Standing at the podium, I survey the crowd. Ordinary looking people fill the auditorium. The refreshment table is filled with raw, fresh cut vegetables; three kinds of hummus; and granola bars.
I take a deep breath…
“Hi… My name is Dana,” my voice echoes in the large space.
The packed room replies back, “Hi Dana.”
“I am a sugar crack addict. It’s been four hours since my last taste of sugar,” I confess to my fellow addicts, S.C.R.A.P.Y. for short, Sugar Crack Recovering Addicts Pulverizing Yearnings.
Everyone nods. They understand my struggle…
I begin to share my story. “Sugar speaks to me. I crave sugar every day. It’s everywhere. I try to stay away from it, but it creeps into my pantry. They sell it at every store! White sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup…containers of the stuff, it’s even in the salad dressing!”
My new found friends shake their heads in disgust at the availability of such a sinister substance sold openly in stores.
“Sugar crack ruined my life,” I say, staring at the floor. “The sugar pushers never told me how it would unbalance my gut microbiome, by promoting an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast. How it would change my palate for healthy food or create hypoglycemia. How it would damage my skin. How it creates inflammation and ultimately leads to disease. How it even feeds cancer. No one told me simple carbohydrates turn into sugar. And no one said that sugar was more addictive than cocaine.1
Today is the day we get this monkey off our backs! Are you with me S.C.R.A.P.Y.?” I declare triumphantly.
The auditorium rises to their feet in united applause!
Okay… so maybe there isn’t actually an organization named S.C.R.A.P.Y. But if there was, I’d totally be President!
For almost 2 years now I’ve been on a low-sugar, low-carb elimination diet to rebalance my gut and reduce my systemic inflammation. Some amazing and unexpected things have occurred as a result that are worth sharing.
- Diagnosed with rosacea over 17 years ago, no one said jack to me about sugar. Maybe because no one knew. But significantly reducing my sugar and carb intake (remember carbs convert to sugar), improved my rosacea. So improved that I don’t use prescription medication anymore only botanicals. When I cheat, my rosacea flares up a little.
- Along with rosacea I fought acne. You’d think once you hit 40 that would be over! Turns out it wasn’t my age it was my diet. My skin looks better than it has ever looked before!
- Wrinkles. My skin always appears worse for the wear after eating sugar. Sugar literally makes me look…older.
- My hypoglycemia was once so bad it would wake me up at night! First nausea then a migraine. Keeping protein next to my bed at night saved me…until I stopped eating so much sugar. Now I rarely struggle with low blood sugar. If I do wake up hungry, drinking water is all it takes to put me back to sleep, no nausea and no migraine! Life changing.
- Shamefully, I once was a binge eater of bakery treats. As in, I’d buy 4 muffins and eat. them. all…at once. Yes it made me sick as a dog, but it was like I couldn’t get enough! Less sugar in my diet stopped that. I’m pretty sure that bakery is missing me. But I’m not missing them!
- This next one is the definition of irony. The more sugar and carbs I ate, the more I wanted them. The less I ate, the less I wanted! What’s up with that?! I can’t even tolerate the amount of sugar and carbs I once consumed. Crazy.
- Removing most of the sugar and carbs out of my diet also changed my palate. I taste food now, and real food tastes good. This palate change also makes processed food taste too sweet. Processed and/or sugary food dissolves unpleasantly in my mouth. Real food has substance.
- I lost weight…everywhere. My mid-section is flat and my cellulite is gone. And I wasn’t even trying.
I don’t know if you struggle with sugar cravings that result in any of these problems, but if you do and want to feel and look better, I’d start by ditching the sugar, then the carbs. Nothing drastic. I removed them little by little. No stress, no guilt, just take it day by day. Of course if you can go “cold-turkey”, you’re my hero.
I’d love to hear if any of you have started to ditch the sugar and carbs and what it has done for you! If not, join S.C.R.A.P.Y. today! It’s totally FREE and I hear the President is awesome.
1. “Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1931610/#__ffn_sectitle