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February 8, 2016

Hi {!firstname_fix}

It is a quiet day here with blue skies and stillness. The trees feel as if they are waking up. It is a shift, ever so slight that makes me feel like they are stirring. The lilacs are all trimmed. I am doing an experiment to try to convince the Chinese Elm not to keep sprouting in among the lilacs. We cut it down to the ground and then bored a hole in it. I put epsom salts in the holes. I don’t know if that is an old wives’ tale but it seems better than poison. We shall see.

I am planning a memorial garden for the family dogs who have passed. A friend is making a little house thing out of barn wood. There will be room for a votive candle and a picture of the dogs. I have one of Josie, Pepper and Ronan. We will add little memorials for the other dogs of friends and family whose ashes have been interred here. It is a very comforting thought. I will be able to look out my office window and be surrounded by the animal ancestors.

My family has a burial ground in Massachusetts near the original homestead. It is a very beautiful place and gives me much solace so this will be sort of like that.

I have regrouped to be able to do classes now. I hope you will join us.

These classes will begin Wednesday, February 10, 2016. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:

Clearing Clutter

A FOCUSED support to getting your house, your yard, your closets, your life, your soul all cleaned up. This will be a funny, playful way to look at the scary corners filled with 15 spice jars, cosmetics pots of face cream, tools or old sheets that you might need someday. This is an opportunity to face your stuff and be supported in letting it go. Actually this is the class that got me started on the process I am in now. We will talk about what we have learned since the very first clutter class, including why sugar sensitive people are particularly vulnerable to *holding onto* stuff. I will also discuss Marie Kondo’s book called the Life Changing Magic of Clearing clutter. I want to share what I think is fabulous and what I think could be a disaster for the sugar sensitive brian. I love this class and hope you will join us.

Using Radiant Resources

A free orientation for those of you who are brand new and would like to find your way around all the things we offer in the community. One of our mentors will show you the ropes. Watch for the welcoming email with a link to join the Yahoo list we use as our classroom.

These classes will begin Wednesday, February 17, 2016. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:

What Else is Embedded in the Steps

This is a special class for all you newcomers who want to move on ahead quickly or for those of you who came to the program *already doing everything.* Find out what else is in the steps besides the food. Get the inside scoop from the one who wrote them (smile). You do not have to second guess anymore!! This particular class is one of the more special classes I do. Come and find the real treasure of the steps.

Brain Chemistry: Serotonin

Learn all about the “just say no” chemical. Learn how your depression may be affected by your diet. Learn how to manipulate serotonin levels safely and with tenderness. A real hands-on lesson in feeling better.

A number of you have asked me how the classes work. Check the class list page for more information on this. And please go read the questions and answers before you write to me. If you have trouble getting through the process, write the tech forum.

See the Class Schedule here.

Be sure to visit our Radiant Recovery website and Community Forum regularly.



**Quote From Kathleen**

First you will notice your body's "comment" (stomachache, fatigue, and so on), and then you will learn to interpret what it means.


**Testimonial of the Week**

My DD is now almost 4. She's been in two preschools now, since about your son's age. I told the teachers that she doesn't eat sugar or refined carbs, so she brings her own snacks and they give her water instead of juice. She knows that 'sugar isn't good for you,' 'sugar does funny things to your brain,' and that 'sugar makes you sick.' I leave her in charge of what snack she wants to bring. She's made wonderful choices. To this day, beans (kidney, black, lima in that order are her favorites!) are still her first choice most days. She chooses cheese and crackers, etc. (One day she took half a cheese sandwich -- no peanuts allowed -- and came home and told me that the teacher said she needs to bring pretzels or cookies. I was very confused by this, so went to her teacher. Turns out that the other kids had a fit. Why did *she* get lunch and they only got a couple of cookies! LOL So now she has to take something that *looks* like a snack food and not a meal!!)

There are some kids in her class with allergies. They sit at a special table. She sits with them. If she has *ever* felt left out, she has never mentioned it. We talk about feelings a lot, and she's quite the talker anyway, so I'm sure that's not the case!

I think putting her in control of her snacks (first with guided suggestions, now she does it on her own) has made all the difference in the world for us. Sometimes she takes fresh fruit or vegetables... you never know with her! In the beginning she would suggest something inappropriate occasionally, and I would just laugh it off... "You can't take *that*, silly!" etc.

