Monthly Archives: October 2012

Joy When the Changes Stick

I was so happy when my spouse said he only wanted one of my no sugar options for his birthday. He never needed the changes as much as I did/do, but he feels so much better, and lost about 30lbs so he’s his college weight again, that he far prefers our no-sugar/starch way of eating.  He is also aware that most of the truly critical changes come from the cells, the inside, out, and in all mean more to longevity, health, and fitness than just the weight.

When the changes that are sometimes very hard enact do stick, and they will with enough time and patience, you cease to feel put-upon, or in some way deprived, for you know what you are doing is the best thing you could be doing for your brain and body.

I now have so many great recipes, and tons are out there online, that it is easy to find a delicious alternative to the old sugar-starch options. We feel like we could not have made better changes, and can never envisage going back to the old habits. Further, many in our wider family have gotten on board with, in some case, dramatic benefits. So the message is, never give up, keep on trying, and you will eventually get where you want to be.

Yours in learning and growing,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Artificial VS Natural Sweeteners

I have noticed of late that many people on the various blogs I visit differentiate between artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), saccharine, and such, which are chemically created versus growing naturally.

Stevia is a plant, and  the popular natural sweetener that many feel is safe, and it is the one I use for what little sweet I use these days.  It is hard to over use stevia since it gets bitter or has a bitter aftertaste if you use too much.

The questionable category includes agave nectar, maple syrup, and honey.  Honey is indeed natural, but it is a sugar and for sugaraholics represents a real and present danger of over use. I will have a teaspoon of honey for an upset stomach, but don’t eat it for food, since it is a concentrated  sugar which I could easily overdo.  Maple syrup requires something like 40 gallons of maple sap to be boiled down into one gallon of syrup, so natural, but certainly highly processed.  Agave nectar is similar to maple syrup in that the sap of the agave cactus is reduce for the nectar or syrup; plus there is a lot of product sold as agave that is mainly corn syrup so you have to know which you are getting (this is also a problem with much of grocery store  honey, only use local honey or honey from well known producers).

There is certainly a spectrum of possibilities for abuse with any of these products; some people can handle some of these, others cannot. My rule is if you can manage it, then enjoy, but if you use too much and either gain weight or can’t lose and become trapped by cravings, then you know it must go.

Yours in discovery,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Went to a Wedding

My beloved and I went to the wedding of one his nephews yesterday a situation that I usually worry about a little since both drink and food are plentiful and used to trip me up.  I decided to avoid Pitfall #1, or alcohol, which then made it far less likely that I would hit Pitfall#2 and eat anything I shouldn’t.  I was very happy with my club soda and lime, then the supper buffet had some lovely roasted meats, chicken, and a lots of crudite and  green salad. I did skip the cake, but didn’t mind that.

The problem with parties for most of us is apt to be the liquor, for if you are on a low carb/HFLC/Paleo type of diet   you are much more susceptible to the effects of alcohol which goes straight to the liver and then the brain. I find that just one glass of wine or spirits can make me a bit silly; as a result I try to avoid it unless I’m home when for whatever reason I seem less likely to want more than one. One-and-done is our family motto with alcohol, and for the most part it works for me. But three times I got very tipsy, in my early no sugar-starch-artificial sweetener days,  on just a couple glasses of wine, which is a feeling I particularly dislike. I want to be in control of my faculties. Most people who drink too much make themselves ridiculous, and I have witnessed those at every big wedding reception or party.

As I blogged earlier, this is the beginning of the holiday/party season and it is good to have a plan.  My plan yesterday worked well.  Besides, I have just as much fun by avoiding the things I would later regret, and don’t feel one iota deprived.  So the wedding was a win-win for me, and my spouse who had his one drink, and we came home pleased at having seen family and friends, witnessing the ritual send-off of a sweet young couple on the road to a happy life together,  and us safely back to ours .

Yours in the practice,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

How about Halloween?

Halloween has been the undoing of many a sugaraholic. Buying a lot of candy to have around the house is surely a dangerous thing to do. After my own children were grown, I always bought candy that I didn’t like, Smarties &/or DumDums lollipops were on the list.  Then the next day, any leftover candy went either to the food bank, if unopened, or in the trash.  If you can’t keep your house free of candy you don’t like, the next best thing is to buy limited amounts so that it will all get handed out.

Another option, if you have access to a catalog that has lots of party favor type gifts, is to get a bunch of little toys to give out. Of course, that doesn’t replace candy.

