So far I'm a superbly happy superhero....I LOVE incorporating as many macrobiotic principles into my diet as possible and I feel better than ever. I don't consume alcohol or caffeine, I've never smoked, eat processed foods rarely, and kicking meat and dairy wasn't difficult at all for me. The only problem I have had in the entire transition is SUGAR!! Even organic or minimally processed cane sugar makes me crazy. It's never been more apparent to me how addictive a drug it truly is, and I am having such a hard time getting it out of my system, I feel like a total basket case! I feel like cravings and the effect sugar has on my body is one of the last things standing between me and truly excellent health. Does anyone have any advice, suggestions, info on how to kick sugar for good??? Thanks!!! :)
Several common foods will affect the human nervous system in ways that mimic drugs. These foods were identified by food manufacturers as having addictive properties. The manufacturers then insure the placement of these food groups in their products in order to increase the consumption of their products. Some foods have this property while others do not. It is helpful to identify those foods more likely to encourage overconsumption with the goal of improved health.
Sugar could hardly be called food. Sugar is carbohydrate stripped of all other substances reducing it to a simple, stable chemical compound. Sugar is commonly added to packaged foods. Adding sugar to any food will increase its consumption. Sugar enters the bloodstream quickly and is converted to blood sugar causing it to rise. It is also used up quickly causing a blood sugar decline. This tendency will encourage the patient to seek out more sugar to consume. A blood sugar yo-yo effect is associated with a host of deleterious symptoms. For those industries that placed sugar in their products the most important result is increased sales. Sugar has a dramatic and immediate effect on the human nervous system. An old-fashioned remedy reveals the power of sugar and the bonding process.
A baby three to six months old is given a pacifier dipped into sugar water. By providing a baby's taste buds with the flavor of sugar while simultaneously encouraging a baby to gaze upon your face you will cause that baby to bond with you. Every time the baby sees you they will smile. Whenever you walk away they will cry. Refined table sugar stimulates the pleasure centers of the babys brain with such intensity that the memory of your face will be linked with those pleasures. The baby's brain will want more sugar from you.
Your brain cells have tiny structures on their serface sensitive to of group of chemicals called opiates. These opiate receptors get activated during times when we' re feeling good, like during exercise. The taste of sugar on the tongue causes naturally occurring opiates to be released by the brain. The effects of these chemicals are not as long-lasting as would be exogenous opiates. Eating sugar does not cause opium addiction it just elicits a similar reaction in the brain..
Food manufacturers have found that mixing fat with sugar increases its effects. The taste of sugar and fat on the tongue has an immediate drug like effect on the brain. One of those effects is an increase in appetite. When sugar is added to food, it encourages greater consumption. They want us addicted so we make them money. It is difficult to stop but very much worth it.
A few years ago, during a raw food diet that turned into more of a cleanse, I was able to identify foods--or toxins rather--that were devastating my overall health, digestion & zapping me of energy. Refined sugar was one of these culprits, so I cut it out of my diet & turned to less processed turbinado, which I used minimally. I now know these "healthy" alternatives are no better for me. Since then, I've leaned toward agave (& maple) for my primary sweeteners & recently fallen in love with brown rice syrup. FRUIT can be a godsend to help when those sugar cravings hit, as are DATES; dates are an especially good source of immediate energy before an intense workout. As odd as it seems, STEAMED GREENS for breakfast really help to set me up for a balanced day & seem to help regulate my blood sugar as well. UMBOSHI PLUMS have really helped minimize cravings. Stay away from processed foods as much as possible & always check labels; even many "healthy" versions use cane juice syrup, which is still sugar. Just make the committment & replace it with foods that nourish your body--soon it will crave these--if you don't cut it out completely, you'll still feel the effects & your body will remain addicted. I can't have even a little without crashing, feeling sluggish, having digestive discomfort, getting dark circles under my eyes, etc. Finding a good wedding cake has been a struggle because other people think, oh, what's the big deal? One little piece, one night won't kill you. Yeah, like I want to be sick on my wedding night.
Shaynie - to piggyback on Allie's suggestion re: umeboshi plums, I've been cooking with ume plum vinegar and ume plum paste as well. If you can handle the taste (it is strong), it adds this sweet & sour taste to the dish, which makes you less inclined to follow it with a sweet dessert. Also, reducing the amount of salt in your food is helpful.
Those are awesome suggestions, thanks so much!! You're both so right, Allie & Niki....now that you bring it up, on the days I have steamed collards for breakfast or throw a bit of ume on my grains I do feel much better and much less under the sugar influence. I will definitely be more conscientious about doing that now that I know more about the wonderful benefits! :) thanksthanks
http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article16.aspx Dr. Fuhrman discusses how to escape from what was called 'The Pleasure Trap'. It is a kind of addiction to sugar and fat. Most of this information is commonly found among the many plant based nutrition based diet books. PCRM, Dr lisle, Dr Barnard, Dr. Campbell and Dr. Fuhrman (above)
I used to work with a PCRM volunteer named Nicole who, in 2008, made a New Year's resolution to not eat refined sugar for an entire year and wrote a blog about her experience. Two years later, she's still going strong. You can check out her blog at http://myyearwithout.blogspot.com/.