BTW, it's virtually impossible to have complete control. (smile) One very hot summer day last year there was a substitute teacher at camp. When I went to pick her up she said (and there is no way to 'show' you the excitement in her voice (smile)) "I had an ice pop today!" (Those nasty little tubes filled with HFCS and dye.) I said (without any judgment -- hard one!): "Really? Was it good?" I'm sure you know her answer! I then asked if she knew what was in an ice pop. She said yes. When I asked her, she said: "Ice." So innocent. "What else?" I prompted. "Just ice." When I told her there was not only sugar in it, but a LOT of sugar. She said "Oh." When I then asked her if she was going to eat ice pops the next time they were offered, she responded: "No. Lexi doesn't eat sugar." And off she went on with her day. I almost cried. (smile) And she never has even asked for another.

BTW, we have a similar issue at the gym. If I bring her, you never know what the other kids will be eating. The only thing I can guarantee is that it'll be stuff we *don't* eat! As long as she has stuff she likes, we have never had a problem.

I've also learned that stressing about it won't help me a darned bit. Some people just won't get it, and I can only do my best to educate her and have faith that she will make the best decisions possible.

Peace and Joy,


**Interesting Bits of Science**

I was writing a response to someone who is enchanted about Coke Zero and really didn’t know what was in it. So I went and looked. Basically, it is the same formula as Diet Coke. Their marketing people found that men didn’t respond to *diet* because they thought it was a girl thing, so they needed to produce a more manly product. New image, black and red, but essentially the same formula. Now my thoughts on Diet/Zero coke.

It is made with aspartame. Aspartame is not a good thing. If you want to read more about that, go over to Mercola’s site and read his article. From my perspective, the key thing for us is that aspartame is made with the amino acid phenylalanine. This particular amino acid is the precursor to dopamine and I believe sparks it for us. We literally feel *brighter* when we have it. And we feel so horrible when it wears off, we need to have it again, and again.

Personally, I am very drawn to Diet Coke (and I suppose to Zero although I have never had it) and LOVE the synergistic effect of caffeine and the phenylalanine. If I have it, just one, I want more. And then it takes a week or two for my recovery brain to make me REMEMBER this is bad, very bad. And then after I stop I feel bleak, dark, grey and sometimes suicidal. Not a pretty sight. If you drink it, I encourage you to stop. Do NOT stop cold turkey. Write me and I will tell you how.


**Radiant Recovery® Store**

Kathleen has been sending me copies of what people are saying about the store. That has been really nice. I work hard at creating something you like. Here is what Beth said:

Anyway I think the store is great. I like that it is low key somehow, definitely not the center of the website, but there as a valuable support. Being low key I believe it reinforces the message that you don't have to go buy something to feel better (I used to fall prey to advertisements that encouraged adding something to me to make me better.), but that you have all that is necessary within to be successful, you just have to reveal it through your healing journey.

The offerings of the store are all supportive of a theme: lovingly caring for self. They are presented in helpful ways too, like the groupings.


If you haven't been to the store for a while, how about just coming over and browsing. You will be thrilled to see all the changes!

Please send questions and suggestions. I love hearing from you and truly want to help you do your program better.


**Radiant Kitchen**

This is a recipe from Maggi. She served it when I was up in Minnesota and I loved it.

  • 3/4 c. pureed canned pumpkin
  • 1.5 c. milk (I use whole, the recipe calls for 1%)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 c. apple juice concentrate or maple syrup flavoring.
Preheat oven to 325, set a kettle of water to boil. Take a roasting pan or 9 x 13 cake pan and lay a small dishtowel in the bottom of the pan. Put the milk on low heat to scald (do not let boil; just let it begin to steam). While milk is heating, whisk eggs and juice/syrup together until well blended. Whisk in milk, but pour in a steady, small stream as you whisk so that the eggs do not cook. Whisk in pumpkin puree and spices until well blended. Skim foam off top with a spoon. Ladle goo into custard cups. Pour boiling water into cake/roasting pan (it shouldn't be deeper than 1/4 - 1/2 inch). Gently set custard cups into pan (this is called a bain marie - it steams the custard and gives it that custardy texture). Put in oven on middle rack and let bake for 45 - 50 minutes - until custard shimmers slightly in the middle of the ramekin. Remove, place in refrigerator and allow to cool for several hours. Top with whipped cream that has vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice folded in. Serve!
For great program-friendly recipes, check out our Cookbook in the store and visit our online Radiant Recipes site.