Lastly, I have bought fast food coupons/tickets for a dollar–I don’t know if this is still something you can get; or you could simply give out shiny new quarters. Next to candy, cash is king with kids.

The main thing is not to give ourselves any excuses for eating candy or sweets that for the sugaraholics may result in days of binge behavior.

Yours in the fight for health,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Autumn Signals Holidays and SAD

October is the beginning of the sugar insanity starting with Halloween, growing stronger with Thanksgiving, and exploding during the December holidays. I live out in the country now and don’t have to deal with Halloween, but when I did, I only bought things I hated, like Smarties.  Then I actually got through  relatively well, in fact very well, with Thanksgiving at my daughter’s by making a couple low carb options that were really good, so I didn’t feel deprived. Christmas was a bigger challenge, for we left that day for a vacation, and I did have a few slips during that week.

On top of the holiday madness, the days are growing shorter, and many people develop Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, that is usually a mild form of depression caused by lack of sunlight.  And that often leads to cravings for comfort foods. If you get outside for even 10-15 minute walk, this will abate the worst of SAD.

Lastly, there is the biological drive to do less, stay in the cave, as it were, and stoke up on carbs for the winter.  I remember feeling this very strongly in my 20s-30s, and for years it mattered little, for in my younger days I would put on 5-7 pounds then drop it quickly in the spring and summer.  I still have the urge to go in my cave with a good book and roaring fire, but I go lower carb during this time to control cravings, which I find very helpful.

Awareness is the biggest key to making sure we don’t find ourselves eating things we will regret before the day is out, or giving in to the abundance we have to see through this season.  You know that old saying: Forewarned is forearmed.

This is my favorite season in all other ways, so I take heart that now I’ve also got the keys to a happier holiday season which will allow me to enjoy the family feast and celebration times without being miserable after the fact.

Yours in never giving up,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Two Negatives Equals a Positive

One of the hardest things for a person is to appreciate when something did not happen. We seem to be able to if we can see it, like if the car stops at the edge of pit, or something visible and dramatic like that, but is is hard to appreciate a situation wherein a course of action prevented a catastrophe. People may or may not appreciate how great the danger actually was, or be in denial that a disaster had actually been imminent. When it comes to health we have a similar conundrum.

Had I not gotten off sugars-starch-most artificial sweeteners,  I know I would have become a diabetic, the trajectory was there;  but, because I did make changes, I did not become diabetic. Also, that I didn’t become morbidly obese is another thing that did not happen, though I know it would have had I kept eating the standard American diet (called SAD for a reason).  I had seen all these things happen to my mother, so I knew that these two consequences were highly likely if I did not make changes.

Yet, despite avoiding the worst, I have been unhappy that my weight would not come down faster, which is the problem of insulin resistance–the body stores fat, but doesn’t release it for energy. I get discouraged, and forget how much worse everything could be, and that I should be happy that the two big negative things did not happen. We are not well equipped to look at life this way, though; so it takes writing in a journal, blogging, or other aids to memory and positive thinking.

Trial and error is a friend, so I’ve been trying different diets to get some movement downward on the weight-loss; after everything else, or so it seems, I’m on a ketogenic diet which gives me great energy, good sleep, and voila the pounds are again coming off.

Sugar/starch is the cause of a lot of suffering, and I hope that younger people, like my children and grandchildren, will see that they will have much more positive health with by leaving out these negative foods.

Yours in trying,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

My new  companion blog is highfatlowcarbrecipes aka:

I have lots of recipes that will eventually make their way here, in the meantime please check out the blogs I follow for great recipes. I am especially a fan of  Haley and Bill at; they have some elegant recipes and can be made higher fat with little trouble.

I hope people visiting will also share their recipes, which I  happily will credit and link, or simply post if that’s what you want.

Yours in good eating,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Sugar Addiction is Lifelong

Back again, and only more dedicated to making sure people know that sugar is truly addictive for many, if not most, people. Further, it is a lifelong struggle.

I took a long break since we  had a lot going on for several weeks with grandchildren visiting for a month, vacation, and lots of business to deal with. I found that having kids around does make a challenge for those working to stay away from sugar. I definitely had a few caves, and ultimately gained about eight pounds. The real struggle was to get the sugar-starch-artificial sweeteners cravings under control. A week off may mean a month of struggle.

More coming up about sugar addiction, and how a high fat diet may be the ultimate solution.

Check out my new blog: