Category Archives: Uncategorized

Willpower: Maybe, Maybe not

I grew up with the notion that you only had to have enough will to accomplish almost anything. Willpower, though, while good on many levels, on others it may not be quite all it’s cracked up to be. Will or willpower can help us achieve many things, but there are definitely limits to how far willpower can take us, especially if the root of a particular problem is adequate or correct information; or deeper in the brain than the part that deals with willpower.

When it comes to sugar, starch, and artificial sweeteners that act on our limbic brain, we no longer are dealing with the frontal lobes where everyday thinking occurs. We have to get at the root of our sugaraholic behaviors by eliminating the offending substances, which can take some willpower, but to try to have these substances and hope to exert control via willpower over their actions in our brains is nothing short of foolhardy.

Willpower is good, it pushes me to walk that extra mile, or push that heavier weight, or sit through a boring lecture, but there are limits to what the will can do when it comes to many of our health issues.

Below are some interesting articles that look at the subject from different angles, and I recommend Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, which deals with willpower as well.

So Much Good Information

I have been lazy about keeping this blog updated in part due to spending a lot of my small amount of free time reading all the good information that is coming to light about low sugar, low carb, paleo, ketogenic eating, along with the recipe sites I enjoy. The word is finally getting out that we were duped into believing we could eat all the processed foods, meaning sugar, starch, and fat combinations, without having to deal with consequences. Look around you to see how wrong that was. Prior to the 1980s, it was unusual to see a very heavy person, and especially a very heavy child, now it is commonplace, and all too sad for those who have to deal with the often devastating consequences.

Just to get back in the groove, I am giving you a few of the sites I enjoy the most: /r/paleo or /r/keto or /r/low carb

Also search on the New York Times webpage for some of the latest information, of course you can do the same on any major newspaper, or just Google. Isn’t life good in the information age?

Yours in learning,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Kids on Sugar

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt has an excellent post on sugar and kids today:

National Geographic Magazine article on Sugar

This is an interesting article on our history of consuming sugar, and the possible evolutionary influences that led our ancestors to eat fruits in the first place, and current concerns.

Valentines Day

We keep it simple around here, meaning I cook. Valentines and Mothers Days are the two busiest restaurant days of the year; not times I want to go out.  You can find lots of HFLC goodies on the web, so I’m just giving the menu. Heart-shaped anything says love, so my meatloaf will fit the bill.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Meatloaf (heart shaped, topped with lc homemade ketchup)


Chocolate lava cake

Some wine, a HFLC meal, and the beloved!



More Proof that Sugar is Highly Addictive

Well at least for rats, but since virtually everything that is tested for humans goes through the rat test first, there is little reason not to accept this news, especially as it is repeating other studies drawing similar conclusions. For people who identify as sugaraholics, this is not news, though. We know the powerful impact sugar has on our brains.

Yours in learning,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

 Here is the latest:

Oreos just as addictive as cocaine — in rats

Colton Rhodes (R) watches as his cookie stack falls over as he competes against Brian Gates in the Nabisco Oreo Cookie Stacking competition at Busch Stadium. wy/bg/Bill Greenblatt UPI
NEW LONDON, Conn., Oct. 15 (UPI) — Eating Oreos is just as addictive as cocaine, at least in rats, and like many humans, rats eat the smooth sweet filling first, U.S. researchers say.

Professor Joseph Schroeder and his students Jamie Honohan, Becca Markson, Gabriela Lopez and Katrina Bantis of Connecticut College in New London found rats formed an equally strong association between the pleasurable effects of eating Oreos and a specific environment as they did between cocaine or morphine and a specific environment.

They also found that eating cookies activated more neurons in the brain’s “pleasure center” than exposure to drugs of abuse.

“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” Schroeder said in a statement. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”

To test the addictiveness of Oreos, the researchers measured the association between “drug” and environment.

On one side of a maze, they would give hungry rats Oreos and on the other, they would give them a control — in this case, rice cakes.

Then, they would give the rats the option of spending time on either side of the maze and measure how long they would spend on the side where they were typically fed Oreos.

“Just like humans, rats don’t seem to get much pleasure out of eating rice cakes,” Schroeder added.

The researchers compared the results of the Oreo and rice cake test with results from rats that were given an injection of cocaine or morphine on one side of the maze and a shot of saline on the other.

The study showed rats conditioned with Oreos spent as much time on the “drug” side of the maze as the rats conditioned with cocaine or morphine.

The researchers measured for neuronal activity on the brain’s pleasure center — or how many cells were turned on in a specific region of the brain in response to the drugs or Oreos, Schroeder said.

The Oreos activated significantly more neurons than cocaine or morphine, the study said.

“This correlated well with our behavioral results and lends support to the hypothesis that high-fat/ high-sugar foods are addictive,” said Schroeder.

Schroeder is scheduled to present the findings next month at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

After Accepting Sugar is a Problem

Even when you know that sugar-starch-artificial sweeteners are a problem, there are other issues to deal with. I went through the phase of trying to find low carb or paleo substitutes for the sweets and breads, and kept stalling in my weight loss. I finally realized that there are different problems with different levels of magnitude.

Food (meaning the SAD foods, the frankenfoods, the faux foods ) is a problem, we know we have to eliminate the foods we can’t control. After that there is the weight problem.

If you have a weight problem, which sadly most of us sugaraholics do, diets don’t work unless we see that we are changing to a new and healthy permanent way of eating; that a dessert now and then (preferably of our own making) is probably okay, but to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. That eating only at table, and not with other distractions is very important, and a bit of exercise makes us feel a lot better as we allow nature to do its work. I heard a South American doctor point out that we don’t have to weigh and measure water, we will drink enough water even if that enough is not what the government or some diet books says is enough. If we stick to healthy choices, our bodies will tell us when we have had enough.

So what is left is the eating problem. If we are eating from boredom, bad habits like in front of the television, or late night grazing, these have very little to do with hunger if we are eating a at least a couple decent meals every day. Eating becomes its own activity, to fill up time, to give us comfort, to procrastinate, to assuage boredom, sadness, loneliness, fear, or any other emotion.  If we are eating aside from meals, we have an eating problem.

Of course, there may be some occasional exceptions, but I have decided I don’t want any exceptions if at all possible. Eating doesn’t fix problems in life, eating that’s not health driven only adds to life’s problems.

So consider whether your sugaraholic days have created the concomitant problem of using eating for the wrong reasons.  My guess is that people who seem to give up the bad foods and drop all their weight fairly quickly didn’t have the eating problem.

Somehow, seeing that eating aside from planned meals is the main problem is really making a difference for me.  The best analogy I can think of is constantly washing if you are already clean; we call that an obsessive compulsive behavior. I think eating that doesn’t have anything to do with hunger is no different.

I know I’m feeling my clothes getting looser, and feeling much happier about not constantly logging food, getting on the scale, and being so diet focused. Eating need not control our lives, and we can enjoy the good foods we have learned to eat, enjoy good health, and be free of the “diet” mentality.

Yours in discovery,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Lack of Sleep Makes You Crave Junk

I learned this through hard experience of several years very poor sleep. This article sums up some research that addresses why we are vulnerable when fatigued.

A Sugar Addict’s E-book

This is a good resource for sugaraholics:

History of Sugar

The latest issue of National Geographic magazine has a great article on the history of sugar, and the current problems of obesity and health from our massive consumption.