My Sugar Crush: How I Overcame My Sugar Addiction



Welcome,


This is a four part series celebrating Self Care September. This is post three of four you can read post one here and post two here.


This month we have been discussing topics from my wellness workshops that I support clients with in the GuttyGirl Lifestyle. A client told me I should share my Self Care September Ritual and the wellness workshop stories on my blog so it can help others who may be struggling in silent so this year I’m offering it outside my clients and sharing it to whom ever could use the information. If you are not familiar with my work do not be offended as I tend to go into great details. I do not sugarcoat shit. I’m straight up and honest and very direct. I own my shame stories and the lesson I’ve learned from going through them.


So far this September I’ve shared my shame story you can read about it here. I shared my Seasonal Life Detox Ritual in post one you can read that here. I shared my shame story that involve my broken vagina you can read that here. Today in post three we are going to discuss how I overcame my sugar addiction that developed when I was struggling with emotional eating and diagnosed with binge eating disorder. I'm proud to say I've been in full remission since 2014 with my binge eating disorder. It's been a long road but worth every experience.


So let’s go.


My sugar addition started due to my choice of food I would use to escape and forget all about my mental stress that stem from the concerns about my religious beliefs or fear of what people may think of me, mom shaming, my broken vagina, and my inability to cope as a new trucker wife. Mostly chocolate was my vice, for those of you wondering. But I chose to eat a lot of carbohydrates in the form of baked goods, and my favorite Dunkin' Donuts treat was the maple frosted donut each morning for breakfast with my coffee. All the refined flours and sugars was ridiculous. My body was already paying for the affects of my food choices while traveling all around the world working in the Telecommunication Industry. At age 20 I had to have an anal fissure surgery to restore the hole above my butt that was caused by an impacted clogged colon of eating processed foods. Not a good experience, it hurt like hell to recover from all those bad food choices.


The thing is we are eating foods that have been radically altered through various processes of refining, heating, pressurizing, and chemical manipulation. Our food choice is only part of the problem it’s the food combination that fucked me up. At the time I had no clue our body could not breakdown carbs and fats at the same time. In my studies while becoming a license nutritionist I learned that our body could function off of a fat diet or a carb source diet. We have been trained to fuel our bodies off of carbs without even understanding our unique body type. Therefore our body will choose carbs first and store the fat. Being that I ate high fat plus carbs foods my body stored the fats and excess carbs. At the time I did not know that we all have a unique body type. I learned later that my body had trouble processing sugar because it was an endomorph which store sugar easily. Plus my body is a fat protein efficient body type which means it prefer healthy fats and protein over unhealthy fats, refined sugar and simple carbs. At the time I was feeding my body nothing but fat and sugar combination. All the wrong carbs because I was not eating to fuel my body. I was eating depending on what taste good in the moment. I didn’t drink water. I didn’t eat vegetable's. I didn’t know about organic foods therefore I lived on unclean meat, junk foods, processed foods, and everything in the bakery department which were fat and carbs combinations. Growing up I ate organic foods straight out of my great grandmother and grandfather back yard but at the time I didn’t know it was clean and fresh whole foods. As a young adult on my own traveling the world I not only ate and love cake but I was a human cookie monster.


What brought all of this to my attention was my high cortisol level. I learned that when I was stressed, worried, or just couldn't deal with difficult people, or difficult situations these issues triggered me to escape with food. My cortisol levels were high due to stress and unhealthy food choices I was consuming each day. I learned that cortisol is your body's main stress level. Here are the roles cortisol plays in your body:


Boost energy

Keeps inflammation down

Controls your sleep/ wake cycle

Manage how your body uses carbohydrates, fats, and protein

Regulates your blood pressure and blood sugar


I learn that my cortisol levels was unbalanced due to not only emotional distress but the bad foods I was putting into my body. Your body works hard everyday to release toxins. It can not be expected to process the food you're eating correctly, decrease inflammation, water weight, and regulate blood sugar if your cortisol level are already too high due to processed foods that are contributing to the inflammation, blood sugar spikes, and toxin within the body on top of stress. I had to learn how to process emotional pains, get past everyday life stressor's, along with making healthier food choices all while dealing with my unhealthy habit of emotional eating when stressed. To manage my stress eating I did shadow work journaling to express how I felt and release pent up anger, shame, and guilt opposed to escaping with sugary cakes, cookies, and chocolate.


