Tag: family

Julie & Katie

Hi Katie!!

Read your column from Sunday with great interest because I’ve been seriously thinking that I need to finally win my battle with sugar!!! I’m turning 53 soon and feel much older at times especially in the morning trying to get out of bed :/.

I’m probably not the first to write you for support but would love any advice and support you can offer?!?!?! Fortunately I can say I don’t eat a great deal of sugar but enough that I know giving it up and bread (that’ll be more difficult for me) would produce great benefits.

Thanks so much

Julie. 🙂


Bread is definitely a hard one but since it is loaded with sugar, the best thing I did was identify it as “poison”. I know that sounds extreme but the way I was feeling each day felt like someone was slowly poisoning my body. I knew I would never actually eat poison so I looked at the foods I would miss the most as poison and that made me not want them. I haven’t had bread all year and I really doubt I will again. I feel so much better physically and have energy like I did 20 years ago. If you can set a goal for one month and get through that hard part, I know you can make it. The withdrawals and irritability get replaced by energy and feeling strong. You have to totally cut it to get there though. Maybe shoot me an e-mail every time you get tempted and I will see if I can help?

I have had lots of people e-mail me for support. More than I was expecting actually. There are lots of people like you that want to do this so take comfort in knowing you aren’t alone!

My Sister Has Cancer

I have known people who have successfully fought the battle against breast cancer. I have lost a very dear friend who left behind 3 boys. I have even had guests on my radio show fighting the disease and was so impressed with their strength and resilience.

You always remember where you are when you get the phone calls that alter your life. When my father called to tell me had had terminal cancer, I was driving down the Mount Rose Highway to get to an appointment with a client. It was surreal walking into the Starbucks and meeting with the client. Life just suddenly had to move on right then no matter what call I had just received. I felt that way as he died when I looked out the window and a golfer was looking in for a brief second as he retrieved his bad shot that almost hit my dad’s window. He just picked up his ball and walked off to go hit his next bad shot. We made brief eye contact and I am sure he knew he was looking at a man who had just died.

When my sister called to tell me that she found a lump in her breast and was getting an ultrasound I just knew. I knew it was going to be cancer. My sister Kristy is not an alarmist and she wouldn’t call with that type of news unless she was very concerned. I never once believed it was anything but cancer as much as I wanted it to just be a cyst. She was diagnosed with cancer in December 2015 and had surgery the Monday before Christmas. We were so hopeful that she would only need radiation but the tests revealed that chemotherapy was also going to be on her menu of cancer treatments.

That scared her the most I believe. The diagnosis shocked us all. The surgery was somewhat of a relief to get the cancer out of there but the need for chemo just scared everyone. She will no longer be able to finish her school year as a first grade teacher. She will lose her hair. She will have side effects that make it hard to be a single mom as if that wasn’t hard enough. Ironically, I was scheduled for my own mammogram during her surgery and checking the box that we had a family history of breast cancer was upsetting and all too real.

They say the whole family gets cancer when someone is diagnosed and now I think I know what they mean. We all just feel sick and sitting in an oncologist’s office is depressing as you look around at all of the people fighting this cruel disease. My sister wasn’t supposed to be here. She is too well – she is just too everything. She is too nice, too loyal, too sweet, too innocent. Her kids need her healthy. Her students need her healthy. I need her healthy. I’m sure everyone feels this way when they have a family member get diagnosed.

I have watched her go through an emotional roller coaster and it breaks my heart. She has been brave and then terrified. She has cried, yelled, laughed, and just stared off into the distance at times. We feel that it was caught early enough that she will be ok in the long run but not before a very difficult journey. She starts chemo tomorrow and I just don’t want that to be the case. I don’t want something that will feel like poison running through her veins but that is the reality and I have to accept it. She won’t be able to return to her job as a 1st grade teacher until next school year and this breaks her heart and mine too. She is more worried about her students than herself it seems.

We have a big supportive family and we will all be there for her night and day. We have had some pretty interesting conversations including her telling me that cancer is fu&%#ing boring. I agree Kristy. It is! There are better things to do with life than have to fight this disease that nobody deserves. I’m biased to say that you deserved it the least. I would take your place if I could just to make your life feel easier right now. I’m so sorry. I love you and we have you from start to finish.   I still am willing to shave my head with you but so far she doesn’t agree with that! We shall see. Nobody should feel alone when they are going through cancer treatments. Especially my big sis.


