On National Sugar Overload Day — my phrase for Halloween — millions of children and adults alike will be lured like flies into a spider trap to eat and probably pig out on sugar-laden candies.
This established sugar-gorging holiday also often stresses out frazzled parents, who just don’t know how to deal with their little “Sugar Monsters” once they come home from trick ‘r treating.
To help you make this sugar-centered holiday one that isn’t fraught with frustration, I’ve often interviewed a number of experts, who give you some simple tips on how to how your kids can have fun and how to make Halloween more healthy.
Check out this week’s Gab with the Gurus Show to listen to easy tips from a team of stellar experts. You will hear easily doable ideas from:
ON SUGAR: “Sugar is a way of self-medicating. When I was eating sugar, I was tired all the time, crabby, irritable, sad, depressed, forgetful, anxious, mentally confused, nervous, exhausted and hopeless about life. Sometimes I had heart palpitations and muscle pain. I didn’t feel like being social. I sat at home a lot and watched TV and binged on sugar. I just complained about life but did nothing to change it. I couldn’t relate to anyone, and I felt that everyone was against me. I wasn’t happy with life.”
MOST EMBARRASSING SUGAR MOMENT: “The time a fellow sugar-addicted friend and I made and drank Bailey’s milkshakes right BEFORE we threw a dessert party with champagne and six desserts.”
TIP ON BECOMING SUGARFREE: “If you’re getting off sugar, you might want to think about going into therapy. Perhaps you’re turning to sugar to escape from your life – which isn’t how you want it to be.”
SUGARFREE BLISS: “Now, I’m happy and calm most of the time. I’m even-tempered and much more sociable. I’m willing to try new things and take risks. I get out more and laugh about almost everything. I’m much more social at work, and I can handle life without freaking out or getting completely depressed. I have better, clearer thoughts and ideas. It’s great.”
WHILE ON SUGAR: “Although I was eating a so-called ‘normal’ diet – that is, the foods that every else eats – my health was poor. I felt awful much of the time. I was suffering from low energy, fatigue, lethargy, anxiety and dry skin. I couldn’t sleep at night, but I also had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I would get unsightly and painfully itchy hives when exercising or sweating. My vision was becoming more and more blurry. I could go on and on about my pains and uncomfortable sensations.”
TURNING POINT: “When I attended the world-renowned The New Center for Holistic Health in Syosset, New York to get a license in Massage Therapy, I began to hear about diet and its relationship to health. At one of the first lectures I attended, the professor spoke about `the four white poisons’ – white sugar, white flour, dairy and white salt. As we all know, these ingredients are typically in just about EVERYTHING we eat. I thought, ‘OK, I’ll try this out.’ To make the long story short, life got a little better each and every day that I abstained from those foods.”
SUGARFREE BLISS: “All my symptoms are gone. Occasionally now, I eat a piece of pie or some other dessert. Inevitably, either that day or over the next few days, I will experience some symptom. Maybe I will get a little itchy or have poor digestion or feel lethargic. It’s really quite profound. In my practice as a massage therapist and acupuncturist, I can’t stress enough to patients that the key to attaining lasting results is eating whole, natural foods and abstaining most of the time from the four white poisons, especially sugar.”
– Scott K., L.Ac., LMT, 33, Merrick, New York (Sugarfree since 1995.)
WHY I QUIT SUGAR: “On January 16, 2002, my doctor told me that I was hypoglycemic. She told me to eliminate sugar, eat a minimum of six small meals a day and eat protein at every meal. She also told me to reduce the amount of carbs I eat and that, when I do have them, I should pick complex, not simple carbs.”
ON SUGAR’S AFFECTS: “I had no energy. I would get the shakes and dizzy spells. And I was hungry, moody, bitchy and tired all the time. For years, my best friend would say to me – on way-too-many occasions – ‘You’re awfully snippy or bitchy’ or some other adjective. Pretty sad that my friend knew that eating sweets made me moody, and I didn’t even realize it! And of course, it would just make me madder or bitchier when she told me that I needed to eat some healthy food! Now I realize that she was right all along. I still get that way if I go too long without eating.”
SUGARFREE BLISS: “I feel much better. I have more energy. My concentration has improved. I don’t get that ravenous hunger that I used to get. I don’t get the dizzy spells anymore at all.”
– Jodi D., 35, Park Hills, Kentucky (off sugar since January 16, 2002.)
HOW SUGAR AFFECTS ME: “When I had sugar, I was irritable, sleepy, zonked out, spacey and zombie-like. I would get the shakes and break into sweats. I was depressed. I had severe PMS and horrendous headaches. I had no ambition. A lot of the time all I wanted to do was stare at the wall. I used to hide bags of candies from my kids and my husband.”
ABOUT CRAVINGS: “There is no such thing as just one. I’d have one little taste and then I’d be like a runaway train.”
SETTING AN EXAMPLE: “One of the reasons I had to quit was that I didn’t want my two daughters following in my footsteps. My 12-year-old is always wanting candy. That was a wake-up call. Now that sweets are not around the house anymore, she’s cut back a lot.”
SUGARFREE BLISS: “Now that I’m off sugar, my life has changed. I’ve got energy; I’m clear-headed; I wake up more easily; I’m more patient; my mouth feels cleaner; and my cravings are starting to go away. I just feel better not eating it. I don’t miss it – which is a nice feeling. I’m proud of myself.”
SUGAR’S HIGHS & LOWS: “Yes, I get that initial blast of euphoria when I get my sugar fix, but oh, that letdown is a killer. I shake. I feel like I’m chained to the sofa. I just can’t move. I’m so lightheaded, and my thoughts become totally confused. And the moods! I bark when asked the simplest question or request. I just want to curl up and die.”
TURNING POINT: “My most embarrassing moment involving sugar also is the defining moment that made me seek help. It was Easter, and I was over at my mother-in-law’s house. Of course, she had all this wonderful Easter candy and more delicious sweets in the refrigerator. All the sweets were calling my name over and over and over again, and I was dutifully giving in. I consumed an immense amount of sugar that day and blacked out in my mother-in-law’s kitchen, right next to the refrigerator. I was so embarrassed to wake up to find my husband, his mother and all the rest of my family looking down at me, panicked. I knew then and there that I had to find out what was wrong with me. A visit to the doctor and a Glucose Tolerance Test confirmed that I am severely hypoglycemic. That diagnosis and advice from a dietitian put me on the road to recovery from my sugar addiction. I haven’t blacked out for many years and generally feel better than I ever thought I would feel again.”
SUGARFREE BLISS: “I definitely like myself much better when I am off sugar and so does everyone else around me. I am so much more positive, so much less depressed. It is amazing how many more things I can shoehorn into my day when I’m sugarfree. My energy is so much more sustained, and I seem to take more pleasure in doing things, even somewhat mundane everyday things. But most important, my relationship improves with others, especially my husband and son. They have been saints throughout my struggle, but our relationship is much closer and joyful when I’m sugarfree.”
– Myra P., 44, Monroe, New York (Mostly sugarfree for 15 years.)
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