My sugar research…

(Warning: Long Post with some science-y stuff in the middle)

I’m kind of reluctant to post this because – honestly – worrying about sugar etc is the LAST THING YOU SHOULD BE DOING if you are new at sobriety. I spent the first year or two of my recovery drinking all manner of sugary drinks and eating whatever the hell I liked… and you should too.

But I have to write about where I’m at right now, and where I’m at right now is 3+ years sober. And where I’m at right now is realizing that I use sugary crap the same way I used booze – to numb, avoid, ‘treat’, punish, fill the gap, avoid the silence etc etc.

So now is absolutely the right time for me to be looking at the other dumb things I do for my moods, other dumb ways that I decide to ‘treat’ myself, other dumb choices I make to cope with life (that’s me calling myself dumb, don’t worry – I am my own best friend.. this next step in my ’emotional healing’ process is evidence of that).

Recently I’ve been wanting more concrete information about sugar and processed carbs etc to learn exactly what they do to my body and how it relates to my alcoholism. So I have been reading Dr Libby’s online information (more from her here), the I Quit Sugar book by Sarah Wilson, and The Mood Cure by Juila Ross. I also watched John Oliver rant about sugar (this is good). And of course I’ve been absorbing all the other media about sugar that is all over the place. Here’s what I have learned…..

Julia Ross says “sugar is one of the most addictive substances on the planet”, explaining the science behind her claim like this; “Sugar forces a rise in endorphin levels. It is the ultimate ‘pleasure’ drug food. Chocolate, ice-cream, sweets, baked goods, cereal & other artificial serotonin boosters are as potent as drugs in the way they can manipulate your brain and body.”

Sarah Wilson concurs; “sugar is a drug that interacts with reward systems in the brain in much the same way as addictive drugs.”

And so does Dr Libby; “When you eat sugar it stimulates the release of dopamine in your brain, which makes you feel pleasure. The brain recognises and likes this feeling and begins to crave more, as dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters involved in reward seeking behaviour. In fact, morphine and sugar stimulate the same receptors in your brain and the dangers aren’t just to your waistline.”

I don’t fully understand the difference between endorphins, serotonin, & dopamine .. but I get the gist. These are the pleasure systems in our brains. And some of us are more vulnerable to needing those pleasure systems stimulated. Julia Ross: “As it does with all addictive substances our vulnerability varies. Some of us may develop only a mild dependency to sugar, with few negative consequences, many of us have been more seriously hooked”.

No prize for guessing which category I fall into.

Oh, and there’s another problem with sugar – not only does it mess with our pleasure receptors, but our bodies don’t register it the same way as other foods so it doesn’t fill us up. Dr Libby: “Part of the problem with sugar is that the satiety centre in your brain isn’t activated so you just keep eating it.” Sarah Wilson; “Humans don’t have a natural off-switch for fructose, when we eat fructose our bodies don’t notice it in our system… it goes undetected.”

Ok so now she’s talking about fructose… and I start to get confused. So I’ve tried to find out and breakdown in very basic terms what ‘sugar’ actually is.

Sugar is a carbohydrate, and so is starch – the only difference is in the size of their structures. Starch is  broken down into sugars during digestion (explains why bread & wheat-y foods are lumped into this problem for me).

* Single sugars are monosaccharides – glucose & fructose. Glucose & fructose exist separately in plants but can combine to become sucrose in fruit or root vegetables.

* Double sugars are disaccharides – sucrose which is table sugar, lactose found in dairy,  & maltose found in certain vegetables and beer. Honey is also a double sugar, but unlike table sugar, it contains a small amount of vitamins and minerals i.e it’s a bit better than bad table sugar which is sugar cane concentrated with any good stuff taken out!

* Starches are polysaccharides like legumes, starchy vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals.

Sarah Wilson says fructose is the enemy. She says our bodies are designed for very little fructose, it converts directly to fat and it messes with our hormone systems.

OK. So – sugar might not have the same obvious  impact on my brain like booze does.. but it clearly does have an impact somewhere deep in my physicality.  I don’t ‘feel’ a sugar rush like I ‘feel’ drunk, but I  know that the more sugary crap I eat the more I crave it, and if I’m in a funk or a low phase in my life I reach for it more.

