First, before I chat about my health journey, let me tell you about an awesome SALE!!! You can SHOP IT HERE! Then I am going to chat about my journey to find the interstitial cystitis disease cure…
How I Am Quitting Sugar…
It’s amazing the difference just a little over a week can make! Last Monday I shared the very beginning of my journey to quit sugar via the book “I Quit Sugar“. And 18 days in I can definitely say that so far I HAVE QUIT SUGAR. And not just cookies and cake, we are talking sugar as any ingredient in any form in any food. As a self-described sugar addict that is absolutely HUGE for me! I have tried to do this sooooo many times. And failed. Yet this time I was determined. The super competitive side of me finally came out and I became as determined as I was nine years ago when I started down the path of an absolutely huge weight loss goal. I stuck to my guns then and I knew I could do it again. I forever changed my life on that path nine years ago now and this time I decided I was ready to change it again. Yet this time for a very different reason… finding an interstitial cystitis disease cure. More on that shortly! Three weeks ago I literally could not even envision a life without the most sugary coffee you can imagine first thing every single morning. Like so much sugar that it was kind of crunchy. Oh so healthy I know.
On this 18th day of my journey to quit sugar, I have actually ended up on a journey to cure interstitial cystitis disease. Something that I have dreamed of for YEARS now. A journey to CURE interstitial cystitis… my “incurable” bladder disease. A disease I have never blogged about before. First, let me start by saying that I am NOT a nutritionist. At all. Whatsoever. I am sharing my own unique journey to get healthy (in my opinion) and cure an “incurable” disease. More on that shortly. I am not offering advice or cures or any such information. I am just sharing my life, as I always do.
My Journey… Interstitial Cystitis Disease Cure
Now that all of that is aside, let me go waaaaaaay back. Nine years ago, yes right around the time I decided to start losing weight, I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis. And what is now known as Painful Bladder Syndrome. It is absolutely horrible. Something I would not wish on my worst enemy. Truly. After back to back UTIs (probably my first ever actually!) and continued pain, I was referred to a Urologist where I underwent miserable testing and finally received the life changing diagnosis. It literally hurts all day everyday and I have had to sleep on a heating pad every single night to even fall asleep for nine years now. That and high pH water are the only ways that I have seen relief from this awful and what doctors call “incurable” disease. A disease that is sometimes mind consuming and absolutely life altering. A pain that never ever goes away and has restricted my diet in so many ways.
Fast forward to today and I am no longer the girl who believes I have been cursed with a painful condition that I will have for the rest of my life. I am now a girl who truly believes in the power of food as healing and in the possibilities of unconventional medicine. As you may have read on my blog before, after gaining a ton of weight and suffering horrible side effects from anxiety medication eleven years ago, I do not like medicine. Doctors have tried prescribing me pills to “maybe” mask the pain of my IC (interstitial cystitis) for years and years now and I have aways declined. I have found what works for me, what foods to avoid and how to deal with flare-ups and I have just stuck with that plan. Yet for most of this time I found myself constantly Googling “how to cure IC”. I just KNEW there HAD to be something out there!
So after years and years and years of screen-shotting and searching and praying, I finally found quite a few articles and studies that claimed there was a cure. Not an easy cure but a supposed cure nonetheless. A “supposed” cure with amazing results. Testimonials from people who are still cured years later! And that is where my initial quest to quit sugar began. It seemed that every article I read referenced a sugar overgrowth as one of the initial causes of IC and the source of continued problems. That paired with a yeast overgrowth that so many of use suffer from and don’t even know it along with several other factors all aligning together creating this horrible disease called IC. As I mentioned last week, between reading that over and over as well as every other article on Facebook about sugar leading to all sorts of diseases and conditions, I decided about a month ago that it was time to ditch the sweet stuff.
