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]
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!
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…
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 cravings.in
- 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
OMG, Karen and I must be sprung from the same cloth.
It is such a relief to read your answer Lani. And knowing that you have struggled with these same issues makes a BIG difference to me becuz it makes me value even more what you have to say.
Tomorrow I’m on it!
Sheri, you mean
Thanks for your post. Absolove it. Yes I made up the word absolove 😉
Ooops! Of course I meant today!
Thanks again Lani!
I so love your fun but forthright approach. And my 6yo daughter wants to go to Yosemite now.
I’ve wondered if I could do the plant-based diet you love so well. I have been told I’m not hypoglycemic, but I get this fast heart rate reaction when I eat a the same sandwich everyone else is having. Rice, same thing, though not soas much with brown rice.
I know you can’t see the whole picture here, and I’m not speaking to you in lieu of medical advice (I’ve gotten nowhere with the docs)–but I just wonder if someone like me could do a plant-based diet. Is it for everyone?
Becky, plant-based and starch-centered diets have been and are the norm for healthy populations worldwide. Food sensitivies (gluten for example) can easily be worked around. And all carbs may have been created pretty equal but once humans get their hands on them, the rules change – as in white rice. I have no doubts you can do well and am happy to be a resource for you on your journey. Read around the topics on my blog. Any questions, run ’em by me and if I don’t have a direct answer I can tell you where you probably can get it PLUS I have access to a gazillion resources you can read and evaluate for yourself with my work at McDougall Health and Medical Center, Jeff Novick RD as my nutrition consultant, just finished the Plant-based certification – you get the picture!
Thanks for your post and kind words and here’s to your health, fitness, and happiness!
Oh, and you must get your daughter to Yosemite!
Karen – thank you for your questions.
Lani, thank you for posting Karen’s email/concerns and your response. I visted the orthodontist to begin being fitted for braces – for the second time this lifetime. I will be cutting out sugar except for very occasional treats. I grew up reading labels for sugar content and eating sugar only one day per week. So I will be back on this routine again.
From my current reading – sugar feeds cancer – so posting this information is timely, very pro-active and life-affirming.
I am so grateful you posted this information in perfect timing for my life…
BTW – I love your current photo and the colored background; you look more vibrant than ever!
Braces again, my heart goes out as I had them on every tooth, too! Keep me posted on the progress. How long will you need to wear them?
Sugar does create an acidic condition in the body which has been linked to promotion of disease. Have you read Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet? You might enjoy her discussions of acid/alkaline. Animal proteins and products create an acidic climate as well.
Thanks for the kind comments on the photo!
Thank you, Lani! You have a great gift for giving solid information clearly. I appreciate that ability, in this world of murky communication skills! 🙂 And I will use this information (at least for me) NOW! I told my dh not to put candy in my stocking, and have decided only to put special herbal teas in my “treat stash,” instead of junk food as I used to. I live with four healthy, robust boys and a husband with a deep sweet tooth. Suggestions on how to live in this environment with charity for all are welcome.
I’d also be interested in what information you can share that shows how plant-based eating helps balance hormones. I’ve read that soy helps bring estrogen OUT of balance?
Brooke, I’m right there with you on the treats. They just call to you and best if kept outside your environment. If we have to bring will power into the equation every day we’re doomed!
Here’s a great article by Dr. Pam Popper about estrogen and soy:
Soy and the Breast Cancer Issue
BY: PAM POPPER, ND
I regularly get calls from women who have had breast cancer and who have been instructed by their physician to avoid all soy products due to their estrogenic effects.
Soy contains phytoestrogens, the doctors say, and for women who have estrogen positive breast cancer, they are at increased risk if they consume it.
First, there are 3 classes of phytoestrogens – isoflavones are found in soybeans and garbanzo beans. Lignans are found in flax seeds and whole grain cereals. And coumestans are found in clover, alfalfa and soybean sprouts. While women are told to avoid soy, they are not instructed to avoid other phytoestrogen-containing foods like the ones listed above.
Asian populations consistently consume soy foods, yet have significantly lower rates of breast cancer than Americans do. A study published last year in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute examined soy as an isolated factor in Japanese women and (Yamamoto et al, 2003;95:906-913) concluded that frequent soy consumption was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.
It is true that women with estrogen positive breast cancers, and in fact, all women, should be concerned with estrogen levels. However, the way to lower estrogen levels is:
• Consume a high fiber diet – fiber helps the body to eliminate excess estrogen. In the absence of enough fiber, estrogen will be re-absorbed through the intestinal walls back into the blood stream, contributing to elevated estrogen levels.
• Exercise – absolutely lowers estrogen levels
• Reduce body fat, which is a virtual estrogen manufacturing facility
I receive frequent calls from women who are over-fat, eat a terrible diet, and do not exercise, and who are wondering what to do about the soy issue. Removing soy from the diet and not addressing these other factors is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. In order to protect against a recurrence of breast cancer, ideal weight and body composition must be attained and a proper diet and exercise are crucial. In that context, soy generally offers a protective rather than detrimental effect.
Wow! This is interesting about soy! I have heard several people say that soy is bad, bad, bad for you. Yet it always surprised me to find that soy (and other soy products ie, Bragg Liquid Aminos, Nama Shoyu, Tamari and soy sauce) was in A LOT of recipes that were in raw “cook” books and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.” So it seems from this article that the hype over soy being so terrible is not true??
Kind of off the subject, but not really, what is your opinion on the percentage of cooked and raw food we should consume. Raw fooders, of course, think it should be all raw that we consume. But I’m finding with three children 4 years old and under that that is a lot of work….and they aren’t always so thrilled with what is on their plate. 🙁 How long have you eaten only a plant based diet & what percentage of your food is cooked/raw?
Thank you SO much!! ~ Penny
Penny, yes, if you keep soy moderated and don’t have any allergy problems, it changes things. No one should be eating a pound of tofu a day anyway.
To answer your questions, as for raw and cooked percentages, I don’t keep track of that. I just make sure I have some of both every day. I like to keep it simple. I’ve been a vegetarian for 38 years and 3 years ago cut dairy too, and I don’t use expelled oils.
3 children under 4 years of age? Oh, my!
Tremendous issues here. I’m very glad to look your article.
Thanks so much and I am having a look forward to touch you.
Will you please drop me a e-mail?
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