Sugar Sabbatical Update

Friday was D-Day for me… no more added sugar into my diet.  No more Tim Horton’s Triple Triples (yum!), no more Frosted Flakes, no more mindless snacking on empty calorie stuff.  Add in an epic snowstorm, horrific traffic, and a baby who is sick as well as in the process of having four teeth come in and how did I do?


No kidding.  Now I won’t lie to you and tell you that I didn’t want those donuts and cupcakes brought into the office on Friday.  I won’t kid you about super craving a fudge round to the point where I could taste it.   The only slip up I had (and it wasn’t even truly a slip up – it was a conscious choice) was to have a half dollar sized chocolate chip pancake at a brunch I held for our family on Sunday.  I’ve modified the way I’m eating and am gradually starting to feel better.  I don’t feel as sluggish, run down, or just bleh.  I notice I’ve also stopped craving sweet stuff.

I remember when I was trying to get my insulin resistance under control before Squish was born I read ‘The Insulin Resistance Diet’.  I implemented the Link & Balance method and lo and behold, conceived Squish.  Well, her conception could have also been from the massive amounts of margaritas I drank at my 31st birthday party (Ocho Ocho Ocho!)  Anyways, I remember that it worked but like everything else that’s worthwhile, it took actual participation on my part.

Link & Balance refers to ‘linking’ or eating protein when you eat any carbs.  Because people with insulin resistance (or hyperinsulinemia) are so affected by large doses of carbs (or sugar) affecting their blood sugar, this is a great way to even out the spikes and valleys.  Pure carbs spike blood sugar leading to increased insulin production.  Then, the increased insulin circulating needs more sugar to neutralize so you crave sweets, bread, and carbs of any kind.  The whole vicious cycle can go on for DAYS.  Ironically, a lot of people with Type II diabetes have too much insulin – their body doesn’t utilize it well or doesn’t have receptors.  Crazy, huh?  That’s why I would eat something sweet and then would want more sweetness or megacarbs later.  Once I broke that cycle – or detoxed – over the weekend, I don’t crave that stuff as much.

 I’m slowly modifying my diet again to incorporate Linking & Balancing.  The ground rules? 

  • Every 15g of carbs has to be balanced with at least 7g of protein. 
  • No more than 30g of carbs to be consumed within a 2 hour window
  • Eat as much protein & veggies as I want
  • Corn and potatoes count as starches, not veggies

Why the 2 hour window, you ask?  Easy.  Your body needs to decide what it’s going to do with the excess glucose / sugar it has from eating the carbs.  Carbs turn to glucose, which is then stored by the body for later use.  That translates into body fat.  Still with me?  It’s learning to lose weight through chemistry.  Our bodies are pretty remarkable machines and I’ve been putting low grade fuel into a high performance machine! 🙂

Examples of my linking & balancing?  Oatmeal this morning + 1 glass of milk.  2 pieces of cheddar cheese + banana for a snack.  A grilled chicken caesar salad with croutons for lunch.   Notice something there?  I’m actually eating a balanced diet that incorporates all the food groups: fruits/ veggies / grains / dairy / protein.  I’m also grudgingly drinking 64 ounces of water a day.  I have one of those big cups with a lid, straw, and handle from when I was in the hospital with Squish and I just fill it up twice a day.  Most of the time I add a single packet of Propel Sports Water to it, too.  1 packet should be for a small water bottle (the standard 16.9 oz), but that’s too sweet for me.  1 packet per 32 ounces is MUCH better.

So there you have it.  No New Year’s Resolution, no ultimatum.  I just got fed up with the way I felt and decided to do something about it.  Check back with me in a month to see how I’m doing!

P.S.  Ben has his doctor’s appointment on Friday to discuss his cholesterol and blood sugar results from his last blood draw.  I have a feeling we may be doing Link & Balance together.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sherri
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 15:52:19

    I go off sugar periodically, and I always feel fantastic. I’m actually watching my sugar intake right now, but I haven’t cut it out completely. I finally figured out if I want to lose weight, reducing sugar intake is pretty much mandatory.

    I never think of a piece of bread or a serving of rice as sugar… and that’s pretty much what it is because it’s so close to the glucose when it’s broken down. I’m feeling fabulous and loving it. Next we’ll see about me firing up the Wii three nights a week and doing the EA Sports Active I got for my birthday back in August!

