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My Parkinson's Journey

In which Terri shares a humorous look at her journey with Parkinson's disease and Dystonia:

For me, illness and health are not opposites but exist together. Everyone has something that is challenging to them. Mine just simply has a recognizable name. My life will take a different path because of this but that's okay. Everyone has changes in their lives that create their path.  I'm learning how to enjoy whatever path I'm on.

No Sugar Diary

Terri Reinhart

Rules:  No refined sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup.  I won’t check labels on bread or other packaged foods that otherwise seem healthy enough.  I will give up cookies, cake, brownies, chocolate truffles, cherry pie, jelly, ice cream, Bailey’s Irish Cream, wine, and other sweets.  New rule:  Holidays and birthdays are free days.  One must honor the spirit of the day.

Day 1 – All is well.  I had a good breakfast with protein and didn’t miss sugar today.  I didn’t miss any of the sweets until after dinner.  Then the truffles and Bailey’s sounded so, so good!  I resisted temptation.  There is a little nagging doubt about this experiment.  Why would any sane person give up sugar during the coldest time of the year?  I will undoubtedly lose a few pounds.  Why should I want that?  One needs a few extra pounds in the winter to keep warm.  Everyone knows that.  I’m also a grandma now.  Grandmas should be cuddly.

Day 2 – Devouring an entire bag of cheese curls is not a good substitute for eating sweets.  It’s not the same at all, except for that funny tummy feeling after overindulging.  Starting tomorrow, no more cheese curls.  I made Patrick’s birthday cake.  I did not lick the spoon.  When a bit of the batter dropped on my finger, however, I did lick my finger without thinking.  Is this cheating?  I don’t think so.  I cleaned up all the other tiny spills without guilt.

Day 3 – Patrick’s birthday!  Hooray!  Today I can have my cake and eat it, too!  I’ll even have a little champagne (thanks Mike and Mark) to toast the birthday kid.  Holidays and birthdays must be free days.  I will immediately add this new rule to my list.  I have been good.  I didn’t have any sugar till after dinner. I did have champagne with dinner, chocolate cake and ice cream with chocolate sauce, a tiny bit of Bailey's, and ….I have to admit….a spoonful of chocolate frosting.  Tomorrow, I’ll be back to the plan.

Day 4 – I resisted the temptation to have leftover cherry crisp for breakfast.  That should give me extra credit points, shouldn’t it?  I also made fruit and nut balls.  These are healthy with a capital H.  They are made only of ground up almonds, sunflower seeds, dried unsweetened cherries, dried unsweetened apricots, dried unsweetened figs, dried unsweetened dates, unsweetened coconut, and cinnamon.  Of course, dried fruit doesn’t ever need any added sugar.  Dried fruit is full of natural fructose, natural potassium, natural fiber, and natural calories.  Substituting dried fruit for sugary treats is okay, as long as I’m not trying to lose weight and as long as I don’t overdo it.  Anything that is as high in fiber as dried fruit and nut balls is not something that tempts me to over indulge.

Day 5 – Teo’s christening was today.  That meant that there were many wonderful treats to be had:  truffles, cheesecake, cookies, cheesecake, honey roasted nuts, and did I mention cheesecake?  I was good…even though technically it was a celebration day and I should’ve had some cheesecake!

Day 6 – I’m getting used to this no sugar stuff.  I can do it.  I don’t even get tempted anymore except when I’m really stressed out…or irritated at something or someone.  As long as everyone does what I want, I’ll be fine.

Day 7 – A Rabbi was once invited to eat dinner at the home of a friend.  He was served a wonderful dinner but noticed that there was a fly floating in his soup.  He didn’t want to embarrass his host or seem ungrateful, so he ate all the soup, including the fly.  He didn’t even question whether the fly was kosher.   The moral of this story:   When one’s host offers you something to eat, one mustn’t refuse it just because it has sugar in it.  One might offend one’s host.

Day 8 – Someone….SOMEONE ate the leftover frosting from Patrick’s birthday cake.  How many more days on this blasted no sugar program??