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the sugar season is only 'just' upon us and I've already OD'd

 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I don't know who Tim Horton is? and I've never liked doughnuts much so I guess I'm safe
......
Tim Horton was a Canadian hockey player who invested his money in a donut chain that did very well. He died in a fiery crash, while driving really fast on drugs, about 1.5 miles from my parents farm in St Catharines Ontario.

Not too long after his death, the family lost the bulk of their money and I don't know if any member of the family has a part in the chain anymore. There's a book about it called Rags to Riches to Rags , the Tim Horton story. That's an approximation of the title. I'll have to look it up.

The restaurant chain makes a big deal about running a camp for disadvantaged children. What I see is that they have been poisoning Canadian children with far too much sugar, for two generations. When many other places chose to get rid of cigarette smoking on their own, Tim Hortons hung on until the government made them stop. I just go there if I need to use the toilet or Wi-Fi.
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:The sugar season is killing us this year. It's the first year my son is in school,......


it is so hard. I was really lucky that the first years of school my girls were in a mixed daycare for special needs and typically developing kids, and because many of these children were on special diets (gastric tube diet or keto for seizure disorder, for example) they had a very strict no-food rule. Celebrate parties with games, songs, activities, costumes, but no food. I didn't realize how unusual that was til my one daughter went to normal kindergarten and then a charter school for 1st, and it was cupcakes-candy-lollipops-etc, all sugar all the time.  
I also didn't want to be That Mother, but my kids both had allergies (one to anything latex-related, the other food dyes and milk, both would swell up and get alligator skin and off to the hospital we would go) so I felt like I was the food police. I tried not to be, and I encouraged my daughter with the milk/dyes allergy to make her own choices after weighing consequences-- today she's 20 and has a good head on her shoulders about these things and is "the friend who can cook", which makes her pretty popular (plus she has food she can eat).

Nicole Alderman wrote:
My son always wants pomegranates, though. ...He gets to pick whichever expensive fruit he wants at the store, if he doesn't eat any of the sweet treats.


You have an excellent kid who wants to try new things. And new fruit?? He is a rare one!!
I was the same way with my mother. I remember hounding her to buy coconuts. Today as I smash local coconuts I sometimes think about that-- we had the nastiest, mankiest coconuts that probably took 6 months to arrive in New Jersey and the liquid inside was often not drinkable, not to mention not actually the kind of coconut water you're supposed to drink. But I was obsessed with it, and would be so overjoyed when she finally bought one. I think about that now and know it must have cost her an arm and a leg, and I don't think I was ever able to eat more than a tiny bit of the coconut, and we definitely didn't use it in the kitchen. But I grew up with a strong sense of curiosity, and I use that every single day. Good for you, encouraging his spirit of exploration!
 
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Location: Iron River MI
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I feel your pain! As a child, nothing was too sweet for me. I would regularly eat heaping bowl fulls of ice cream with cookies or brownies, syrups, chocolate chips before bed. My mom always had homemade desert around.

My wife and I watched The Truth About Cancer several years ago and due to her health issues and being tired of the run around from western doctors, we took our wellness into our own hands. We did a 2 week liquid detox diet followed by a month or so of a diet aimed at killing off Candida and healing leaky gut. Overall, we each lost about 25 lbs in a month, felt great, had more energy, a better attitude, less pain in joints, and no cravings whatsoever. We then (not so)slowly reintroduced much of what we had removed from our diets.

Overall, we’ve kept the weight off and take much better care of ourselves. We learned so much about food, our bodies, and wellness in general from experiencing that. But, I still struggle every year during November and December. Deer camp, thanksgiving, festivals, Christmas, New Years... everything revolving around meat, breads and sweets. Plus I’ve noticed with the change of seasons in the fall, my metabolism slows down considerably. So, as of now, I’m feeling slow, tired, stiff, fat, bloated and ready for change. I crave sweets, even while I’m eating them. The “bad” microbes in my gut always want more more more. Thats not me, that’s the demons inside of me.

My wife and I have gone through the holidays with dietary restrictions and the constant judgments, questions and temptations are more than we want to handle right now. We are planning to dive off the deep end right after Christmas, if we can hold off that long. Basically, I’m wanting to make a hard shift into what I believe is how I need to eat throughout the winter: At least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, no processed sugars or junk “food” (no exceptions), minimal alcohol (none for the first month or so), and really focus on local in season foods. For us in upper Michigan, right now that doesn’t leave much. Some dried fruits, root vegetables, squashes, meat, eggs, nuts/seeds... it will be a time of getting back to our true selves, cutting the bullshit, and rediscovering how to enjoy life in this body in a more sustainable way, not feeling dependent on tasty treats wrapped in plastic coming from far away lands or factories. All of that really translates to a slow, consistent suicide in my mind anyway. Clean out the sugar demons and get back to raw reality, that’s my goal!
 
