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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sugar Addiction!

I have been very busy and have not had much time to write, on the blog or otherwise.

I wanted to share an article with you all that I saw via Food Inc post on Facebook.  It is something that I have heard before, but it was interesting to see how the brain scans of people who struggle with obesity may be linked to an addiction to refined sugar, which can be STRONGER than an addiction to cocaine.  Refined sugar, extracted from its natural source and concentrated to by JUST sugar--such as sugar (also called beet sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioners sugar, invert sugar, powdered sugar, raw sugar, saccherose, table sugar and turbinado), high fructose corn syrup,

Natural sugar occurring in foods like fresh fruits and vegetables which are processed differently by the body due to the other compounds found in whole foods.  

As my dear fiance has agreed to attempt 4 weeks of no alcohol to break the long standing habit of having a alcoholic drinks after work every night so that a more balanced approach to enjoying alcohol in a healthier way, I will be focusing on eliminating the last of the refined sugars that are still part of my food intake.  Over the past few years I have greatly reduced the amount and frequency of sugar consumption, primarily through cutting down on processed foods, eating more whole foods, watching my carb intake (primary due to my diabetes), and indulging in sweets only occasionally (like the occasional cookie or cadbury egg or other candy).  Lately I have been taking in too much of the candy stuff, and need to reset my focus.

This article has helped me remember why it is so important to not be an unconscious when we eat or drink or put anything into our body without really thinking about it, we may be forming an addiction to those things, altering our own brain chemistry, and reducing the amount of pleasure and peace we get from life because of those alterations.  Peace is not just a state of mind separate from the body, it is a specific set of chemicals and dominate thought patterns that provide a sense of calm and peace.  It is very difficult to achieve artificially, as each of us is an individual--physically and spiritually.  While psychological and spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, looking on the positive side of things, letting go of attachments and expectations, and developing a healthy spiritual life and positive attitude all contribute greatly to creating the right physical balance to be at peace, there are many physical things that influence how much pleasure and peace we find in life.  Amount and quality of sleep is a big one. How much you move your body (exercise, activity, physical work) also influence what hormones and chemicals are active in your body and brain.  And what you eat and drink have a direct and intense impact on what chemicals and hormones course through your body and brain.  Given that feelings like calm, peace, happiness, pleasure, and excitement (just like anger, fear, sadness, anxiety) all rely on your body releasing a specific set of neurochemicals, and that many of those neurochemcials have receptors and competent receptors in the gut, what you eat and drink has a direct and almost immediate impact on mood and emotions.  Like the article states though, when it comes to addiction--be it to cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, or refined sugar...the anticipation of the pleasure creates a chemical rush, the receiving of the substance gives what it gives, and after the substance is out of the system, the brain is LESS sensitive to those chemical that influence pleasure and joy.

SO hopefully taking a month off from all refined sugars, will help reset the brains sensitivity to the pleasure center, and IF (not when, IF) i decide to include any more refined sugars in my dietary intake, it will be in very small amounts and very low frequency.

So that is what I am thinking about and doing these to clean a camp for some summer residents...good old spring cleaning...hope to do my own house soon while between seasons....