If I’m really ‘doing it hard’ emotionally AND eating heaps of sugary crap AND it’s going on for an extended period of time I describe it like being “in a hole”. I’ll say to Mr D “I’m lost in a sugar hole right now”. When I’m really deep in the sugar hole it takes a mammoth effort to get out of it – fending off cravings, headaches, moods. It’s not overly dramatic but it’s there. I’m being brutally honest.

The good news is I find the sugar cravings much easier to beat than the alcohol ones were and it takes less time for them to abate. In the evening when sugar is calling to me it’s about 20-30 minutes of mind-chatter that I have to fight off before I can relax. And if I do that for 4-5 days in a row I’m usually (mostly) cravings free. But I have to stay vigilant. If I let a little sugary/wheat-y crap back in the cravings start up again quick smart. So I’m really going to try and not fall deep in the hole too often.

Fact: I feel MUCH better emotionally and physically when I don’t eat sugary crap.  Holy shit. That ‘deep down’ impact is very noticeable when it’s gone. I feel happier and lighter, it’s wonderful. So beating cravings and staying vigilant is worth it (note to future self when the going gets tough.. don’t fall in the hole!!)

So now to the solutions!!!!!!!

* Sarah Wilson says the best replacement for sugar is fat & protein (eggs, cheese, nuts, coconuts.) They fill us up so we can’t gorge on them and they’re good for us. Nadia Lim agrees! I try to eat cashew nuts and beersticks and eggs and avocado rather than biscuits, crackers, slices etc. Sarah Wilson also says when shopping read the labels and aim for foods that are 3-6g of sugar per 100g or 100ml. This benchmark is really helpful when looking at non-alcoholic drinks.

* Best (low fructose) fruits are; kiwifruit, grapefruit, honeydew melon, blueberries & raspberries. (Medium fructose fruit is; mandarins, plums, peaches, strawberries & oranges. High fructose fruit is; grapes, cherries, apples, mangoes & bananas).

* For me I am treating the hard core sugary crap like alcohol (as much as possible). I don’t touch it. I know what it is for me and I know how my body and mind respond to it. If I’m having a craving in the evenings I use the same techniques that I did when beating my booze addiction – I be honest with myself what’s happening, I distract myself somehow, I talk about it out loud to Mr D or the wall “I’m having a hard-out sugar craving right now”, I try to visualize myself waking up happy that I didn’t cave and reach for sugar, I have a cup of herbal tea, I go to bed.

And I never wake up regretting that I didn’t sugar binge the night before.

That’s it from me! Please do chime in if you have any extra information about sugar or observations about your own reaction to it. There is so much information out there on sugar and many differing opinions. In no way do I profess to be an expert! But I feel infinitely better informed now than I did before I started this research project.. and with this better understanding I feel better equipped to forge ahead and try, try, try to live healthily and wholly and not dysfunctionally as has been my habit for most of my adult life.

As always, I’m a work in progress. But what is it they say? “Progress not perfection.” That sounds good to me.

Love, Mrs D xxx

  1. MOG 6 years ago

    Awesome piece and well worth sharing! I first came across the sugar problem 30t years ago when my babies were getting recurring ear infections even though totally breastfed. I think the book I read was “Sugar white poison” from the library at the time. It stopped the ear infections when I cut sugar from my diet. There is research showing rats fed on a sugary diet will choose alcohol over water more often too. I know that my wine craving is closely related to sugar craving.
    There is a new group called “BIg Feels Club” I found them on facebook and they are really useful for helping accept that some of us have VERY BIG Feelings and lots of unhelpful ways of coping with these. I highly recommend this as one way of helping accept big feeling and move away from shame , sugar, and alcohol.