I just read your article about how you cut sugar out of your life.  I have tried many times to stop eating sugar myself but by the third day I’m craving it so badly that I give into it.  Do you have any advice you can give me to help me get through the first month?  I really want to change my eating habits and start to feel better…. I can relate to those aches and pains you describe having had before you cut out sugar and carbs!! [at wits’ end]

Thank you so much!!a

That was my approach and it was hard but then it got easy.  I started feeling better and of course that motivated me to stick with it.   You get to a point where if you eat it you know it is making you sick.
I mostly follow Paleo recipes but not 100% as I still eat cheese sometimes.  There are great recipes in their cookbooks that help with variety.
Good luck on your journey.  Reach out anytime.  It’s well worth the withdrawals of the first few weeks!
Katie Coombs


Good Morning,
I read your article about breaking the sugar addiction and I just wanted to know how did you detox. I try so hard and also tried so many times I just can’t get past the 2 week mark and the sugar grip gets me reeled back in…
Suffering and declining at 53 🙁
There is no easy way unfortunately because you are getting rid of a drug from your body. I had a cranky 3-4 weeks. I used one Granny Smith apple in the morning and one in the afternoon my first month. I cut fruit completely for the second month so I knew the addiction was gone. I added back in modest amounts after that in my diet for vitamins but my main source is always vegetables. I have cut up veggies around all of the time.  They are essential to your success.
Good luck with your journey. Check in any time. You will feel like a different person if you can get through the first month. It is smooth sailing from there.
Katie Coombs


Ms. Coombs –

I read your story in the RGJ regarding your search for glue.  It was humorous and familiar at the same time. It is refreshing to read that a parent is actually interested in helping a son in a constructive project.
Regarding glue – Since you say that it is a plastic model, I would guess that you were trying to find a cyanoacrylate glue. You do not say how old your son is but I will tell you that this type of glue can be a problem.  There are two main types. One sets instantly and the other is slightly slower.  The major problem occurs in the user has skin contact as it can cause fingers to stick together and cannot be separated quickly.  Skin oil will eventually break the contact. You might check Home Depot in the paint department. 

I have been in the modeling hobby since 1967.  I have six model airplanes hanging in my garage.  Five I built and have flown. One is from my oldest sons set that his wife let me have when we lost him. The field of building from kits is disappearing. Most buy ready made items that require no building. When our oldest son was 12 we attended a fly in of model airplanes sponsored by the American Cancer Research institute. He was instantly hooked.  A man with whom I worked with at Douglas Aircraft, gave us an engine and a suggested model for beginners. We worked together and when it was finished a pilot tested it for us.  I located an individual who would teach our son how to fly. Long story short, he later finished in 13th place in a national competition.  In his late 40’s he built two full size home build kits. I got to ride in his first one but he died before I could ride in the second one.

Keep working with your son.   The rewards will be astounding.



Thanks for sharing your story with me.  We were actually looking for both types of glue.  We have 7 kids – this model was for my 11 year old step-son.

It’s amazing how much quality time comes from these activities.  I wish more parents would turn back the clock and go towards these activities.

You live pretty close so will be easy to reach out if necessary!

Take care.

Katie Coombs

To read Katie’s article, “Plastic Models Another Casualty of Xbox Culture,” click, here.


This article is me as well I believe thought i haven’t started the process. I know I have too much sugar and for my kids too. Do you have recipes to share that help ? And I would love to see the snacks yo give your kids. I am ready to get rolling on this asap and get my energy back!

Thank you for sharing your story!

Hi Christy,

The best recipes come from Paleo cookbooks even though I don’t follow Paleo exactly.  The kids snack on lots of chopped vegetable and fruits or nuts and seeds.  They do not eat as clean as I do but we are slowly getting them transitioned.  They always eat a clean dinner.

I have also had lots of success on Google.  You can just google clean chicken recipes or sugar free/carb free meal ideas and there is so much that comes up.   You will eventually stop living to eat and completely shift to eating to live.  Food isn’t about variety or even taste anymore but about health.  With that said, some of the recipes out there are delicious.   I own about three Paleo cookbooks and we use those lots.

Good luck in your journey.  Check back in and let me know how it goes!

Katie Coombs

Diana & Katie

Hi Katie: In case my name on the E-mail does not ring a bell, I am one of the “Traveling Locusts” from TTT. I just wanted to jot off a note to you to tell you how much I appreciate you and your column. Your insight is remarkable and your ability to express yourself clearly makes your column a “must read” every week. I have encouraged some of my friends to read your work, as well. Thank you for the time you spend and your willingness to share your experiences with the rest of us.

