Watermelon: Nature’s Viagra?

From Jennifer Moore

Yes, it’s high on the glycemic index (at 72), but there are plenty of good reasons to eat watermelon: It’s a naturally sweet dessert that won’t pack on pounds, it’s cool and refreshing on a toasty summer day, and it’s packed with antioxidants that may prevent disease.

Now, Betsey Blaney of the AP tips us to another of watermelon’s powers: It has an ingredient that, when processed, becomes an amino acid that helps relax blood vessels just as they do after a man takes Viagra, according to researchers at the Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center.

A USDA researcher told reporter Blaney that while this research is valid, a person would need to really gorge on watermelon –six cups, to be precise– to boost the level of this amino acid in the body. (Of course, that’s sugar overloading with fruit.)

But still, this news is fascinating. Makes you wonder if there’s anything watermelon can’t do!

Sugar Shock Blog Celebrated 3-Year Anniversary on June 7, 2008: How Did I Forget to Post Something?! Oops!

Connie4_headshot_2Yikes! I forgot to let you know that my SUGAR SHOCK! Blog is 3 years old!

Guess I forgot to wish my blog a happy birthday on June 7, because I’ve been so busy coaching clients to help them improve their lives (click here if you’d like to learn how to work personally with me, too), getting going on my next book (which you’ll learn about soon), wrapping up my life-coach training through iPEC and taking time to chill out, have fun and play (tennis, bicycling, sailing, yoga, etc.)

The cool thing about marking this three-year anniversary is that the Sugar Shock Blog is well beyond being a toddler! In fact, from a Web perspective, isn’t it more like a teeenager?

So, cheers to this Sugar Shock Blog and its 3 years. May this blog have a thriving future — with lots and lots of traffic and happy, contented readers, who often interact with us by chatting back and more.

Of course, with your help, this blog will continue to grow. So please spread the word!

Curious as to how it all began? Here’s my very first entry on the Sugar Shock Blog on June 7, 2005.

Stay tuned for my announcement about a special blog contest.

Popsicles Full of Sugar Luring You? Try Frozen Bananas Instead

With summer come the sugar-filled popsicles and of course, sugar shock.

Did you know that you can find a sweet solution in frozen bananas?

Yeah, just cut a banana in half, put in the freezer, eat with a little almond butter, and you have the most tasty concoction.

Now,  a number of people think that the banana is a no-no, but it’s not as high in sugar as you may expect. It’s only 51 on the Glycemic Index, which means that the sugars in the fruit have a medium to slow affect on blood sugar levels.

Now learn about bananas’ many benefits, which I found in a newsletter from nutritionist Liz Lipski, who, in turn, got her banana facts from www.corsinet.com.

  • Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose which when combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.
  • Providing energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

In addition, bananas can help with the following:

  • Depression: According to a recent survey amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
  • PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
  • Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
  • Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect way to beat high blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
  • Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
  • Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
  • Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
  • Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
  • Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
  • Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation. (Fascinating!)
  • Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
  • Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady. (Oops — they left out the fact that it’s good to eat protein and/or fat at the same time.)
  • Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
  • Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a “cooling” fruit t hat can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, tryptophan. Eating bananas could be partnered with the purchase of a bright light therapy lamp, which supposedly influences the chemicals in the brain that affect people’s moods.
  • Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal. (Really?)
  • Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
  • Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%.
  • Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape.

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills.

When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe it is time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, “A banana a day keeps the doctor away!”

Wanna learn how to take a banana on the go and keep it fresh? According to www.bananasaver.com, you can just get a banana protector storage container, which protects individual bananas on the go from getting bruised until you eat it. Apparently, this storage container is ideal for backpackers, bikers, children’s lunches and others.

It even has a popsicle slot so you can make your favorite frozen banana pops.

Oprah: Congratulations to Her For Going On a 21-Day Cleanse! Join Her? But Wait, Let Me Help Clear the Carb Confusion — She’s Having a Sweetener

Oprahwinfrey76901Kudos to Oprah and three friends at Harpo for taking the audacious plunge to go on a 21-day cleanse in which they ban sugar, caffeine, alcohol, gluten and animal products.

