Should I go sugar free?

A few reasons to consider why you should go sugar free // bring-joy.com Image source: original image from Jose Miguel Calatayud via Flickr

 

I love sugar. 

I blame it on my dad.

 

It runs in the family

Awhile back, my sister had my parents for a visit.

She shared this picture & status update on facebook:

brown sugar“So my dad loves his late night snacks. We are out of milk and so he proceeds to eat the brown sugar that is heaped onto the cereal. I say “Dad, are you just eating the brown sugar by itself?” He says, ‘Yeah, it’s always been one of my favorites.'”

No joke, it has always been one of his favorites. Growing up, I recall his typical before bedtime snack being a little bit of cereal with a rather generous pile of brown sugar on top.

In all fairness though, it’s not just my dad that I can blame for my sweet tooth.

My dad no doubt got it from his dad who was known, particularly in his older years, to keep his fridge & freezer stocked with pie & ice cream. I’m fairly certain those two items were a food group for him.

And it’s not just on my dad’s side.

My grandma on my mom’s side of the family, kept her freezer full of ice cream, her cookie jar was a bottomless supply of cookies, & she always had a few “hiding spots” (namely linen drawers) to keep her stash of miniature sized candy bars. As kids, it was thrilling let me tell you, to go digging around & see what goodies we could find.

 

5 realizations about sugar

So I guess you could say the love of sugar runs in the family.

But here’s the thing.

Sugar makes me feel like crap.

I wish it didn’t. Believe me, I wish it didn’t.

If I could eat cookie dough for breakfast, maple bars for lunch, cake & ice cream for dinner (with a few salads mixed in there), I would.

But over the past 10 years or so, through a lot of trial & error, getting off the sugar bandwagon, then getting back on (because who wants to give up sweets forever!??!), I’ve begrudgingly (& somewhat reluctantly) realized a few things:

  1. Sugar makes me feel like crap. (This is probably the most important point.)
  2. The more I consume of it, the more I want.
  3. I have blood sugar issues. (see more below)
  4. Unlike some people, I can’t have “just a little,” (see #2) & I can’t “just stop anytime.” (ie. I’m an addict.)
  5. Sugar makes me feel like crap. (Oh wait, I already said that.)

Since I went vegan over 8 years ago, I’ve gone back & forth, back & forth with types of sugars I will & won’t eat.

When I first went vegan, I cut all refined sugars & switched to pure maple syrup, agave, dates, & unrefined sugar. Making the shift to more natural sweeteners & all plant foods certainly helped me get a grip on my sweet tooth, but I still had bouts of sugar-itis, & often ate too much of it, albeit “good” sugars*.

 

Blood sugar issues & diabetes

So let’s talk about blood sugar issues.

Not your blood sugar issues. Mine. (Though if you have blood sugar issues, we can talk about those too in the comments below!)

As you know, with my last pregnancy I had gestational diabetes.

Dipping my toes into the diabetic world of monitoring blood sugar levels & being ultra particular about each morsel that passed my lips was…in a word, awful.

Gestational diabetes is not quite the same as regular type 2 diabetes. There are a few differences, which I won’t really go into here, only to say that gestational diabetics need to maintain an even more conservative blood sugar threshold.

Also, the most important point in my mind is that a gestational diabetic is 2-3 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. This fact is what made me ultra-motivated to return back to my pre-pregnancy weight (I outline how I did that in my ebook Fit, Strong, Lean: The Diet).

 

An “unexpected” yeast infection

But being diabetic for a short period of time was truly a huge blessing (& not even in disguise!).

I realized I never, ever want to be diabetic if I could help it & I will do everything within my circle of control to take preventative measures–namely, maintain a healthy weight, regular exercise, & “eat right.” It’s the last part that gets me tripped up sometimes.

Because the thing is, I already eat a (mostly whole foods) vegan diet.

But I realized about a month ago, that even that doesn’t cut it for me.

