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Are you addicted to sugar?
I was sent this recently and thought I would share it with you. Here are the facts to help you decide.

Have you ever wondered why you get depressed for no apparent reason. Why your self-esteem is at rock bottom or your moods swing from utter joy to complete despair? The answer might lie not in your head but on your plate.

‘Foods can act as drugs,’ says Candace Pert, research professor in physiology and biophysics at Georgetown University Medical Centre. ‘We must be aware of how our moods and physiology - mental and physical - are so intertwined that what and how we eat have an enormous impact on our lives’
Ground-breaking evidence shows links to sugar sensitivity to addiction and depression and explaIns how the food we eat can affect our moodt

Choosing salmon and a salad instead of spaghetti carbonara might just beat depression, or how opting for hummous on bran crackers instead of a chocolate bar could boost self-esteem.

Too much greasy food has been shown to cause anxiety, and hot chocolate could make you depressed and how fizzy drinks could make you IrrItable. Several things may be going on. You may have a body with a volatile blood sugar response, or a low level of the brain chemicals called beta-endorphins or serotonin. This causes a physical addiction to certain foods. This can be the cause of other addictive behaviours, such as alcoholism. And it can be the reason you can't lose weight or find it hard to balance your moods.

Now follow this five-step plan to ensure that your favourite foods don’t affect your moods. Also check out the Glycemic Index of common foods which tells you just how much sugar is present in many of the foods we consume daily

Before you make any changes to your eating habits, you need to understand your mood-sensitive body and how it reacts to different foods. Start by buying a blank book to write in. Then make four columns and head them:

1. The date and time of your entry.

2. What you eat or drink — include amounts and be as specific as possible.

3. How you feel physically - alert, don’t judge, just be aware of what you are eating

4. How you feel emotionally. Be as precise as you can: anxious, bored, restless, depressed, relaxed, calm, happy, and confident? Energetic, restless, tired, headachy?

Allow yourself to record all your feelings and thoughts. The aim is not to censor yourself but to track how the food you eat affects your life. At the end of a week, take a look at what you've written. Don’t criticise, simply look at all of the facts.

Check the following:

• Do you eat at mealtimes?
• Do you eat between meals?
• Do you graze throughout the day?
• Do you eat at the same times each day?
• How long do you wait to eat?

Take some time to reflect on your pattern. It is often a surprise for sugar-sensitive people to see how irregularly they eat. Now look at the kinds of foods you are eating. What kinds of food do you usually eat? How much sweet food do you eat? Are you eating any protein? Are you drawn to fat? Are you using a lot of caffeine?

At this stage you will not be changing what you eat - only when you eat it. You don’t have to stop eating pasta or chocolate or eliminate cappuccino: just move whatever are eating to a mealtime.

So, If you usually have an ice cream in the evening, eat it with supper~ if you always have a chocolate bar tack it onto lunch. A ‘meal’ is eating two or more nutritious foods at one sitting. Tuna and salad or eggs on toast is a meal.
The idea behind this step is to gradually stop snacking and ‘grazing’ minefields for people with the mood-food connection. Eating at regular Intervals will ensure that your blood sugar does not drop to crisis level. Making sure you have your meals at regular intervals will also help you pay attention to what you eat and to your body - one of the main goals of the programme.

Start with breakfast. Once you start eating breakfast regularly you may also begin feeling hungry in the morning. ..don’t panic: that’s a good sign It means your body is starting to regain its chemical balance. Your meals should be no more than five or six hours apart - for example 7am, noon and 6pm.

You won’t need many vitamins or supplements on this programme but a few can make a big difference. Vitamin C, a B-complex vitamin and zinc will help detoxify your body and diminish your need for ‘bad mood’ foods. Vitamin C speeds detoxification, helps the adrenal glands and ensures brain chemicals work properly. Take 500-5,000mg per day. Cut down if you experience gas, bloating or diarrhoea. B-complex vitamins break down carbohydrate end help convert brain chemicals to energy. For dosage, use the guide on the pack. Zinc helps insulin function and aids digestion, take 15-25mg a day.

Protein provides the raw materials to help your brain and body heal themselves. It supplies helpful brain chemicals that can encourage your body to produce serotonin which, in turn, keeps you calm, productive, creative and competent. Protein also helps slow digestion. it stabilises blood sugar levels so you won’t experience the steep peaks and troughs that can be so disastrous to sugar-sensitive people. Spend two weeks increasing your protein levels, and feel the effects.
Continue with your food journal so you can observe the relationship between what you eat and how you feel. Keep eating three meals a day at regular intervals.

This was written by Candace Pert and sent to me recently

Dos anyone else have any advice on the sugar issue?

Warm Wishes
Herb Specialist
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