Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I think I despise sugar. Seriously. Not really so much the taste of it, but what it does to my mood, my kids behavior and mood, my body and my health. I know there are many of you out there that are skeptical that sugar plays a MAJOR role in our mental and physical health, especially when it comes to fatigue. With that being said, did you eat Easter candy??? Did you double up on the Easter desserts??? Are you feeling tired???

It seems manufacturers have a strong hold on the world each holiday season when it comes to highly processed, hydrogenated oil(trans fat) filled, sugar loaded treats.  If these things are "tradition" in your home you should really consider a {cleaner} version of them.  My kids still get candy on a regular basis, but it's the best option out there and it's in small portions. Even my daughter (age 7) told me she wanted to give up candy a few months back on her own (I think she even realizes at a young age it's addictive).  I told her that was a great health choice and we should be realistic (not cut it out completely at her age) and decided to only have candy on the weekends. She agreed and that is what we do now (besides a few pieces of dark chocolate in their lunches at school & HOLIDAYS). It has worked out great!

I love all holidays don't get me wrong, but why can't it just be Halloween that is ALL about candy? Why does it have to run into Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, etc? Bags of candy treats roll in from family members, events, etc when a new holiday comes around.  It stresses me out. I have worked SO hard to make my home a {clean} house.

It just takes one piece...They get one taste and I can see it in their eyes, they are like a drug addict begging for their next hit. Then the post candy event happens: the meltdown, the prying them off the walls, the get the picture. THEN, the post POST candy event, the hangover. It takes days for my kids to get back on track and look "rested". This isn't just a reaction kids get either. I have had a couple of friends of mine complain of extreme fatigue this week and they have admitted to falling off the {clean} wagon and eating Easter candy.  You can see it in their face that they are a completely different person and disappointed in how fatigued they feel.  Once off the health wagon it's harder to find passion or desire to workout, drink plenty of water, get enough just keeps going downhill. The problem is, sugar is ADDICTIVE.  Once you have a taste it's hard to stop.  Until you detox off of it!

Since I have eliminated processed sugar (except an occasional "clean" store bought treat or in clean processed foods) from my daily life for over a year and a half I can taste a huge difference in candies.  I'm human and I will take a taste here and there. I can tell a huge difference in fresh {made in Belgium} chocolates and the ones that sit on the store shelves for months on end. Even the candies I used to LOVE as a child taste way too sweet to me. The foods I have eaten at family gatherings for decades are too sweet for me to enjoy now.  

I know people look at me like I'm crazy because it appears I have had a tongue/taste bud replacement when I react in such shock at how different things taste.  Let them look, I like this new found "freak" in me. I know it has to do with the fact that I am off the processed sugar and all artificial sweeteners for well over a year. Artificial sweeteners damage your taste buds. Period. I feel so thankful I made that change.  I feel MUCH better and fruits now taste the way they should, super sweet!

Here's a great article if you find yourself dragging...

Processed sugar poisons your system. Yes, you heard me right. Manufactured sweeteners of all kinds create a toxic response in the body. They cause your blood sugar to rapidly spike and crash, weaken your immune system, deplete your body of essential nutrients, increase oxidative stress and trigger chronic systemic inflammation throughout the body, a setup for inflammatory diseases and associated fatigue. Worse, dietary sugar plunders already depleted adrenal hormone reserves in those suffering from adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), allowing fatigue to burrow even deeper into your system. Get rid of sugar, and watch your natural energy return.
1. Sugar is addictive. The craving for sugar is an addiction, like any other. Temporarily abstaining from sugar makes the sugar cravings (withdrawal symptoms) disappear — often in as quickly as 72 hours. Stop eating all sugar, and allow your body to make the glucose it needs for steady energy from whole foods, and those feelings of deprivation will evaporate quickly.
2. Sugar spikes glucose levels. Sugar spikes force your pancreas to pump out too much insulin at once, something it was never designed to do. This leads to sudden and very high levels of circulating blood sugar in your bloodstream, which just as suddenly disappears, leaving you with unpleasant hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) symptoms — shaky, weak, tired and drowsy. To stop the unpleasantness, many of us reach for quick sugar all over again. And the cycle repeats.
3. Hands off the coffee cake. High blood sugar levels literally “burn” tissues and organs, crusting them with a layer of oxidized sugar in a process called “glycation.” That process releases reactive oxygen molecules that cause oxidation and reduces the presence of antioxidants such as glutathione. According to research, high levels of oxidative stress contribute to the symptoms of chronic fatigue.
4. Ditch the sodas. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a popular cheap substitute for cane sugar in sodas and processed foods, is much, much worse than regular sugar. A studypublished in the Journal of Clinical Investigation showed that HCFS harmed blood sugar metabolism in ways that glucose did not.  Another study found that fructose fails to turn off your appetite by triggering leptin and other essential hormones. So there is no feedback loop telling you to stop, and you keep chugging sodas and eating foods containing fructose, with predictably debilitating results.
5. Sugar substitutes are bad news. Sugar substitutes are far worse than table sugar.Studies show that diet sodas including aspartame (AminoSweet, NutraSweet, Equal and Sugar Twin) cause formaldehyde accumulation in the body. Other fake sweeteners like saccharin (Sweet’N Low) and sucralose (Splenda) have similar problems.
6. Refined carbs spike glucose like sugar. Refined carbs refer to the highly processed, denutrified white flours that are found in virtually all processed foods. They are as addictive as sugar, because they convert too rapidly to glucose once you eat them, according toresearch. Avoid them as well.
7. Sugar harms adrenal glands. Adrenal fatigue and exhaustion are epidemic in the West today. Our modern processed diet of over-sweetened convenience foods is a big reason why.
study published in Endocrine Review shows that whenever blood sugar crashes, tired adrenals must pump out adrenaline, cortisol and other hormones to raise blood sugar to a level that keeps the brain alive and well (glucose is its main energy source). Another studypublished in Neuropsychobiology reports that under certain conditions, sugar actually shuts down adrenal function. This astonishing finding means that the glands primarily responsible for responding to stress cannot fulfill their life-saving function.
8. Choose healthy food instead. The Fatigue Healing Diet is loaded with foods that keep your energy levels stable and growing. Once you eliminate heavily sugared processed foods from your diet, your body loses the desire for them. And that helps set your adrenals on the road to recovery.
So pack snacks and your lunch to work every day. Enjoy nuts, cheese, hard-boiled eggs and fruit for snacks, and dine on abundant whole grains, beans, vegetables and lean meats.
Above all, be kind to yourself during this time. Withdrawal is hard work. Take time to prepare for it, ask for support, and love yourself deeply as you step out into the unknown. You are on your way to healing.

2013 CF UPDATE: Still doing great and avoiding all highly processed candies, treats, and so on. I feel great. It's been over 2 years now.  I do not experience the extreme highs and lows I used to on sugary things. 

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