Whether I like it or not, the fact is, I’m not “normal.” I have blood sugar issues & a pre-disposition for diabetes. Therefore, I can stick my fingers in my ears & say “nah, nah, nah, nah” or, I can face the music & realize that because of my personal health background, I have to eat differently than everyone else if I want to enjoy the best health possible (which I do).

The wake up call was about a month ago when out of the blue, I got a yeast infection. What??! I thought. Not me, surely. Why was I getting a yeast infection?

Incredulous, I looked it up on the Mayo Clinic. Under “causes”, it says (my comments in italics & parentheses):

Overgrowth of yeast can result from:

  • Antibiotic use, which leads to a decrease in the amount of lactobacillus bacteria in your vagina and a change in your vaginal pH that allows yeast to overgrow (haven’t been on antibiotics in oh, about a decade)
  • Pregnancy (it’s been over 10 months since I was pregnant)
  • Uncontrolled diabetes (hmmmm……)
  • Impaired immune system (don’t think so??)
  • Anything that changes the type and amount of bacteria normally present in the vagina, such as douching or irritation from inadequate vaginal lubrication (um, nope.)

Most often, yeast infection results from a type of candida fungus known as Candida albicans. Sometimes, however, a different type of candida fungus might be the cause of symptoms. Candida albicans responds well to typical treatments for yeast infections. Other types of candida, however, sometimes respond poorly to conventional therapies and may require more aggressive treatment.

So the part about diabetes & candida albicans stuck out to me, especially the candida part.

 

Could it be candida?

Candida, candida, oh yes, my dear friend Ricki is an expert on that (see her guest post, How to know if you have candida)! So I hopped over onto her site, which is an amazing resource for all things candida, & ACD (anti-candida diet) specifically vegan, related.

After spending a few hours hopping around her blog, I realized I was onto something. I was eating too much sugar. My body doesn’t care if it is “natural,” it doesn’t like it & was letting me know by making my skin break out & giving me a yeast infection, not to mention the intense sleepiness (not “fullness”) after eating (which I am here to say, is NOT normal). So I decided to give the ACD a try.

I’m now going on week four of the anti-candida diet.

The first two (while I had the yeast infection), was ultra strict (not even any fruit). Now I’ve added 1-2 servings of low-sugar fruit (usually an apple &/or some mixed berries).

But, no grains (not even quinoa or buckwheat at this point), no flours, no sugar, no vinegars (darn! I love to douse my salads in baslamic vinegar), no mushrooms, no melons, no mushrooms, no peanuts.

Sounds rough, but it’s not too bad. I’ve learned to love almond butter (you know how much I love PB2 powder!) & even sunflower seed butter is pretty good. And sweet potatoes are nearly a daily staple now.

It’s pretty much what I deam, the “squanto diet”–beans, vegetables, squash, sweet potatoes, nuts, & seeds.

And you know what–it has made all the difference.

 

Benefits of going sugar-free

My skin has completely cleared up, my yeast infection is gone. I have much more energy–no more sleepiness (at all!) after eating. I have to sleep less. The fog has lifted.

Should I go sugar free

An untouched photo taken just a few days ago, from Joseph’s ipod.

I’m not sure how long I will keep this level of ACD. To be honest, I’m just anxiously awaiting the release of Ricki’s book, Living Candida-Free (affliliate link) (available end of January 2015) so I can delve into all the details of this lifestyle.

I’m looking at this not as a quick fix to my breakouts & yeast infection, but as a long-term approach. Which, in all honesty is not too different from how I’ve been eating since I was already gluten-free & mostly whole foods, but to be sure, there are some key differences, namely absolutely no refined sugar whatsoever, & in the first & second stages of ACD, not even things like agave or dates are permitted (among other things of course).

Side note: I’ve *finally* put two & two together–my skin freaks out (various funky skin issues ranging from breakouts to rashes) when I have a consistent sugar overload (candida?). For example, the last 4 months of my pregnancy (when I had gestational diabetes) through one month post-partum, I had a major rash on my face that would NOT go away. My most recent skin freak out (the same time I had the yeast infection) my skin was in a constant-breakout phase (which, is not “normal” for me–when I’m eating like I should, my skin is crystal clear). 

