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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 2 - Sugar withdrawal already?

I want cake. A whole, double - no, triple - fudge cake with lots of frosting.

What I have is one square of 70% cacao organic chocolate. It's nice, but I still want cake.

Since my diet now consists of all manner of yummy fruits and veggies, as well as a plethora of good proteins, why am I still craving sugar?

Mark's Daily Apple, a Paleo-Diet blog I've been reading lately, has a grand article on sugar addiction. In short, our bodies have developed with the inclination to feed all five tastes - sweets being one of them. Unfortunately, our modern diet consists of things like refined sugar and (horrors!) High Fructose Corn Syrup, so we are drawn to these concentrated "highs" more so than the healthy fruits and berries of our forebears. He also suggests that stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, and even simple hunger can be sources of sugar cravings.

Monday, on our local radio station WMNF, I happened to catch a show I had never heard before - an alternative health and sustainable living show, that features a nutritionist. They just happened to speak on sugar addiction, and suggested that some sugar withdrawals may be linked to a dearth of Tryptophan, the amino acid blamed for your Thanksgiving turkey-comas. Tryptophan is converted in the body to serotonin (which makes you happy) and melatonin (which helps you sleep). Tryptophan is found in turkey, chicken, beef, fish, nuts, and vegetables.

Exercise raises seratonin, too, so don't forget that run around the block with the puppy, or the time on the soccer field with the kids.


Sautéed mushrooms and onions with steak chunks

Beef Jerky, almonds, and naval oranges

Beef pot roast, with onions, carrots, and celery

Raisins and 70% cacao organic chocolate.

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