For the past month or so, I’ve been keenly aware of how my body reacts when I eat lots of refined carbs vs. whole unprocessed foods. It’s like night and day. A feeling that I hadn’t noticed, or perhaps was numb to, 5 years ago. Immediately after eating fast food, I’d cough and/or feel queasy. No matter if I got the child or regular size. I felt stuffed.
When I eat unprocessed foods, even to the point where I feel I can’t take another bite (which is rarely if ever) I don’t feel that way. I feel satiated, but light. When I eat refined carbs, late at night, the next morning I wake up ravenous, like I haven’t eaten in weeks. When I end my night with a balanced meal, I feel a twinge of hunger, but I can still get my AM workout done on an empty stomach. For all the extra fat burning and all.
So I was happy to get a copy of the book Sugar Shock. Perhaps this book could tie in all the reasons my body felt out of whack. And tie in it did. The cover of the book states, “How sweets and simple carbs can derail your life – and how you can get back on track”
Who amongst us doesn’t want to get back on track?
The book is in 6 parts. Part 1 starts off with sugar addicts confessions. Part 2 gets into more details about processed carbs and explains why whole unprocessed carbs are better for us. At the end of Part 2, there is a sugar challenge: Restrict simple sugars for 3 weeks, the next day, eat some of what you were eating before you started the challenge. See how you feel.
Without officially partaking in this challenge, having done my own form of limiting refined carbs from time to time, I already know the answer to that question. You’ll feel awful.
Skipping ahead to Part 4, you’ll learn about sugar, your emotions and how you can become dependent on sweets. Another personal anecdote, I notice something about my eating habits. When I eat whole foods, I have less cravings for anything else. When I eat more refined carbs, I HAVE to end the meal with something sweet. It’s like I need something to take the edge off.
Over the weekend, coming off a tail end of lotsa refined eating, I bought some peach cobbler. On Monday, I stocked up my fridge and freezer with the foods that make me feel satiated. Three days later and the peach cobbler is STILL sitting in the fridge. I just realized I haven’t eaten it.
Towards the end of the book, you’ll learn that yes Virginia, you can have a life without sugar. Usually when you say sugar free or no sugar, people think yummy things are off limits. That’s not the case. For the record, I personally don’t think sugar to be evil. Actually, I rather have “regular” products with natural sugar vs. “sugar-free” loaded with extra fat or unpronounceable chemicals to mask the taste.
One of my favorite, albeit scary, chapters is the Top 10 Food-Lable Misconceptions About Sweetners. Let’s just say all the things we thought we knew: Honey is better, sucrose is natural, fructose comes only from fruit and that “sugar free” foods contain no sugar, we’ve been so very very wrong.
While this book is a tad more radical than I’d like to live, it’s still a good read. I believe the holistic approach is best — limit the processed refined stuff and increase the whole natural stuff — I also believe if you say no sugar, next week you’ll be found face first in the sugar jar.
When it comes to eating, if sugar addiction has been your downfall and if you are looking for a good way to get off the sugar crack pipe, check out this book. [Please don't sue me Sugar Association, I'm just being cheeky.]