Some things from our past are easier to remember than others. Having issues with food began for me early on around the age of 11. I remember for no apparent reason sneaking a salty snack in my parents basement. I remember the pediatrician constantly commenting at every annual visit that if I could just lose 10 pounds I would be at my ideal weight for my height. I am as an adult only 5'2 tall so that number was 110 pds! I have not seen that number since I was 11. I was never overweight as a kid but I wasn't skinny either. The problem was I thought I was chubby, you know the peer-pressure thing of wanting to look like friends who were twice my height and had fabulously long, lean legs.
So began the crazy fad diets at the age of 13, then the continued yo-yo diet cycle. At 18 I simply decided to let myself eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. Of course the comfort I found was in sugar-laden snack foods. My highest weight was 155 pds at the age of 22. At that point in my life I found Jesus as my savior and that's when I decided I was really ready to clean up my act. I started walking and stopped eating in between meals and lost weight and by 6 months I was what I felt was the right weight for my body, 124 pds.I didn't have to exercise like a maniac to maintain it and I was thrilled.
In 1997 I married my sweet hubby Jim and continued to maintain a healthy weight. Unfortunately, blame it on hormones, I was having the worst PMS symptoms. I was completely out of control with my emotions. I started researching causes and natural solutions to alleviate symptoms.I found a yeast free diet plan , not to lose any weight, but to see if this could help with my PMS craziness. All sugar, which yeast thrives on, was eliminated except if it was the 5th ingredient on labels. Within 2 months I felt better and my PMS symptoms were gone. My skin looked fabulous and I actually even lost weight. Of course now that I had fixed the problem, that was when we decided to get pregnant. I tossed all my good habits out the door and gained 70 pounds! I had never seen 190 pds before when I delivered and boy was I frightened to see that number! I knew getting rid of white refined sugar was incredibly helpful, but I could not stop eating it. I chose Weight Watchers to take off the baby weight. It is a great program and it did help me lose weight, but after baby #2 came along it just was much harder to lose the weight. I could not get away from the cravings for sugary foods.
In 2004, I heard about a Christian program called Prism. It eliminated typical binge foods and products which contain white refined sugar and white flour. It helped me detox my body , taught me how to read labels and gradually add back some things into my food plan. In 6 months I got back to my right weight of 124 pds and started teaching the classes at my church. It was during this time I started creating recipes without white flour or white refined sugar. I continued on this food plan but then had baby #3 and again went straight for those sugary foods. (You'd think I would have learned my lesson the last time, but clearly I was addicted to white refined sugar!)
My baby is now almost 6 and it took me almost a year to get back to what I believe to be my right weight by following that food plan.
Today I no longer teach classes but I truly believe that program was such a blessing and can and does help many people who struggle with the sugar cravings. Today I keep a food journal to help keep me accountable. I do not weigh myself except for once a month and certainly can tell by how my clothes feel if I have been overeating. Since I am a Life Time Weight Watcher member I check in once a month at a meeting to keep me accountable. They are a group of fabulously encouraging people!
I eat 3 meals a day with one snack either in the afternoon or evening. I found I must pray daily to receive HIS strength to abstain from overeating. (I honestly could overeat on broccoli!) I need to ask God each day for self-control and discipline. Staying away from the refined sugar has stopped my cravings, ravenous hunger and binges and yo-yo weight cycles. It may not be the life style for everyone but it works for me. God knows the desires of my heart and how I want to glorify Him in all that I do. For me, choosing to abstain from sugar is saying I choose all that God has for me. I want to be all He sees that I can be. I no longer turn to food for comfort, no longer live in a brain fog from sugar-laden foods. I feel fabulous and I am maintaining my weight which makes me joyful and grateful and I think because of this joy I am a better wife and mother -My greatest calling of all!
What a wonderful and inspiring story! I just love your recipes!!! I did Keto for about 2 yrs and now I'm really struggling to get back on the Keto eating program. I think I have gained 10 pounds but am having such a difficult time getting back on the program. I have so much pain also, which I remember on Keto my pain was going away. Thank you for your inspirational story.....I'm going to start praying to my Lord and Savior about the trial I'm going through. He is the only one that can get me through for sure!
