Tag: health

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!

A mother’s love can last for generations

This past November, my oldest sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. As cancer treatment does to people, it has consumed her daily life and each day has involved preparing for surgery, or chemo, or shots, or tests, or waiting on results. She has been amazing and is reaching her last part of her journey and then the day when she feels normal once again.

Walking beside her this entire way has been my mom. She has been there for every appointment and chemotherapy session, and held her hand as she came out of every procedure and ultimately surgery to remove the tumor. She has brought her meals and been a loving nurse to her as she suffered the effects of chemo on her entire body. She has cared for her at my sister’s house at her own house. She was there standing next to her when she rang the bell indicating the end of chemo treatments. She has provided a comfort and peace that comes from a caring mother and I am lucky that she is my mom as well.

I’ve learned everything I need to know from my mom. There are times to be strong but there are also times when you are going to fall. When you fall, it is perfectly acceptable to cry and hurt and be angry as you slowly make your way to your feet again. You do have to make your way to your feet again; sometimes you will take strength from those who need you to stand firmly once again. Life will make you laugh and smile, but it will also hurt you and take away things you hold so dear. Some days you will have confidence in every decision you make. Other days you will look yourself in the mirror and question every detail of your existence.

A loving mom will help you realize that all of these things are normal and will be there to support you through every crazy phase of your life. She will even be there if you get sick like my sister did, and hold you through it just like she held you through every ear infection, new tooth, first love, and first heartbreak. Most importantly, she will teach you how to be a mom yourself one day just like her own Mom taught her.

In my own life, I just celebrated my son’s 20th birthday. It’s hard not to think back to when he was born and all of the hopes and dreams I had for him. Would I have what it takes to be a strong mother who could raise a respectful and caring man? Would I be able to show him my strengths and weaknesses so he could learn to be human and accept that none of us are perfect?

I recently was invited by my son to speak to his fraternity about ethics in business and I received a text from him after. He wrote “Thanks again for coming tonight and for everything you do. I would obviously not be anywhere near the position I’m in today if I didn’t have your love and support. A lot of my fraternity brothers came up to me and told me how amazing you are. I felt like the luckiest son alive. Love you Mom.” I credit my mom for that text. It is everything she taught me that leads me to receiving a message like that from my own son.

I have six other kids that I love and adore as well. Three of them are my biological children and three of them are stepchildren. When you learn to love and give everything you have, you don’t care how a child has come into your life. It doesn’t matter if you gave birth to them, adopted them, or became a part of their life through marriage. You love them all with passion and grace and hope that someday they will do the same for their own children.

My youngest son, who is now 10 months old, is crawling everywhere and beginning to want to take his first assisted steps. He cautiously finds my hand or leg with each step and always looks back with a little bit of fear and a little bit of satisfaction. He knows I won’t let go right now but he should also know that someday I will have to let go in small ways and then in really big ways. He will learn that I will let him grow his wings and not stop him when he is ready to take off and fly.

This is the hard and heartbreaking work of a mom. It takes one generation after another of loving mothers to build a large family full of love, trust, loyalty, reliability, and laughter. Mother’s Day is a special day to recognize all of these women that have brought children into the world, adopted children, or helped raise children that aren’t their own. Some of you have already lost your own moms and know the pain of losing your mentor and best friend. I think that pain can only be comforted by looking at your own children and grandchildren and knowing that your mom played a role in their successes.

I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day today. Regardless of how you became a mom, the world is a better place because of you and the support you provide all of the children that call you Mom. If you are like me, your Mother’s Day will probably involve watching children or grandchildren play some type of sport and then hopefully you can get together as a family and celebrate the greatness of all of the moms that make up your incredible family.

Katie Coombs is the host of the radio show “Uncommon Sense with Katie Coombs.” You can reach her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UncommonSenseKC/.


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


Hi Katie,
I decided to write and pay some honor to someone else in the awakening of no sugar, no carbs (for me, that’s currently limited to no gluten, but I hope to have the finances to eliminate that eventually). I don’t feel it’s worth regaling you with my story, which includes private sugar binges and eating only ‘white foods’ or bread/pasta throughout my childhood, but I use AA to keep myself from sugar consumption and to identify my dependence on it as addiction.
It’s a great thing to know it and have known it – and now actually be living it. And I agree our culture is just degraded in physicality and spirituality by what is consumed. I’m focusing on myself for now.
Thank you for the article, the willingness to reach out. I am mostly just writing to thank you for that much. If I ever need further support – I will write again.
I’m glad the article has helped you. It’s an ongoing struggle and we all need to support each other.
Take care,
Katie Coombs

Letter from G.B.

I read your editorial today and believe it works. What is a typical breakfast, lunch, and supper? What would you substitute for bread when making a sandwich? What do you substitute for snacks between meals?


A typical day for me looks like this:

Breakfast -Protein shake if I work out or a banana and a hard boiled egg if I don’t Lunch – Usually chicken with raw cut up vegetables or steamed vegetables Dinner – Protein with vegetables.

I would substitute lettuce for bread if I was going to have a sandwich.  I haven’t  eaten any bread since January 2014 and feel so much better.

I don’t usually feel a need to snack, but if I do it is on sugar snap peas, celery, or fruit in moderation.

I do have an occasional cheat and that is usually a decaf mocha from Starbucks or popcorn.  Sometimes, one of my younger kids will make chocolate chip cookies so I might have one but I usually do not feel good after so the cheats become not worth it and easy to avoid.

Good luck in your journey.  Feel free to reach out anytime.
Katie Coombs


Hi Katie,
First of all – thank you for sharing your story.
My name is Christy and I’m from St. Louis. 

