“Rats will work for sugar water the same way they will work for cocaine. We need to take addictions seriously.” Dr. Daniel Amen
My name is Todd VandeHei, and I’m a sugaraholic.
If you are too, or know someone who is, then you’re going to want to read this whole article.
Even though I’m in the health industry, I still struggle to avoid certain foods . . . for me, it’s sugar.
I know this is a common battle amongst many; for me, I’ve been able to limit it but found myself gorging on natural foods with lots of sweets because I was attempting to keep myself from doing the same with processed sugar.
It’s really all the same.
A couple of times a week, as per my prescribed nutrition program, I would “cheat.”
My go-to food was ice cream. Ah, ice cream.
The next day I would, inevitably, have a slight headache and look a bit puffy.
I thought it was a minor intolerance to dairy.
A few weeks ago I had a blood test done (MRT LEAP test) to check for my food sensitivities of which there are many.
The one, which really hit hard, was fructose.
For those unaware, fructose is the type of sugar found naturally in many foods, primarily fruit.
Because that food is so far reaching, I called the lab expecting them to tell me I had to avoid high-fructose corn syrup—nasty stuff; hyper-sweet, low calorie, processed food.
The lovely lady on the other end of the call explained that, no, it was ALL fructose.
You see, every time I eat fructose, according to the test, my body responds with inflammation. That can cause a variety of symptoms. For me, it was a mildly uncomfortable headache. Not much fun.
As I started to consider the ramifications of avoiding fructose, I did some reading on this delicious yet deviant food (I’ll now refer to it as my mistress).
My mistress seems to be everywhere.
Speaking ever so softly, like the devil you carry around on your shoulder she is witty, persuasive, all knowing.
Found not only in fruit, but all things sweet, she is a component of sucrose (table sugar).
Think in terms of avoiding ALL process foods with some form of sweetener.
Think about avoiding all of those wonderful NATURAL sweeteners like honey, and maple syrup (my mouth is now watering). If it’s sweet, my mistress is there, beckoning you, ready to be devoured.
ALL FOODS THAT ARE SWEET!
Like buying a new car, and suddenly seeing that same car pop up in traffic, everywhere, my awareness of sweet things is now in a heightened state.
Enjoying slices of raw bell peppers last night (green and red), the red actually tasted sweeter.
Technically a fruit, has my mistress been there, dusting even the bell pepper with her magic?
And what of the tomato—considered by most a vegetable, but technically a fruit? Yes and yes!
Where do I draw the line? How faithful am I to be to the cause? Am I to be partially pregnant with this crusade?
I’ve decided that it’s ok to enjoy foods where she’s only a mere memory, a shade of her once powerful and virile self: bell peppers, tomatoes, avocados, etc.
If I can’t taste her sweetness, I’ve found I don’t find myself at the bottom of that slippery slope; at the empty bag of gluten-free ginger snaps or the shiny, wet bottom of a pint of Chubby Hubby ice cream, only to search the kitchen for more.
Goodbye to her forever!
We’ve broken up.
As a slap in the face, she’s left me with weeks of pain missing her (mostly at night):
It has been just over a week without her, and I’m now just a shadow of my old self with only sheer determination and the hope of being a better man for my wife, my children and my business.
According to the experts, those symptoms may last as long as a few weeks and may also disrupt your sleep.
The reasons? There are many; however, to sum it up, it’s like a drug addiction, as Dr. Amen put it.
As such, I decided to cut her out of my life completely. Be tough about it. The “manly” approach.
That may not be the wisest course of action, considering the withdrawal symptoms.
You may prefer a more systematic approach: ditch the processed foods, and then go for the natural versions you’ll find in maple syrup, honey and high-glycemic fruit. For me, I’m trying to break myself of the memory of her sweetness, or at least to not craver her so.
Although, I’ve given my mistress a firm “good bye,” I still find her in my thoughts: at a traffic light, while reading, certainly while cooking, at work, doing homework with the kids.
She’s just a whisper, now, but still powerful: “indulge—I will help raise your serotonin levels; your growth hormone production will increase if you have me in the evenings; I’ll wake your thyroid up; just a little; you’ll be able to stop this time; you need to put a little bit of weight on; you need to replenish the glycogen stores in your muscles; a little 85% cocoa organic dark chocolate won’t hurt; it’s the weekend; or, it’s Monday.”
She is relentless using all of the logic, all of my knowledge and experience against me, trying to justify rekindling my relationship.
The truth is, I want her back, even though I know she’s not good for me.
That’s where you, my friends, come in.
I need community support. “Alone you go quickly; together we go far,” I can’t recall the author in my lack-o-sugar withdrawal induced fog, but it was certainly not me.
Help! Let’s build some walls to keep her out; she’s after us all!I know I’m not alone. The rules are here:
So, let’s get together, share our victories, support each other through defeats. Post your thoughts, how you feel, share your ideas. Below are some great reasons for you to seize the day and man up!
78 Reasons to Avoid Sugar
Straight from the writings of Dr. Victor Frank, founder/creator of Total Body Modification, here are 78 reasons to avoid sugar.