Very inspiring story. hope it will motivate people to eat healthily and live a healthier life.
Hey I’m Linda
My husband was just diagnosed with type II diabetes (we are in our sixties) and while searching on the internet for low carb, sugar free recipes, I was led to you. God works in mysterious ways! I just want you to know that I just ordered your book Naturally Keto on Amazon. I wanted to thank you for sharing your journey, (thus far) Your insights and your recipes. I am excited to get my new cookbook and try the healthy, delicious recipes within it. Who says that a mother of three grown children, -grandmother of three can’t learn a few new tricks, tips and recipes!
Thank You for helping us to eat healthy, live longer and thereby spend more time with our loved ones. Linda
Brenda, thanks for sharing your journey. I turn 70 on July 13th and that is scary for me as I feel like I am 21 trapped in this 7 year old case! I have struggled with my weight since I was a kid. One fad diet after another with some success, but then the stress of working, 3 kids (you understand) on your own caused me to turn to food for comfort. I am so blessed to be in wonderful health at my age. Except for Rheumatoid Arthritis, I am really very healthy. As I start this new decade, I want to make positive changes in the way I look at food. I am so happy I found you and the sugar free way to go. Thanks again. There is a special place in heaven for you as you have already helped so many and now I am going to adopt your way of thinking and I know I will be successful! I will need a little help from time to time I'm sure! Now if the potato chip companies would just stop making crunchy salty foods I would be just fine) God Bless you!
Thank you Kaye! Age is just a number and you've got a great attitude!
I purchased your sugar detox program a couple of years ago and thought it was a one time payment for "lifetime"access.
Right now I am looking to do this program agin and am finding that I cannot access this program. In particular, the weekly plans for both phases are not working. Could you please help me gain access again to what I have already purchased?
I have a new course being launched in April and I will deduct the price you paid for the sugar detox program if you decide to join the new course in April. I haven't announced it yet on my blog, but will be doing so in the next week so stay tuned. The sugar detox was quite old, written back in 2012 and needed updates as well as new recipes so I felt it was best to remove it until it can be revamped. Thanks for understanding!
Hey! I'm glad to hear how well it worked for you! I have to ask, what do you do to stop the cravings?!?! It's the only issue I'm having at this point!!! Any info would be great! Thanks! 🙂
Hello Brenda. Congratulati I'l ns on your success. I'm wondering what your number are as far as total cholesterol, hdl, lol, triglycerides and c-reaxtive protein. My doctor does not encourage keto or low carb but endorses low fat and vegan lifestyle which I find impossible to stick with. If your numbers are encouraging I may try it.
You are an inspiration. What an amazing journey you've had. Definitely something you should feel very proud of. I'm actually going through some weight issues now at 44. Menopause hit early and the weight has become very hard to lose. Needless to say I have a sedentary job. I went to a nutritionist but honestly I wasn't very happy with her bedside manner. I'm overall pretty healthy but a few point high on my LDL (6 pts) over the norm. I understand you're not a Dr. but from your experience I was wondering if considering to do Keto for 3 months and then gradually incorporating a low-carb diet might help me along with workouts. Your thoughts are very much appreciated. Again, you look fantastic!! Keep up the good work 🙂
Wow Brenda! What an amazing weight loss transformation. You inspire many women out there who are looking for weight loss motivation.
Hi Brenda, love your story! Mine is so the same in that I have been struggling with my weight for years and praying along with it as I ask God to please help me. I have found the low carb lifestyle is best for me. Tried Keto, but couldn't handle all the fats. Ick! Plus, I think it worked in reverse for me. So searching on the internet the Lord led me to your website. Today is 15 February 19 and I am just finding you! I intend to spend some time here and read all your blogs and recipes. I, too, am GF due to celiac disease, wife, mom to olders, (33 and up), low sugar, wanna be NO sugar, and best and most of all, lover of Jesus, my Savior and Lover of my Soul . Be blessed today. Thanks for your ministry! 🙂
Hi Brenda, love your story. Well done and keep up the great work. God loves a trier! Love your blog. Many thanks.
