Every January I dump out three or four tins of stale and broken left-over Christmas cookies, several partially eaten pecan and pumpkin pies, and at least a half-gallon of expired eggnog. I also hide all the unopened Christmas candy on the top shelf of the pantry. Out of sight, out of mind – right? It’s inevitable that my grandchildren will seek to find the chocolate mother-load in the months to come, at which time I end up carefully rationing the left-over sweets and eventually disposing of them entirely.
These days, I look at holiday delicacies far differently than I once did—especially since I experienced the poisoning power of sugar. Sugar is said to feed fungi, bacteria and even cancer—and at one time it was feeding a menacing monster inside of me.
In 2003, I contracted Lyme disease. I was so sick. Dealing constantly with headaches, confusion and lethargy, I slept most of the day. It was painful to walk, and my memory was like Swiss cheese. There were times I had to literally crawl to the restroom and a few times I couldn’t make it back to the bed – opting to just sleep on the floor instead. Have you ever felt so bone tired that walking from one room to another seems like an impossible journey?
At first, I thought it was the flu but when it went on for over a month, I finally sought for a diagnosis. A Western Blot test confirmed that the Lyme disease monster had most assuredly taken up residence inside my body. My doctor wanted to treat me with the typical protocol of antibiotics, but my friend who was a natural medical practitioner warned me against going the antibiotic route. Natural health care methods were new to me, and although I respected Jody’s opinion, I thought the proven scientific method would be more of a sure bet to recovery.
And I was right—at first. As expected, after about five or six days on antibiotics I started to feel better. Happy to be functioning more like a human being, I wondered why I waited so long to seek treatment. My reverie, however, was short lived. A few months later when the symptoms began to flare up again, they returned with a vengeance. This time my heart was beating so hard it scared me and I was seeing silver stars. I went back to my doctor where he ran the same test again. This time the result was most curious. I had the antibodies again for Lyme but not the antigen—in other words, the monster was shape-shifting inside me—a fact that left me more than a little unsettled.
“What’s happening?” I asked Jody when I told her about this strange re-occurrence.
“I told you,” she said, “the antibiotic will kill about 85% of the Lyme bacteria, and you will most definitely feel improvement. However, the remaining 15% will seek to survive at all cost and will protect itself by morphing into a different bacteria form.”
I wanted to cry. I was so tired of feeling the malaise of this sickness. It was absolutely debilitating, and I was worthless at getting anything done. It was such a disastrous time in my life, followed by a life-changing watershed experience, that I devoted an entire chapter about this epiphany in my memoir, Just a Little Girl.
“All right then, Jody, what do I need to do? Please tell me, I’m desperate.”
“Listen to me closely,” she said. “I have a course of action that I’m confident will help you not only to feel better but one that just might even kick this Lyme disease completely. It won’t be easy—especially at first—but if you’re serious about …”
“I am! I am serious. I’ll do anything…” I pleaded. I was all ears and more than ready to listen and learn.
“Antibiotics only serve to temporarily stun virulent bacteria—our goal is to kill the bacteria.”
“Okay…” I said, “how do we do that?”
“We stop feeding it—we starve it to death. Period.”
I was ready for the challenge.
“Victoria, you have a drastic problem that calls for some drastic measures. Lyme disease bacteria thrives on sugar, so your number-one priority is to get off all sugar—and I mean all sugar! I’m going to put you on a clean food diet. No fruit, no dairy, no grains and especially no desserts. If you do not cheat in any way or deviate from the foods I recommend, I can almost guarantee you will beat this thing!”
I gulped. Yikes! No dairy at all, and no fruit? I was speechless as she continued.
“And no bread, rice, pasta or potatoes either, they all contain way too much sugar. Sugar also hides in sauces, like BBQ, mayonnaise, and salad dressings, so read the labels. The same goes for processed foods, including yogurts, and soups, so once again, read the labels—make food labels your new best friends.”
My appetite was poor and I wasn’t eating much anyway, so I wasn’t too concerned about what I would be missing—but the food group restrictions seemed nonetheless daunting. Sensing my fear, Jody leaned in and put her hand on my shoulder.
“You want to get better, right?” She asked.
“Yes, more than anything!” I moaned.
“Then you’ve got to understand that sugar causes Lyme bacteria to cultivate and grow. Sugar creates the breeding ground, and you will not get better if you continue to eat it. You’ve got to stop feeding the monster to kill it once and for all. So…absolutely no sugar! Understand?”
“I understand. Then what exactly can I eat?” The answer was surprising.
I could have proteins like chicken, beef and fish. I could have nuts, seeds and nut butters—as much as I wanted—just so long as they were the raw, unprocessed ones. I could eat most vegetables but no squashes or carrots as they contained too much sugar. I was to only use sea salt and organic pepper to season my food. I could have lemon and olive oil on my salads.
Here was another surprise. Although most dairy was prohibited, I could eat organic grass-fed cow butter as the grass diet creates natural fat burning acids called CLA in the butter. Jody suggested drizzling it on my meats and green vegetables. Avocados and coconut also contain HDL (high density lipids), which increases good cholesterol to combat the bad cholesterol.
I admit there were several times I was craving something sweet but after a few weeks, I got passed the “barrier” of sugar dependency. I found that almond butter on a celery stalk was a wonderful treat. I also learned to eat olives, sprouted almonds (overnight water soaked almonds), and sunflower or pumpkin seeds when I wanted a snack.
For the next six months, this diet (along with Bromelain enzymes) was my main focus. It wasn’t long before I could feel the monster lose its power as I began to feel normal—and whole. And a wonderful serendipity followed my new lifestyle, as I lost 22 pounds—going from a size 10 to a size two.
Today, I am totally cured of Lyme disease. I found out that this diet is also recommended for cancer patients as cancer cells also thrive on sugar. So much of our food has been determined by medical science to affect blood sugar or increase cholesterol. Many foods are the leading cause of allergies and compromised immune systems—and this is not how God planned for it to be.
Food is God’s creation for us. Man has perverted and polluted this blessing of creation with man-made artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colors and flavors. Man has also created refining processes through high temperatures and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), all of which are comprised of harmful chemicals. Man, in an effort to increase profits, uses antibiotics and hormones to hasten the growth of animals and increase the production of dairy products. I could go on and on.
I have learned that all food is not created equal. It was merely a change in eating habits that turned my life around. I guess I realized the obvious when it comes to health and wholeness—man’s attempt to improve on what God has created, is killing us.
For I know what plans I have in mind for you,’ says Adonai, ‘plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11 – CJB).
I’m so thankful to God (and Jody) for showing me the answer to my health issue. It was right there all along—in His creation.