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Friday, February 2, 2018

Meet Special Lady: Cathy Canen

Hi ya'll !  Especially for the benefit of the closed facebook group Encouraging Entourage, I would like to introduce contributor Cathy Canen.  She has a special interest in healthy eating, and a special reason to really care.  I would like to share with you now, a recent e-mail interview exchange to help us get to know the sweet lady behind some cool posts to come:

Cathy, I saw from my own snooping, that you are a mother and grandmother?  Please tell us about yourself, and what vlcdnetwork is, and about your blog.

I've been happily married to Jimmy for 34 years.  We have two grown kids who are both happily married, and we have four grandies:  three girls and one boy.  My daughter and her family are an hour away, but my son and his family are 7 hours away.

I homeschooled my two children from preschool all the way through high school, and worked from home for a language arts curriculum company for 20 years as their national sales rep doing workshops and book tours in the summers.  The company sold in 2015 however, so I had to regroup and figure out what I was going to do to replace my income.

The backdrop of my situation is tricky:  I have gastroparesis, which means "paralysis of the stomach," so I needed to be able to work from home, and and online business became my goal.  I'd been dabbling with a blog for years just because I love writing, but now I needed it to be a career.  After trying for two years but not succeeding at that goal, I hired a coach and am building that online business now. It's been just a month and the income has already paid for the coaching. 

The  Very Low Calorie Diet Network ( came about because I needed to maximize my nutrition for minimal calories.  I had gotten terribly sick and gained 40 pounds to boot because I was eating Paleo foods, aka low carb foods.

The food on a paleo diet is high in calories, high in fat, high in fiber, and are high density, but I couldn't digest them.  Turns out though, that those foods were giving me way more calories than I needed everyday.  

I turned to a study done at Newcastle University in the UK who saw amazing results from very low calorie diets (VLCD's), and since I got no help from my doctors as to what I should eat, and since they said they couldn't do any more to help me, I went out on my own and did a VLCD.  The Newcastle study primarily used meal replacement shakes, but that didn't seem sustainable in the long run.  I figured out how to choose foods that would maximize nutrition while minimizing calories.

It worked.  For the next year I lost 2-4 pounds a week and got my health back.  I maintain my health and my weight by eating 600-700 calories a day, and my blood work and check-ups show that my health is perfect, except for the uncooperative digestion.  Now, I feel like I am in control of it, instead of the other way around. 

I joined a VLCD Facebook group, which I didn't realize was primarily shakes-based, but as I posted recipes and gave health tips, it grew in one year from one group of 167 people to five groups of 1500.  I created a website to go with the Facebook groups where I post recipes and helpful health articles.  I am healthier than I have ever been and I am 40 pounds lighter.

On an entirely different note, I also co-lead a community Bible study in our city, and I write all the material.  It's more of a blessing to me than anyone else, I'm sure!  We have about 25 women involved from young married to never married and widowed.  My goal each week is for every woman to be heard, hugged, and touched with the love of God through His amazing Word.

We do have diabetics in our group, and a wide range of abilities, talents, and limitations, represented among us.  With sensitivity to our diversity, we will very much appreciate your involvement to post a healthy recipe once or twice a week, and to comment regularly to encourage.  Other articles for inspiration (toward healthy body, mind, soul) may be shared daily as you wish, in the specified share thread!

I'd be happy to share recipes as all of them are diabetic friendly.

Please provide any social links or contact information here, that you would like for me to share in the blog post interview?

The VLCD meal replacement group is the largest, but I just started a smaller one to serve as the hub of all the others.  I'd love to build that group:

Twitter and Pinterest are in the works this week.
I'd also love to build my e-mail list.  Anyone interested can sign up for my e-mails at my homepage.  The sign-up link is on the right.

Is there anything else in particular that you would like to share with members of Encouraging Entourage?
I'm also building a site where I can post articles for sale because I think being a ghostwriter is my calling!  On that site, I'll post articles to sell that I've written over the past 20 years on home education, teaching language skills to kids, Bible studies, and low-calorie living.  I'll let you all know when that's ready to go.  And finally, I'd like to thank all of you for being amazingly loving and welcoming.  You have warmed my heart!

Cathy, thank you for sharing with us.

Grandma Mary Martha readers, "Thank you for reading!"

Above is Cathy's story.  Please consult your doctor if you have any questions, and do not take the word of Encouraging Entourage, Cathy, or Sabrina, as professional medical advice.  We are not doctors.

If you would like to share in the friendly journey encouraging healthy body, mind, and soul, you may follow the link and click on "join."

May you be blessed in Sonshine.

from Grandma Mary Martha

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