 

Should I go sugar free?

If you’re wondering if you should go sugar free yourself, I can’t answer that for you. I share my story in hopes of perhaps illuminating yours.

A few things to consider:

  • Do you experience weird skin issues (namely rashes or breakouts?).
  • Do you feel like crap after eating sugary foods?
  • Do you experience volatile energy (ie. gotta-take-a-nap-after-I-eat syndrome)?

If you answered yes to several of these, then maybe yes, you should consider kicking sugar to to the curb.

I realize most people love sugar & are about as willing to give it up as they are things like coffee, or alcohol, or any other staple of socializing.

And I’m not a bossypants (or at least I try not to be), so I won’t tell you, “Sugar is addictive! It ruins your bones! It”s completely nutritionally deficient! It’s only empty calories!” (all things are mostly true, btw), but if you want to feel better, then maybe just think about the idea.

More on the ACD process in upcoming posts, but until then, please share:

Have you gone sugar-free? Have you done the ACD diet? Would love hear your thoughts! 

 

* Though unrefined sweeteners like sucanat, evaporated cane juice, maple syrup, & agave (though some debate how “unrefined” agave is) are a better alternative to refined white sugar, the fact remains: it’s still sugar. And these sugars are concentrated simple carbohydrates that can spike your blood sugar & do all sorts of other wacky things to your body. This is not to say that everyone needs to eliminate all sugar, all the time. I think it’s a personal decision that needs to be made with great thought & consideration in regards to your personal health history. Again, I realize there are plenty of much better alternatives to refined white sugar (like dates, agave, maple syrup), but they should still be used with discretion.

 

PART 2 of should I go sugar-free?

 

Other bring joy posts you may want to check out:


Comments


  1. lfwfv
    on December 12, 2014 at 6:57 am said:

    Interesting to read your experience! Loved reading the comments too…..

  2. dani
    on December 12, 2014 at 12:04 am said:

    I just don’t know how so many people on “clean eating” type diets can stand eating plain sweet potatoes every single day. How do you do it without being miserable and choking plain stuff like that down??

    • Janae Wise
      on December 12, 2014 at 12:39 am said:

      Hi Dani!

      “How do you do it without being miserable and choking plain stuff like that down??”
      🙂

      First, I love sweet potatoes, so it’s not a problem for me personally. My favorite way to eat them is roasted, which I think brings out their natural sweetness. When a sweet potato is roasted, I have no problem eating it all by itself, plain. But that’s just me!

      Second, if you don’t like sweet potatoes there are plenty of other things to eat, so no biggie. It’s just that sweet potatoes deliver a boat load of nutrients, including complex carbohydrates & they’re pretty allergy-friendly (ie. most people, no matter their food allergies or restrictions can eat them) & so for this & other reasons, they tend to be a staple of many diets (“clean eating” & paleo come to mind). Also, many people like the taste (sounds like you’re not one of them!).

      For myself, I’m pretty easy to please & find I like pretty much all food (growing up in a family with 7 kids does that too you).

  3. Diane
    on December 11, 2014 at 11:32 pm said:

    Sorry, but I think the sugar-free “diet” is just another fad – and not a healthy or sustainable one. Many scientists agree.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2707945/Sugar-free-diet-alert-Yes-sugar-bad-cutting-totally-kill-experts-warn.html

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/bda-releases-top-5-worst-celebrity-diets-to-avoid-in-2015/story-fneuz8zj-1227153552000

    While obviously sugar in junk food is bad (the actual junk food itself is bad as most are high in sugar and fat and have poor nutritional value – items such as cakes, cookies, hotdogs, sodas etc), sugar per se isn’t that bad (who sits down to a whole bowl of just sugar?). A bit of sugar sprinkled on oatmeal or wholegrain cereal isn’t going to do much harm.

    • Janae Wise
      on December 12, 2014 at 12:37 am said:

      Fair enough!

      Your points are well taken.

