I believe that sugar and sugar forming foods may be the most addictive substances on this planet. Sugar consumption has increased even within the last 30 years by a significant amount. We are eating sugar like never before! And most of us find it hard to stop…..
The reason we like sugar is obvious. It’s sweet. And ever since we were newborn babies we have been attracted to sweets, like our mother’s milk. But in the end, not only is sugar empty calories, making us gain weight while remaining undernourished, do we really want to be controlled by anything, even something as pleasant as cakes and cookies?
I know so many people who can’t refuse sweets or who can’t go without them for any period of time. Sweets control them to a certain extent.
I have personally found dealing with my sugar cravings to mean greater freedom for myself. For example, I always knew I shouldn’t overdo sweets, but it was hard to resist it (especially since cakes and cookies seem to flaunt you at every turn). But once I went on an anti-yeast diet and dealt with some antibiotic related issues, I’ve found it so freeing as I can generally easily refuse sweets (not always, mind you, but usually).
Let me tell you, it feels good to be free!
For us personally, after an unfortunate month of antibiotics right after Elena was born. We have had to be ultra-careful with how much sweets we consume. Elena just had a recent flare up of a yeast related issues after spending just a few days eating “normal” food on a trip. I don’t think she will always be so sensitive, but meanwhile it serves her best if we don’t overdo it. Thankfully it was just a small flare up, and she was still able to have her birthday cake, but it’s time to have a little anti-yeast, sugar free challenge for ourselves and we invite you to join us!
Next Monday, I will be hosting and blogging about going sugar free for a week. I would love to have you join us! This is a great time to go sugar free, since it’s cold and flu season and sugar can also lower the immune system.
Here are the three levels you can join in on:
Beginner level: Take out all refined sugars including corn syrup and white sugar. Also remove all white flour from your diet, as it’s also very sugar forming.You will need to read labels carefully when buying prepackaged foods. Instead use natural, more unrefined sugars such as rapadura, coconut sugar, honey, stevia.
Moderate Level: Remove all natural sweeteners as well, and only use fruit to sweet foods. Consider removing other starchy foods that can also feed yeast, or make you crave sugar more.
Advanced Level: Take out all sugar forming foods, including most grains, starchy root vegetables like potatoes , and fruits. Buckwheat, Quinoa, Millet are non-starchy grains that are generally acceptable on yeast free diets. Please, beware, if you have a yeast issue, taking out the foods that feed it may make you detox and have a die-off effect (which can make you feel sick and miserable). If you have any illness or health issue, you should consult your health provider before trying a anti-yeast diet.
So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge? You don’t have to be perfect to join in with us. The first step is to reduce consumption. If you would like to join in starting next Monday, leave a comment and I’ll add you to the list!
1: Kimi Harris-Aiming for moderate/advanced level
2: Elena Harris-Aiming for moderate/advanced level
3: Katie– Moderate Level to Advanced
5:Anna- Beginner level
6: Nicole-Advanced level
9:Holly M-Beginner to Moderate Level
10:Tarena-Moderate to Advanced
11: Jessica-Moderate Level
12: Sharon-Beginner Level
13: Jennifer and Husband-Advanced
18: Margaret L-Moderate-Advanced
27:Marlise and Peter-Advanced level
28: Jessica T-Beginner
30:Pampered Mom and Husband-Moderate
36:Kelly the Kitchen Kop-Advanced
38: SCB: Beginner
41: Kylie Thomas -Moderate-Advanced
42: Karen B-Advanced
43: My Boy’s Teacher-Beginner
48: Robin-Beginner for Family, Moderate for self
51: Tacia-Beginner to moderate
55:Becky@ Boys Rule My Life -Beginner Level
58:Lisa@ What Feeds My Soul Moderate-Advanced
62:Michelle @ What Does the Body good-Moderate
66: Elena R-Advanced
78:Loree and Tahli (2 1/2yrs) Galpin/Schoenfeld-Moderate
82:Michele and Two kids-Moderate
83:Nancy Stall- Advanced
85:Cindi-Advanced, Rest of the Family Moderate
96:Karen Olayo- Advanced.
97: Jennifer Sikora-Beginner
98:Christy and Family-Beginner
99:Rachel-Moderate to Advanced
107: Stephanie and Family- Seven-beginner-moderate 1-moderate-advanced
111:Cook 4 Seasons-Moderate/advanced
113:Michelle Y and Kids – Moderate
119:Grandma Len plus husband and mother
120:Tammie Thomas-Beginner Moderate
121: Lisa z-Beginner-moderate
123:Sarah Nissen and Son-moderate
124:Angela and house-beginner
125: Shelly-Moderate to Advanced
128: Jana -Moderate
129: Brook and Three Family Members-Moderate-Advanced
130: Evie and Michael-Beginner
136:Dawn, Small Footprint-Advanced
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moderate to advanced level
Beginner – after I finish my coffee 😉
I’m aiming for moderate…but since I’ve already done the grocery shopping for the week, I’ll start off as a Beginner.
Ren @ Edible Aria
I started the moderate level this morning.
I just wanted to say good luck to everyone! I’ve been free of all carbs except for a few vegetables and the negligible amounts in cheese, cream, and eggs since January 1st this year – the weight pours off, the moods and hormones (which are obviously linked) stabilise, I’m never craving foods, I don’t feel hungry unless my body actually needs fuel… It’s wonderful! Enjoy!
