Monday, January 17, 2005


I think of myself as a generally healthy person. I don't have any chronic problems, and I generally don't feel sick. However, I can barely function most of the time. I make it through work feeling like my brain is only half-working, and then I come home and lay on the couch all evening. BigGuy begs me to come play with him, but I just don't have the energy. Even if I do manage to get off the couch, I end up laying on his floor to play with him. I can get up in the mornings at 5:30 or so, but only because I have to. I'm only 24 years old, and I want to have a BIG family. It won't happen if I have to be like this for the rest of my life. This sounds serious, but I know for certain that it's a result of my eating habits, specifically my sugar habit. (Also, I need to exercise). A couple months ago, I found myself carefully rationing out my candy supply to make sure I'd have enough to last the week. I brought cookies to work and found myself wanting to only bring 6 of the 12 to the meeting so I could have the extras all to myself. Over the past few months I've realized what a problem I really have. I've been following my friend Mary's journey (, but didn't think I could *really* give up sugar like she did. Well, it's time to get healthy.

I have wanted to get off sugar for probably two years. I have known about the book Sugar Blues by William Dufty for quite some time. I remember telling my midwife over a year ago that I was going to read it "after the holidays". I'm a year late, but I finally read it. I loved it! The author blames many of the world's problems on sugar. He blames the entire West African slave trade on sugar, for example. I think he's a little skewed in his perspectives, but my purpose in reading the book was to help me want to kick sugar, so I was fine with that. Mr. Dufty talks extensively about the effects of sugar on our bodies. If you think you might want to give up sugar, this book will help strengthen your resolve!

I was browsing around at the library and found a book called The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program by Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD. I thought "oh great, another pointless program that will probably recommend I eat Splenda(R) and won't tell me anything I don't know already." But of course I picked it up anyway. I have started reading it, and I highly recommend it. Dr. Maisons has a PhD in Addictive Nutrition. She went back to school specifically to study sugar addiction, so she knows what she's talking about. She says that the chemical response a sugar-sensitive person gets from sugar is exactly the same (but on a lesser scale) as the response an alcohol or drug addict gets from alcohol or drugs. She goes through the characteristics of an addict. I was able to recognize myself in nearly all of them.

She does recommend cutting out sugar or reducing it dramatically, BUT she helps you get your body ready first. People who are sugar-sensitive have a VERY difficult time giving up sugar because their serotonin, blood sugar, and beta-endorphin levels are usually imbalanced. Dr. DeMaisons shows you how to balance your serotonin, blood sugar, and beta-endorphins using food. THEN you cut out sugar. Since your body is more balanced, you actually have a chance at succeeding.

The first step of Dr. DesMaisons program is to eat breakfast with protein. I try to eat very little meat, so I'm trying to fill my protein requirements without it. I was dismayed to find out that my breakfast of oatmeal with nuts, honey, and butter only contained a measly 8 grams of protein. Eight grams is not enough to get me through the morning! I'm a believer in the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, and I believe that natural fats are good for you. That's why I included the butter and nuts in my oatmeal. I think the fats help me go longer without craving sugar, but I've got to get more protein in the mornings. I don't want to go to protein shakes, because I'm trying to switch over to more whole foods, and I think protein powder is the opposite of whole food. I used protein powder when I was pregnant, and I could go for several hours on one of those. So I know the protein helps. I may end up eating more meat for now and then try to cut down after I get my body straightened out.

I made some delicious yogurt last night. I bought Dannon Natural Plain yogurt. The only ingredient is cultured Grade A milk. I stirred in the juice and pulp of 4 lemons and 2 limes as well as a nice long squirt of honey. It was a little too tart to go with no honey at all. This morning I put some in a bowl and added chopped pecans to the top. It made it all the way to lunchtime without disintegrating (I thought the lemon juice might do something weird), and tasted DELICIOUS. No more corn syrup and sugar-laden yogurt for me!

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