Monday, November 21, 2011

Sugar and my (and probably YOUR) Brain!

So it's not secret that I try to maintain a pretty healthy diet. Mind you this includes indulgences.. my personal weaknesses are chocolate and wine! Normally I keep things in check pretty well (ONE piece - large piece - of chocolate a day is 'in check' right?), but things happen (I would blame it on my 'lady time', but I really hate to do that) and I overindulge.

I am coming off one such (um, three day) overindulgence. For me this mean copious amounts of chocolate. I start off each day really well... and end up each day pretty bad. I try not to beat myself up about it to bad! GASP! I am human, but I do hate it when I get like this.

I don't hate it so much because it means I'm ruined or that I'll gain weight or be off track forever. I hate it because it seriously makes me psychotic! I'm not kidding.

"Psychosis (from the Greek ψυχή "psyche", for mind/soul, and -ωσις "-osis", for abnormal condition) means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality". People suffering from psychosis are described as psychotic."

I am in no way trying to make light of at true Psychiatric diagnosis of psychosis, but seriously... sugar is a HUGE contributor to my crazies - aka "loss of contact with reality". For example small decisions overwhelm me, the noise of my children just being children makes me go off the deep end, the daily tasks that I have to complete over whelm me, my knees ache, I don't want to do the things I normally love to do.... and I just want MORE CHOCOLATE!!!

No I don't have a problem. REALLY, I can quit anytime I want. In all seriousness I'm not concerned with my occasional overindulgence in sugar... though I wonder why I do it because it really does make me feel like utter crap!

BUT! I do worry about the greater public. Those that I KNOW eat sugar (a lot) every day.... sodas, packaged foods, candy, donuts, blah blah blah blah blah... it goes on and on and on. I feel sad and concerned that a large portion of our population has no idea what it feels like to NOT be on a sugar high. I'm so happy to know the difference. To know how much better it feels to NOT eat a shit ton of sugar all the time ... sugar and it's favorite friend simple carbohydrates (ie.. most packaged foods).

Sugar has been proven to cause imbalances in your brain. Now your brain does take up most of the glucose in your body, but it's really meant to run on those good sugars.. you know fruits, veggies, complex carbs.... not STRAIGHT UP SUGAR (aka garbage). And when your brain is OD'd on sugar things go south ... quick! In addition to your brain going wacky your body becomes inflamed and your immune system is then in overdrive trying to deal w/ said inflammation... and is then compromised because DAMN it's tired!

This is a pretty good article about sugar and it's affects on your mental state and your body.

I could go on and on, but you already know diabetes is killing our nation... so I don't need to lecture you!!!

How much sugar do you eat in a day? Do you drink soda? Check labels of the packaged foods you eat? Have a friend or family member that could use some support in giving up the crack, er, sugar?

Or do you think this is BS and say "PASS ME THE BROWNIES ALA MODE!"

If you are in the brownies ala mode category and think this is bunk I challenge you... give up added sugar (ya know soda, dessert, processed foods) for 30 days... THIRTY.. come on you can do that. Then go absolutely hog wild for a three days and eat all the damn sugar you can cram in your pie hole!!! Then tell me how you feel at the end of those three days! It's worth the experiment!


  1. Is this what you did Laura? I tried during lent and started shaking and feeling nauseated because of too low blood sugar. And I was eating plenty of almonds to go around. Suggestions?

  2. haha... no this is not what I did, but as a general rule I don't eat a lot of sugar so when I go over board on it it effects me quite a bit.... If you are accustomed to eating (or drinking) a lot of sugar it will be a challenge when you stop.... try replacing the sugar w/ fruits or something. If you do this again when you get that nauseated too low blood sugar thing eat some fruit... perhaps you weren't getting enough calories overall???

  3. I did that, although I picked the shortest month (Feb). ;) No sugar all month, and I was really strict about it so that included things that had hidden sugars like most crackers, sushi (the rice is sweetened), etc. I have to say I didn't really notice any differences in my mood or mental functioning at all, but the one difference I noticed was that I had to pee a lot more. So maybe sugar makes me retain water?

  4. oh sugar how i love you.i am an addict. and i know it, but to stop ?? oh to stop ?? when i am good, i control my treat to maybe 3 small snack size of something. but in all seriousness i could eat a full bag of any candy. i don't drink soda. it is all sweets for me. i can't resist. i did a cleanse where i was off for a month, and yes my skin looked awesome.

    i need to try it. wanna come over and clean out my kitchen ?

  5. 30 days is SOOOO long. It would be a miracle if I could go one week.

  6. Hey teammate!

    I could probably take this challenge but it'd be hard to when you're training, what would you eat instead of Gu and Cliff Bars?

    I feel like I don't eat a lot of sugars but it's a good experiment. I use thedailyplate to track my food intake for one week a month, I'll have to keep my eye on the sugar levels.

  7. Hey Alisa!! :) I do use Gu and First endurance stuff while I'm training... but outside of training... and it's not uncommon for me to ride w/ a banana and some nuts and raisins... but racing I always use the endurance products! :)

  8. I am that person that eats too much processed crap and feels like I'm about to lose my patience all the time. I constantly find myself irritated about something trivial and then think I "deserve" a treat for dealing with it. I know I can't cut out sugar between now and Christmas, but that sounds like a great New Year's plan.

  9. Amy... good on you for recognizing the problemo.... yes.. great idea for new years!