But, I had to understand that my body was different. It processed food differently than others. For some reason it loved to store sugar and when it needed to it turn fat into sugar. As I mention earlier I learned that I had an endomorph body type which store sugar easily. Plus my body is a fat protein efficient body type which means it prefer healthy fats and protein over unhealthy fats, refined sugar and simple carbs. I had to start eating according to my unique body type which meant I had to adjust the carbs I was eating because my body tend to store the excess sugar and hold onto the unhealthy fat opposed to burning it. That meant no more cakes and cookies. I had to swap those foods with Whole Foods like fruit and vegetables. I couldn't trust labels so I had to cut back on the processed and package food and stuck with whole foods that had natural sugar opposed to added sugar. I did this until I got control of my sugar addictions and spiked blood sugar issues, due to high glucose levels. This took me about four months to do successfully without experiencing any cravings. I had to explore new healthy recipes and when I did buy any pre packs foods while out and about running errands or doing wellness workshops I stuck with Adens pressed juice, Sprouts pressed green juice, Atkins and premier protein shakes and products that had low sugar, low fat, protein and fiber to ensure my meals were balanced and had the enriched vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients I needed to fuel my body not just consume empty calories.


The thing is I had no education about nutrition although I signed up for every food and nutrition class as an elective in high school. I guess all the knowledge went in one ear and out the other. All I cared about was being able to cook on Friday’s and you can guess what I brought to class to cook-that roll of chocolate chip cookie dough. Yeap, I was that girl! I had no clue that as a result of foods being processed their are no vitamins, minerals, or essential nutrients in them after the processing process. Some foods like cereal and milk has been enriched with vitamins after begin stripped down to process to make available for consumer purchase. But the thing is many of the foods we choose are not healthy or nurturing for our bodies. Because like I used to be many people choose food for the taste only and not to fuel their body.


All the unclean meat I ate was full of antibiotics. All the dieting I did following the diet culture caused a lot of issues due to frequent changing in my dietary patterns. All the simple carbohydrates (refined flours and sugar) as I lived in the bakery department of the grocery store contributed to my yeast or candida overgrowth at the expense of me not eating complex carbohydrates. Due to my food and lifestyle choices I found myself contributing to making Candida albicans grow in my body and all the imbalance in my hormones and digestive systems. I had a lot of gastrointestinal tract issues, with symptoms of constipation, food craving, and for allergies before I was diagnose with binge eating disorder. I also had a lot of emotional changes after being mom shamed and my inability to cope as a trucker wife that include fatigue, depression, premenstrual tension loss of libido my vaginal atrophy issues and being diagnose with seasonal affective disorder after moving from Florida to Atlanta Georgia. Another lesson I learned was that my hormones was malfunction as a symptoms from a miscarriage I had during my senior year of high school, plus I never really process that painful emotional experience therefore I was holding onto emotional pain that involved that painful experience. I needed womb care but didn’t even know what womb care was at the time. But hey we live and we learn. I learn about nutrition after my relapse in 2013 and that started my studies of nutritionist, folk herbalist and me on the path of advocate for mental and emotional wellness. I closed the chapter of my role as marriage and family counselor and rebranded my private practice to focus on nutrition, emotional wellness and lifestyle management.


What I Did to Heal and Overcome My Sugar Crush.