Wow! Talk about ambitious! Naturally, she invites you to join her, too!

Oprah’s bold experiment came about because of best-selling author and spiritual counselor Kathy Freston.

Kathy_preson_3The author of Quantum Wellness — who appeared on "Oprah" earlier this week — suggests doing away with those five substances to jump-start an inner makeover.

You have to admire and applaud Oprah, because the dynamic queen of TV talk is blogging about her 21-day detox, which makes for fascinating reading. Hurrah to her for sharing so openly.

Kathy raises some fascinating points about the value of "conscious eating" and knowing where your food is coming from. While I’m not a vegan like her, she raises the importance of being tuned in. For instance, think about the oriings of that burger at the local fast food joint. Or contemplate the beginnings of that candy bar.

Anyhow, before I continue, let me stress that this is an incredibly ambitious project to quit sugar, caffeine, alcohol, gluten and animal products all at once, even if just for 21 days.

While Kathy says that you should do as much as you can do, I think that giving up the five substances may just be too much for many people to undertake. For many folks, it hard enough to just stop sugar by itself for three weeks. Or perhaps eliminating coffee is all you can do. (If you tackle even just one of the substances for 21 days, it’s highly commendable.)

So before you plunge into this bold experience, please proceed gently. Be aware that you may be one of those people setting your body up for a major shock, especially if you’ve been abusing it for years, giving it lots of caffeine, sugar, alcohol, gluten and animal products. (A number of experts don’t even suggest kicking sugar cold turkey, because it puts too much stress on your body. Of course, others think that the sooner you eliminate it, the better.)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to discourage you, Oprah fans. I’m just encouraging you to not expect perfection. And please don’t get upset if you find this too overwhelming and if withdrawal symptoms set in such as headaches, overpowering fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability and flu-like symptoms.

Anyhow, of course, Kathy urges you — as I do — to follow this cleanse as much as you like.

In the meantime, let me clear the carb confusion — something I felt important to do after reading Oprah’s blog entry for Day 1, in which she writes that she had some agave nectar and soy milk.

Perhaps Oprah and many of you don’t realize that agave nectar really is a kind of sugar. And soy milk may have some hidden sweeteners in it. Here’s what she wrote:

"So this first day wasn’t hard at all. For breakfast, I had steel-cut oatmeal with fresh blueberries, strawberries, chopped walnuts and a splash of soy milk and some agave nectar. For lunch, chunky mushroom soup with wild rice and pecans. As a snack, a handful of roasted almonds. And for dinner, a baked potato drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper with a salad of shredded lettuce, cranberries, pine nuts and tiny orange slices with a vinegar and oil dressing."

First, let’s discuss agave, a much-touted sweetener that’s allegedly from the blue agave plant in Mexico. Agave also is non-GRAS (that means it’s not Generally Recognized as Safe).

What’s more, it’s a sweetener composed primarily of fructose.  In fact, agave is "metabolized in your body like high fructose corn syrup," according to food formulator Russ Bianchi. (FYI, high fructose corn syrup has been in the news a lot lately because of research suggesting that it’s linked to obesity, etc. I delve into this in my book SUGAR SHOCK!)

Interestingly thirdly, although agave is hailed for its low glycemic index, most people aren’t aware of the fact that the sweetener can be toxic, especially to pregnant and lactating women.

(You can learn more about agave from this well-resarched article about agave from The Chicago Tribune’s Julie Deardorff. However, I do think she could have come down harder on the substance though.)

But rest assured. You can still enjoy sweet foods if you don’t use agave. First off, you can enjoy fresh fruits as apples, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, plums, etc. You also can sweeten foods with dried fruit (you can chop up unsweetened dates, raisins, mango and cranberries); freshly squeezed or mashed fruit such as oranges, bananas, pears, grapes; and sweet potatoes or yams.

