Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Insidious Evil of Artifical Sweeteners

I am really ticked today. I ordered some protein bars from Melaleuca, a wellness company that is supposed to have healthy products, and guess what is in them? Sucralose. So, no protein bars for me. With aspartame, products usually have the little aspartame logo right on the front. Not so with Sucralose. They are very sneaky with that stuff and they are putting it in so many things these days.

Here's my #1 rule for feeling good: Do not consume any artificial sweeteners.

Long before I read about how artificial sweeteners can exacerbate fibromyalgia, I experienced it. If I ate or drank anything with aspartame, I would get a headache and feel very sick to my stomach. And I would have what I call the "phantom pain", you know that pain from fibro when you know there is nothing wrong with whatever is hurting. I rarely have the phantom pain anymore, unless I accidentally eat something with aspartame. Then I start aching in places that usually never hurt, like my wrists and my fingers.

Sucralose doesn't make me feel as bad as aspartame, but it does affect me. I feel yucky after eating it and I always get a headache. I haven't been able to find as much info on Sucralose but I haven't looked lately either. I figure, no matter what anybody else says, it's best to just avoid it. My naturopath did tell me Sucralose was carcinogenic. That's reason enough to avoid it.

In The Fibromyalgia Solution ,Dr. David Dryland says that aspartame is an excitotoxin, a molecule that can cause neurological damage. He also says that a byproduct of aspartame is formaldehyde, which protects your fat cells from breaking down. So not only is it toxic, its not a good thing if you are trying to lose weight either!

On the flip side, high blood sugar levels can also exacerbate fibromyalgia, so eating packaged foods or drinks with regular sugar isn't good either (although it probably isn't as toxic). The best thing is to avoid sweets and packaged foods altogether, which is a depressing prospect at times. I especially miss flavorful drinks. I would love to have a pop now and then. Or one of those yogurt smoothie drinks. Or those protein bars I just bought. Or......the list of forbidden things gets very long. (sigh)

Vickie says.....

Fibromyalgia. When I was diagnosed with this in 1991, I had never heard of it and when I went to look it up in the Medical Dictionary, it wasn't in there. So I looked it up in Webster's Dictionary, not in there. So I broke the word up: Fibro - any soft tissue in the body; Myalgia - pain. Ok now what? I was also given the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and I don't remember looking that up, but someone in our church was very sick with this and I could only call her after lunchtime. I got a lot of information from her, one of which is "you are probably going to have to quit working and go on disability." Disability? I'm not disabled, just feel like I have a very bad case of the flu for the past year. I did apply for SSDI and have been since 1992. It actually took 2 1/2 years, but thankfully I had long-term disability to carry us over. Since then I have met many people with this illness, and we all have different symptoms and how we got sick. As Trisha stated, she had a lot of energy to do what she needed and then collapsed. I'm not sure if it's my age (I am older by several years) or am in a relaspe since I had been busy and stressed from the holidays and my son's wedding) but have not been doing much since the end of January. I've been in a lot of pain and am very tired. As a result, I have been very depressed. I have plans that I can't follow through with. Some as simple as going to the bank so I can pay bills. That was today's plan, it's cold and raining and it's not worth going out if I already feel bad. I think I've learned to listen to my body more now than I used to. I plan to go to the bank tomorrow! I have to pay bills!
March 31, 2009 11:24 AM Posted by Vickie - (with help copy and pasting by Trisha)

Making Lemonade

Why does life give us lemons? And what's so great about lemonade anyway? Why can't life give us oranges. Plump juicy oranges! Well, life doesn't give us oranges, but it does give us lemons. For example, life gave me Fibromyalgia. A horrible illness, but not life threatening. I hate it! It's miserable. It's painful. It zaps your energy, your life and it'll try to zap your soul if you'll let it. I've been diagnosed with it for about 8 years now. Although I've suffered since I was a teenager. It's different for everyone. For some it's a minor inconvenience, but for many it's life altering. I am one of them. So how do I make lemonade out of fibromyalgia? By continuing to live day by day, moment by moment. It's not easy. It takes a lot of work; a lot of heart. But it's worth it~ I've learned to be more compassionate, more thoughtful~ Not take things so for granted. I found lots of new friends that I wouldn't have met had it not been for the fibromyalgia. And for that I'm eternally grateful. I've learned to enjoy every "good" minute that I have because they don't come around nearly as often any more. I've come to realize that you can't judge someone else, for ANY reason because you don't know what's going on in that person's life. But for me the greatest lesson I've learned is that, no matter how turmoiltous your life is, or can become, God is always in control of it. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him. I may not understand His plan, but He does. And He always wants his best for us. Lemons may be sour, but they are also very nutritious for you. And when you add the sweetness of God's Peace to your lemons, you have some very delicious Lemonade!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Creative Energy = Energy!

I've just discovered an interesting phenomenon. When I am in the state of getting inspired by new ideas (I call it downloading), I also "download" tons of physical energy. I don't understand the how or why, but I've experienced it so many times lately that it can't be coincidence.

Last week, I had been tired, achy and lethargic for several days and I was behind on all household chores. Then I started coming up with ideas for my writer's website. Soon, I had so much energy I found myself cooking three different things, tidying the house and taking out the garbage and recycling, all at once. After dinner, I still had so much energy I took the dog for a second walk. I even had a hard time coming down to go to sleep at night.

And yesterday I was, once again, tired, achy and cranky. The sun came out and we went for a walk but I just couldn't enjoy it. Then I started playing with my camera and went out taking pictures of flowers. Suddenly, I felt much, much better! I had energy. The achy, cranky feeling subsided in to the background.

Give it a try! Find something creative that gets you excited and go for it! It will make you feel better.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Here we go!

So here we go girls. Our own blog!