      “A bit of sugar sprinkled on oatmeal or wholegrain cereal isn’t going to do much harm.”
      Absolutely, but generally this is not what people are struggling with. A teaspoon of sugar on your breakfast is not really what I’m talking about.

      I’m familiar with Dr. McDougall’s argument about sugar & as I recall from his books (I have read all of them + watched many of his videos), he points out that people need more starch in their diet so they crave sugar. While I agree that many people are carbohydrate starved because of their meat & dairy heavy diets, personally, I eat plenty of starch every day & I don’t feel that this totally eradicates my sweet tooth. For some, sugar is no big deal, but for others, like myself, I struggle with only having “just a little sprinkled on cereal.” I feel better when I stay away from it, & that alone is good enough for me!

      Regarding it being a fad diet, I’m also dairy-free, meat-free, & gluten-free, which according to many, are also fad diets. I realize the simple avoidance of a certain food or foods does not automatically make a diet or a particular food healthy, but it also doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s pointless, silly or a fad to avoid said food(s) either. Sure, some could say, “I’m going to eat sugar-free” & continue to eat all sorts of garbage (including artificial sweeteners which are a whole other thing). I laugh at some labels on foods that are already naturally gluten-free but not really healthful, yet that claim it’s “gluten-free”! (now that gluten-free is in vogue), as if this label now makes the food ultra-healthy. Just because something is gluten-free doesn’t instantly make it healthy, in the same way that sugar-free or oil-free, or dairy-free don’t either.

      Anyway, thanks for bringing up some good points & sharing your thoughts Diane!

      (Also, side note: I don’t know if you’re in the U.S. or not, but here in the states we put sugar in EVERYTHING! Our desserts are much sweeter than you’d find elsewhere. It’s in dressings, soups, drinks, breads, & of course in all the traditionally sweet things too. When I visited & lived in South America for awhile, I was blown away at how little they use sugar in anything, even desserts–which tasted like they had about 1/4 of the sweetness I was used to in American desserts.)

  4. Beth
    on December 11, 2014 at 10:25 am said:

    I’m glad you got it figured out! Definitely do what you can to avoid diabetes. It’s in the three generations of females before me, and I’m determined not to be the fourth generation.
    Check out Cara’s Fork & Beans blog — she is going through the same thing and has posted a bunch of great ACD recipes: forkandbeans.com

  5. Daisy
    on December 11, 2014 at 9:39 am said:

    I went almost entirely sugar-free back when I was in high school. It was one of those “Aha” moments of, “What the heck am I doing to my body?” I stopped eating all sweets–only time would be for a birthday or perhaps a Christmas meal or something–and even switched to things like natural jams and a sugar-free (but not artificially sweetened) blueberry syrup I’d found instead of typical Aunt Jemima bottled stuff. I realized that I effortlessly lost a couple of pounds and after my first year of mostly sugar-free, my dental cleaning appointment was the best ever: not only no cavities, but just the tartar build-up was almost non-existent.

    That lasted until my first year of university and a late night of working on an essay due the next day, I was hungry and I gave into the candy machine. I haven’t had a reconnection with that “Aha” moment since. :/

    But it’s interesting that you bring this issue up now because I’ve been realizing lately just how much sugar I have been eating. My skin is a mess, my energy levels are a mess, I just feel blech. AND I’m getting headaches easily. There are some sugary items I get headaches within minutes. AND I also had my first yeast infection this summer. AND I’m having blood pressure issues which apparently can be exacerabated by sugar consumption. I probably need a full-out detox, to be honest, but focusing on a somewhat permanent sugar detox is a good starting point for me, I think.

    Of course, this is a difficult time to be cutting out sugar, with Christmas just around the corner and all the wonderful dairy-free goodies I have in mind (I even posted that I’d be sharing recipes on my blog…), but you’ve got me thinking that perhaps I can cut out *right away* the general sugary stuff I’ve been eating lately and still make the treats–for others and minimal for myself–for once Christmas is actually here. Or maybe I’ll feel so much better I won’t even want the treats? Hm.