In addition, during your 21-day cleanse, you could sparingly use (preferably up to 1 tsp. max at a time of) one of the more natural sugars — date sugar, which is made from freshly ground, dried dates; maple syrup, which comes from boiled-down maple-tree sap; black strap molasses, which is the residue from the sugar refining process; brown rice syrup, which is an amber-colored syrup made by fermenting cooked brown rice with enzymes; organic honey from saps. pollen, nectar, etc. (but make sure to buy it straight from a farm and don’t use it if you’re a child, pregnant, diabetic, hypoglycemic, a senior or have celiac disease); and brown cane sugar, which is sucrose with a little bit of molasses.

You also may wish to try stevia, which is grown in parts of south America or Asia. While the FDA considers it an unapproved food additive, you can get it as a dietary supplement. I recommend getting it in as close to its natural state as possible, meaning the ground-up or whole leaves.

Also, I invite you, Oprah fans, please read the labels of your soy milk. Your best bet is to look for the phase "unsweetened" on the food label, because if it’s unsweetened, it may contain some kind of sugar. I recommend Unsweetened Eden Soy, Silk Unsweetened Soymilk, Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Soymilk and Westsoy Unsweetened Vanilla Soymilk.

A few more things. While they sound absolutely scrumptious, I’m confused by the recipes included on Oprah’s website:

Again, let’s bear in mind that cutting out sugar, caffeine, alcohol, gluten and animal products is a tall order for the most disciplined among us.

Still ready to go for the 21-day cleanse to jumpstart your inner makeover? Hurrah for you? Feeling even bolder? Wanna share about your experience with Oprah’s viewers?

Find a meal plan here and some tasty recipes from chef Tal Ronnen. (The homemade Caesar dressing and Cajun-Seared Portobello Fillets with Avocado Cream sound simply yummy!)

Remember, if you have an interesting experience with the cleanse, Oprah wants to hear from you.

Want some support? Talk with others in the same boat, too.

By the way, count me in, too! I’m thinking of joining the 21-day cleanse, starting later this week, when I finish up my supply of eggs and goat milk’s yogurt. Actually, I have a major head start, because I already don’t consume three (well, nearly four) of the substances:

  • Sugar. Just celebrated my 10-year anniversary off sugar and other sweeteners (other than a few planned and unplanned slips).
  • Alcohol. Ditto; also off it for a decade other than having a few small sips here and there.
  • Caffeine. Quit that about 15 years ago, too.
  • Gluten. I rarely eat that these days. I phased it out about five years ago, after learning about wheat’s dangers while writing my book SUGAR SHOCK! (Several experts I interviewed planted the idea in my head.)
  • Animal products. I don’t have them much, but I do enjoy organic, free-range chicken from time to time, and I eat lots of fish. (So that’ll be my big sacrifice. It’ll also be a challenge to find alternate vegetarian protein sources.) The biggest sacrifice for me would be cutting out goat cheese and goat milk’s yogurt — do I really want to be that committed? Hmm. (Guess I need PETA’s help!)

Again, Oprah invites you to share your story if you’re doing the cleanse.

In fact, agave is "metabolized in your body like high fructose corn syrup," according to food formulator Russ Bianchi. (FYI, high fructose corn syrup has been in the news a lot lately because of research suggesting that it’s linked to obesity, etc. I delve into this in my book SUGAR SHOCK!)

Remember, taking a 21-day cleanse such as Oprah and Kathy Freston are suggesting will not only make you feel better ultimately, it will help you to become more focused, centered, spiritual and alive.

But, I invite you to go even longer than three weeks without caffeine, sugar, alcohol, gluten and eat less animal products (only organic if you do), and, I’m convinced, your life will completely change.

Jennifer Moore contributed to this SUGAR SHOCK! Blog post.

New Yorkers: Get Help Tomorrow to Kick Your Sugar Habit!

Do you live in New York City or close to it?

Do you have a sugar problem?

Then, let me help you change your life and lick your sugar habit for good!

Catch me live tomorrow, Thursday, May 15 at the JCC in Manhattan from 7 to 8:30 p.m., so you can get help to break free of your sugar habit.

