Sugar Addiction

Posted on June 26, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

When I started my nutrition educator program one of my thoughts was, once I start practicing am I still allowed to eat dessert? Do I have to avoid sugar all together?  When I turned in my diet journal to my holistic health care practitioner, she said over all it was pretty good, but I consumed too much sugar, I thought WHAT?? I don’t consume that much sugar. What is she talking about? She must be talking about my fruit intake I must be eating too much fruit. I don’t remember exactly what I put I down on my diet journal, but I have a feeling that if I were to look at it, I would probably agree with her.

I have had a sugar addiction for as far back as I can remember, I grew up eating junk food everyday. In college I probably consumed candy 4-5 days a week, especially when I was working 40 hours and going to school full time. I would be tired and snack on some skittles, or have a chocolate bar. One of my favorite candy bars was the milky way midnight, I could have eaten one a day. The last job I had, we handed out candy bags to the customers, which meant I was around candy every day I went to work. One of my favorite customers always rejected the bag of candy calling them fat pills. In 2007 I finally decided to change my eating habits, I started eating meat and decided to give up candy, it was difficult and there were times that I gave in, but then I started reading the ingredients whenever I craved it. The first three ingredients in Starbursts are: CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL OIL, after reading that I decided that I no longer wanted it.

The first diet that my health care practitioner put me on was the dysbiosis diet, and when I found out I was allowed to eat fruit, I was thrilled. My allowed fruits were: watermelon, apples, lemon/lime, blackberries, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, strawberries and peaches. I didn’t really notice any sugar withdrawls, but I thought to myself once I’m off this diet how often can I eat sweets, I know the 80/20 rule. Does that mean I can eat sweets a couple times a week, or maybe once a day such as adding some honey to my tea? I was obsessed with sugar.

Then I switched to the candida diet, and my allowed fruits were berries, lemons, grapefruit and green apples. I thought grapefruit and green apples? Green Apples are not sweet enough, and grapefruit, that pungent sour fruit. No thank you! I purchased a couple green apples from the market, and thought these taste great, I can do this. I even tried a grapefruit, and was shocked that I really enjoyed it. But I had this addiction that was not part of the diet and that was dried apples, I rationalized it, I told my self their just apples that have been in a dehydrator, they really aren’t that bad. They might have a little more sugar in them then regular apples, but they are so easy to eat, and taste so good. They were addictive, I would tell myself just one or two, and then I would have a couple more, I could have sat down and eaten a whole bag. I then realized that I was sabotaging my diet by eating these dried apples, and realized that I was fulfilling my sugar craving by eating dried fruit.  So I decided to stop, and I did.

It was probably a month ago, that I gave up the dried fruit, and my sugar cravings have really decreased. In fact I was in San Diego last weekend and I ordered a bratwurst with sauerkraut and mostrada. I thought that mostadra was some sort of mustard. It’s not, it’s a condiment made of candied fruit and mustard flavored syrup. It was amazing. I knew that it wasn’t allowed on my diet, but I didn’t care it was so good. I also found it incredibly sweet though. Afterwards I thought if I were to eat sweets I rather eat something like this, rather then then an actual dessert. You got german sausage, sauerkraut and dried fruit, what could be better? A couple months ago, I probably would have eaten it, thought nothing of how sweet it was and still wanted dessert. If the thought of not consuming sugar for a couple of days, or even a day seems frightening then you might want to consider doing a sugar detox. A friend of mine has a 21 day sugar detox manual that can help you get off sugar which can be found here.

Some of my favorite desserts are applesauce made from green apples, I add nut butter and berries to it, and that has really helped out when I have a sweet craving. During the week I made muffins using coconut flour and blueberries with a dash of stevia. They taste fine alone, but I like to add nut butter to them, if I’m really craving something sweet I’ll mash in some berries with the nut butter and put that on the muffin. I recently discovered coconut butter, and OMG is it good. I purchased it yesterday and within 24 hours I’ve probably consumed 4-5 tablespoons of it. I opened it up driving back from the store, and couldn’t stop sticking my finger in for more. It kind of tastes like coconut oil, but not really, it’s smoother and has a hint of sweetness.  Had I known about it before hand, I probably would have just taken a spoonful of that, when I had my sweet cravings, rather then eat the dried apples. Today I mashed some raspberries and added the coconut butter and put that on the muffin, and that was also really good. Another good option is to sauté an apple in some coconut oil and sprinkle some cinnamon on.

It’s nice to not be obsessed with sugar anymore. No longer thinking how much longer until I can consume sugar? Don’t get me wrong, when I go off the diet, I will probably celebrate by having some sort of dessert, but it will probably be homemade with a natural sweetener, and I won’t use as much as I had in the past. Such as chocolate pudding made from bananas, avocado, cocoa powder and maybe a  dash of honey, or maybe I won’t even need the honey. The other big difference is before the diet I poured honey into my tea, to the point where it probably tasted more like honey water then tea. I couldn’t imagine drinking tea without honey. Now when I drink tea, I’m not allowed to add honey, and I’m okay with that. Right now I’m sipping on a vanilla rooibos tea, and even if I could add honey, I wouldn’t because it’s sweet enough without it.

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