    Do you have much experience with Stevia? Does it cause you to react in the same way? Is it allowed on the ACD diet?

    • Janae Wise
      on January 7, 2015 at 4:03 pm said:

      Hi Daisy! I just realized I didn’t respond to your question about stevia. YES, it’s allowed on the ACD diet. I use it all the time & it causes me no issues whatsoever. Some people don’t like the taste, but I’ve found it can vary greatly by the brand. It is very sweet, but I don’t mind the taste at all! Hope that helps.

  6. Jessica
    on December 10, 2014 at 10:04 pm said:

    Janae, I think you need to look up and do research into the connection between sugar and fat in terms of candida. This post sounds exactly like my own realizations two months ago. With a little digging, I realized I didn’t need to go “sugar-free,” but really needed to go oil-free, like all the wfpb experts say to. I know you’ve determined to ignore this nugget of wisdom, but the sugar-fat interaction is very interesting. Candida feeds on sugar, but the sugar only sticks around long enough for this to happen if there’s FAT in the equation. I’m like you, a breastfeeding, almost exclusively vegan, gluten free mom. Two months ago I eliminated oil for 30 days straight – all my Candida-related symptoms went away, and I even reintroduced wheat with none of my old side effects. All I have to remember is to add some flax, hemp, or chia to my breakfast and I manage to get enough for me and my 21 lb 4 month old. And. . . now that I figured that out, I’ve allowed myself to have a tad bit of oil here and there, just making sure to keep it separated by a few hours from grains, fruit, etc. Though, my ankles start hurting again just a little every time I do this (one of my Candida symptoms was arthritis-like ankle pain). Seriously, please consider this other possibility. Here’s a video that was my best source for connecting the dots. . . because no one seems to really be piecing it together, but a wfpb oil free diet apprerently is a great cure for candida, and I personally prefer oil-free to grain and fruit free. . . ANY day. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VsmcYRSvwGM

    • Janae Wise
      on December 11, 2014 at 9:13 am said:

      Hi Jessica!

      Interesting points you made here.

      You know, I’ve tried *most* every variation on the vegan diet (Nutritarian, McDougall/lowfat, raw, & everything in between) at some point in my 8 year tenure as a vegan, & Doug Graham’s approach (pretty much what I think of as a raw version of Dr. McDougall/lowfat rawfoodist/fruitarian) is one that I was first introduced to by my midwife nearly 9 years ago when this whole idea of eating plant-based presented itself. While I think his approach may work for some (I think that same midwife still follows it), personally, I was not able to sustain the diet for more than a month or two at any given time (& I tried several times). I don’t feel great eating that much fruit & I absolutely felt like I needed (& wanted!) more variety (beans & starches & fat). Also, I’ve done oil-free for at least half my time as vegan, & I cannot say it helped or hurt, other than when I followed the strictist version of the McDougall diet (or MWL) I got down to my lowest weight ever (which is neither here nor there since I don’t think the “best” diet to follow is the one that makes you your skinniest possible self). Anyway, I talk more about my thoughts on a lowfat diet in this post: http://bring-joy.com/2013/03/28/oil-fat-is-dr-mcdougall-right

      When I had gestational diabetes last year, & had to check my blood sugar levels after every meal–it was eye opening! The meals that were veggie heavy (raw or cooked–didn’t matter), with a good balance of protein (typically beans), starches & fat gave me the best post-meal glucose readings. The meals where I had even more than one serving of fruit in one sitting, or even just a little bit of unrefined sugar (maple syrup, sucanat, or agave) was when my glucose numbers were too high, sometimes crazy high, depending on what & how much I ate.

      There are several stages of the ACD diet, & after the first phase (which for most people last 1-3 months, sometimes longer), you reintroduce grains & other foods (including more fruit)–so I’m with you–I don’t want to give up fruit or grain either. (I’m definitely not into the low-carb, or anti-carb thing!)

