Welcome to Yesterways Order of WiseCraft

Witching my way through the world one day at a time here at Yesterways Cottage, incorporating the ways of old with modern times. Join me as I journey on a spiritual path I call "Yesterways WiseCraft Wicca." Feel free to comment and ask questions -- I'll get back to you, I promise, Witch's honor.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Wicca & Health -- Artificial Sweeteners & Aspartame's New Name

You don't have to be Wiccan to care about having good health since taking care of your body should be part and parcel of anyone's life. However, in keeping with Harm None of the Wiccan Rede and desires to be as close to nature in lifestyle, I strive hard (and I need to strive even harder) to eat wholesome and healthy foods.  Sometimes, though, even when we try our very best, we find out that things that we thought were good for us actually aren't. Take artificial sweeteners for instance.

Artificial sweeteners were never intended to be part of our daily lives. In fact, they were created most specifically for diabetics and others that couldn't handle sugar due to insulin issues.  But, in the name of capitalism and desiring to expand the market of their product, artificial sweeteners made the leap into almost everything edible and drinkable out there. The problem is, it creates something called *insulin resistance* which is why we roller coaster in energy levels, have hunger cravings and weight gain, sometimes to the point of obesity.  And there are additional hidden issues that we would never guess.



For years, I struggled with a *dermatology issue* with my face that began around age 28.  Looking back I can now clearly see that was when I switched from using sugar to artificial sweeteners because ironically enough, I worried about the negative effects of sugar on my body and the few extra pounds I put on.  However, the weight gain continued and my face turned into a scaly, red and raw oozing mess. I couldn't wear makeup because that accelerated the problem. I spent over 10 years fighting that problem going from doctor to doctor and being prescribed medication after medication with none of it curing the problem.  So, I had to abandon makeup totally and live with a less than attractive and very painful skin problem highly visible around my mouth, chin and forehead.  One day I noticed it was much much worse after some binges on coffee so I thought AHA! It's coffee! I'm allergic to something in coffee! So, I quit coffee and VOILA! My face healed up. And I though that was the end of it after several years. But then one day it came back and I was heart broken. I hadn't restarted coffee and now it didn't seem to matter whether I drank coffee or not. I was exasperated.  The culprit? Iced tea with....artificial sweetener in it -- but I didn't realize it.

One day I read an article about how artificial sweeteners were the cause of weight gain in non-diabetic people. So, I thought hey, I want to lose this 20 pounds I haven't been able to shake so I will quit artificial sweeteners and see if that helps. Well, it didn't knock the weight but my face cleared completely up!!! For the first time in over 15 years, I had a flawless complexion! I couldn't believe it. And a test of artificial sweetener intake quickly proved it was the culprit. Out of all the things artificial sweetener might do to you, messing up my face wasn't something I would have guessed.  I still can't really explain the why of it, and doctors say it was a coincidence but since *they* don't have an explanation despite all their tests and prescriptions, I am adamant that it is no coincidence -- artificial sweetener was the cause of my horrendous facial funk.

To this day, I avoid knowingly consuming artificial sweeteners. However, I was quite stunned to learn that *aspartame* is getting a name change and will now be called *amino sweet* (see this article: http://www.naturalmedicine.com/news/aspartame-gets-a-new-name-be-warned/).  My husband will have to really be on his toes because aspartame causes him to get horrid headaches, makes him queasy and drains him energetically.  This isn't any small wonder when you consider that aspartame is made from the feces of the e coli bacteria.  How did they even get the idea to create the stuff, let alone determine it was *sweet*?  Gives me creepy shivers to even think about it.

So, keeping in mind that product names can change, just because you haven't changed your diet doesn't mean your diet hasn't changed.  If you are eating packaged foods, it is highly likely that some small thing has changed.  Ingredients can have several different names and sometimes one of a group of ingredients will be used.  Look at a label -- you will often see *one or more of the following* and then it lists several items.  Perhaps they usually use one or two but then get a good deal on one of the others and maybe that batch has that rare use of ingredient that you are allergic to.

All I can say is, stay on your toes and strive to keep informed and above all else, know your body and honor it with healthy habits.

Bright Blessings and Blessed Be!
Rayven Michaels

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