Thats awesome! 🙂 So what do you eat? No breads, rice, cereal or pasta. But what do you eat? Hope you don’t mind me asking! 🙂
I’m really interested because my hormones and moods are all out of whack and I know I am very addicted to sugar. :-S
My husband and I did a “no sugar challenge” for the month of September, and we decided to do October too…I found that as soon as I stopped eating the cake, cookies, muffins, cold cereal…I was taking out a significant amount of needless calories too (Although everything was NT – whole grain, natural sugars), which didn’t hurt anything . We are doing the moderate level with occassional divergences by using rapadura or honey! 🙂 You are so right about being free. It has forced me to face how tired I am, as I would eat sweets to get energy. Anyways, enjoy your week!
First comment from a long time lurker, so first can I say how much I enjoy your lovely blog. It’s always good therapy for the spirit and the body.
The sugar challenge is a great idea. Just wondering if a week’s enough though. Don’t know if you’ve posted on his work, but Dr. Richard Johnson’s research into the role of fructose in the metabolic syndrome and hypertension suggests excess fructose consumption sets up damaging metabolic pathways and he says that both rat and human models show it takes at least two weeks to alter those pathways.
Because of sugar’s addictive power I also think it may really be worth thinking of getting sugar free as a permanent long term goal. There’s experimental evidence – with rats again – that not only does sugar create cravings that cause increased concumption and then withdrawal symptoms when intake ceases, but also that it leads to relapse behaviour once reintroduced, with worse cravings and higher intakes. Here’s a snippet from an article on ScienceDaily reporting on recent findings from Professor Bart Hoebel and his team at Princeton University:
“We have the first set of comprehensive studies showing the strong suggestion of sugar addiction in rats and a mechanism that might underlie it,” Hoebel said. The findings eventually could have implications for the treatment of humans with eating disorders, he said.
Lab animals, in Hoebel’s experiments, that were denied sugar for a prolonged period after learning to binge worked harder to get it when it was reintroduced to them. They consumed more sugar than they ever had before, suggesting craving and relapse behavior. Their motivation for sugar had grown. “In this case, abstinence makes the heart grow fonder,” Hoebel said.
My own experience is pretty conisistent with those findings, unfortunately 🙁
I think Samara’s observation about the link between sugar and sleep are really valuable too. Making sure you’re getting enough sleep and have alternative ways of dealing with stress are essential to getting over the withdrawal hump I think.
I agree! One week is not enough time to really reap the benefits. Next time I will probably do two weeks, though for me, I have found that a month is really the most realistic time frame for making real changes. I am planning on encouraging people to make a second week of the challenge. This time I was trying to help people make that first tiny little step forward, so that hopefully, they would get the courage to make a bigger step in the future!
Taking that first step is really important, I agree, as is the support you offer here. Thank you! 🙂 You’ve caught me, relapsed with my hand in the cookie jar, but count me in for moderate-advanced.
Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home
Kimi, I’m going to join in late at the moderate level (and I’ll just keep going once you’re finished to complete my week). I don’t want to go too intense as I’m nursing, but I really feel that I need a break from even natural sugars right now, and especially since I’m fighting a cold. Excellent idea!
Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter)
One of my readers told me about your challenge since I am always blogging about how no one needs sugar. This is a great idea – I wish I had known about it earlier. I don’t usually eat sugar, but I would have loved to share this with my readers. Is it too late? Will you be doing something like this again?
Man!! Heather ^ (above) just informed me of this contest. I have been doing lots of research because I have been having yeast related symptoms for about 3 years and just realized that they may be from yeast. I would have loved to have done this challenge as I am seeing it as a huge struggle to try and do the anti candida diet that I may need to do :(.
I would love to know how you figured out that you had a yeast problem? Did you go to a doctor or did you self diagnose?
Shoot, I didn’t even see the challenge. I have been doing Doug Kaufmann’s (Know The Cause) Phase One anti-fungal diet since last Friday 10/2). I am feeling quite a bit of die off symptoms at the moment, but overall feeling like I am overcoming many yeast issues. I am doing a Candida Herbal Cleanse at the same time. I am definitely in the advanced level at the moment. I would love to join the next round!
I have an appointment tomorrow with my Dr. who is a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I have a feeling she is going to tell me what my acupuncturist has already told me. NO MORE SUGAR. I’ve done it before. And my health has thrived. The last year has been so bad that I am at the critical place and I pretty much know it’s time. I have already eliminated all corn based products, potatoes, oats & artificial sweeteners from my diet as I literally pass out when I eat them. I’ve been having problems with wheat and don’t eat much of it. But I can’t seem to stop myself when it comes to chocolate. I also have a history of candida. And while I don’t think I’m experiencing a flare up, I know that when I cut it all out there will be the detox issues. But as I feel horrible already, how bad can it be. I might as well take the challenge! (Advanced. Although I may allow myself some fruit if the doctor thinks it’s wise)
Kylie of Thin Crust Deep Dish
I was going to e-mail you about this, but I couldn’t find a way to contact you on the site. It’s probably in plain view and I just missed it. Anyway, I’m doing a sugar-free challenge on my blog next week, starting January 11th, and I wanted to let you know.
Since you hosted your sugar-free challenge in October, I’ve remained mostly sugar-free, and it has really changed my life in tons of terrific ways. I just wanted to let you know the impact this had for me and invite you to join in our challenge (or contribute your expertise!) if you feel like it. Adriana (my blogging buddy) and I are basing our challenge on what you did in October.
I hope all is going well for you in the new year.
Iwill start at beginner level
I will start at begginer level on Jan 17, 2011
Signing up late but no sugar today! Beginner/moderate. Removing all added sugar. Keeping fruit, and a small amount of maple syrup/stevia. Also limiting starchy veggies. Thanks for the challenge!