This just in from Karen, who has graciously agreed to let me publish her message to me along with my reply.

I always admire women who just put it out there and this shot you straight to the top of my most admired list, Karen!


Sweet! You’re back. Please leave a comment on the blog and make sure you join my free newsletter so we stay in touch![/fancy_box]

Hi, Lani–

I’ve been following you for awhile now, and can tell you have integrity. I also resonate with the way you market your message–compelling, assertive, but definitely not smarmy!

Karen Bierdeman

Thanks for getting back to me.

I want to lose weight and be healthy. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at 49 and died of it at 62. I am 47 and want to be healthy. My friend just keeps telling me that soy causes cancer and that we need GRASSFED beef and pure milk.

I am a self-professed health “geek.” I was making almond milk in the early ’90s, when I read Diet For A New America and tried Dr. McDougall’s stuff. I have read the China Study. I love Dr. Fuhrman’s stuff and have read it.  I even have read a ton on raw.

Here’s the rub—I am totally addicted to sugar–to sweets. I just don’t know what to believe anymore. I want the TRUTH so I can be fit and healthy on the INSIDE.

Also, a good friend of mine is going through a nutrition program She really seems to advocate more of the Weston-Price Foundation stuff. I thought that organization was nutritionally discredited???

Sigh….Anyway….keep up the great work! I must overcome sugar addiction, and I’d like to believe that Weston Price’s way of doing it is NOT the way…

It’s kind of ironic that there are so many vegan dessert books out there that TOTALLY feed my cravings! I even made my daughter a vegan chocolate cake for her birthday–it was  delicious, by the way!

Thanks for the ear…

Love your FB profile pic, by the way…

Karen Bierdeman

Hey Karen,

Thanks for your note and sorry so much about your Mom, this must have been and no doubt continues to be  very difficult.

On to your questions about the sugar. First, Weston-Price is not a good source of health information. Adding more protein does not one free of ‘sugar addiction’ make.

Research suggests that it can actually create additional health problems when we jump to getting  from 10% of our dietary calories from protein to getting 20% of our dietary calories from animal protein.

A whole foods, plant -based diet easily provides us with 10% protein, which is actually more than our requirement of even less than that.*

To help you out, I’m going to come in at this through a different avenue than the ‘add more protein’ myopia that is promoted by the protein mongers.   These surefire strategies you can easily implement pronto.  I hope you like my ideas.

Stamping Out Sugar Addiction in 6 simple steps

1) Fiber rocks. Fiber is your fitness, fire-the sugar cravings, and fat loss friend and I’m about to tell you why.

Satiety is a function of the fullness that comes from bulk and nutrition in your belly.

So, what comprises bulk?  It is fiber holding water which creates that bulk.  Both are important – nutrition and bulk.  You can drink a gallon of water and have weight of the water, but no bulk, so your hunger is not really satisfied even though you have, technically, a full belly.

And you aren’t completely satisfied either with a stomach full of what we might call ‘rabbit’ food without some of the more calorie dense starchy vegetables and whole grains.  It is the combination of these two that give you happy satiety and a solid grip at getting and staying trim.

By eating fiber-rich foods, you powerfully impact your appetite and fullness.  Which is directly related to craving protection and knocking out addiction to sweets.

If satiety is not met, your hunger drive will kick in in ways that can show up as cravings and absolutely blindside you.  You know what I mean.  Aim for 40 grams of fiber a day.  More is fine too.

2)  Eat enough. Not only do you need to eat enough fiber, you need to eat enough period.   Deficient quality carbohydrates and calories boomerangs as cravings for high sugar and high fat foods because they are best suited to manufacturing and storing body fat.  Simple survival moves on the part of your body.

3)    Breakfast.  Eat it.

This is the worst time to try to ‘control’ your calories, which you actually may be doing still unconsciously.

I know that was a habit that I had to break, the mental comfort I took in starting out with a calorie deficit, kind of like ‘saving more for later’.

However, more often than not it turns into some sugars mid-morning, which more than cancel out any initial ‘savings’ in terms of calories.  It’s so ridiculously insane, yet we do it over and over again.

If you miss breakfast, you overcompensate and lunch, dinner, and all points in between.  It raises stress hormones too – researchers have found that there are elevated stress hormone levels when people skip breakfast and the opposite when they don’t.

You have better concentration and feel calmer.

And oh, have plenty of fiber at breakfast.  Non-negotiable.

4)  Break craving cycles.

Cravings and seductions occur in cycles.

I have heard it over and over again from women– at about 9:00,  “I can’t stop thinking about ice cream!”  Or “I crave a chunk of chocolate after lunch”.

I went through that one myself.  A couple of years ago I was enjoying a piece of dark chocolate after my lunches.  On occasion.  Then it kept happening more often.  Then, it turned into a couple of pieces. Then on occasion a half a bar.

I realized it was keeping a couple of extra pounds on me.  So I stopped it cold turkey.  I missed it for 3 weeks.  Now I don’t even thing about it.  I interrupted the cycle.

5)  Move your body. Exercise literally works like a giant reset button for your body.  Physically and mentally.

Look what happens after a good physical challenge:

  • appetite is moderated
  • activity-to-rest cycle is reset, so that you can sleep more restfully, which in turn bolsters you against
  • your lift your mood. You know this, don’t you?  On days when you challenge yourself with physical activity you are not only more motivated to stick to a healthy diet, but you feel calmer and more resolved.  And if your workout has had enough intensity, they you get the release of biochemical that dissolve pain and anxiety.
  • you sleep better.  When your muscles are tired and in need of repair, restorative sleep is in higher demand.
  • you improve insulin sensitivity.  Researchers in Quebec found that after 3 weeks of exercise, peak after-meal insulin in subjects dropped by more than 20 percent – which means the muscles were able to better process the glucose-shuttling properties of insulin.
  • This is a very, very important benefit for sugar cravings, appetite control and weight management.

6)  Get it out of the house. OK, we’ve heard this before.  And you knew I was going to say this, didn’t you?

But we seem to need to hear it again.

Get the sugar OUT of your house and stock your fridge and food shelf with so much fibrous goodies that you can eat to your fill every time you are hungry. That is your first line of defense against sugar cravings.

Remember that there is a biochemical cascade that sugars and their friends (fat usually comes along with it, right?) create that take some of guilt and blame away – it’s not your fault!

Have you seen the chocolate and cheese video on my site? Stress eating: No wonder we crave chocolate and not broccoli (video). You are not alone…and there IS a way out!

And shelve the deadly cookbook. I have the same book.  I bought it because I love the author and honor her work, but I make a point of not looking at it except maybe once a year .

And keep me posted on your progress, Karen!


Can you relate to Karen?  Leave your comments in Leave a Reply below.

    *“Plant-based nutrition and elite athletes”, T.Colin Campbell Foundation, 2009
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