Curious to know if your husband and kids follow the same plan and if they eat fast food and junk food? Just wondering, because this is a constant struggle within my own family... getting everyone "on board".
They say that sugar is aging people....Excess processed sugar in your diet, even in small amounts can cause dark circles, wrinkles, dehydrate skin and can fast track the aging process. Sugar is in just about everything we eat, from natural sugars in foods like fruit and vegetables to added sugars in processed foods including soft drinks, cakes and biscuits.
I assume that cutting out the sugar from your diet should either make you feel or look younger....
I just found your site (maybe the delay is because I'm not a mom, except to cats!). I have been sugar free since 1980 in college. This decision, in addition to exercise, has been a lifesaver to me regarding physical and mental health. My journey has included artificial sweeteners (darn sweet tooth!). I don't know much about monk fruit, I'm not sure I trust stevia, and I am painfully aware of the issues with sorbitol/mannitol. I look forward to trying your recipes. Thank you for sharing them.
Welcome! No requirement to be a mom to be here, that's just who I am. I'm looking into more recipes using monk fruit so be on the look out. Enjoy the recipes!
Just starting this journey after hip replacement surgery. I need to lose 25-30 pounds and menopause has made it hard. I am hoping that going sugar free and flour free will help me. I am.not Christian but am spiritual so I intend to meditate and use mantras to guide me in this process. I am inspired by your truthful story.. I am a mom and a counselor, so people depend on me but I need to feel better about my body and heal it. Osteoarthritis is worsened by being overweight and by sugar which causes inflammation. Wish me luck! Thanks for the recipes. Have you found chocolate chips sweetened with something other than stevia? Thanks!!
Congrats on starting out! I wish you the very best! There is other sugar free chocolate chips but unless they are the brand Lily's Sweets, they will be sweetened with maltitol or sorbitol which can cause major gastrointestinal issues.
Wow, such an inspirational story and testimony on many levels! I have tears in my eyes, very moving. May God bless you and your family, and keep up the amazing work providing encouragement and delicious food inspiration for those choosing a healthier lifestyle and fighting food battles! Pulled BBQ Chicken and Italian Slaw for us tonight, can't wait! xx
Thank you so much and that meal is a winner!
I really appreciate the info and testimonials about going sugar-free. I'm on day three and feel pretty miserable! The withdrawal is not only extremely painful, but also very, very eye-opening to my sugar addiction. My sugar intake has been way out of control, escalating sharply the past 2 or 3 years, to a point of not being in control of eating 'goodies' anymore. It controls me -mentally, emotionally & spiritually. I'm at the highest weight I've ever been - at the very top of my BMI 'normal' range (so I'm 1 lb. away from being 'overweight'). More than my skyrocketed weight numbers, though, is my bloated body. NONE of my clothes fit/or fit correctly. Not even my underthings fit anymore (bra & underwear). It is very frightening. I'm at the jumping-off point of either cruising into overweight/obesity and all the health risks, or cutting the sugar out and going back down to my healthy weight and healthy lifestyle. I love how you weave into your story that God is Supreme and all-powerful! He is the Only Truth. Thank you so much for your story & photos. You are a huge inspiration to me. Blessings to you and your family!
Day 3 is always the hardest. Getting through the first week even the first month can be difficult but not giving in to the temptations is the key. Giving in once, going back to thinking I could handle it once a week, biggest mistake I ever made. It was so much harder after that. Once I got rid of it for good and that was 13 years ago, I knew I could never touch the stuff again, too much despair and heartache, not worth it ever. You can get through it and the feeling you will experience is beyond what you ever imagine. If you follow through and don't give in or give up, freedom awaits you.
Thanks for sharing your story . I can relate to it a lot.. I am not religious but belong to a 12 step fellowship and god can do what I cannot do for myself. The only thing is I've got to let him in. I just wondered if you ever go out for a meal with family and what do you eat if you do.
I do go out to eat, not often but sometimes. I try to stick with protein and vegetable or salad.
A friend sent me your recipe from this site, as it turns out we knew each other from FCC, what a surprise to see you and Jim again after 20 years. Congrats and God bless.
Hey Adam, nice to hear from you! It's been a long time! We're not THAT old right?!