Register here now or call 646-505 5708 to sign up for this inexpensive course — it’s only $10 for members and $15 for non-members.

We’ll have a lot of fun, and at the same time, you’ll get tools and tactics so you won’t have to "take orders" anymore from cookies, candies and cakes, as one former sugar sufferer puts it.

Instead, you’ll be the one to take control over the sweets. Just imagine — wouldn’t you like a life where sweets have no sway over you?

So join me tomorrow, Thursday, May 15, at the JCC in Manhattan from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Here’s the description of the program:

Stop Sugar Shock To Lose Weight and Boost Energy

Attention sugar addicts, dieters, diabetics and hypoglycemics!

If you need chocolate or chips to get through the day, if you’re depressed or sluggish, or if you constantly battle with excess weight, you may be one of millions trapped in sugar shock!

Your habit of overloading on sugar and other ‘culprit carbs’ may be hurtling you towards disease, diabetes and even early death.

Learn to control your sugar addiction with tasty, healthy treats and snacks [so you can] peel off pounds, boost your energy, reduce PMS, banish ‘brain fog,’ rev up your libido, and get a new lease on life.

‘Sugar liberator’ and holistic health counselor Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C., author of the best-selling book Sugar Shock, will show you how to break free of your sugar habit for good.

The seminar will take place at the JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St. (Program room assignments will be available at the JCC Customer Service Desk, in the lobby of the Samuel Priest Rose Building.)

Register now here or by calling 646-505 5708.

Hope to see you!

Food Label Faux Pas: How Could I Be Duped By Almond Butter With Hidden Sugars?


Yours truly didn’t follow her own advice! Oops!

Picture me, so in the mood for a nice snack — a crunch, organic red apple covered with scrumptious unsweetened almond butter.

And so I filled a tablespoon with my newly purchased "All Natural" almond butter. Yum — I love the stuff. (Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t find organic at the store near me.)

Happily, I took a big bite.


It just didn’t taste right! In fact, it had this sort of way-too-sweet taste. Darn, I was disappointed.

But what could be wrong, I wondered?

It was then that I did what I tell others always to do: I turned over the jar to look at the label and there, staring me in the face was the truth: Listed second, after the dry roasted almonds was "organic evaporated cane sugar" — i.e., sugar.

What was sugar doing in my all natural almond butter from a company (won’t reveal the name), whose products I had purchased before?

Wait, there’s more: Palm oil and sea salt were added, too, to my nut butter. Huh? Why were those needed?

Anyhow, now I’m sitting in my office with my all disgusting all-natural, crunchy almond butter.

How could I, the Ex-Sugar Shrew-turned Sugar Sleuth, be duped by a jar of almond butter? Because I didn’t follow my own advice! LOL!

Well, I gotta go now and see if the store will take back my almond butter and let me swap it for a more tasty, unsweetened one. (By the way, when you phase out sugar, your taste buds change considerably — while sweetened nut butters might have once appealed to me, now they’re disgustingly untasty.)

Moral of the story: Read food labels religiously, even from companies whose products you’ve purchased before.

Jack LaLanne, Joe Vitale, Ann Louise Gittleman & Donna LeBlanc: Get Inspired on My Radio Show (Listen Live or Later)

Get inspired today (or later) for part 2 of my "Keys to Sweet Glee, Naturally" radio show when I interview the following incredibly motivating, inspiring people, who like the 16 experts two weeks ago, will share all kinds of jewels of wisdom:

Jack_lalanne_bio_pic2 "The King of Fitness" Jack LaLanne — Now 93, the inspirational has more energy than people half his age — or even one-third his age.

This is going to be a real treat!

The “Los Angeles Times” says, “LaLanne got his spoken word across lightning fast, packs more punch in one paragraph than a boxing champ in 15 rounds.”

