I sent my friend, Karen Rose Tank, fellow type 1, The Suppers Programs leader (group cooking skills class and socializing) and health coach, a link to a film I think everyone should see – That Sugar Film.
Produced in Australia by fit and healthy Damon Gameau, Damon takes us with him as he eats anew for 60 days. He leaves behind his healthy low-sugar, low refined carb diet to eat like most of his fellow Aussies – an over the top refined carb, unhealthy fat diet. A diet most Westerners eat.
Damon’s goal was to consume the amount of sugar his mates do – 40 teaspoons a day. To make it more interesting, Damon will get those 40 teaspoons of sugar not from obvious offenders: cake, cookies and ice cream but from foods touted to us as healthy: breakfast cereals, fruit yogurts, smoothies, granola bars, juice. Foods that say on the front of the package, “Heart Healthy,” “All natural,” “Fortified,” “Low-fat.”
Beside being sick to his stomach the first few days, and feeling euphoric when the sugar hits his bloodstream only to crash a few hours later, all of Damon’s metabolic markers change. He gains significant weight, almost all in the form of dangerous belly fat. In just 60 days he has fatty liver disease. His blood sugar elevates him into the pre-diabetic range and he raises his risk factors for hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Experiment completed, Damon returns to his former low carb, high healthy fat diet, loses the excess weight and all his disease markers return to normal.
Karen told me the night before I sent her the link to the movie, she’d gone to a conference and been “good as gold.” She ate the sandwich they served without the bread, skipped the cookies for an apple, but….after passing the plate of cookies three times … she took two cookies off the platter. The first was delicious and she enjoyed it, the second she ate even though it tasted sickening. Her blood sugar spiked overnight and the next morning she was beating herself up for eating cookies. As we are all capable of doing.
But the next morning Karen did something. She made the sign at the top of this post and hung it on her refrigerator. The day after, she embellished her sign, not just citing the action she wanted to cease, but affirmations of self-love and actions that keep her relaxed and healthy. That sign is below:
Now, admittedly, you need a fairly tolerant family to let you hang this, but reminders are often helpful. I thank Karen for letting me post these here and in our busy, crazy lives, seeing visual reminders of support are often very helpful.
Replacements are also known to be helpful and that’s where I offer you a second red light for sweet cravings:
When my mind is rummaging for what sweet I can eat, I open the fridge and reach instead for a pickle or olive. Trust me, when that salt hits my tongue, my sweet craving is done.