**Radiant Your Last Diet**

We are going to do some pretty major review in YLD in the next few weeks- it will be based on making a weight loss plan and then developing a strategy for moving through the steps that will keep you focused on your goal. It is a great time to join us.

If you would like to join us in YLD, come find us here


**Radiant Living**

Radiant Life? This is what we do when the food is steady and we start looking at how to live with the *drugs* we have used for many years.

If you would like to join us in Radiant Living, come find us here


**Moving Through Grief**

Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

It has been a week that felt like 5 minutes and 5 years. I have earned a lot about being sugar sensitive - this feeling deeply stuff. I have learned a lot about *cells knowing,* that we carry our feelings on a cellular level.

It has been a week of no words, and so many words that I was exhausted trying to write them down. I week of total chaos and complete serenity. Everything is the same and nothing is the same. I look like the same person. I go out to a meeting and people ask me, *How are you doing?* And I think, *If I tell you that, I will start to cry and never stop.* So I say, *I am doing ok, thank you.*

I have been cleaning. Yesterday I polished the stainless steel appliances in my kitchen and then went back with windex and cleaned the glass on the oven door. I repaired the end of the hose that fits in the JetVac. I bought superglue and sat and held the ends together until it bonded and set and now it is fixed. The yard guy was cleaning the yard and wanted to use the JetVac to vacuum the well hole where the water pump sits. He couldn’t get the end of the hose off the JetVac grate. It had broken off and was stuck in the cylinder. *You can just put duct tape on it,* he said. I told him it was ok, he could just sweep the hole. After he left, I got out the pliers and pulled out the piece, and got the glue and now it is fixed.

I am thinking that fixing things is a funny way I learned to cope with unimaginable pain while I was growing up. On the outside, one would not have thought that by looking at my childhood. it would have seemed ordinary enough. But if you sit with your father as he dies from alcoholism, and you are alone and 16 and your mother is somewhere else because she just cannot cope with her own feelings, then something rather deep happens. I think I was imprinted by the feeling of helplessness in the face of it. It is not a pretty thing to die of alcoholism. It is especially not a pretty thing if you are only sixteen and do not yet have a thick skin of protection against mighty feelings.

I have often said that when you add a new bead to the cord of grief, all the beads begin to vibrate. You can feel all of them and if you are willing, you can feel all the feelings embedded in each one. You can go back to as many as you want, and then experience again the feelings that are there.

I know that many of you have the Safe Place CD. That process, that meditation or guided imagery is actually a process by which I live my life. I have done it so many times, I can simply call the light to hold me and then feel my cells quietly feeling safe and letting the wash of pain or complexity flow though and quiet. I have done a lot of that this week. As I write this, I realize that Ronan’s death replayed that experience of being with my father in his death. But Ronan changed everything.

I was not alone. I was not facing the inexplicable and not knowing. I knew what to do. I had loving, caring, competent people who know how to be in a loving passage. I stayed with him as his big soul left his body. I waited until Pepper could come for him. She brought Josie and Pippen and PJ and the brothers and sisters and they were doing the happy bark that says, *He’s here, he’s here!* I mended old places, cleaned off that old bead, polished it and restored it.

And if you wonder how this all connects with THE FOOD, of course it does. What we eat, when we eat is so driven by holding the pain. What recovery has brought me is the knowing that food is the healer. Eating enough, eating on time, eating best foods create something, perhaps a safety net, or a life jacket, or a cord that hooks onto the life jacket that keeps me from being carried away. I am doing healing things. You will hear more of this over the next few weeks.

Thank you for your living tenderness. Thank you for your notes and caring. It has meant more than you can imagine. The newsletter is much like life...get things done before the Super Bowl. Find words, just sit with it...grace will be with you.


Thanks for reading! If you know someone who could benefit from this, feel free to forward it to them.

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Until next time!
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Mosaic contributes to the Notes from the Forum column.

©2016 Kathleen DesMaisons. All rights reserved. You are free to use or transmit this article to your ezine or website as long as you leave the content unaltered, use this attribution: "By Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D. of Radiant Recovery®", and notify kathleen@radiantrecovery.com of the location. Please visit the Radiant Recovery® website at http://www.radiantrecovery.com for additional resources on sugar sensitivity and healing addiction.

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