My Diet Background
I had been a sugar addict ever since I could remember. I ate sugar cereal practically every day growing up, thinking it was healthy, and I was constantly going after sweets in the house. I didn’t like vegetables. By the time I was in my twenties and responsible for my own meals, I forced myself to have just one vegetable every other day. I knew my diet was bad, but I now see it as so much worse than I believed it to be at the time. I would often drink juice, which was mostly sugar, believing that was healthy, too. At one point, when a glass juice dispenser at work damaged the bottle, causing red juice to appear on my hand while I was drinking it, I switched to Mountain Dew to avoid drinking glass. I also ate a lot of candy.
At one point I discovered that the milk and sugar I was consuming were partially responsible for my horrific allergies and asthma. I don’t recall how I initially cut back on sugar then, but I managed to cut back enough to feel better. I was slowly improving other basic diet principles as well, purposely opening my mind to the idea that maybe some vegetables could taste good now, and just trying to eat better in general. Eventually I started to improve my diet exponentially, and I learned that it was Monsanto’s rBHT hormone in the milk that I was so allergic to. I’ve cut dairy out almost entirely, and I now stick with raw.
My big diet changes started when I learned about the dangers of hydrogenated oils. I instantly dropped many foods from my diet. Then it was high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Then I learned about genetically modified organisms (GMO) and got rid of those, along with any animal that had eaten it. Several times I discovered I was still eating them and cut back some more, such as when I discovered Whole Foods uses HFCS instead of honey in their honey peanut butter grinder. (Yes, really. How is that even legal?) I cut gluten out almost entirely, and then MSG. Now I have several pages of food ingredients found on labels that I won’t eat. I gave up trying to find anything healthy in regular grocery stores, outside of the health section and produce isle. For a while I still consumed way too many sweets, but I had switched to cane sugar and Stevia.
Why I wanted off of Refined Sugar
The primary reason I wanted to give up refined sugar was because I was so addicted. The more I ate, the more I wanted. I felt like a slave to my cravings. It also made it difficult to maintain my weight, although I managed OK. It didn’t help my PH balance, and I learned that it causes inflammation, which leads to a host of diseases. I believe diabetes is its most well-known direct cause. I also knew that cancer cells feed on it, and a later study would show that sugar itself can cause cancer directly. On top of all that, I recognized that it is a low-vibration food, not good for my body, and likely keeping me from advancing spiritually.
Studies show that sugar is harder to give up than cocaine. It is a physical addiction due to the pathogens in the body that require it for survival, especially candida. The pathogens cause the cravings. I was ready to get rid of them, balance my system, and feed the beneficial bacteria in my body instead of the ones that destroy health.
I Waited Until I Was Ready
Although I had cut back on sugar a couple of times, I still had a long way to go as of a year ago when I really decided to make some big changes. Once I decided I no longer wanted to be a slave to sugar and I wanted to treat my body better, I had to face what I was about to give up. I don’t see how anyone can get off of such an addiction until he/she decides that the benefits outweigh the risks. I was planning to change my taste buds. Once I was off of sugar, I wouldn’t like it much any more, would I? I took note of the ecstasy I felt when the cravings were strong and I satisfied them with a brownie. It is literally a high, albeit a short one. Was I ready to give up that appreciation I have enjoyed for so long? Was I ready to give up the brownies themselves? Yes. I wanted to be healthy. I wanted balanced gut bacteria. I wanted to let go of need. I was ready to move on from that life experience and enter into a new state of being. I was ready for a new me.
The Different Methods I Used
Back when I gave up HFCS, I had to give up Mountain Dew. I only drank it at work, when I was focused on other things, so switching to something less tasty wasn’t that difficult. At the time I would bring bottled water to work in order to stay clear of the chlorine and fluoride in the tap water. Little did I know that my bottled water contained unlisted fluoride and was also full of BPA. None the less, instead of Mountain Dew, I would drink a bottle of water with 8 drops of Stevia in it to satisfy my sweet tooth. As I got used to drinking less sugar, I found I only wanted 7 drops of Stevia, then 6…. Eventually I got down to 1 drop of Stevia, until it finally wasn’t even worth the trouble of adding any at all.
Start With the Fuel
Since the sweetest of sweets would fuel my cravings the most and worsen my addiction, those were the first to go. Anything that fueled my addiction or was extra sweet was out. I simply stopped buying those products and never looked back.