      I think it’s important to realize that nutrition & diet, are like economics. In theory it’s easy to make it into an exact science (a linear approach), but in practice, it’s just not always that simple. People are generally not linear in thinking or behavior. There are principles to abide by & certainly, nutritional requirements must be met, but so much of the nitty gritty details comes down to an individual’s health history & background (it’s not a one size fits all approach) as well as access to food, among other things. I feel that this discussion is very much a first world problem–when you think about the millions (perhaps billions?) of people on the earth who lack access to just the basic necessities of life like clean drinking water, & just getting *enough* food every day, it puts things into perspective as I’m surrounded by a bounty of delicious & nutritious foods. 😉

      Thanks for sharing your experience & glad you’ve found something that works for you! xo

      • Jessica
        on December 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm said:

        Thank you for your thorough response!

  7. Michelle
    on December 10, 2014 at 9:51 pm said:

    What Ricki said….I cut out grains and sugars for candida around 5 years ago now….and over time have realised that once off sugar for a while i find things super sweet when i start tasting it again…which means i just don’t eat sugary sweet things much anymore. The sweetest thing i have is melted coconut oil, cocoa, and a teaspoon of honey with some nuts in it, cooled solid in the fridge for a very occasional treat. I think the biggest keys are:drink water, have plenty of proteins and fats (good) to stave off cravings, and commit to being okay with the occasional treat but reminding yourself of how much better you feel overall without sugar ruling your life (major key). I’ve also found i really really can’t moderate chocolate so its pretty much out of my diet in solid form anyway with the exception of my above snack

  8. Laurie
    on December 10, 2014 at 2:52 pm said:

    Your description of your grandma could be of my mom: the cookies, the hiding spots, etc. And, I’ve had yeast infections from, I’m sure, eating too much sugar. Yes, I’m definitely a sugar addict, and about 5 minutes before I read this post–as I was polishing off some candy–I thought, “I need to do something about this.” So, needless to say, I really appreciate this post!

  9. Joya
    on December 10, 2014 at 12:15 pm said:

    I’m so glad you wrote this! I am going to check into this. I have blood sugar issues as well (hypoglycemia) and for the most part, I do stay away from refined sugar because of the reasons you listed;0) Especially 1 and5..but I have, the past few months been eating alot more fruit – including dates.

    And now I’m wondering about this breakout on my face, it’s in one spot and hasn’t gone away no matter what I try. You’ve really got me thinking.

    • Janae Wise
      on December 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm said:

      Joya! Yes, definitely check into the candida thing. I’ve realized (hindsight is 20-20, right?) that all of my funky skin issues were related to out-of-control sugar stuff. When I have low/no sugar consumption (beyond what’s found in whole, non-fruit plant foods), my skin is a dream. When I start eating crap (let’s say, like this year around Halloween), my skin takes a turn for the worse. Even though dates & fruit are natural, they’re still high in sugar & can cause issues for some people (I know I have to be *really* careful with them!).

  10. Tiffany
    on December 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm said:

    I have never done anything as restrictive as ACD, but I have “quit sugar” before- no obviously sugary things, including syrup and jam, absolutely no sugar, refined or not, in my house, fruit was only for dessert, and I monitored all sugar content in the bread and yogurt I bought (that was back in the day where those were part of my diet) as well as any other packaged foods. I was strong and incredibly strict for about half a year, then then slowly allowed SOME indulgences in so I could find a more realistic long term approach. During my pregnancy I gave in much more often than I had before, and it led me to feel that “I NEED something sweet!!!” feeling after EVERY meal, a feeling I’d been able to avoid ever since quitting sugar years ago! So I am now again in “limit sugar mode”, though I’m not as strict as I originally was. My main thing: KEEP THE CRAP OUTTA MY HOUSE!!!!! That is truly the key. Then even IF I indulged every single time I was out and The opportunity came up (I dont, though) it would be pretty sporadic.
    I’m excited to hear more about your day to day life with the ACD!

