How I Beat My Sugar Addiction
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
A Sugar Addict From the Beginning
Sugar withdrawals can be hell, I know. I’ve fought that battle many times before. I think I was probably born with a candy bar in my hand. As far back as I can remember, I have always favored munching on something sweet over “real food”.
At that time, sugar was a normal part of being a kid and it was everywhere. I don’t remember anyone seriously setting limits on our sugar intake. In fact, inhaling the white powdery stuff was practically required anywhere we went….holidays, birthdays, movies, school events, church events, rewards for being good, etc. I remember one Halloween as a teenager, my cousin and I found an up-scale housing development to trick-or-treat in (may as well have been a gold mine in our eyes). We carried pillow cases that year, seriously.
At Christmas time, my mom would always make homemade fudge, which was amazing. I actually remember taking it with me to the morning bus stop and sharing it with my friends. Not exactly the breakfast of champions. I really did love sugar, though….that was, until I realized the devastating effects it was having on my health.
White Sugar’s Revenge
Growing up I was sick…a lot. I always had some form of bronchitis, colds, flus, asthma, you name it. I’ve since come to find out white sugar suppresses the immune system. Hmmm. I also earned myself several cavities, thanks to sugar. Then as I got older, I started gaining extra weight. But, what troubled me the most was my addictive habits surrounding sugar. My college friends just laughed and thought it was “cute” when I told them I was worried about my sugar addiction. But I knew it was a problem. Have you ever had the experience talking to someone at a party, but you can’t pay attention to what they’re saying because they happen to be blocking your access to a bowl of M&Ms? Or, have you ever raided your roommates candy stash…without her permission? Yea, that’s an addiction if I ever saw one.
As I got older, my suspicions were validated. I was a sugar junkie for sure, and now there’s proof. Studies are now showing that not only is sugar addictive, but it may be eight times more addictive than cocaine! (Source) Sugar is the most socially acceptable, readily accessible, and affordable drug there is; and it has a multitude of negative effects on our physical and psychological health. Obvously this is something we need to take more seriously if we want to live well and enjoy our life to the fullest.
Finding a Cure
I won’t tell you I tried everything, but I sure tried a lot, (for many many years) to break myself free from white sugar’s clutches. I tried different diets, supplements, juicing, going cold turkey, fasting, none of which worked for long. The addiction always got the upper hand. That was until I found nature’s cure…which had been there all along….FRUIT. Yes, one of the most colorful, delicious, and nutritious foods on this planet can cure you of a sugar addiction.
Now, for someone who’s addicted to white sugar, it’s not as easy as put down the cookie and pick up an apple. In fact, when I was hard core into sugar, I found fruit to be a very poor substitute for the sugar crack hit I was used to getting. When I would have a sugar craving and someone would tell me to eat some grapes instead, I would roll my eyes and cringe. Obviously, they didn’t understand. So how did I break free from the sugar beast? I took my focus off sugar and focused on changing other areas of my diet instead.
Transitioning to a Healthier Diet
I actually started changing my diet not as a way to overcome my sugar addiction, but simply to eat more healthfully for it’s own sake. I started out by adding more fruits and vegetables into my diet. I also reduced process foods and replaced them with more whole foods. I was still eating chocolate bars at the time, but I noticed something was starting to change. You see, we crave what is in our bloodstream. That’s why all addicts have to go through “detox”.
Cravings are also triggered by nutritional deficiencies. As my diet improved, my body was detoxifying (thanks to all the high quality produce I was feeding it). As a result, my blood chemistry began to change, my taste buds also changed, and my cravings began to wane. The cleaner and more nutritious my diet became, the less sugar I craved. I was on to something.
Raw Foods Give a Major Boost
Around that time, I found out about the raw food diet. I was inspired by so many people’s amazing stories of healing and transformation on raw foods, and I knew intuitively there was something to it. So, I started moving in that direction. I discovered that the produce aisle is a rainbow of living foods, and I brought that vibrancy into my kitchen and my life. I started adding in more and more raw fruits and vegetables along with my regular cooked meals. Then, I just kept increasing the percentage of raw foods, making green smoothies and giant salads, juicing and eating more fruit. And that’s when the magic happened.
Through this transition, I was enjoying fruit more than ever, and I was also losing the extra weight (a welcomed side-effect of eating raw foods). I felt better than ever, had more energy, and my mood improved as well. Now, several years later I am the healthiest and most satisfied I’ve ever felt in my whole life. It has been several years since I’ve had any kind of cold or flu, and I’m off all asthma medications. Best of all, I’m no longer ruled by white sugar.
Could it be True? The Real Test
Somewhat in disbelief of this “miraculous cure” from sugar addiction, I decided to test it. I went to the grocery store and stood in the candy aisle, looking at all the tricksters who used to call out my name. I even gave myself full permission to indulge. Nothing. Not even a hint of desire or craving. Then I moved over to the ice cream aisle taking in all the flavors with my eyes and trying to tempt myself by imagining the taste. Nada. I was totally amazed. I really was free! If you knew me well, you would know what a miracle this truly is. It didn’t happen overnight…but it did happen…and it can happen to you.
Has sugar got a hold on you?
How would your life change if you could free yourself from sugar’s grip?
I’d love to hear your story in the comment’s section below!
Photo by Qfamily