  2. awomanwithoutwine 10 years ago

    I’m hugely struggling with food, mainly sugar. I have cross addicted and I know this. I even shipped myself off to OA (overeaters anonymous) last week in total desperation! I can’t stop … I last about 3-4 days being ‘good’ and I lose it. Same process as when I drank … 🙁

  3. Prudence 10 years ago

    Well it’s 1.30am and you have certainly all given me a lot to think about. Thank you very much! I have many improvements to make. The sugar fee dark chocolate I am addicted to now and eat about 4 bits every night, might just have to go by the wayside before too long. On that happy little note I might just have a tiny wee plate of sugar free vanilla bean icecream and chocolate sauce. And maybe even try not to buy any more when it’s all used up. The only reason I am up so late is because you are all so brilliant and I’ve been all over the website and our other blogspot site all night reading everyones posts. Fantastic stuff. Nite x

  4. Squizzi 10 years ago

    Thanks Mrs D for this. I know it isn’t for everyone but there is more and more evidence coming through that sugar is the new tobacco. I had the good fortune to attend a 3 days seminar with Dr Libby this time last year and she is one knowledgeable lady. She calls it poison and rightly so. Nature made it very hard for us to access sugar cane. And in the caveman days it was nearly impossible to come across fruit – you were left really with berries and guess what – they are really really low in sugar. And if you were fortunate enough to come across an orchard of apples, how long would the novelty last to eat up to 5 pieces of fruit a day if they were all apples. You simply wouldn’t. Our problem is just because it is provided by nature we think we can have unlimited intake of it. This simply isn’t the case.

    My husband was recently diagnosed as Pre-diabetic. We have changed his diet from low fat high fruit and yoghurt and bread style diet (he thought he was being very healthy) to a sugar free, low fruit (reduced to one piece a day and avoiding bananas etc) cut out the yoghurt and changed bread to simple vogels. Oh and he also reduced his beer intake and swapped to low carb beer.

    You won’t believe what happened. He lost 10 kilos in 10 weeks without trying. He was eating bacon and eggs once a week (previously declined cos he was being ‘healthy’) and you know what – you guessed it – his cholesterol (which is monitored every 3 months) reduced dramatically and hit an all time low.

    He was so concerned about changing his previously ‘healthy’ diet to this new sugar free diet and what affect it would have on his cholesterol and ‘wala!’ perfect results. He also can’t get over how his appetite has reduced. Hes not hungry all the time any more.

    As for me I went sugar free also and occasionally I will ‘treat’ myself with a carby day. Usually around times of pressure on the alcohol thing. I.e Labour weekend when all my boozey friends came to the bach. I declared it open slather time so I felt like I was indulging in something! I have never felt soooo bad (OK slight exaggeration given I used to drink a bottle and a half of wine at the beach per night).

    I was on the constant search for more food to put in my mouth. It was appalling. And then I felt bloated and disgusting and fatigued. Then the next day I felt like I had a bloody hangover! WTF??? Didn’t want to exercise – didn’t want to do much really other than repeat it all again – and so I did!!!

    Never been so happy to get home and into my normal environment and back on my ‘healthy’ diet!!!!

  5. Switchedon 10 years ago

    Thanks Mrs D – interesting stuff. I agree with most of it but I always thought it is the refining of the sugar that is the issue and have been told by many “experts” that fruit is different as it comes in mother nature’s perfect package complete with the fibre and all the other goodies that allows your body to process fructose in fruit. Having said that I think it is better to be vege heavy and fruit light (but not abstaining from fruit altogether).

  6. AmberRoselle 10 years ago

    To remove sugar and replace with animal proteins and fat (cheese, eggs, nuts) is such bad advice.
    We need carbohydrates, our bodies thrive on sugars from fruit and vegetable carbs.
    Please have a look at the high carb vegan lifestyle that is becoming more popular and helping so many people in losing weight and healing all sorts of issues. Dr McDougall’s website is a great place to start. Also Raw till 4, check it out.
    Sorry to sound like an advertisement but I feel very passionate about diet and healthy food food choices!

  7. behind-the-sofa 10 years ago

    Perfection of virtue has no end point where it is fully attained….. Progress is its own reward and can be the cause of infinite happiness…. Der weg ist das ziel: the path is the goal.

