Monday, July 18, 2016
Oh Those Bitter, Not So Sweet, Sugar Blues
Yep! It happened again. I got into the sugar. It started off with helping a friend make a maple syrup sweetened, gluten-free, almond-meal based, lemon wedding cake for her son. The cake was amazing, light and lovely and so was the frosting, a white chocolate ganache. It was also made with very clean and pure ingredients, organic cream with fair trade, white chocolate, organic chips. Ah, but therein lay my downfall. The chips were sweetened with organic, yet still refined sugar.
It took us two days to make the cake, working steadily. And it was a masterpiece with white chocolate peony petals and beautiful pink and white fresh roses. But alas, tastes of the ganache awakened the sleeping sugar monster within me. The days that followed had little bits of sugar here and there, not too much, but soon the cravings reached a crescendo in all three of that day's meals containing sugar. Then the following morning, along came the blues.
When our bodies are healthy and well nourished we handle stress better and roll with the punches when they come. But when we are depleted, which sugar does to most of us, with it's destruction of our gut flora and subsequent inadequate nutrition, along with the emotional swings from high to low, then we really feel the blows.
It is not just our emotional health that suffers, we can loose our physical stability as well. Aches and pains and swellings set in. Flare ups of inflammation attack our joints and pretty soon we hurt all over. Add a little refined wheat flour or alcohol into the mix and you've got a recipe for sleepless nights and dreary days feeling tired, run down and generally awful.
Blessedly, I don't fall into this hole very often anymore. And when I do I can usually pull myself out with the help of probiotics from eating sauerkraut and kimchi. These quickly restore my gut flora and put an end to that sweet tooth. But years ago my sugar downfalls used to happen with every holiday: Christmas and New Years in winter, Valentines and Easter in spring, the 4th in summer and Thanksgiving in fall. Top this off with Birthdays and other personal celebrations and Voila! we've got a series of swings, high and low, from cradle to grave.
For decades I would successfully quit and fall, quit and fall, quit and fall, year in and year out. I always felt fabulous when I quit, full of energy and joy, raring to go. Then I'd fall and get grumpy, sore and tired. You'd think I would have managed a clean break sooner. But we are talking about addiction here. Sugar is every bit as addictive as cocaine, and it similarly erodes our health.
In the U.K. they have begun to implement programs for curtailing sugar addiction and it's subsequent health damaging effects. Diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, arthritis, virtually all inflammatory diseases, along with depression can be mitigated and even reversed by eliminating the refined sugars from the diet and focusing on quality nutrition, fresh from the garden, instead.
Today, I'm just one day "dry." And my sometimes sore morning feet already feel a little bit better. May your spirits and health rise like mine as celebrate our freedom from junk foods and other addictions together.