Kathy & Katie

Hi Katie,

I really enjoyed your article on the battle with sugar. I can relate to so mayn points in your story and would really like to give up sugar and get healthier.

You mention cutting out carbohydrates,sugar and grains, so I was wondering if you could give me a sample of what you eat over a few days?

Thanks and regards,


Good luck with your plan!

A typical day for me would be as follows:

Morning – protein shake or a banana

Lunch- baked chicken and vegetables (steamed or just cut up raw veggies)

Dinner- Steak with vegetables and a salad with dressing (be careful of the dressing – check for carbs and sugar)

I limit the red meat each week so dinner could be chicken or pork or shrimp. There are good recipes in the Paleo cookbooks out there. I eat cheese so I’m not 100% Paleo but close.

I make sure my portions fill me up. If you need to snack, pick vegetables or a fruit. Your body will adjust to this and not crave anything else within a month if you really stick to it. I don’t want any of the junk foods that I used to eat. They don’t taste good to me.

I hope this helps get you started. Reach out anytime.

Julie & Katie

Well Katie….with a few supportive words, your columns, books/articles on No Sugar lifestyle changes, and a bit of soul searching as to why I’m putting junk/poison in my body, I’m on my way to transforming my eating habits/health. I’ve always been very healthy as to how I treat my body especially the last few years, so this is the last, most crucial part. Plus my birthday’s on Monday…what could be a better bday gift?!?!?

I had my first colonoscopy this morn and decided that since it’s all cleaned out and pristine (I know TMI), 🙂 I’ll keep it healthy from now on. I cleaned out cupboards, fridge, and freezer and purged and resupplied with good healthy foods.

I’m keeping a small journal on highs and lows of the journey. Being a teacher and on Fall Break is helpful stress-wise so I can just work through this this week. I started a few days ago in terms of reading and wondering about it all so I’ve done lots already. Yesterday I really started due to the fact that I couldn’t eat anything. They said I could have jello and Gatorade but those are just full of sugar and that’s not part of the plan right??

Anyway thanks for your words of support. Looking forward to reading more columns. Plus since I’ve read you’re a financial adviser, that’s the next area of my life to improve (it’s not bad mind you, but certainly could use some tweaking!!)

Thanks again

Julie 🙂


Post a colonoscopy seems like a good place to start! I did something similar.

The first few weeks are the hardest and then I was just pumped up to keep going. I so rarely think about the foods that used to draw me in. I just know they were killing me. Glad you have the week off so you can really take the time to eat clean.

Keep me updated on how it goes. Would enjoy meeting you if you ever need help with your financial plan.

As I’m writing this I just ate a hard boiled egg to hold me over until after my 1:00 appointment! I didn’t use to like them but really enjoy them now.

Take care!

Katharine & Katie

Hi Katie,

I just read your article about your life change. I live in Portland Or. I have many of the same “symptoms” as you said you had and my A1C this month was at 7.4. I am only 34 and pregnant with my first. My fiance and I are both morbidly over weight according to BMI.

I am wondering what you did for your mornings. I love carby sugary stuff in the morning with sugary coffee creamer. I believe starting the day out steong can help. I just don’t know how to add variety and satisfaction.

Also, How did you begin and stick with it with others in the house? I would need to be 100 in charge of all food and cooking if I wanted us both to do it and I dont want to deal with that.

Do you have any literature to recommend.

Thanks for sharing
Katharine, Portland Or. But Reno native.


The mornings also were why I had to make my biggest adjustment. I started by walking or running for 30 minutes before eating and then would do a protein shake. That was filling and kept me full until lunch. If that isn’t enough at first, I would add a banana and some scrambled eggs. You have to make sure you get enough calories to keep that baby fed! Once you get the sugars out, you will be amazed at how great coffee tastes plain. I always used to add cream (lots of it)!

In my house it is impossible to get all of the kids on this diet. You have to commit to this being your own journey and just avoid the foods that you know are poison for you. It took me some time and I slipped a few times but I got there. You will have to resist these temptations everywhere so if you can count on yourself at home then you can succeed anywhere. Keep chopped up veggies ready to eat always!! I use those as a substitute for chips, cookies, or anything I might grab just to be eating something.

All of the Paleo literature is helpful. I read articles on the Internet all of the time. I have a Paleo cookbook but I still eat a little bit of dairy (but not much). Be patient on healing your body. My stomach upset took 9 months to resolve but it is cured from this. That was very exciting after that long wait.

Good luck! Make sure to get permission from your obstetrician before making any a rule decisions.

Please reach out anytime if you need extra motivation!

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