    • Author
      Mrs D 10 years ago

      Yes! I love this and I agree… the journey itself is the destination.. enjoy every moment etc etc. Great stuff @behind-the-sofa xx

  8. LadyHaggisMcBaggis 10 years ago

    This is really helpful @Mrs-D. Like lots of others I have been ingesting vast amounts of sugar since I stopped drinking . I picked up Sarah Wilson’s book by accident a month ago and found it very compelling. I’ve found if I eat too much sugar I feel hungover and headachey when I wake up. Which kind of defeats the purpose of not drinking eh.
    I will look at the rest of your reading list. I did most of this month sugar free (apart from a 5 day half term trip on my own with the kids – when my sobriety had to take priority

  9. Paula 10 years ago

    p.s. does anyone of you who have gone SF have suggestions on new breakfast ideas for me?

    I usually have either toast made with wholemeal flour/pumpkin seeds (no other flours available where I live) or home made raw muesli with oats/nuts/seeds/dried fruit/cocnut and have have that with homemade unsweetened yogurt, coconut oil, and a great big dollop of honey.

    Suggestions welcome 🙂

    • MOG 6 years ago

      I have two eggs beaten with a big dop of sauerkraut added then fried. I find it keeps me going till lunch.

    • MrsMoo 10 years ago

      smoothie of: coconut water, 1 x celery stalk, handful parsley, berries, protein powder (I do a beef and egg paleo)… lean grass fed and finished protein is the best thing for hunger, billing muscle, fighting sugar cravings….). Add ice and water and blend.

    • Squizzi 10 years ago

      Yes! There are a tonne of great sugar free recipes on the Atkins website. I have to live a sugar free lifestyle for health reasons and find the Atkins recipes easy to cook and understand. The overview is also along the same lines as Mrs D’s research and the science side is easily explained so worth a read so you understand what is happening to you when you crave sugar.

      My favourite breakfast is baby spinach with egg a touch of cream and swiss cheese on top sprinkled with paprika all thrown in the microwave for about 90 seconds. Its very yum and very good for you. You need to microwave the spinach first for 30 sec then add the rest and do 90 sec in a large ramakin. But there are many many more on there.

    • AlexP 10 years ago

      @Paula. Sounds about right to me. I also do a smoothie too ( add protein shake powder as well as fruit, yog etc. I like frozen bananas or raspberries. If I’m feeling particularly healthy I’ll add a tsp of super foods mix ( comes in a packet))

  10. Paula 10 years ago

    Thanks for breaking down the sciency bits MrsD – those bits usually put me off reading more about it.

    Sugar has never been an issue for me, I think thanks mostly to not having it growing up – “Muuuummmm, I’m hungry” got answered with something profound like “go and pick some beans or a carrot or have an apple…” {THANK YOU MUM!} and ‘treats’ were all the saved up crusts toasted under the grill with vegemite and cheese all toasty and crunchy and cut into pieces and stored in the cupboard. But something really weird happened inside me when I stopped drinking because I swung very swiftly from never have had a sweet tooth to ‘needing’ chocolate brownie (which I baked and included the full sugar amount) and other sugary stuff. I’ve never eaten sugar like that before and it started to make me feel really ill, almost hungover.

    70 Days today! Time to face that sugar. It’s a comfort thing. It feels nurturing and calming. Like you say, filling a hole in some needy place inside.

    p.s. just a bout to go and make myself buttery toast with honey. But I’m going to make it last as it will be my last…

    • Gem_by_name 10 years ago

      The reason why you wanted sugar after quitting alcohol was because alcohol is treated like sugar in our bodies. So whilst you might not have thought that you were ingesting much sugar, you were actually having loads of it. When you quit, your body wanted to get sugar in another form instead…

      • MOG 6 years ago

        yup yup yup. I find the hard thing about giving up my evening wine is that it is my sole sugar fix for the day. It is really high in sugar. I tried kumbucha but have given that up as I got tired of trying to keep up the brewing. So just working on giving it up without the sugar at the moment.
        Sugar is such an easy way to self sooth.