I feel that I have always  been somewhat fit – but I don’t seem to feel that great.  No major health issues, I just don’t think my quality of life is what it could be.
After reading your article, I am going to commit to doing what you did.  I have quite the sweet tooth and although that will be a tough one, I want to feel good more than I want the sugar.
To give you a bit of info –  I’m 53, 5’9 and weigh about 155.  People tell me I’m skinny, but you know, I don’t have the energy or stamina I wish that I had.  Honestly,  I don’t think I look that thin –  at least not by a healthy standard.  
I am going to – beginning right now – cut out sugar and cut out bread.  
I’m training for a 1/2 marathon with my nephew in October, so the exercise part is in check.  
What is not in check – and why I would like your input   – is this –  WHAT DO YOU EAT? I guess what I would like from you is a sample menu of what foods you eat that leave you with having the energy to do your exercise routines, and feeling satisfied.
I would like to lose some weight, but more that that goal, I want to feel energetic and fit.
Unlike you, I don’t have any kids, so honestly, there is no excuse for me not being in amazing shape.  I work full time and seem to come home from work, turn on the television and the night is shot.
Do you by chance have a book that would have this info in it?
Proof is in the pudding and you look great.  Any tips you can send my way are appreciated.  I looked up Dr. Dunlap, and although I cannot come to Nevada to see a doctor, I can certainly take away your tips.  I asked my doctor this year if he thought an annual check-up is a good idea.  He said no – not really – they just want your money.
I agree with your train of thought.  Preventative health is just as important as treating real time illness.  My mom is a diabetic –  I don’t want to follow suit if I can help it. 
Thank you Katie and keep up the great work.


Thanks for sharing your story.  My diet is so boring it might seem unsustainable but I have followed it for so long now I don’t even think about it.

Breakfast – Protein shake if I work out which holds me over to lunch.  Banana and a hard boiled egg if I don’t work out

Lunch – Protein and vegetable

Dinner – Protein and vegetable

The Paleo cookbooks have great recipes to spice things up a bit.   I don’t follow Paleo 100% as I do eat some dairy.

I have two things I cheat with occasionally – Starbucks Mocha and popcorn.  That’s it.  Otherwise I stay away from carbs and sugar.  I eat fruit but very moderately as it has sugar so you want to be careful there.  It took me about a month to cut out sugar and stop the withdrawals.  Then the benefits of feeling great started kicking in and I don’t think about it much anymore.  Occasionally I will eat something the kids bake but it usually makes me sick which is a great motivator not to touch it.

Good luck on your journey.  Check in anytime you want!

Katie Coombs

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!

Life Defined

We all believe we have stumbled upon moments in our life that define us or define the meaning of life.  We try to learn from them and often times we are humbled by them.  If we are willing to learn and grow as people, these moments shape us and help us realize what is truly important in life.   We drop the drama and silliness of our youth and become truly productive people that are reliable and trustworthy.  Our children, parents, friends and spouses can count on us when we grow from these moments.

For me, until I reached February 18, 2014, the most defining moment of my life came the day my daughter Hannah was born nine weeks premature.  I knew she was going to be born early.  I knew we both had a risk of losing our life that day.  I have never looked at life the same after holding a four pound infant in my arms that had already shown a desire to just be alive.  You can’t spend time in the ICU watching babies fight for life and not learn a lesson.  If you leave that room and ever act petty again you have missed an opportunity you will never get again.  Watching parents say goodbye to a newborn that doesn’t survive gives you depth you didn’t know you were capable of.

I never truly believed anything could touch me more than those days in the ICU.  I matured in a way that you almost don’t want to even though my daughter survived and is a thriving and healthy 10-year-old.  I never lost the message and still look at her with the same amazed look as I did watching her fight for oxygen in those first days.  I remember leaving the hospital with her after a month in the ICU and feeling like no other day could ever teach me more.  On February 18, 2014 my newest nephew was born into the world.  He carries with him a name that means so much.  His middle name is my brother’s – a man I have tremendous respect for.  He started his life over and found the love of his life and had another child at the age of 43.  No regrets.  No questions.  And he is already in love with his son.  His first name Jonathan gives him very important initials.  JK.  A man we lost to a horrible accident 2.5 years ago and is still greatly missed today.  And then there is the defining moment.  Jonathan’s grandfather, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given nine months to live almost four years ago, was able to hold his grandson.

We went and picked my Dad up at his house and had the opportunity to help him into the car and up to that nursery.  As a family, and by family I mean my mom (who is his ex-wife), my husband, my kids, my sister, my brother’s ex-wife, and all of Jonathan’s maternal side sat together and watched one generation say hello to the next in the most profound example of the circle of life.   I wasn’t just struck by the moment itself but also the people in it.  There was no hostility about divorce or lives that went in different directions.  My mom and my step-mom were there together and whatever happened between them in the past was of zero significance in the moment they welcomed new life while also painfully knowing they were saying  goodbye to the older generation.  There was no discussion of failed marriages or disputes that may have caused them.   There was just Jonathan.  And all of us.  And a moment that only the heart can capture.  A camera just tells the story frame by frame but not tear by tear.  My son and my older nephew were overcome with emotion and stood there two men not afraid to express their true feelings.  I love that they feel comfortable doing that.  They don’t know it now but that expression of emotion will define them one day as well.

As I write this, my nephew is still in the hospital waiting for his mom to go home and my dad is being visited daily by hospice.  It is a roller coaster of emotions and most of them are amazing and defining.  It strengthens everyone involved and reminds us once again what is truly precious in life.  All of the buzzing around us is just noise – simple and mostly useless noise.  The heart is what matters.  Love and hope.  Life and death.  The rest is just the minor detail that fills in the gaps between the moments that truly define your life.  My advice to my own children is to not over live in the noise but to instead wait for the opportunities to show who they really are when life calls on them to shine.

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