Sandra Turley » Inspirational Singer, Speaker, Wife and Mom

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Today the little girl that first made me a mother is celebrating her 11th birthday. I don’t know where she is or what she looks like. I don’t know if she is happy and I’m fairly certain that she doesn’t know what she means to me. But I love her. Eleven years ago today, my […]

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  • Helen Poelman - Bless you and each one of your family members Sandra.ReplyCancel

  • Kate - From one mother of a child loved, but released back to the birth mother, I say thank you. Thank you for posting your story with such courage. Thank you for helping me feel that I do not grieve for the child I didn’t get to keep alone. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Jodie - Thank you for so beautifully sharing this tender experience. Your faith is inspiring.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - Thank you so much for sharing your story of Eden. You express so perfectly the beauty of the atonement when you said “The natural man is not capable of feeling what we felt. It was only in and through the atonement of Jesus Christ that we were blessed to be refined and even sanctified through our trial.”
    I too have felt that blessing after losing my son seven years ago in April. Though I still cannot say I would have chosen that trial, I can now say, we were richly blessed by it though so very painful then and still, sometimes now. It gave me the opportunity to become closer to the Savior than I ever thought possible. That is perhaps the purpose of all of our trials.
    Thank you again for sharing. It edified me today. May you have a beautiful Easter.ReplyCancel

My mom texted me this quote by President Thomas S. Monson.  (photo: Hastenthework ) The poetic gate of his words planted in my heart and grew to become a poem…   UNFINISHED by Sandra Turley When man was placed upon the earth Did God bestow an unfinished gift? Much for man to work his skill […]

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  • Kara Kelley - Beautiful poem Sandra! Describes the inner desire and need to create that lies within us so well.ReplyCancel

When I contemplate the state of our American union (which is more often than my teenage self would ever have suspected), this is where my mind always wanders: “To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without virtue in the people is a chimerical idea.” – James Madison “Our Constitution was […]

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She said she was a paramedic. I thought: Well that’s nice, but I won’t be needing your help today. I’m all better. I’ve got this. We gave our talks. I sang my song. I sat down on the stand by the other speakers. I listened with full presence of mind to every word offered by […]

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  • Jolynn Miles - Sandra, I am so glad you are safe and doing well. I’m a fan of yours from BYU Women’s Conference a few years ago, where I saw you perform. Your voice was so angelic and brought tears to my eyes. I can relate to what you went through. I hope you will continue do well and be able to share the spirit through your music.ReplyCancel

    • Sandra Turley - thank you SO MUCH, jolynn! positive thoughts like yours last a long time in my heart! thank you thank you!ReplyCancel

It seems that I have been running this body of mine on the wrong fuel for 37 years. My fuel of choice = Sugar. Even when I gave up “sugar” a few years ago, my fuel of choice was still sugar. I gave up desserts. All desserts. Heartbreaking, really. I knew that my body did […]

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  • Caitlin Hunter - Great article-You are an inspiration! The links you provided are awesome, especially the Tedx Talk, it is fascinating! I also look forward to watching the documentary you suggested. I’ve become very passionate about this subject over the past year because I have educated myself on the topic.

    This is my journey to living an unsweetened life-

    I was 20 years old when I was officially diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling and destruction of joints that worsens over time. I am now 27 and have been on several different medications including steroids, Methotrexate (a low dose of chemo-therapy), and Biologic injections.

    Last January, I started an exercise routine to lose weight I had gained as a side effect to these medications. By April, I hit a plateau. I came across a few blogs that mentioned the Whole30 program. So read the book “It Starts with Food” by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig.

    Although I turned to the book for weight-loss, I was surprised when they mentioned how the program benefits people with autoimmune disease. They discuss a scientific theory, Leaky-Gut Syndrome, that is thought to contribute to autoimmune disease. You can get more information at:

    Essentially you eliminate dairy, grains, legumes and ADDED SUGAR for 30 days. After the 30 days you reintroduced each eliminated item, one at a time, and see how your body reacts.

    After completing the program last summer, I learned a lot of things, but most of all, I learned about SUGAR! In the book, they talk about battling the “Sugar Dragon” and how the more you feed it, the more it wants! You have to starve the dragon to death. Sugar is in EVERYTHING! Virtually all condiments, salad dressings, ketchup, BBQ sauce, nut-butters, gum and mints (even the sugar-free versions too!) I was shocked!! I really had to learn how to read a label.

    Even though I lost weight on the program, the most remarkable result was my arthritic hands. I remember the day after the program going to a restaurant with my husband and looking at my hands and thinking, “These hands don’t look familiar at all, they can’t belong to me! They look so different. These can’t be MY hands!” I seriously thought I could become a hand model, they were that beautiful!! Not to mention, they never felt better either. In fact my whole body NEVER FELT BETTER!

    I found that when I reintroduced sugar to my diet, my hands (and body) went right back to their old selves; red, puffy, swollen, and achy.

    I now cringe every time a friend, co-worker, or family member says, “Oh look! It’s sugar free!” -When we see something labeled as “Sugar Free” we HAVE to ask ourselves…’Then what did they add to make it sweet?’…. the answer is almost always ARTIFICIAL Sweeteners, which are far worse for us than the real thing.

    To say that I will NEVER have added sugar again in my life is unrealistic. I know that I will want a piece of cake at my sisters wedding, or my baby’s first birthday to celebrate. But I DON’T need a piece of cake for my co-workers birthday party in the office, or that cookie I crave after a long day, or that milk shake with my burger, or that soda with my lunch. Having sugar everyday doesn’t make it special anymore. But when I do have sugar, for what I choose to be a good reason, at least now I know the consequences to that food choice. I know that the piece of cake at my sisters wedding, or my baby’s first birthday WILL make my body and arthritis hurt worse but I only get to celebrate my baby turning one ONCE, so to me it will be worth it.

    I just started a Whole45 (same program but for 45 days) because I want to get back to that magical, feel-great joints and body! It is hard to maintain an ‘Unsweetened Lifestyle’ because sugar really is in EVERYTHING! How do you do it?

    I also suggest looking into Michael Pollan- he has several books about the food industry. One in particular I have on my 2016 to-read list is entitled “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation”.

    He also gave a fabulous talk “How Cooking Can Change Your Life”, where he discusses the importance of cooking our own meals and suggests a “diet” to combat the obesity epidemic that simply states, ‘Eat anything you want BUT cook it yourself!” I HIGHLY suggest it:

    Thanks again for your post and additional resources!ReplyCancel

    • Sandra Turley - thanks for taking the time to write and share all of this, caitlin! jeesh…we all have crazy journey’s, don’t we!? but i gather such strength from hearing your process and nutritional healing. thank you so much!!ReplyCancel

  • JulieG. - Love this story. I still remember our 30-day commitment to “no candy” as freshmen, lol. I embarked on my no-sugar journey 2 years ago, after visiting an out-of-town friend who almost never eats sugar. Like never…not even as a child. She said she simply didn’t feel good when she ate sugar. I was intrigued and noticed that my children behaved remarkably better on the 5-hour drive home without sugar. I converted to vegetarian in 2011 and noticed a remarkable difference in my health (and spirituality–which really surprised me). So I decided to severely limit my sugar intake to see what happened. After the withdrawal symptoms subsided, I felt much better…clearer. I occasionally eat sugar now and regret it every time. Every body is different, but sugar is bad for everyone!ReplyCancel

    • Sandra Turley - college sure would have been different for us if we had made these huge changes way back then!! but we learn the lessons we need at the time we need them 🙂 miss you, my friend!!ReplyCancel