When I choose to change my behavior I did not heal my sugar craving by going to a traditional doctor or nutritionist. I healed it through nutrition education, herbalism, and wellness care. My spiritual teacher gave me instruction on how to perform a candida cleanse. I bought a kit from a health food store. I drunk dandelion root tea, a blend of herbs that made a detox tea and drunk four liters a day of distilled water. I drunk rootwork juice made with herbs and fresh vegetable, the same blend I sell today in my art wellness studio and botanica. I ate detox salads, soft foods and other raw foods at dinner to give my digestive system a break. Most of what I consume was liquid for the purpose of healing my digestive tract. I read Natalia Rose book The Raw Food Detox Diet which help me understand the digestive system better. I read a lot of plant based inspired books during my training including The China Study. I watch food documentary like Fat Sick and Nearly Dead 1 and 2 which inspire me to learn more about juicing because I wasn’t really into smoothies. I drink smoothies but I juice more than I blend. My spiritual teacher taught me about the importance of Charka Health and eating herbs and food specifically for healing the main seven charka. The entire dietary approach was based on controlling the overgrowth of yeast, molds, and fungi. By drinking fresh vegetable juice I reset my appetite and didn’t crave sugar. I did this for a full month. When I did eat something with sugar it felt so sweet it made my head hurt. I eventually learned to tolerate veggies. Today I eat some sugar products. But mostly I consume less due to I just don’t need it like I used to. Drinking a fresh pressed fruit juice or a piece of dark chocolate satisfy my craving just fine. But I must be real with you it took close to four months before all my cravings were fully under control. I try to eat the rainbow for charka health. I live by the three hour rule where I eat breakfast then I wait three hours before I eat or drink anything else. Breakfast usually looks like a veggie omelet with fruit, oatmeal with blueberries and pecans, or a bowl with potatoes and two eggs. If I’m hunger or thirsty I drink water and ask myself is this physical hunger or emotional hunger. 90 percent of the time it’s emotional because I notice how much I ate at breakfast which is a lot most times and there is no way I could still be hungry an hour later. When this happen I look at what I ate, I check in to see how I am feeling, I ask myself am I tired, am I upset, sad, angry, bored, lonely, who did I just talk to did they trigger me or am I really hungry? If I am hungry I eat a small snack like a protein bar I love Atkins products, protein shake, greek yogurt, mini jerky, boiled egg, 12 almonds and celery sticks, 100 calorie pack of nuts, or trail mix. These choices help me stay full longer. After three hours is up from my breakfast I eat a snack if none of the above happens. Three hours later I grab lunch which is usually a giant salad with chicken or a pack of sweet chili cauliflower wings with a ginger ice sparking water I can eat this everyday and never get tired of it. Three hours later I eat an afternoon snack which is usually a protein shake I love Atkins Cafe Mocha and all Primer protein flavors especially cake batter. Most times I just grab the caramel shake and pour it into my cup with a cup of unsweetened coffee and ice and just sip on it. Three hours later I eat dinner which is usually a vegetable or two and small piece of meat. If not I eat either wild rice or black beans and rice with mixed vegetables with a dash teriyaki sauce and two fried or scrambled eggs. I stop eating at 7pm to give my body enough time to process my food so I can have a good bowel movement each morning after my workout.

During my emotional healing journey I learned that most of my emotional eating was caused by stress. But also learned that I was definitely addicted to sugar. My body needed something sweet every single day. So, as I learned to deal with difficult emotions and stress that was causing me to emotional eat I also started trying to cut my sugar use down as sugary food was my choice of to binge on.


Later, I learned that yeast thrive in carbohydrates, especially foods that contain sugar. In order to overcome your sugar addiction the first month you will need to avoid all foods containing table sugar and refined forms of sucrose, glucose, and fructose to reset your taste bud and overcome the craving. When I first reduce my sugar intake all I did was cut down a little at a time- after a while, foods started to be “ too sweet” for me. Then I distance myself from sugar-I didn’t keep anything sweet in the house until I got my cravings under control. I distracted myself. A great way to do this was brush my teeth and gargle with listerine mouthwash. Remember most my craving was due to emotional stress not real hungry. I painted. I went for a walk. I toss Avon brochures. I did anything but eat sugar.


What helped me the most was my flexitarian lifestyle, eating using the 80/20 rule. 80% plant based and 20% everything else. This helped me reset my cravings to focus on healthier food choices. When I started eating the rainbow I felt fuller and less craving. Especially, when I drunk green juice. Eating the rainbow is simple. You just include small potions of seven food groups into your diet: complete protein, grain or legume, root vegetable, yellow or white vegetable, green vegetables, red, orange, or purple vegetable, and green leafy vegetables. A rainbow salad looks like:

Rainbow Salad

Spinach

Bell peppers

Carrots

Cucumber

Cherry tomatoes

Chickpeas

Boiled eggs

1 or 2 oz organic chicken breast


I hope this helps you jumpstart your journey to eliminating or reducing sugar and making healthier food choices by adding more color to your diet. I don’t mean skittles. Lol. Fruits and Vegetables 80% of the time, the other 20% everything else. It's that simple.

Until next time,


Life Love You and So Do I!

Nikki

xoxo


5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All