  11. BellaB 10 years ago

    Great post Mrs D
    I have been researching this stuff lately but I bow to your research skills – very comprehensive.
    There is another reason to worry about the high spikes in blood sugar levels – and forgive me here my brain is art geared and I really struggle with science – but there is really comprehensive academic research to suggest that the high sugar spikes from carbohydrates and fructose damage the fatty tissue around the brain. According to some David Perlmutter in the Grain Brain, dementia, parkinsons and Alzheimers are all avoidable by diet. This is pretty radical and not easy to accept but for sure our modern Western diet is making us sick. My husband always says we are living longer than ever and yes that’s true, we are brilliant with medicine – but we do not use food as medicine or prevention, and I truly believe we could. How many people do you know that are sick or even just not at their optimal health with allergies, fatigue skin conditions etc etc.
    I gave up grain and sugar at the same time but my body is really craving carbohydrate and – not in a cravey way I can ignore but in a state of weakness and exhaustion with scratchy eyes and no focus.
    I am keeping a food diary so I can record everything -yesterday I ate an orange and immediately felt better, so I am still feeling a bit confused about my body and carbohydrates. I can’t just eat sweet potato every day.
    One thing I have noticed though is my taste is adapting – I made a bowl of sweet potato mash with a big dollop of coconut oil and it was the sweetest most delicious thing – same with the orange – I was eating it thinking i had never tasted anything so sweet, funny because I can’t remember feeling that excited about fruit before.
    I think I will just keep eating and recording and try and find a natural level.
    Thanks for the thought provoking post MrsD – and all the wonderful comments – what a journey eh !!! x

  12. KAM 10 years ago

    I am so glad you posted this. Traditionally, I try to live a lie garb low sugar lifestyle. I will treat myself when I want too but about 5 of the 7 days in a week I follow this regimen. However, I’m on day 8 of sobriety (hardest thus far. Was off work today and really wanted a vodka and cran just about all day) and ive been craving sugar! Something that rarely ever happens to me. I broke this morning and had a chocolate chip cookie and some hot tea and I felt awful, well, guilty. But I know that cookie was easy to stop after one which is much more then I can say for booze. I to think sugar is bad for us but so is fried foods and things smothered in cream sauces and gravy, but if it is only on occasion ad a treat then I think that should be ok.

  13. lola 10 years ago

    I quit sugar about 6 months ago. People still think im mad that I hardly eat fruit anymore. I was like Sarah Wilson; hid behind ‘good sugars’ like honey, dried fruits and dark chocolate and fruit. I always needed something sweet after every meal. It was hard going but now I hardly think about it. I have the occasional kiwifruit or some berries in a green smoothie but that’s about it. I didn’t need to lose weight but did and now I have a waist! No bloating etc. But the best thing is to be free of another addiction. I feel fresh and clean! Yay!
    A great book that focuses on the way our brains work and a really simple breakdown of serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine etc work is by an great American neuropsychologist called Rick Hanson. It is called ‘Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom’ Cheap on The Book Depository.
    Still have sad pangs about not drinking especially now the silly season is coming and outdoor summery nights will be upon us soon. I just need to remind myself that that ‘lovely’ cold rose or buttery chardonnay was nice at the first sip but wasn’t worth it in the end.

  14. jo14 10 years ago

    I too have been doing research on sugar and the effects on the body. Lots of information out there and opinions. Here is my take on it so far. Sugar seems to be the new evil thing. Remember when fat was the thing we were all told to stay away from? Then it was carbs, then eat lots of protein. Now it is sugar, and boy oh boy, are there so many new books out there and all it does is scare me. I was a teenager when the low fat craze hit and I bought into it hook, line and sinker…I ate so many awful products that I thought were going to help me to lose weight only to find out years later that they replaced the fat with sugar…ugh! I wasn’t aware of reading labels back then…sigh.

    I am not saying sugar is good for us, it is just like everything else…too much of anything is not good for us and our bodies. Now we are told eating the good fat is okay, too little fat is bad for us…but so many food products took out the fat and replace it with…yep, sugar. So now it will be interesting to see what they replace the sugar with…will we see lots of new and improved products hit the market with low sugar or no sugar on the packages?

    My plan of action so far is (and I am new at this research) is to be very aware of my sugar intake. I have started following a modified Paleo eating plan. When I bake, I cut down the sugar and discovered recipes that do not include flour. My daughter is gluten and dairy free and I have found that I feel better when I do not eat so many carbs. I have been experimenting with baking this way and I am now coming up with some of my own recipes. I do put a little raw sugar in my latte. When I bake, I make sure there is something in there like peanut butter or oatmeal or chia seeds to provide some nutrients. I love to eat, so moderation is the key for me. We also do not eat out very much, both because of the cost and to be healthy. The only flours I use anymore are almond, oat and coconut. I do not use butter but use coconut oil. I do use raw sugar as I am not fond of honey. I just purchased some coconut sugar to try…hoping it is mild and you cannot taste the coconut flavor as that is another taste I do not care for…I know…picky and I wish I wasn’t but there it is. And I am no longer going to eat anything I do not care for.

