For all you Coffee & PSL Lovers.

This has to be the worst season of the year to be on a strict diet. And even worse, when there's so much at stake. The temptations are higher with sugar-filled treats from Halloween to New Years along with PSL, peppermint infused everything, and your mother's famous dishes looming at every party...ugh. But it's not a diet you cheat on. This isn't so you can lose a few pounds, this is so you can be healthy again, strong, and able to live your life pain-free. In other words, no cheating! 

So what do you do when you are tempted?
Bring your own food. Find alternatives. Pray.

Every so often I hope to post about a couple great products I've found that are totally legal and will help you get through the holiday parties. 

If you know me, then you know my LOVE for all things pumpkin, especially lattes. But what do you do when you can't have caffeine or dairy or sugar? Let me introduce you to two products that will revolutionize your world! 

1. Decaf Pumpkin Spice Tea

I simply use my Keurig to make a mug of hot water. (Just run the machine with nothing in it and put your mug below) Then while the tea is steeping I use my espresso machine to steam my almond milk*, add a few drops of vanilla liquid stevia and voila! Pumpkin Spice Latte — Healthy Style.

*when buying almond milk make sure you read all the ingredients. You have to check for sugar and all the words that might mean sugar as well as carrageenan, which is an ingredient that can hurt people with digestive issues. For the best brands I use Trader Joe's refrigerated Unsweetened or 365 Whole Foods refrigerated unsweetened.


2. Teecino 

Teecino is a herbal tea that taste like coffee. What?! I know, sounds sketchy and too good to be true. But thanks to my friend Rebecca who use to work at a organic coffee shop, she was able to introduce me to this amazing new friend of mine. I order it on Amazon because I could get faster shipping and order in bulk for less money. I started to question my decision by the time the package came, but after having my first sip I knew I had found a winner. I opted for the Vanilla Nut flavor, but I'm wishing I would have also got the original as well. 

To prepare I follow the same instructions as above. However, when I'm work I don't have the luxury of steaming my milk so I just add it cold like creamer. I also use less stevia as I found the tea was a little sweet since it already had vanilla in it. 

Hopefully these items can help or at least let you know that if you crave coffee and could not imagine life without the little Holy Spirit's Helper, there are options! And in the recovery phase of the diet real coffee is allowed, so note, it's not forever!


UPDATE: Sadly, I realized that most of Teecino is NOT gluten-free because it contains barley. However, they do have a line that is barley-free.

Paelo-Vegan-Celiac-Diabetic Diet

PVCD image.jpg

Why I'm eating a paleo-vegan-celiac-diabetic diet and yet I'm none of those things. 




About four months ago I went to see the 'ol doc. I have had trouble nearly all my life with what we'll call "digestive issues" but lately they've gotten out of hand. And so began my first round of tests. Determined that it was the gallbladder we did the sonogram, the blood work, the HIDA scan, the spit test, the poo test, and every other test there possibly is out there...nothing. Next we tried more blood work, nothing. Then a colonoscopy and endoscopy (let's not even go there). And of course the answer was the same...nothing. The good news is that I wont' need surgery, I don't have Chrohn's or UC, and there is no sign of cancer or anything else suspicious. Yay! But now what?

It was during my many nights of stomach pain, "digestive issues", and more that I started praying and researching. Two things that can be very dangerous. It was during this time that I ran across Dr. Mark Hyman. If you've never heard of this man or his wonderful books I highly recommend you go over to his site right now and start reading. 

Since returning from Peru in 2010 I started hearing more about how food has a lot to do with our health. Everything I read made since, not only a scientific point of view, but also a biblical perspective. So when Dr. Mark Hyman brought up this topic again, but in relation to treating all the symptoms I've been experiencing, I began to wonder. "Could this be the cure to what's happening inside my body?"

After talking to a friend she recommended her doctor in town, who not only is a Christian, but is also the only doctor who was able to find out what was wrong with her. He looks at the whole picture by treating with diet, vitamins and little meds. 

Now almost 6 months later I finally have part of a prognosis and am eating my way back to health. After taking an IgG allergy test we discovered that my body reacts poorly to certain things. (I had suspected this for awhile, but now I had the proof) And after fitting the profile for Candida and exploring what that means, we concluded that it was indeed the reason causing all the pain. With symptoms mirroring those of IBS, fatigue, weight gain, and more, it just made sense. (Not to mention the fact that my antibiotic use while I lived overseas was way above normal)

So now I am on the Candida Diet. While there are a few websites out there that will help you with recipes and tips it's still hard to find things that also include some of the allergies I have to avoid for the next 6 months, hence the Paleo (no dairy, no grains, no alcohol, no processed foods) Vegan (no eggs) Celiac (no gluten) and Diabetic (no sugar except Stevia and no fruit except some berries and a small green apple). With that said, the first question I always get is, so what CAN you eat?

Ah, glad you asked. Follow along with me for the next 6 months as I document my journey and show you what you can eat! And hopefully, for those of you who might be having similar struggles with your health as me can see that you can do this! Yes, it takes planning and a little more time to prepare meals, but let's be honest, it's worth it.