    The Link & Balance sounds smart, just the thing for you.
    As I learn what carb counts are for my favorite foods it will definitely get easier. I won’t have to watch labels as much. Link & Balance works for me ’cause it’s easy.


  2. DarcsFalcon
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 15:53:35

    You go girl! That’s awesome! Sugar – I fully believe – is a drug and we are addicted, some worse than others. I’m one of the “worse” categories.

    I’m right there with you – it IS a drug. Kicking it cold turkey like I did is the best way to do it too, because it interrupts that sweet cycle. You have NO idea how bad I had it… I drank Coke, TH Triple Triples, ate brownies with reckless abandon, and assumed that because I was having fruit that I was being healthy. One of my favorite ‘meals’ is white rice, lime juice, and sour cream. And I wondered why I felt so sluggish after eating it?

    What you describe sounds sort of like a modified Atkins, whom I adore. I might be asking you for more information on this in a few months – I can only cope with 1 addiction at a time and I’m still processing the nicotine thing. That one will be a while!

    I never even looked at Atkins because of that little voice inside my head that said, “Any diet that eliminates or severely restricts a food type can’t be good.’ Friends of mine went on it and they would literally DROOL over baskets of bread in a restaurant. I will gladly send you what I have and how it’s working for me when you’re ready.

    Glad you’re having so much success on this so far, keep up the good work!

    Sank you berry mush!


    • DarcsFalcon
      Feb 10, 2010 @ 16:28:47

      Oh it makes me so sad that so many people have such misunderstandings about Atkins. The medical establishment totally vilified him because what he was saying was true. Do you know how much money the pharma industry makes in diabetes medications? And what do you think they’d do to a man who told you you could severely reduce or even eliminate your need for those medications just by simply changing some aspects of your diet? Atkins was a genius, and it’s not true that his diet permanently eliminates or restricts a food type. His goal is to break the sugar addiction and then get your diet back into proper the balance that’s best for you. I will tell you this much – any diet today that talks about controlling carbs is standing on Atkins shoulders. He was saying that decades ago. 🙂

      You’re absolutely right. I hopped to conclusions and made assumptions. You know what happens when you start doing *that*. Plus, when Atkins came out I don’t think I was ready to change my eating habits. I was INVINCIBLE!


  3. DarcsFalcon
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 16:30:13

    “the proper balance” I mean!


  4. DarcKnyt
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 16:56:37

    Fal said all I have to say. All these carb-controlled diets are basically modifications of Dr. Atkins’s revolutionary approached. I find it hysterical he had a 98% success rate with his patients and a very high success rate for ELIMINATING, not controlling, sugar-induced diabetes. Cholesterol and heart disease numbers were staggering too.

    Ah, Syndrome X. Diabetes (or insulin resistance) + high cholesterol + high blood pressure. Having worked for the ADA, their line was ‘once a diabetic, always a diabetic’ even if your blood sugar was being managed, you’d lost weight, made significant changes to your diet, etc. Not that it’s right, but still accepted by the medical community.

    It’s always fun to watch someone find something so successful and easy to work for them. Good luck and keep up the good work!

    Successful? Yes. Easy? Getting there. Good thing shrimp is high in protein. I can devour me some shrimp 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!


  5. whatigotsofar
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 09:03:30

    A triple triple? You want some coffee in that?

    At least I get a large triple triple. A friend of mine gets a *small* triple triple! That’s like drinking coffee flavored sugar sludge.


    • whatigotsofar
      Feb 11, 2010 @ 18:17:46

      you get a large??? i’ve seen those us timmys large coffees
      i can swim in one of those

      Perhaps you are thinking of the humungous ‘extra large.’ Those, I can’t handle or I’d be jittery all day. Most days I get a medium double double, but my favorite remains my beloved large triple triple. Oddly enough, I’m not craving them anymore. And I even ate an orange (willingly!) over a piece of chocolate. Our bodies are weird.


      • whatigotsofar
        Feb 11, 2010 @ 18:41:22

        The American sizes at Timmys (or any other fast food place) are all one size larger than in Canada.
        Canada/US Comparison chart
        US-Small = Can-Med
        US-Med = Can-Large
        US-Large = Can-XL
        US-XL = Can-bathtub

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