    I read some research yesterday that while sugar is the new bad guy, it is more the change in our lifestyle…we are much more sedentary and our portions are much bigger. Anything is and can be bad for us if we overdo it. I find cooking most of my family’s food, I can control the ingredients and the portions.

    I had the sugar cravings so bad when I first started my new sober life. I did eat a lot of sugary junk…it got me through those first tough days. I was a little worried there for while, but now I am ready to make better choices. I feel if I can eat healthy 80% of the time, exercise daily, then I can have a treat now and then. Life is meant to be enjoyed and there is so much good food out there. And if I am going to splurge on a dessert…it better be a great one with the best ingredients! Interesting thread…hope we can keep it going. Lots to digest for sure and I am enjoying reading what others think. Thanks MrsD! 🙂

    • Katerina 10 years ago

      Thanks for posting this @jo14 – I’ve found your thoughts really helpful. I really struggle with trying to get the right balance in my thinking on this subject – there is so much conflicting advice out there! And thank you @MrsD for sharing your research (particularly the science-y stuff which can be confusing!) – I hear what you’re saying; when I have too much sugar I am positive it gives me a hangover of sorts – I feel rubbish the next day. My mum has always said, “everything in moderation”, which obviously isn’t as easy for those of us not wired to do moderation well, but certainly something to strive for! (‘m excluding booze from this equation because I ain’t touching that shit again!) 🙂

  15. Colourful1 10 years ago

    I cut out sugar (fructose) in January this year. I now have some dark chocolate most nights (that actually started when I gave up drinking) but apart from that, pretty much nothing. Considering I used to gorge on the stuff, its been a huge change for me. I feel SO much better. But yes, I did do it before I gave up drinking, and I sure would not want to do both at the same time.

    • KoSamui 10 years ago

      What brands do you buy? I might give that a go

  16. Jayne 10 years ago

    In a very important book “Potatoes Not Prozac” I read some years back, Kathleen DesMaisons said her success in treating alcohol issues went from 80% failure to 90% success once she removed sugar from the diet. That sugar triggers relapses. She makes her clientele record a sugar diary, and you see a little sugar one day, a little more the next, then a whole lot more, then a relapse. That book is all about neurotransmitters and can get quite complex but really life changing.
    Also research is now pointing strongly to the importance of your gut bacteria. Its possible that sugar feeds fungus/ bacteria which turn it into alcohol inside you.

  17. Citygirl 10 years ago

    Im early on in my sobriety so am just concentrating on giving up alcohol (FOREVER!) for now, but am interested in the whole sugar thing so will look into it more when I’m feeling like I’m up to it. A friend at work has been totally sugar free for about 3 months and finds that she is feeling and sleeping a lot better. I found it interesting that she said how great it is because (according to the website she is following) you can drink as much alcohol as you want due to something that happens to the sugar in the production process (maybe no fructose left?). Not sure if this is right or not but on one hand she was saying how sugar is toxic to the liver and our bodies can’t process it yet on the other hand alcohol is fine. Not sure if any of the sugar experts also mention the harm alcohol causes to the body? Would be great if they did, might get people thinking about alcohol too.

