I’m fairly analytical and I take the time to read my blog dashboard to find out how people found my bloggyland. Some of the google searches are really hilarious. One question was: “How much beer can I drink while on the chronic fatigue diet?” uhmmm.. you can’t drink any beer, darling. One of the major components of chronic fatigue syndrome is intestinal dysbiosis, or leaky gut syndrome. For normal people, the intestine is a churning, chomping, marvelous machine that absorbs nutrients and propels goopies from our bodies. It does this through a combination of bacteria – good guys like acidophilus and bifidus. In most chronic fatigue patients, the good guys are vastly outnumbered by the bad guys – mostly candida albicans, or yeast. Beer is made from yeast, therefore it simply repopulates and happily feeds the bad guys. Moreover, typically chronic fatigue sufferers also have weakened liver function. Alcohol in any form just perpetuates the difficulties.
One of the most frequently posted items that direct google queries to my blog is Sugar Addiction and/or Chocolate Addiction. I did a blog about this, not too long ago. “Amazing Transformation: Detox vs Diet” under Diet & Supplements category. My sugar addiction kept me in the dungeon of despair for 17 years, it’s the reason for this blog in general – I must get better! My sugar addiction caused the failure of countless attempts to heal myself. It also made the benefits I derived from taking Diflucan entirely moot as soon as my prescription ran out. It sickens me to realize how long I was in the sugar addiction stupor, and how much of my life I’ve lost.I’ve come to realize that whatever the sugar does in my body, it’s one of the most powerful substances on the earth – I truly believe that I could have licked a full blown heroin habit in far less time.
I’m not sure of the mechanism, but without a doubt sugar controlled my every waking thought. I had no control over my life. none. Everday I woke by taking an inventory of sugary goodniks in my house, planning when I would eat them and where I would get more. It was sick.So many factors come into play in ridding yourself of sugar addiction, that you really need to decide to go on the warpath. Here is my warpath strategy that worked for me.
What to do about sugar addiction: Realize that you have to stand and fight this thing. It’s not going to be easy. Start thinking that sugar is poison and it’s ruining your life (if you’re entirely debilitated like me, anyway). For the first three days, I ate anything that I could think of that didn’t have any sugar in it. This included steak, potatoes, Big Macs, french fries, nachos, pizza, etc. The idea is to keep your tummy so full of fats and carbohydrates that your sugar addiction isn’t at the forefront of your thoughts. During this time, I indulged in diet pop, sugar free ice cream and any other sugar free treat one could name.
After three days, you should be able to recognize that you have some of your brain function and control back. Now you should be able to manage what you eat, with a clear rationale toward solving this problem. But, you are by no means done or cured of your addiction yet. You’ve only just started. One of the difficulties in grocery stores today, is that nearly everything has sugar in it. I’m not a purist in terms of food labels, but it is important to know the danger areas. Sauces like catsup, bbq and salsa can cause derailment. Alcohol is also a substance that converts to blood sugar and will cause your downfall. McDonalds, sad to say, is another danger zone – they put unbelievable amounts of sugar in most of their products. The two items from McDonalds that don’t have sugar are: french fries (I can hear you screaming YAY!) and salads.
The other thing that will increase your craving for sugar is white flour. This is a high glycemic index food, meaning that during digestion, your body converts most white flour products into blood sugar very fast. It’s a good idea to research high glycemic index foods and stay completely clear of them. Learn to choose whole foods, whole grains, natural selections.
If you’re struggling with sugar addiction, fruit and fruit juice are probably not a good idea. This is for the short term – I’d recommend at least a couple of months. I know eating fruit is healthy for most, but again fruit and juice will raise your blood sugar and boom! you’ll be back to eating twinkies in no time. It’s not your fault, I swear that sugar cravings control your mind. It’s not about willpower – at all – it’s about body chemistry.
Chocolate: I’m one of those people that adores chocolate. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that chocolate actually helps chronic fatigue sufferers feel better. But I’m not about to go grab a candy bar. Nor am I going to buy a candy bar at the health food store – they just hide the sugar better. Sugar is poison to me. The good news? I can have Cocoa! Yay! When I’m craving chocolate, I add cocoa powder and stevia (a health food natural sweetener – no calories) to my coffee. That takes care of any chocolate craving for that day. If I were a milk drinker, I’d make sugar free hot chocolate with stevia.
Artificial sweeteners: These are good for a short term fix to help you get over your addiction. If you do research on the topic in various health forums, you’ll find that artificial sweeteners of any kind are bad news to your body. At times though, I still indulge in a diet pop – I don’t ever want to feel “denied”.
If you go off of sugar for three days, you can succeed! You can get your mind back and make your own choices. I’ve been sugar free now for 48 days and I don’t plan on going back. I convinced myself that sugar is the worst thing for me, and if I indulge, I’ll never feel better. I hope this article helps you. Feel free to comment! carrie
10/21/07 Update: I’ve done some thinking about this article and wanted to add a comment or two.
When you go off of sugar, probably for the first week, you’re just gonna feel lousy. You’ll be achey, tired, grumpy. You may suffer from headaches. You’ll certainly notice that you’re hungrier – you were probably getting a huge calorie boost from sugary things. My advice for the short term – eat more fat. Just for the first week, it will give you more satisfaction, replace some of the calories you’re craving and probably calm your nerves.
Also, one diet trick that weight loss proponents use for hunger pangs: make sure you’re drinking the recommended 64oz of water daily. This idea can be useful for getting off of sugar too. Drinking 8 ounces of water before you eat will help you get that full tummy feeling and help your digestion. The diet guru Michael Thurmond recommends drinking much more water – as much as 128oz per day. That will keep ya from being hungry for sure.
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