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I, too, was shocked at the amount of sugary treats happening at school when my children started attending. One teacher basically rewarded the kids with candies and insisted it "really worked". Since that was my sugar-a-holic kid, I was not impressed, but there was no real alternative at the time. When I was a kid, the only teacher I remember "rewarding" us for getting work done quietly and efficiently, "rewarded" us with a chapter from the book she was reading aloud to the class - that's a reward I could support!

That said, I believe the real harm being done today is the amount of sugar in things that we don't associate with sugar. "Fruit Juice" used to be just that. Now if you read the label it frequently includes at least one "concentrated ____ juice" (fill in grape, pear, etc). This is really just sugar by another name. Since it's from fruit, it's a fructose as opposed to a sucrose and fructose is disassembled by the liver and tends to go from there, straight into storage as fat, so it is *not* our friend in a society where few people need fat stores to survive a famine.

I was thinking about this as I was mixing up a marinade for some shrimp last night. It called for a Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar. I remembered a friend telling me how Balsamic Vinegar tends to have a lot of sugar in it, so this morning I took the time to use my decent mini-scale to measure the "3 grams" the label said was contained in 1 tablespoon of the vinegar. I poured that into the tablespoon I used to measure last night and took the picture below. I showed hubby this morning and he was a little shocked! Multiply this experiment with every commercial product found in the average household, and people might really get a sense of what they're up against. My next test will be a bottle of molasses we bought. I only use it a couple times a year for making gingerbread, but I was wondering if the resulting cookies in fact have a lot more sugar content than I was thinking they had.
3-grams-sugar.jpg
amount of sugar in 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
 
steward
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Ah, sugar.  It was many years ago that I watched a lecture by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, that at that point had 3 million views (it's had 9.2 million views now):



It's a long video, but worth your time.  In this, he explains that fructose, the part of sucrose (sugar) that makes it sweet, is as toxic to your liver as alcohol.  He put up the Krebs cycle and showed why fructose can't go 'round like a glucose can.  So, only the liver can metabolize fructose.  Fructose doesn't make you drunk like alcohol, but it is metabolized in the same way as alcohol, and if you eat/drink too much fructose, you damage your liver.

Back in Wisconsin I had a morbidly obese teenager, over 300lbs and I checked some blood tests because I was worried about him developing type 2 diabetes. His hemoglobin A1C was high, but not at diabetic levels.  However, his ALT and AST, the liver enzymes, were highly elevated, indicating hepatitis.  He had no risk factors for infectious hepatitis.  I referred him to a pediatric gastroenterologist, who performed a needle biopsy of his liver.  The pathologist looked at the tissue from his liver and called it "non-alcoholic fatty liver syndrome," basically saying this teenager has a liver that looks like the liver of an alcoholic.  

At the time I was still a bit of a sugar addict, and I was buying Agave syrup from Costco to sweeten my coffee.  The label said it was a "low glycemic index sweetener" and that sounded good.  After watching the video I realized that the reason that agave syrup has a low glycemic index is that it is almost all fructose, which is toxic.  I stopped using the agave syrup.  I learned to drink my coffee without sweetener.
 
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I had to check back in to this thread to see when I began...so now it's two weeks later with no sugar or wheat and I'm feeling much improved.  I even lost a few pounds and that was not necessarily a goal although always welcome.

It was pretty easy for me to cut out our organic sugar, and any super sweet fruit also like bananas and raisins.  Apples have always been my fruit of choice anyway....and of course I cut out the breads, cookies and cakes, etc. made with wheat and sugar...and no more occasional chocolate or monthly pint of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia.

I like making a stove top small skillet masa bread...using masa flour (the kind that's sold for tamales, not tortillas) instead of cornmeal and water instead of milk, it is otherwise just like a cornbread with an egg and some oil of choice....delicious.  

We grind buckwheat for flour for many things and find it works well and is tasty...so I'm not missing the wheat at all.

Otherwise I'm eating pretty much the same as always, lots of vegetables and some chicken, eggs and cheeses.

...and the sugar and wheat craving is GONE

This is not the first time I've gone on a wheat and sugar fast and every time I feel so good that I expect to go on the rest of my life this way....we'll see

edit to add that I also have done the intermittent fast thing for quite a few years...I'm an early early riser so what works for me is to stop eating after a noon meal and then have my breakfast around 4am....there are exceptions but this is the usual.
 