Jack LaLanne is a legend. His list of firsts is amazingly long. For instance, he:

  • Opened the first modern health spa

And he was:

  • The first to have a nationally syndicated exercise show on television
  • The first to have athletes working out with weights
  • The first to have women working out with weights
  • The first to have the elderly working out with weights
  • The first to have a coed health club
  • The first to combine weight training with nutrition
  • The first to sell vitamins and exercise equipment on television
  • The first to teach scientific body building by changing the program every 2 to 3 weeks
  • The first to encourage the physically challenged to exercise… to work around their disabilities
  • The first to do feats of strength and endurance to emphasize what exercise and nutrition can do for you

Speaking of lightning, Jack and I will rapidly touch on several topics, including:

  • Anything in life is possible and you can make it happen.
  • Your waistline is your lifeline.
  • Exercise is King, nutrition is Queen, put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.
  • Don’t exceed the feed limit.
  • The food you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow.
  • Ten seconds on the lips and a lifetime on the hips.
  • Better to wear out than rust out.
  • Do – don’t stew.
  • People don’t die of old age, they die of inactivity.
  • First we inspire them, then we perspire them.
  • You eat everyday, you sleep everyday, and your body was made to exercise everyday.
  • Work at living and you don’t have to die tomorrow.
  • If man makes it, don’t eat it.
  • What’s it doing for me?
  • Your health account is like your bank account: The more you put in, the more you can take out.
  • It’s not what you do some of the time that counts, it’s what you do all of the time that counts.
  • Eat right and you can’t go wrong.

In addition, during the Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show — which you can listen to live or later — you’ll get words of inspiration and information from:

“Mr. Fire” Joe Vitale, one of the stars of the hit movie, "The Secret," who will share “How to Use the Law of Attraction in Business and Life.”

"First Lady of Nutrition" Ann Louise Gittleman, who will discuss "How Kicking Sugar Can be the Key to Longevity"

"Secret Weapon" Donna LeBlanc, M.Ed., who will share "How to Find Out What’s Eating You So You Can Quit Overeating"

Remember, if you miss the show live, you can listen later here.

Thanks to BlogTalkRadio for featuring this show on their blog.

Sugar-Free for 10 Years: How Kicking the White Stuff Gave Me Energy, Focus & Sweetness

As fans of this blog and my radio show know, this is a big month for me — 10 years off sugar. Here is an essay that I wrote about this momentous event in my life and a look back at how I changed. This piece will be published soon by a media outlet. Details coming.

Sugar-Free for 10 Years

How Kicking the White Stuff Gave Me Energy, Focus & Sweetness
By Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C.

April 24, 2008 — Ten years ago this month, I became what can best be described as “reborn.”

Amazingly, all I did was kick a bad habit: I stopped consuming a certain white powder (no, not that one) and its fiber-stripped cousins—sugar and processed carbohydrates—substances dear to the hearts and stomachs of most Americans and people in industrialized countries the world over.

Indeed, in April 1998, after an on-again, off-again love affair with sugar, its sweet relatives (high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, etc.) and other refined, fast-acting carbs (chips, white rice, etc.), I reluctantly gave them all the heave-ho.

Remarkably, within a few days of quitting the nutrient-deprived, white stuff, I began to exude energy, enthusiasm and excitement. Better still, within weeks of preventing sugar shock, I became more focused, clear-headed and productive.

Banishing sweets and processed, “quickie carbs” also helped lighten my load: Not only did a few pounds slide off (I wasn’t really overweight), but I also lost the constant threat to my health, moods and sanity, which had hung like Damocles’s sword over my head.

Stopping Sugar Led to “Miracles” Galore

What I didn’t know—like many Americans, who indulge in sweet “treats” a couple of times a day and on every special occasion imaginable—was that banishing the substances that led to my sugar-induced highs and the lows that inevitably followed would yield such remarkable, far-reaching results.

Sure enough, as my nutrition-savvy physician had predicted, giving up my thrice-daily sugar routine put an end to my overpowering fatigue, horrific headaches and frightening heart palpitations.

In addition, by booting sweets out the door, I also was saying farewell to my severe PMS, disorienting brain fog, troubling depression and a terrifying feeling of being enslaved by my habit.

Not only that, but by quitting this dangerous duo (white sugar and white-flour products), my overpowering sugar cravings, mortifying mood swings and unpredictable crying spells no longer harassed, besieged and embarrassed me.

