Friday, April 16, 2010

The Sugar Rush

"Hi Gin,

I noticed in the link of your archive you gave me regarding the monster list it has carb cravings on there. You mentioned you fought with this on the loop the other day and it sounded like you beat it. Can you tell me some of the stuff you did? I crave sugar and chocolate and pasta all the time and I'm afraid to develop diabetes. Do you know if thats possible?


Hiya Beverly!

Thanks for coming by. I know I don't have a lot of new posts but I hope you check the archives often and feel free to ask more questions. Also, thanks for letting me post your letter. I've had so many people want to be anon lately I haven't had much material. LOL

As far as kicking the carb craving habit...I wouldn't say I've kicked it. More like...weaned from it with a few episodes of wagon jumping. (I'm not big on the term falling off the wagon, as I believe it is a decision we make and the word "falling" is a crutch that takes away personal responsibility. Kinda anal of me huh? LOL)

I grew up on noodle dishes and the like, so learning to cook things without pasta took me a while. I, too, worried about developing diabetes especially when I was gestationally diabetic while pregnant. I also had my blood drawn for a test not too long ago and my doctor actually told me to lay off the carbs and lose a few pounds. Well okay! Wake up call for me. So I set up a plan of attack...again. This isn't the first time I've tried to cut carbs but it is the first time I was specifically told to by a doctor and not by a suggestion to help Fibro.

First - slowly retract from carbs. Trying to cut them out completely will result in a wagon jump quicker than you'd anticipate AND it will give you a sense of failure which doesn't help our mentality.

Second - get yourself used to sugar substitutes. (Be careful. Some sugar substitutes can upset the belly. Try a splenda with fiber or another type of sugar sub with probiotics to, hopefully, keep from IBS issues, if you're the type that has them.) Remember to do this slowly or you're going to HATE on sugar subs. lol You may be against sugar substitutes, as the health benefits and risk are often debated. If that's the case, (and even if it isn't) start looking for products that are "less sugar" or "low sugar".

Third - Give sugar free products a shot or two. Remember, nothing is going to taste as awesome as sugar. And after a few days of low sugar/carb intake, give yourself rewards. I talk about rewarding often because I feel without a benefit at the end of the road, we might start asking "what's it all for" or thinking "I'd rather just take the risk and feel like I'm living than eat crap I hate for the rest of my days". (Both things I've been known to think. lol)

Fourth - Don't boycott all carbs. (Withdrawal!) Just work on portions. If you eat a lot of potatoes, cut your portions to half and try to eat them baked instead of fried (if that applies). If you eat noodles all the time, try to add more chicken or meat or veggies and just a little bit of pasta.

Fifth - Snacks are the bane of our existence. For me, I was a chip-hound. I LOVE chips. I switched from regular salty tater chips to tostitos. Once I was able to keep my chip craving back a little, I moved from tostitos to snacking on crunchy vegs to spinach salads. Always? Heck no. Once or twice a week I allow for a chip award. lol

Sixth - Look in healthy magazines for recipes that are sugar free but don't taste it. HOWEVER, if you are a little lazy in the kitchen like me, you can find quite a few short-cuts.

Seventh - Vitamin supplements exist that are reported to curb carb cravings. My memory is failing me but I think I tried some to a degree of success. But, taking so many vitamins can upset the tummy so I know I had to quit a few.

Okay. Those suggestions are what I gave to myself and followed.

So...what do I eat when I have a craving? This is a personal list and not meant to be much of an endorsement. lol
Sweet Tooth Fixes:

- Russel Stover's sugar free chocolate candies. (The first few bites...meh. But the overall taste does curb the chocolate craving.)
- Jell-o Sugar Free Milk Chocolate and Dark chocolate mousse. ( Lemme just say, YUM! and only 90 calories I think. Bonus!)
- Jell-o Sugar Free Strawberry Acai gelatin. (For my Weight Watcher friends it's ZERO points and 10 calories. As a bonus, it also has antioxidants and when I was eating 2 a day to curb cravings and everyone around me was getting colds... I didn't. Coincidence? Possibly but I'm thinking yay antioxidants.)
- Weight watchers Fudge or chocolate ice cream bars. (Again YUM! An excellent chocolate fix without the sugars.)

Noodle Fixes:
- Replaced potatoes with spinach salads or an extra helping of veggies.
- Switch up noodle dishes for rice. I like Basmati. Why switch from one carb to the other? To change your taste buds. It's easier to quit something you didn't grow up loving, but the rice will fill you like potatoe and noodle carbs. It's much easier to cut down on a carb you're not used to. I made basmati rice with every meal (Spring for a rice cooker for 15 bucks to make awesome rice) and then cut down my carb portion to 1/4 cup of cooked rice.

On this regiment, I lost ten pounds without adding to my exercise schedule.

As far as any type of medical proof Fibromates get diabetes because of their carb cravings, well I couldn't find any research that would support the theory but logically, if you cave in to eating a lot of sugars, you're at risk like any other.

I hope I answered your question and gave you some good stuff to try.

All my best wishes for pain-free days.