Jay Angler
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Congratulations Judith - I'm glad you're feeling better!
I think that one of the difficulties with eliminating sugar and wheat are their extensive infiltration into places we don't expect to see them. As an extension of my discovery I posted above about Balsamic Vinegar, last night a recipe I wanted to try called for Worcester Sauce. I don't generally use much of it as I try to use straight spices many of which I dry myself, but this recipe called for it in a marinade. When I read the label, it said it had 1 gram of sugar per teaspoon! There are 3 teaspoons in a Tablespoon, so it has just as much sugar per volume as the Balsamic Vinegar does. As a general rule, I was raised to read labels and pay attention to what was in things, but Worcester was always something in the cupboard for adding to gravies etc. Somehow, I do not believe that the Worcester in my cupboard is anything but a distant relative of what my mother had.
Many of these sauces were originally fermented products and actually had micro-nutrients that would have been helpful additions to one's diet. Somewhere along the way, industrial food discovered it was quicker and cheaper just to "fake it" - that's certainly the case of the soya sauce in my cupboard that contains "hydrolyzed soya and wheat protein" and sugar among its ingredients. Originally, soya sauce was a fermented product that took 6 mnths to a year to make. I'm not sure I've got a place with a stable enough temperature to make it, but I do have an ornery streak that just might make me try it, since I would miss having soya sauce to add to things!
 
Judith Browning
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thank you Jay!

Fortunately I've never been into condiments like salad dressings and mayonaise and our flavorings are single ingredients now so no hidden sugars or wheat....the cheese has more salt than I like but that's about it.
Back when the kids were young though and I was canning everything I could get my hands on I did use what now seems like a lot of sugar in chutneys and jams.

My husband loves good soya sauce and when I was making tempeh regularly I once tried a koji starter for miso.  Mine was a disaster for a number of reasons (all my fault) but I think it and soy sauce are considered easy to make at home.

I remember worcester was a stand by in my mom's kitchen also...I bet you are right that the ingredients are much different now.
 
Judith Browning
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I managed to make a batch of Jocelyn's pfeffernuss cookies without snitching one piece of sugary dough...they are going to be for family along with Steve's springerles.  I almost did not make them because I have a hard time cooking without tasting but they are safely in the refrigerator until baking time tomorrow. I'm not sure how others do it but it really goes against the grain to not lick the cake batter bowl or snitch some cookie dough

Happy Healthy Holidays Folks!
 
Brody Ekberg
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G Freden wrote:I gave up sugar and grains almost ten years ago and have found that if I cheat, it takes at least 2 weeks of cravings before I settle back down.  That said, I find the holiday season just too hard and a few years ago I decided to forgive myself for giving in.  It lasts from Thanksgiving to New Year, and I still eat my normal meals, but don't beat myself up for eating sugary things.  I accept that sugar/grains will happen and in January I will endure 2 weeks of cravings;  then it's 11 months of good food again.  I'm lucky that we don't have many cookie-pushers around us, and my husband's diabetic so we don't have sweets in the house as a rule anyway.

If I'm going to cheat, I want it to be worth it:  for me, that means real butter in it not vegetable oil, real cream, real eggs, etc.  I don't want to have to go through those two weeks for something mediocre.



I have to totally agree with your statement about cravings. I am a sugar addict and after binging over the holidays, i then spent a week fasting on water, herbal tea, broth and vegetable juice/fruit smoothies (low on the fruit). This is not my first time and like the other times, day 1 was full of excitement for change and a fresh start. Day 2-3 was a crash (irritated, craving sweets, low energy, weakness, chills) day 4-5 was a calm, peaceful plateau, both physically and mentally. Yesterday I decided to have a piece of banana bread (conventional dairy, gmo wheat, refined sugar...) and a few cookies (same junk as the bread plus more). Within 15 minutes I was craving anything and everything, much more so than I had experienced in days. I wasn’t hungry at all but constantly wanted to eat. Plus, mentally I had a lot more “noise” as well. I just read how sugar is the preferred food of our brain, though it wreaks havoc on most of our body. Our thoughts and acting on them have dominated our lifestyles for generations now and I wonder how much of it is literally fueled by an addiction to sugar and thinking/doing. Seems like a diet overhaul and break in the sugar addiction would calm peoples bad habits, cravings and mental/emotional/spiritual demons. Maybe these are all one in the same.
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