In all, I did away with a whopping 44 debilitating, perplexing maladies by shutting the door on nutrient-lacking white stuff.

Gone was Connie, the pooped-out, fuzzy-headed, confusion-laden, anxiety-ridden, depression-plagued, sugar-obsessed chick with the life force of an immobile, inert slug.

In her place emerged a coherent, competent, confident Connie. A young woman full of fun, laughter and good cheer.

My Habit Was As American As Apple Pie

In my mind, I’d had good reasons for taking sugar breaks: My cherished red licorice, hard candies, chocolate molasses chips and other quickie carbs often came to my rescue—or so I thought—whenever I felt weak or wiped out, wanted comfort or soothing or needed a “quick burst of energy” to meet an impending article deadline.

As I’ve learned in the decade since conquering my destructive habit, many, if not most Americans, have a similar sort of dark dependency on dessert foods or other “culprit carbs” such as most breads, crackers and white pasta. In fact, the average U.S. resident consumes some 170 pounds of sweeteners per year or nearly a cup of sugar a day, much of which comes from packaged foods and drinks.

Naturally, given our toxic, sugar-pushing, advertising climate, it was easy to cave into my sugar cravings.
After all, I was enticed wherever I went, be it a drug store, movie or supermarket.

Indeed, I was seduced daily by sweet snacks that “sung” to me like those mythical, Greek sirens, who lured innocent male mariners to their death.

In hindsight, it’s evident that I was both malnourished (despite being of normal weight) and headed for an early death—as are most Americans, whose eating habits are putting them on a collision course with obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, sexual dysfunction, infertility and premature aging.

Sadly, the typical American is flat out nutritionally illiterate. Most people just aren’t aware that all those crackers, breads and cereals (even if deceptively labeled “healthy”) can wreak havoc with their blood sugar levels, over-stimulate insulin release, trigger inflammation, and set the stage for more than 100 health woes, including depression, fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations, dizziness, forgetfulness, muscle pains and temper tantrums.

From Desperation to Hope

People say that hitting rock bottom can be life-changing. Certainly, it was for me. In 1998, after plunging into the depths of despair and desolation, I finally confronted my destructive dessert behavior, developed tactics to overcome it and embarked on a transformative journey.

Now, a decade after licking my own self-defeating sugar cycle (minus some slips, both unintended and deliberate), I’m on a mission to inspire others to face their sugar truth, find hidden sugars, break free of their habit, and experience the many benefits of being sugar-free—or close to it.

If, for instance, you’re plagued by headaches and/or suffering from exhaustion, mood swings, cancer, pre-diabetes or even bedroom woes, curtailing your sugar habit may be the way to resolve them.

Skeptical of my claims? No problem. Test them out.

Use yourself as a guinea pig as I did back in 1998. Get rid of the sweets and culprit carbs. Bring on the high-caliber carbs (veggies, fruits, legumes, etc.), along with the quality proteins and fats.

Then give it at least a month and see how you feel. You, too, I’m convinced, will become happily “reborn.”

Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C. is a journalist, health counselor, life coach and author of SUGAR SHOCK!, with Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. The book has been endorsed by numerous luminaries, including Dr. Mehmet Oz, Mike Huckabee and Harvey Weinstein. To learn if you, too, are sugar shocked, take the quiz at www.SugarShock.com.

Copyright © Stop SUGAR SHOCK! and www.SugarShockBlog.com. You may cite this essay by linking to it from your blog or website, but you may not reprint this essay. (I appreciate your cooperation. This piece cannot be reprinted on your site in its entirety, because it’s being published elsewhere. But I’d love you to link to it. Thanks!)

Personal Growth, Empowerment, Wellness & Weight Loss: 15 Experts on Speed-Interviewing Gab-Fest on April 15 (Listen Live or Later)

Get inspired, educated and rejuvenated on April 15. Join me for my one-of-a-kind, speed-interviewing Gab Fest With the Gurus.

