment has gone very well. My skin has almost completely cleared up! I've had a bit of a bad week food-wise so my stomach is a mess, a result of being laid off, but I'm going to remedy that asap. I'm feeling good, I'm positive about the future and excited for a big change of scenery. Working with the family in our own business was an experience I'll cherish forever, but it most definitely taught me that I do not ever want to own my own business! It's way too much stress. I'd much rather work for someone else and leave work at work. Have my weekends to myself. And actually get to take vacation time. For real. I can't say I'm not excited about being unemployed for a short time either. I just hope it's not too much of a time. Not only will I get bored, but I need a real paycheck! Unemployment will barely cover my expenses. Actually, honestly, it won't, but I'm going to work that out.

I have no idea when, or if, I'll get back to regular writing. This blog has been an awesome experience as well but it might be time to wrap it up. I need to focus on stepping away from the computer for a while. I've been glued to it for far too long. Thanks everyone for the journey and all your support. I'm not saying goodbye, I'm saying see you when I see you. :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Blog Awards

I have been meaning to post this for a while but I kept forgetting Amy over at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free tagged me for a blog award!! Thanks Amy!! What you said was very sweet. There are so many people in the blog world that have inspired me, it's just impossible to pick people to give this too. Plus a bunch of them have already been given the same award! So I will just say a very sincere Thank You to Amy for the award and to all the wonderful bloggers out there that have helped me get through this crazy journey.

Score= Jen 1; Sugar 0

The sugar experiment continues, and I have to say, I'm impressed. I know I said it yesterday but I really noticed this morning that not only is my skin significantly less irritated and blemished, but my bloated belly has really flattened out!! I have not made any other changes to my diet aside from cutting refined sugar almost completely out. So we've discovered that cutting out dairy and sugar have both made a huge impact on my health and well-being. In the back of my mind I can't help but think, should I go for the trifecta? I still don't have nearly as much energy as I should and I can't help but think that last final piece of the puzzle, gluten, might just be worth giving another shot. The reason I haven't cut it out is because my stomach is great so why should I? Because I find it impossible to get out of bed in the morning and I haven't exercised regularly in over a year? I'm going to keep on trucking with the sugar experiment for a while and dairy too and see how I feel in a month or so. Then I'll decide.

On another note, my girl ALLIE is getting MARRIED today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GFC_Spree_048

She's probably gonna kill me for reposting this pic, but it's the only one I have of her and her new hubby Matt (at the GF Cooking Spreee). I'm so happy for them and love that I always get to re-tell the story of how I was there when they met. Well I wasn't there the night that they met, but I was there the next day when she waited (im)patiently for him to call. It makes me smile thinking back. Matt's awesome and they are great together and I wish them all the happiness in the world. It is a GORGEOUS day here in Boston and I know they're going to have a perfect wedding. CONGRATULATIONS ALLIE!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Zeer just got better!!

I know a lot of you were avoiding a Zeer subscription because it was so expensive. Well they were listening and now you can sign up for only $4.95 per month!!!!

Check it out:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rants and Raves

Apologies for the lack of posts! You know, sometimes you just need to step away from the computer for a while. But I'm still here, and the sugar experiment is going well so far. I haven't gone cold turkey but I'm making progress and I think my skin is responding. Now, on to the real stuff. First, the rants:

This morning I'm sitting at my desk having a lovely day, when a guy that used to work for us stops by. He was "let go" almost a year and a half ago. Pre-Crohn's diagnosis, which means pre-steroids, which means the last time he saw me I was at my lowest weight. Now I realize that people have noticed that I've put on a few pounds, it is what it is. Most people know why/how it happened and are sympathetic. Well this guy takes one look at me and goes "what did you do to yourself?" and I'm thinking I have spilled ink on my shirt, or fell and scraped the skin off my face without noticing and that's what he's referring to... but I check myself out and nope, still look the same as I did this morning. So I say "what do you mean??" and he pauses (very briefly) and says "Well it looks like you've gained some weight!" ....... collect yourselves.. I'll wait...

Ok, good? Yeah so I sharply reply "Well I was diagnosed with CROHN'S disease last year and was on STEROIDS and gained THIRTY POUNDS!" and he says "Well you still look good, your face just looks a little pudgy, or puffy" or whatever.

Um....