Most sugar addicts would say that they could never give up sugar cold turkey, but in my opinion, it’s actually easier than slowly getting unhooked. Think about it…. When do you tend to get sugar cravings? It’s after you’ve had other sweets or maybe consumed too many carbohydrates. Give up the carbohydrates and the cravings aren’t as severe. I went on two candida diets, for 17 and 18 days. I did it hard core, which meant no sugar, almost zero carbohydrates (fiber excluded), no molds (cheese, potatoes, etc.), no alcohol (which turns into sugar), no beans (except green beans), no processed meats, and no fruit. I was careful to stick with mostly alkaline-forming foods, which was challenging on such a diet. I ran into a few problems on these diets: (1) I started out losing weight too quickly, and I didn’t have that much to lose. I subsequently started eating coconut kefir and that helped. (2) I started getting leg cramps because I wasn’t getting enough potassium. I finally started to allow myself bananas (which aren’t bad and help in terms of fiber), and I later realized that pumpkin seeds would have helped in terms of both potassium and weight. (3) On one of the diets I wound up covered neck to ankle in eczema. The candida was dying. I continued anyway, and the eczema disappeared.
After both diets I discovered my taste buds had changed significantly. I no longer liked some of the sweets I gave up for the diet, and I didn’t want them bringing back the addiction, so I immediately gave them up or altered my recipes.
It’s hard to give up foods and do without, feeling as though you are lacking (although in time the feeling does dissipate). It is much easier to substitute with other foods and drinks, even if you do not appreciate them nearly as much. I found that once I got used to my new substitutes, they easily became my new treat.
I once heard someone suggest that you can simply substitute fruit for sugar. I thought, “I’m sorry, but a strawberry is not going to satisfy the craving for chocolate.” Here are some fruits that do: Dried figs, dates and tamarind fruit. I also like to make a low-carb nut-butter mix with low sugar chocolate. What constitutes dessert is all a matter of perception. I even finally got myself to drink coffee. I searched online for suggestions of what to put in it, and someone suggested nut butter. I now enjoy organic coffee with lightly toasted almond butter, coconut sugar, maca powder (for taste and alkalinity), and homemade hemp milk. I also use a little coconut sugar in my oatmeal. I sweeten it further with raisins and banana. Most of the time I eat eggs for breakfast.
So what could I drink after something sweet, like a date, to wash it down, instead of the can of cane sugar grape soda that I was drinking over a period of several days? Water didn’t cut it. And how do I put out the fire in my mouth from a spicy meal if I can’t have organic ice cream? Instead of the soda, I started drinking coconut water. Initially I didn’t like it as well. Now I like it better. This would also be a good substitute for milk. After most of my meals, especially the spicy ones, I now eat a homemade peppermint patty with refined coconut oil, peppermint oil, organic raw honey, cacao powder and a touch of spirulina. My dessert is my new coconut oil supplement. Now I have one less pill to take.
Many people are under the impression that health food doesn’t taste good. First of all, you can train your taste buds with habit. Second, just as with unhealthy foods, you have to try several things you don’t like before you run into something delicious. It also helps to find new healthy recipes instead of trying to modify the old ones.
Soil Based Organisms (SBO)
The last thing I did was take Soil Based Organisms (SBO), a probiotic yeast that kills candida and other pathogens. I believe this helped as well, and had I started taking them sooner, I think it would have made my quest much easier.
A 100% Ban Is Not Required
Most of the foods I have given up for health reasons are 100% off my diet, except for the occasions where I am out of town and find I really don’t have much choice. (Even then, I still won’t consume any allergens.) But with sugar I am not quite so strict. For five months now, refined sugar has been out of my daily diet, and I don’t miss it one bit. Looking at a plate of gourmet candy does not entice me at all. I even tasted a friend’s tiramisu, and I hated it. I am still struggling to find mints that do not contain sugar or processed sweeteners, but that is a small problem to tackle. I also decided that I still enjoy half a bottle of Virgil’s Root Beer with beef or lamb, so I’ve decided to allow myself that pleasure. That little bit does not trigger the old addiction like an alcohol addiction would. Those pathogens that caused the cravings are long dead. At this point I avoid sugar primarily because I don’t want it. The addiction is gone and nothing is more freeing than letting go of need. On top of that, instead of kicking myself over bad habits, I feel good about myself, knowing that I am doing so much for my health and well being; and it’s easy.
About the author
Vicki Luibrand is a hypnotherapist, certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH), and has a Doctor of Divinity in Spiritual Healing Arts. She guides people to heal themselves both physically and mentally by finding and releasing buried emotions and external attachments within the subconscious mind. For more information, go to www.believeinhealth.biz.