And so I did. Well, so I am. I am currently ditching sugar and it is in some ways way easier and in some ways way harder than I imagined. I started out week one with a simple lessening of sugar intake. I added half of the sugar to my coffee and avoided sweets but didn’t research labels or avoid other forms of sugar like honey and agave. About nine days in, I then decided to start ditching it ALL. Like I said before, this is not necessarily a forever journey to quit sugar although I do hope to continue eating much like I am today for the long haul. I have gotten quite a few headaches and have DEFINITELY felt irritable and cranky. However, what I have been most surprised about is my lack of cravings. I did cheat and eat a cookie about seven days in during the “lessening sugar” phase like I mentioned last week but that has been all. Although the cravings haven’t been AS BAD as I feared, it has been a very goal driven, laser focused mindset that has kept me on track. I have always said that I can do ANYTHING (well, almost anything) for a set period of time with a set goal in mind. Maybe it’s the overachiever good grades schoolgirl in me but I have always been good at defining a goal and achieving it. And it’s in that strong point that I am hoping to retrain my body and my mind to concur the other me that has ZERO willpower on a typical day on a non-laser focused track. Whew, that probably made zero sense. LOL.
SO, I am currently sugar free. ALL forms of sugar free. From honey to corn syrup to agave to everything in between. And I am now ALSO gluten and dairy free as well. So basically I eat nothing. Hehe KIDDING! To avoid making this a forever long blog entry, I will make this short and sweet. Several weeks prior to my journey to quit sugar, I reached out to a social media friend and certified naturopath Kasey with Dose Wellness. It was around the time I was feeling weak and tired and we set up a virtual appointment. That call ended up falling about a week into my sugar journey and also at a time where my body was mega detoxing from sugar and my IC was flaring up horribly. I felt so miserable that I was motivated to do ANYTHING to start working on my IC. Although I initially planned to first detox from sugar and then tackle my disease, I decided that day to just start it ALL. Kasey had done some research along with all of my research and she came up with a plan to correct my body entirely. From hormones to low iron to IC to adrenal fatigue. The thing was that they are almost all connected. And almost all needed the same “recipe” for correcting.
As I mentioned above, most of my research on IC pointed to a four-point plan… eliminating intestinal yeast and sugar overgrowth, balancing estrogen with progesterone, infusing ozone into the bladder, and correcting pelvic floor disorder. Two of which have also caused some of my other conditions as well. Kasey helped me create a “diet” plan around the first two parts of the plan and I actually started pelvic physical therapy on Monday. I am still working on the ozone treatments but the relief I feel just ONE DAY after therapy and SEVEN short days of being sugar/gluten/dairy free is AMAZING. I told Mark last night that I have not felt this clear minded, full of energy and PAIN-FREE for as long as I can remember. I haven’t had afternoon slumps, I have been wide awake at 7am every morning and I have not complained about my bladder in several days now. The “diet” is INTENSE but the way I feel makes is 110% worthwhile. And as I said in the beginning, I can do ANYTHING with a goal in mind and the will to reset my body and my mind.
So first, here’s a peek at my daily eating plan and some great sugar free products I have found…
Every single product below is DAIRY FREE, GLUTEN FREE & SUGAR FREE!
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Every 3-4 days, I stir-fry a bag of kale salad and store in the refrigerator. Every morning I scramble eggs for the family and heat up the veggies. Add a sliced avocado and it is super yummy and healthy!
This is what I have been eating for lunch every single day and so far I am not tired of it yet! I love the idea of eating a “starch” for lunch yet the pasta I have found contains lentils, beet, carrots and so many other veggies. You can see more options in the next image as well. I make an entire box at once and it lasts several days. Sometimes I also add seafood and/or veggies we have leftover from the night before.
SNACK & PRODUCTS I LOVE…
Also, here is my LIFESAVER for yummy coffee every morning that is SUGAR FREE & DAIRY FREE!
I will share all of my supplements for curing IC very soon but first, here is the main one I swear by for killing bacterial overgrowth!
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Thanks for reading!
XOXO, Brittany Hayes