sugar, sugar, dOes nOt a sweet life make – Or – it’s nOt abOut the latte


imageI alone am responsible for the sweetness in my life.”

– Louise Hay,  You Can Heal Your Life

Early on in this valley fever journey, I heard from several sources that it was important to either cut back or remove sugar from my diet. You see, the fungus, among other things, feeds on sugar. As if this disease wasn’t bad enough, it was now going to take one of my favorite “foods” away from me, too! As I continued to search for ways to get better, a very dear friend of mine pulled the above Louise Hay book off her shelf and read a few affirmations. The one above really caught my eye – how could I not pay attention to the possibility that I, not others, control the sweetness in my life?


Sugar has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a child, it came in many forms, and was given as reward, and withdrawn as punishment. We celebrated with it, soothed ourselves with it, coveted it, yearned for it, and ate it every chance we got.


My Dad reveled in sugar as much as us kids. Every night before bed, he would dish himself a bowl of vanilla ice cream, cover it in Hershey’s chocolate, and eat it with a handful of saltine crackers. Let me tell you, I learned from the best!

It wasn’t until 1975, when my Dad read the book, Sugar Blues by William Dufty, that his, and my, relationship with sugar changed forever. I could no longer indulge my desires blindly. Now my cravings and late night ice cream and M&M binges came with guilt and remorse. My childlike wonder and belief that a sweet and happy life could be bought and consumed, was shattered. image

But if I’m being totally honest, I questioned the value of those empty calories pretty early on, and wondered why they left me feeling so desperate and alone. The wonderful sugar high was (and still is) so damn temporary. No matter what form, it never really fills me up – not with the right things anyway. Over the 56-years that I have been on the planet, I have tried many times to remove sugar from my diet – more accurately, from my life. It feels like it is part of the very fabric of my being, and that without it I will die.

Welcome Valley Fever as my teacher once again!


It took me a while, but I finally accepted the challenge of exploring my relationship with food and sugar as a way to create my new healthy life. As with all important choices, it was not something I took on lightly, or without help. Thank you to:

  • my kind and gifted acupuncturist, Mary Papa,
  • my very wise therapist, Carolyn Settle
  • my inspiring online health coach, Lacy Young, and
  • the dedicated and life-changing Geneen Roth, author of several books, including, When Food Is Love, and Women, Food and God.

Each one of these loving and brilliant women have taught me about loving my body, embracing my nature, and what it really means to have and be enough. I am still hugely in process with all of this, and will continue to be dedicated to a life filled with love, honesty and beauty.


Geneen Roth’s Eating Guidelines – simple, but not easy, powerful and centering, exciting and scary, loving and true.

By beginning to pay attention to what feeds me, I am learning what really makes my life sweet –

  • laughter and smiles,
  • kisses and hugs,
  • big, white puffy clouds against a brilliant blue sky,
  • making art,
  • dancing,
  • quiet dinners,
  • hearing thunder,
  • playing golf, and
  • being kind, brave, gentle and true.

This is just the beginning of My Sweet Life list. It contains the people and things that truly feed me and could never be replaced with ice cream, cookies or even mint M&M’s! Notice, I didn’t say decaf vanilla lattes💟‼️

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, the baristas and staff at my local Starbucks, have been a part of my healing team. They send me loving messages and drawings on my coffee cups, and are genuinely concerned about my well-being. And, to me it seems, all that love and joy and sweetness gets poured into my latte, and warms and heals me as I drink it. That is just how good it tastes to me.


This image is part of the latest piece of art I made for my friends at Starbucks. Nolan, who has now moved to Flagstaff, is the Snoopy artist. Makes you smile, right?!❤️

For now, I’m still enjoying my latte every couple of days, and will continue to explore what really brings me sweetness and joy. As I write this, I am seeing all the beautiful faces of the people in my life who love me, who have helped me heal and grow, and who, without them, I would not be here. Is it really possible that it isn’t about the lattes after all?


One more thing I want to add to My Sweet Life list, is our home remodeling project. I have enjoyed sharing ideas with my husband, and have learned that all out trusting him with decisions brings me great joy and makes me smile. My appreciation and admiration for him just keeps growing❤️. I have loved saying what is really important to me, being heard, and then trusting enough to let go of the outcome.


Walls have been painted and the beautiful cabinets are going in. So very exciting to create something together❤️‼️

Here’s wishing you a beautiful and sweet summer. And, remember…


lOve, vickiO



  1. Karla

    I always get excited when I see you have added a new post. Vicki you bring great sweetness to my life. Hugs!!!!!!

  2. Lisa M.

    Well thank God we don’t have to give up our latte’s!! And so nice our palates have matured enough to find other fillers to replace the sugar fixes we so relied on for years! Can’t wait to see the finished reno!!

  3. keahn

    Love your work. I have shared your blog with my sister-in-law. My nephew suffered from Valley Fever as well. Stay strong my Sister Flyer. Stay strong.

    • vickioart

      Thanks so much, Robin! Valley Fever can be so mysterious and devastating. I hope your nephew has fully recovered. My art has really helped me stay strong and inspired! Thank you for being a Sister Flyer❤️ lOve that!

  4. maliniparker

    Your art is joyful and inspiring, and so is your determination to give up sugar and replace it with the natural sweetness of life 🙂 All the best x

    • vickioart

      Thank you, Malini! I’m loving my new practice of paying attention to what brings me sweetness, and our wonderful Flyers group sure does❤️ Hugs!

  5. sandymairart

    Loved popping over for this read Vicki.. Such an inspiring post ! And I can just read through your writing voice that you are shining from the inside out. So beautifully said. And I loved the list for the eating guide. That’s brilliant. We should all be carrying that list with us . XX

  6. shorelisa

    We can find sweetness everywhere. In the smell of clover in a summer field, the bitter sweetness of a breathtaking sunset, the inhaling of vanilla in a decaf latte or the heart lifting love, trust and sweet love of our men. You have it all girl!! Can’t wait to hug you again! Xoxo

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