    • Janae Wise
      on December 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm said:

      “I NEED something sweet!!!” feeling after EVERY meal.”
      Yup, I know that feeling! Now that I’ve been doing ACD for nearly a month I have zero sugar cravings. Like seriously, I can’t believe it myself. It’s amazing what getting it fully out of your system can do!

      “then then slowly allowed SOME indulgences in so I could find a more realistic long term approach.”
      This is my achilles heal–I can’t seem to figure out the right “realistic long term approach”–I’m thinking maybe cold turkey for life maybe the answer, especially in light of my health history. Ricki Heller says she knows she will never eat white sugar again, it’s just not a debate for her. She does, in her maintenance ACD phase (I believe) occasionally eat agave, but mostly sticks to stevia & a few others (though I think she also doesn’t use sucanat or maple syrup, & maybe even dates?). Anyway, I’m still figuring this out myself, but I know too much about how my body works now to ignore it. But it is hard not to resist. I freakin’ love sweet things.

  11. Jamie
    on December 10, 2014 at 9:28 am said:

    Janae, did you have trouble going off of sugars, grains, fruits? Every time I have tried I feel just awful, shakey, weak and by the next morning I lose all self control and end up eating brown sugar straight out of the bag because I feel so hypoglycemic. I have come to realize that I binge on sugar basically from Halloween to valentines day…need to break the habit!

    • Janae Wise
      on December 10, 2014 at 12:24 pm said:

      Hi Jamie–great question! YES I definitely had withdrawal symptoms. For me they mostly occurred about 2-3 days in. I felt like I had the flu (slight head ache). I kept eating almonds to stave off any weak moments where I could cave for sugar, because those cravings can get really strong especially in the first week or two. My sugar cravings are pretty much zero now (after a month), but I do find it super important to keep eating, especially non-grain complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, beans, & squash are the main ones) to stay full & satisfied. No way could I continue to eat like this if I was just eating greens & some seeds. I’m a HUNGRY woman! 😉

      “I have come to realize that I binge on sugar basically from Halloween to valentines day…need to break the habit!”
      I think we all do! It’s a lousy time for me to be posting on this because I don’t forsee many people quitting sugar during the holidays, but for me, I have no regrets. I’d rather feel amazing than enjoy a few bites of some sugary dessert (though I do still eat dessert–just sweetened with stevia & fruit).
      Best of luck!

  12. Keri
    on December 10, 2014 at 9:08 am said:

    I’m a sugar addict too. And this time of year I really have to watch it, since the dark months and less time outside already make me feel like crap. I have a 10.5 mo son, and would love to do a cleanse & then follow this diet, but we are still breastfeeding & I’m worried about the detox effecting my milk supply.

    Why no mushrooms? Also, beans but no soy? I don’t have soy that often, but a few times a month I make tofu. Finally, is hemp protein okay?

    Thanks for further reinforcing my resolve to quit sugar!

    • Janae Wise
      on December 10, 2014 at 12:50 pm said:

      Hi Keri! “I’m worried about the detox effecting my milk supply.” I’ve never done a heavy detox (I’d save that for post-breastfeeding), but switching to a wholesome grain-free, sugar-free diet (though there will be detox happening) shouldn’t affect your milk supply. I’ve done several diet switcheroos while breastfeeding without it affecting baby (but I’m not a R.D. or M.D. of course, just sharing MY experience).

      About the mushrooms–it’s a fungi which encourages yeast growth. Vinegar, melons, & peanuts also feed the yeast, or so goes the theory. I haven’t cut out tofu (I also like it occasionally!), & I don’t believe Ricki’s ACD does either. Hope that answers your questions! And hope you’re enjoy that sweet babe of yours. xo

  13. Ricki
    on December 10, 2014 at 6:44 am said:

    Janae, so sorry you’ve been having issues–but SO glad you tried the ACD and that it has helped! And thanks so much for the shout-out. I can tell you (after 15 years on some form or other of this diet) that it really does get easier and you can feel totally normal on this diet. There is still lots to eat–and it can all taste great, too. So glad you’ve cleared up the rash and infection!! xo