  18. MrsMoo 10 years ago

    oh and one more thing. If you combine 5-HTP and SAMe – both avaiable at health stores…. into your daily regime, it can help boost / smooth out the dopamine levels – great for both sugar and alco withdrawal…

  19. MrsMoo 10 years ago

    While I am new to sobriety I have something to share… My husband and I went Paleo (organic grass fed meats, veges, nuts and fruits – tho mainly berries) – so the only sugar we take in is coconut sugar (one quarter tsp per day in my 1 coffee)…. His blood sugar has dropped in 4 weeks from diabetic to in the 80’s (normal)… The more sugar you eat (it any form) the more you want… including agave (still spikes insulin levels). I have a sticker on my desk “sugar – the gateway drug”… I can see in my family the kids who will be the “drinkers”… the same ones that crave potatoes, sweets, white bread etc… its just my opinion but Ive been in holistic health for a long time… so its a passion of mine…. great article (as always!) Mrs . xxx

    • AlexP 10 years ago

      @MrsMoo I thought agave was ok ( I only have 1/4 tsp on my porridge). Thought coconut sugar was higher. I did the paleo thing for a while after my heavy diet but do have some spuds each week ( not baked – spiky). Interesting re: your husbands blood sugar tho

  20. CharlieGilbert 10 years ago

    Yep,I too am guilty of replacing my evening wine with chocolate and sweet treats. I must be getting less sugar than I was with wine because I continue to lose a few 100g each week(about 6kg after 100 days) But I am crazy for chocolate and if it’s in the house I eat it.More than that I crave it with a new found passion.
    I have heard of the connection with sugar and cancer.I will try to cut it out but not yet.Maybe when I have been booze free for 6 months I will take a good look at it.

  21. AlexP 10 years ago

    Great to have put all your research into one post @MrsD. I’ve got the Sarah Wilson book but have been ( mostly) SF for about 3 yrs now. I needed to lose some weight and found a sugar/wheat/ hi carbs diet that was hard going for a few months but then I’ve settled into a new mode of eating. It’s hard to avoid pies, pastries, cakes and puddings but I’m used to it now and have lost any sweet tooth I might have had. I do occasionally have a treat of crusty end of baguette. ( but no cake). I did have a reaction to some sugar things recently when I had no choice ( unless I risked offending host) recently.
    However, I reckon I’ve become more sugar sensitive and my sugar rush ( hidden sugars in most stupid of things) is like two expressos! You can get good sweet treats without ANY fructose ( agave, xylitol and stevia are ok) – cakes made with dates and almond flour; “cheesecake” with avocado ( sounds odd but tastes good). Check out raw or vegan recipes for good alternatives. Watch the soft drinks tho ( note to self: take glasses to read labels!).
    So maybe being SF before going AF has prevented me reaching for the sweet treats? I also have a theory about alcohol, yeast and sugars…..

  22. Arianne 10 years ago

    Yes, it’s true that we have to be prepared and ride out the wave of the urge to splurge. I totally let myself eat whatever I wanted over the summer….spent most of the time at the hospital with my Mom, so my Dad and I were being naughty together in the evenings and in the hospital cafeteria…going out for icecream, eating fudgesicles and Popsicles every night….then I came home here to France and started with cookies with my tea and chocolate with my reading….most definitely filling a hole and numbing…..which was ok and I was forgiving with myself. Racing after those lovely endomorphins at a fast clip I admit ! My best friend had breast cancer and totally re hauled her diet 2 years ago…the first thing she did after doing research and meeting with her doctor at Dana Farber in Boston was ditch the sugar. It’s an inflammatory and puts our bodies into a constant, aggrieved state of inflammation. This wreaks havoc on our bodies in so many ways, and one of the horrible ways is cancer. I’ve decided to knock out all white sugare and white flour, no more baked goods …though I continue to bake brownies and muffins for the kids. I am leaving myself the small pleasure to have some good organic and fair trade (at least 80% cocoa) dark chocolate on the weekends only. This feels like the next logical step in my self care and recovery …yes, God give us the strength, amen !

    • AlexP 10 years ago

      Oh yes, @Arianne dark choc treats ( one sq a day!!) are def a way to go…

  23. dryforeva 10 years ago

    Yup…totally get what you’re saying. !31 days sober for me..and I’ve replaced Alcohol with sugar for sure! I’m pretty sure that my low mood swings are because of sugar binging…and I’m only now feeling strong enough to think that I can tackle this sugar addiction ( wouldn’t and didn’t want to take sugar away in the early days of sobriety). I think Sarah Wilson’s books are amazing…have already made changes based on them…but I can see I’m going to have to white knuckle the evening sugar cravings ( and the coffee and cake sessions)….its just about having the right choices in the pantry and being prepared. God give us the strength to fight this one aye!!

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