I didn't cry. I'm not a delicate flower. But I was upset. My first immediate reaction to myself was that I was kinda glad to hear it. Weird? Well I worked so hard to lose the weight before, only to instantly gain it back through no control of my own, and then do nothing to fix it. I have been off steroids for 10 months? 11? And I've talked a big game about losing the weight but have not made any valiant efforts. I kinda needed that slap in the face. It's nice to hear blatant honesty sometimes. And the truth is, he didn't mean to be mean. He and I used to talk a lot about losing weight and eating right and working out because I he had seen me lose the weight before. So I'm sure to walk in and see me heavier than he's ever seen me was a surprise. I'm not mad at ya E. Thanks for the wake up. So I did what any sane person would do, I ate a cheeseburger for lunch. With french fries. I thought about starving myself, but that's just eating disorder behavior. I could've had a sensible lunch too, but what fun is that? Aren't I always preaching about moderation? So yeah, I'm over it. But now maybe I'll try a little harder.

Now, onto the Raves. I went to Burton's on Friday night with Liz and Sally. Liz moved away :( but she was back in town for a couple weeks so I was excited when she asked to plan a gf dinner out! Sally had been there before so we knew it was safe. I wrote a review on Yelp so if you want to read more about it go here. I'll just post the photos here:

Gluten free dinner rolls with herb butter: YUM

Gluten Free Rolls

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis (not GF! but awesome)

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Chicken Roulade with Lobster Risotto - oh.my.gosh heavenly

Burton's Grill Chicken Roulade

Yes I ate gluten and dairy and yes I paid for it, but it was so delicious!!!! That's one of the drawbacks of having crohn's instead of celiac. I'm not required to eat gf/cf I just choose to, which means sometimes I choose NOT to. Sometimes I suffer, sometimes I don't. But I feel a heck of a lot better now than I ever have, so I'm not complaining!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

What's the real deal about sugar?

Ok all you sugar experts out there, I have some questions. I've been doing some research and I'm confused about cutting out sugar. I see that people cut out white, refined sugar and HFCS, but then say that they use maple syrup, honey, molasses, and other things as substitutes. But the thing is that, all of those are sugar too... so what gives? What's the logic? I read on Wikipedia that black strap molasses is full of nutrients, technically it goes through the same processing as the sugar that's extracted so what's the difference? So many questions... I'd love some insight!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Holy Moly

Thanks for the encouragement on my new venture. I just got back from the grocery store and oh my word, I thought gluten and casein were bad, sugar is in EVERYTHING!!!!

I had fresh scallops for dinner with rice and brussels sprouts, awesome. :)

Hello, my name is Jen, and I am a sugarholic.

Those of you that have been reading this blog for a while now may have noticed that I am having a love affair with sugar. I talk a big game about eating healthy and trying to lose weight and all that jazz, and then the next day I'm posting a photo of the brownies I baked or the entire line of Betty Crocker Gluten Free mixes that I just had to try. My header even has mostly sugary photos and the name of the blog is A life of SUGAR and spice!! I didn't even realize how bad it was. I eat sugary foods on a daily basis. And not just once a day, multiple times. And I wonder why these extra 30 pounds are being so stubborn... But this isn't just another one of those posts where I profess that I'm going to start eating healthier and lose the weight! I posted recently about clean eating and I mentioned that I was having some trouble with acne all of a sudden. I thought it might be an issue after re-introducing gluten, but I'm not having any other symptoms. I feel quite good actually, except for when I eat diary, which is still very much a problem for me. I clearly did not stick to the clean eating lifestyle after I received shipments from Betty Crocker and coupons from Turtle Mountain. It was almost two months ago that I posted that article and the acne is still there, and worse, all over my chest, shoulders and face. It's awful! I've never had acne like this before! Especially during the summer where tank tops and bathing suits are a must. I feel like an awkard teenager. I knew in the back of my mind that it has to be diet related. There are so many theories about acne and what causes it. The biggest one being hormones, but not specifically how hormones cause it. I did a little research today and found a lot of info on sugar intake, liver reaction, hormone production, and the resulting acne. I thought to look into sugar because over a few days I barely ate any refined sugar and the acne started to clear up. Then I went back to my old habits and it reappeared. Coincidence? I think not! So now, for real this time, I'm going to cut out sugar for a while to see what happens. I've done this before and it's not as hard as it sounds, it's actually quite easy after the first few days. The cravings go away. I get horrible cravings when I'm eating sugar, but when I stop, the cravings go away. If there's one thing I've learned throughout this journey, it's that if you eat something and then are craving it again 5 minutes later, that's a bad thing! There's a difference between craving protein because you've been eating too many carbs, and craving sugar because your body is addicted to it. So here I go. Sugar free. I was going to post a "before" picture showing the outbreak on my chest and shoulders but I figured you all wouldn't want to see that... but maybe once I have a good "after" shot, I will!

Monday, August 3, 2009

::crickets::

Sorry for the short absence, just taking some time away from the computer! Back to normal posting tomorrow :)