Category Archives: Thoughts

Substitutions….just a stage


I was with a friend of mine yesterday who has been battling with migraine headaches.  In the five years since I’ve known her, I’ve noticed them worsening.  In the beginning she averaged 5 a month…that was when she started medication and starting all her various experimentation…lately she’s been having them almost daily.

She does Yoga(is a yoga instructor), is a Reiki Master, has had acupuncture(says that relieves her for a short period of time), has had that Botox treatment(that was a nightmare), has been on an elimination diet, gave up caffeine due to a nervous tic on her face and the list goes on.

She’s a fabulous cook using organic, non GMO products and doesn’t skimp on high quality ingredients.  But, I’ve noticed lately how she obsesses over the latest ingredient substitutions that I have seen online as being mainstream.  She wants her diet to contain the categories it always had and the more she experiments, the more foods she finds that don’t agree with her. She will find something she CAN eat and eat that daily…and sometime later is no longer able to eat that either.

When I first went on a gluten free diet, the recipe book I had purchased at the time had recipes for bread and rolls made from a concoction of potato starch, cornstarch, and xanthan gum or guar gum.  It was a white pasty mess but being desperate for bread, I ate it.

Then it was rice flour products and now the trend seems to be  almond meal flour and coconut flour along with massive amounts of eggs.

The question rotating in my brain is, are the substitutions doing more harm than the originals?

I see people on facebook obsessing over how to make desserts like they used to have…so they’ll make a “substitute” using the other flour options…and later find out that the calorie count/fat count is astronomical.

When you have the goal of giving up sugar for example, so many are trying the various substitutes out there so that they can still eat the same way they always have.  It’s like it was in the beginning of being a vegetarian…I used to get the various “fake meat” products…but over the years, I’ve gotten past that stage and don’t need nor do I want that.

My two cents on the substitutions subject…there are no substitutions.  This past year has taught me that success relies on focusing on real food.  In the beginning you will be in the stage of denial of sorts…the total shock that you may have to give that food up “forever”.  This is the stage when you play with the substitutions.  The sad part is that some people never go beyond that point to explore the wonderful world of real food.

It’s interesting how I’ve been able to change my focus this year…to go from apple pie with all the sugar to sliced apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top…and truly savor it.  I no longer look at candy in the same way nor do I even think about drinking sodas or sweetened coffee or cocoa products.

Now, that doesn’t mean that now and then I won’t  be tempted to eat one of my favorites from the past…but I find that a very small portion will satisfy me(also, if I get a large portion of anything overly sweet, I’ll possibly get heartburn and /or a migraine headache…no thank you!)

This does not happen over night.  It’s a learning process and a challenging one in the beginning…but after a while it does become easier…and if you slip, to forgive yourself and move on.

til next time…Evacountry roads 002aphoto by Eva…Country Road


Bits and Pieces


This is a kind of “bits and pieces” day…

a. Since I’ve been drinking a lot of water, I’ve begun noticing how many different products are out there to “enhance” your bottled water. I picked one up that a friend of mine had on her table…it was iced tea flavor…you put a few drops in it and there are no calories…I wrote down the ingredients so that I could look it up tonight.
The ingredients are:

Water … ok, no problems there

Propylene Glycol…used as aircraft de-icing fluid, used in vaporizers and those e-cigarettes. As a
preservative in food and tobacco. Can cause eye and skin irritation.

Malic Acid…food additive and preservative

Natural Flavor…whatever that means

Citric Acid…preservative and adds sour taste to foods

Sucralose…artificial sweetener with adverse health effects(

Acesulfame Potassium…artificial sweetener combined with other sweeteners.

Red 40…artificial food coloring with side effects. Could cause migraines in adults, behavior problems
in children and possible cancer. (

Yellow 5…artificial food coloring with side effects. (

Blue 1…artificial food coloring with allergic reactions to asthma patients (

Potassium Sorbate…preservative

After reading these additives, I think I will stick to drinking my water plain or adding some lemon juice to it for flavoring if I need it(or even some juice).

b. Update on the hair color…I went for a much needed haircut last week and was bracing myself for any comments from my hairdresser. She knows from the past that my hair was getting gray and white in spots and that I’d used conventional haircolors before…with sometimes not so great results. As the hair was falling all around me, I noticed all shades from a coffee brown to a golden blond..but no grays or whites anywhere.
As I was ready to pay, she finally says, “OK, what are you doing to your hair?” “Why do you ask?” “Well, it looks really good with all the natural shades, your scalp is so healthy and I can tell it’s not conventional haircolor nor is it henna of any kind.” “You really want to know?” “Yes, as a hairdresser, I like to know many options for people.”
“Well, its sage or coffee.” She looked at me puzzled and I explained to her that I would fill 1/4 of an empty shampoo bottle with my shampoo and fill the rest with strong coffee(decaf or regular) or a strong sage tea. I do the same with my conditioner. And then, once a week, I’d get a pot of coffee or the sage tea and pour it on my hair over and over again in the sink or a plastic basin. Wring it and then put a shower cap on my head and let it in for 1/2 hour before rinsing it out.
“well, it’s working for you…I have to remember that…”

So, I’m continuing this method of coloring my hair for now.

c. I read an article that was about an English woman who upped her water intake from 8 glasses a day to I believe it was 14 for 21 days. Once she did that, her skin improved remarkably, her bags under her eyes plus her wrinkles in her face diminished, her cellulite disappeared. She also lost weight by doing nothing else differently.
I had also read a while ago that by hydrating your body through water, you could improve your eyesight and improve/eliminate tinnitus. I’ve upped to 12 glasses a day and will see if that makes a difference.

I noticed this past winter that I’d gotten more wrinkles around my mouth area and my bags under my eyes have become more pronounced. Add to that, my tinnitus seems to have become louder. If drinking more water will rectify any or all of the above, I’d be a fool not to try…
So the experiment is on!

Til next time…Eva

Welcome to “Every Day A New Chance “


Welcome to “Every Day, A New Chance”.
I plan to write about the various health benefits towards certain basic habits that I have tried and used(and also some that friends of mine have been trying). Now, I don’t have a medical doctor’s degree…I have a Masters in Education and love doing research…I have a habit of not believing anyone’s comments about something until I have done the research online or on books for myself.

I have been without health insurance for years and have been forced from necessity to find alternative ways to stay healthy and keep my family healthy. I also was care giver for my parents 24/7 for 6 years and needed to keep us all healthy. There is a need to take responsibility for your own well being…and this means eating properly, drinking enough water, exercising, and living a positive lifestyle…all the basics. I have been seeing too many people ignore health issues and rely on the doctor to prescribe medication and continue to live life they way they always have.

Concentrating on health in all factors…physically, mentally, financially, emotionally…
Hope you will join me on this quest for a better life on all areas…physically, mentally, financially and emotionally…
til next time…Eva