Day three is under my belt on my 30 Day Transformation and I just finished a smoothie before my walk to the local Farmer’s Market. What are my biggest ‘aha moments’ over the last three days? Already I have slept deeper, I have had more energy, and my gym workouts seemed easier. I did have a slight headache, and felt a bit grumpy initially, but both passed yesterday.
Probably the biggest ‘aha’ was last night. I have a 2 hour drive I make most Friday nights that I usually find myself straining to keep my eyes open – you know the feeling; windows down, music loud, two hands on the wheel. But I have been finding myself so exhausted on Fridays (and I work from home – not even a daily commute and hustle bustle week!) that I have to snack to keep myself awake. Sometimes I plan ahead and take good things like snap peas, or almonds, but often I don’t, and then I buy junk food. That hand-to-mouth action keeps me focused and awake.
This week I was all eager to pack healthy snacks allowed on my 30 Day Transformation, so I mixed some Arbonne Fizzsticks with water to keep me alert and awake, some baked chick peas, and some hummus and carrots. Guess what? I didn’t need them! I drank the Fizzstick water because I was actually thirsty, and I’m sure it helped with alertness, but I didn’t need to snack at all! No sugar crash.
Three days with no processed sugar, no high sugar fruits, no processed carbohydrates, and my blood sugar has stabilized already? Yes! I’ve read various reports on the addictive properties of sugar. There is one study out of France where rats choose sugar over cocaine over 90% of the time. Sugar acts just like a drug releasing dopamine and opioids, stimulating both the pleasure centre and the reward system in the brain. The brain naturally wants more. You also experience withdrawal symptoms, the length and acuteness directly linked to the amount and length of time you have eaten sugars. And, in the withdrawal state, sugar causes impulsive behavior, too, just like narcotics.
We have been scared off of fat for decades, but new facts show sugar is related to heart disease, cancer, as well as the well-known diabetes and obesity. We have been steered away from fats and increased our consumption of white bread, white pasta, potatoes, and white rice that are all carbohydrate sources that, unknowingly, cause that same addictive cycle as sugar.
Sugar comes in many forms: fructose, dextrose, maltose, glucose, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, fruit, and artificial sweeteners. (Corn syrup is a particular pet peeve of mine because of the unhealthy economy with corn subsidies in the United States. I may tackle that one in another blog.) We can stay away from those when we read labels, and are certainly aware of high sugar content in things like pop, fruit juice, or kids cereal, but there are many hidden sources of sugar where we don’t think to read the label: whole wheat bread, granola, sports drinks, vitamin water, crackers, specialty coffees, alcohol, soups, peanut butter, ketchup, salad dressings, yogurt, spaghetti sauce, even milk. It’s so sad that big brand companies were well aware of the addictive properties of sugar, and have been manipulating the population years before health professionals started to scream about it, and, maybe worse, our food and health safety regulations allowed it.
I will disclose that Arbonne Protein Shakes and Fizzsticks are part of my 30 Day Transformation, and are sweetened, but use raw sugar cane, and stevia, which do not spike the blood sugar. They use small amounts (equivalent to a green apple) and, because of their low glycemic load, are suitable for diabetics. So, three whole days without bad sugars, and I’m on the upswing already.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” -Virginia Woolf