Friday, February 22, 2013

Quitting Sugar

I'm changing my diet folks.  Two years ago I became VERY addicted to sugar after Christmas and have not been able to quit it since. Over that time I have noticed erratic moods, insomnia, headaches, lethargy, foggy mind, and more.  All things I made other excuses for: anxiety, depression, side effects of my pills, post concussion syndrome...there was a logical explanation for it all. After a recent flare (when my bladder feels like a UTI without having an infection), I decided enough is enough.  I know my bladder is improving, but it isn't healing.  I can't be on these pills the rest of my life and I am just plain sick of the pain!
There's still not much known about Interstitial Cystitis, but I try to keep up on the latest research.  Diet is the biggest part of treating this disease.  It's the first thing doctors have you do.  No coffee, alcohol, tomatoes, citrus, soda, caffeine and more depending on your body.  But I started wondering about sugar and processed foods.  The Interstitial Cystitis Network recommends a diet as close to whole foods as you can get.
I came to the realization last month that sugar was having a significant effect on my moods.  I NEEDED it to function.  I was angry without it and I was erratic with it.  I honestly felt like an alcoholic who couldn't function without the drug but wasn't the best person to be around with it.  So I'm quitting!
So a week ago I started adding fresh veggie and fruit juice to my diet.  Replacing one meal with juice, that's all.  Just to ease into it a little.  Then Sunday I went off processed anything.  For six days my diet has consisted of fresh juice (like from a juicer), raw or steamed veggies and raw fruits, almond milk, nuts, and eggs from my chickens.
It. Is. So. Hard.
BUT it is also already making a difference.  I am falling asleep before midnight (for the last 5 months it's been 2am for me) and able to wake up at 6am (unheard of!) I am yelling less and just seem overall more pleasant (though I still have my moments).
I wanted to blog about it but kept forgetting about Munchkin's birthday so I put it off.  But here's the catch up.
Sunday: not too bad.
Monday: really missing all the candy leftover from birthday and valentines.  I started noticing all the places I stash candy.  I really have a problem, folks.
Tuesday: woke up at 4:30 with diarrhea and spend a good chunk of the day in the bathroom.  Massive sugar withdrawal headache.  Both symptoms improve with increased water consumption.
Wednesday: feeling a little better, but still sicky.
Thursday: Fell really good, but having a harder time resisting processed foods.
Friday (TODAY!): a bit stressed out and angry today, but considering the stressors and how I handled it, it really was a pretty decent day.  Went to Sams club and had 3 people comment on how healthy my grocery cart was.  Then I had to buy a pizza a coke for my husband AND walk past an incredible smelling bbq to raise funds for MS and nearly started crying.  Seriously.  It's getting harder and harder to be around the food my family is still eating (burritos and taquitos!) and be stuck with a salad.
I didn't weigh myself beforehand, but I can say I've lost 5 lbs since New Years (yay!) so that's a plus.  I'm so bloated from asparagus and broccoli though that you can't tell. :)  I plan on doing this for 2 weeks and then adding grains and cheese back in and maybe fish.  Maybe not.  I'm strongly considering becoming a (lacto-ovo) vegetarian again. I haven't been one since I became pregnant with my first child (9 years!) Not sure how hard/easy that will be with kids.
Are any of my readers vegetarian moms?  Any advice?

7 comments:

  1. Good for you for stopping the sugar! I so need to do that too. I am not a vegetarian, except for when I am. During the winter we eat meat 3 times a week, and during the summer try to keep it to 2 times a week. Some weeks/months we do better than others.

    I've been on and off the GAPS diet (starting it again soon), trying to fix my ulcerative colitis. It's very heavy on meat (and bone broth), no grains, and no sugar, but it sure does a good job healing my stomach.

    The mental part of food is HARD. I did raw for a while and cried all day, every day for a while. I hope you can find healing and strength to do what you need to for your health.

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  2. I hate food. I love food. I hate food. I love food.

    The End.

    (And best of luck to you. You are an inspiration. I need to quit sugar, too.)

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  3. Good for you. I went vegan for three weeks last summer, and it is HARD. Good luck!!

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  4. I think the main reason people fail on diets is that they don't get enough calories. Take a look at this calc http://www.health-calc.com/diet/energy-expenditure-advanced and make sure you are eating enough to have energy and satiety.

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  5. You can do it! Eating whole foods is the best way to go. I think it's fantastic that you have eggs from your own chickens. I had to go only fruits, vegetables, red meats, seafood, and rice for over a year while I nursed Gray because of his allergies (allergies to eggs, dairy, soy, peanuts, poultry, and raspberries). Because I was doing it for him I never faltered. But it's easy to do hard stuff for my kids, it's hard to do hard stuff for myself. :) After I stopped nursing him a few weeks ago I ate a bunch of the foods i missed, but now I'm back on the wagon with eating healthy again. Most of the time I make Kelly eat what I'm eating for dinner. He doesn't like it much, but it's healthier and he is getting used to it.

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  6. You're so inspiring! J and I just got our tax return and are thinking of blowing it on a sweet juicer. I suspect his chronic pain would be milder if we cut out the processed crap.

    I'd feel better, too.

    Have you ever checked out eat to live by Dr. Fuhrman? The blog for his website, diseaseproof.com, is excellent. It's what I want to start doing, I just have to get motivated. He has some great information on how our bodies react in an addictive manner to junk foods and just how to deal with it. People who start on the nutritarian lifestyle of eating swear by the forum there, but I think you have to pay to join.

    YOU CAN DO IT! YOU INSPIRE ME! And I love you and your family. Maybe one of these days we'll get to see each other again.

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  7. Kristi! I swear I could have written the part about the sugar. I noticed the same thing with me. I was angry ALL THE TIME and pretty much just wanted to strangle my whole family in their sleep (just kidding... when they're sleeping is the only time they DIDN'T bug me!) It was totally the sugar. I've been off it for about 2 weeks now. I even started getting acupuncture to help with the withdrawal. I've cut out all the processed crap too and eating a lot more raw and organic foods. My moods have improved so much. It's definitely hard though. Today, I am having some major cravings. Boo. I've got a great book on giving up sugar for life though, if you want to borrow it. It's very inspiring!

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