I swear I’m still going to talk about my journey, but first I’d like you to take a look at this quote from a Civil War historian:
Ultimately the black slaves were set free. Theoretically it became legal as early as the first day of the year, 1863, in what has come to be known as the Emancipation Proclamation.
“The word spread,” in the words of one historian, “from Capitol Hill out across the city, down into the valleys and fields of Virginia and the Carolinas, and even into the plantations of Georgia and Mississippi and Alabama. ‘Slavery Legally Abolished!’ read the headlines, and yet something amazing took place. The greater majority of the slaves in the South went right on living as though they were not emancipated. That continued throughout the Reconstruction Period.
The Negro remained locked in a caste system of ‘race ettiquette’ as rigid as any had known in formal bondage, and that every slave could repeat, with equal validity, what an Alabama slave had mumbled when asked what he thought of the Great Emancipator who’s proclamation had gone into effect. ‘I don’t know nothin’ ’bout Abraham Lincoln cep they say he sot us free. And I don’t know nothin’ ’bout that neither.'”
How tragic. A war was being fought. A document had been signed. Slaves were legally set free. And yet most continued to live out their years, and many of their children some of their years, in fear, saying, “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout that neither.” In a context of freedom, slaves chose to remain slaves, throughout their lives.
~Shelby Foote, “The Civil War”
Wow. Did you catch that?! A war was fought. Blood was spilled all over the place. Men died to set these slaves free. And what did they do?? “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout that.” And why? Why didn’t they run leaping off the fields, doing the dance of joy in their ex-masters’ faces?? Fear and ignorance. They didn’t know they were free and when they did, they didn’t know what to do about it. They had never known anything but slavery. They were, in many ways, like children. They had always been fed and taken care of. They had no idea what it meant to go out and get a job and find a house and raise a family and they were too scared to try!
So I look to my own life to see if I can find some parallels. I have been a slave. I’ve been a slave to addiction, men, food, pride and many other things, I’m sure. And more recently I’ve been struggling with slavery to sugar, to anger, and maybe even to some self doubt. And what kept me there?? Fear and ignorance. I didn’t know any other way. Or I knew there was a way, but I couldn’t figure out how to get there. I didn’t know how to stop giving my life to these things. I didn’t know I was worth it. I didn’t know, really KNOW that I had been set free.
“What?!” You may be thinking, “Sugar?!” Yep. Nearly 10 years ago I read a book called “Potatoes, Not Prozac” by Kathleen DeMaisons Ph.D. While reading this book, it became quite obvious to me that I was what she called “sugar sensitive.” This meant that my body craved sugar and reacted even more severely to sugar when I ate it. So I half-heartedly tried some of her suggestions and I saw a difference, but then the cravings would hit and I’d go out and buy a candy bar or two or twenty. My high school best friend used to tease me that I had a stomach of steal. I could eat anything! The funny thing is, looking back, I think she had the same issue, only hers manifested as an addiction to simple carbs. She could go a whole day eating nothing but carbs and could eat an entire loaf of bread at one sitting!! I remember sneaking into the pantry as a child to fish lumps of sugar out of the sugar bin to eat. I could make anything into a dessert. But it didn’t really hit me that some of the other problems in my life were related to the way I ate. It’s only recently that I’ve discovered just how important food is in the entirety of how you body (and therefor your mind) functions.
All of a sudden, I can’t breathe. I’ve never had any real problems with my breathing other than a little light, exercise induced asthma that never really bothered me. And then last January I started getting sick. I thought it was some kind of respiratory something. It was hard to breathe and I’d go off coughing at the slightest provocation. Lots of congestion, etc. I finally went to the doctor after nearly a month of this, and she told me I had asthma. Um, what?! All of a sudden, out of no where, for no apparent reason, I have asthma? I don’t think so!! So she sent me home with an inhaler and an appointment with an asthma and allergy specialist.
While I waited on my appointment, I got online to do some research. And this lead me to the library (as it usually does), where I found Dr. Fred Pescatore’s “The Allergy and Asthma Cure.” In this book he describes how sugar depresses your whole immune system. In fact, according to Dr. Pescatore, 1 teaspoon of sugar can suppress your immune system by 56%!! And I learned about Candida. Candida is a lovely little yeast that everyone has in their system. The problem is when you have an over growth. It fills up your gut, pushing out all the beneficial bacteria that you need to properly digest food and get all the nutrients out of it.
The book also talks about leaky gut and how eating over processed foods for too long can mess up your whole digestive system. If this happens then partially digested food literally “leaks” out into your blood stream which triggers your body’s defense mechanisms. If you continue to eat like this it’s kind of like setting your body at DEFCON 3 and leaving you there (for any War Games fans out there). Your body is in a constant state of war, trying to fight off this stuff that isn’t supposed to be in your system. If this goes on long enough you will start to develop one or more auto-immune diseases or other issues such as the ones listed in this quick chart about leaky gut: http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/12052-leaky-gut.html :
1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome
2. Seasonal allergies or asthma
3. Autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, lupus, psoriasis or ciliac disease
4. Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
5. Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, and ADD
6. Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema
7. Food allergies or food intolerance
I suffered from 5 of the issues on this list!
I finally got in to see the allergy and asthma specialist and found out that my lung function was at 52%!! The doctor was appalled and didn’t understand how I was still functioning. I asked him abut Dr. Pescatore and his book but my doctor had never heard of him. So I tried the inhaler he gave me but I also started the elimination diets that are recommended in the book. What I discovered was pretty amazing, but you’ll have to watch for my next post to see how I started walking in freedom from sugar!!