This one-of-a-kind event, which I told you about earlier, will feature the following experts for five minutes each:

SUGAR SHOCK’s Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C. presents


A Speed-Interviewing Gab-Fest With Top

Wellness & Empowerment Gurus

A Celebration of 10 Years Sugar-Free

Listen to the Free Radio Show Live Or Later

April 15, 2008 (3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST)

Introduction from Connie Bennett, host, Stop Sugar Shock! Radio    Show and author of SUGAR SHOCK!

Alex Jamieson, C.H.H.C. — "How I Helped Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me Shed Fast-Food Weight"

Richard Johnson, M.D. — "How Fructose Makes You Fat, Sick & Diseased"

Oz Garcia, Ph.D. — "How to Turn Back the Clock, Skip Plastic Surgery & Look & Feel Defiantly Well"

Bernie Siegel, M.D. — "Love Yourself, Love Your Kids With Positive Power"

Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S. — "Skip the Meds & Go for Natural Cures"

Joshua Rosenthal, MScEd — "Crowd Out Cravings & Nourish With Primary Food"

Roberta Ruggiero — "How Connie Shed Sugar & Bid Farewell to Her Stressed-Out `Sugar Shrew’"

Deborah King, Ph.D. — "Hide No More: How Truth Heals"

Marla "FlyLady" Cilley — "How to Leave CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) Behind"

J.J. Virgin, Ph.D., C.N.S., C.H.F.I. — "Push, Pull & Move: The Way to Longevity"

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. — "Stomp Out Stress With Meditation & More"

Donna LeBlanc, M.Ed. — "Learn What’s Eating You So You Can Quit Overeating"

Liz Lipski, Ph.D., C.C.N. — "Troubled Tummy? How to Eat for Good Digestion"

"Fit Advocate" Craig Pepin-Donat — "Why are Most Americans Living A Big, Fat Health & Fitness Lie?"

Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D. — "3 Top Tips to Toss Out the Sugar” Ken Druck, Ph.D. — "Releasing the Grief That Traps You & Addicts You"

"Health Ranger" Mike Adams — "High-Vibration Foods to Enhance Mental, Emotional & Spiritual Clarity"

Hyla Cass, M.D. — "Is Your Doctor a Nutritional Idiot? What Your M.D. Doesn’t Know"

Sam Horn — "Fun Fu!  The Secret to Lightening Up instead of Tightening Up"

Wrap Up by Connie Bennett & Announcement of Raffle Prizes

Raffle Prizes: (One copy, unless otherwise specified):

$150 Gift Certificate from Vital Choice Seafood

$150 Gift Certificate from U.S. Wellness Meats

EatSmart Nutrition Scale (retails for $75). Plus 10% coupon to subscribers of Stop Sugar Shock Minute —      sign up at www.SugarShock.com.

SUGAR SHOCK! by Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C., with Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. (2 copies)

"Don’t Mess With Stress! to Kick Sugar," 2-CD set with Jill R. Baron, M.D. and Connie Bennett

Admission to "Simply Tap Away Your Sugar Cravings With EFT," 2-part teleseminar program, with Steven

    Munn, C.H.C.C. and Connie Bennett (2 passes)

Admission to Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Membership Program (1 person)

The Sugar Fix: The High-Fructose Fallout That’s Making You Fat and Sick

 by Dr. Richard Johnson (New book — April 1, 2008 publication date.)

Redesigning 50: The No-Plastic Surgery Guide to 21st-Century Age Defiance by Dr. Oz Garcia 

    (New book — April 22, 2008 pub date.)

The Gut Flush Plan: The Breakthrough Cleansing Program to Rid Your Body of the Toxins That

    Make You Sick, Tired and Bloated by Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman (New book in May. Ann Louise is on

    the April 29 Gab-Fest With the Gurus radio show.)

The Truth Heals: What you hide can hurt you by Deborah King, Ph.D. (Comes out in September 2008.)

Love, Magic & Mudpies by Bernie Siegel, M.D.

"Wake Up To Wellness," DVD, with guided by Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health & Happiness by Joshua Rosenthal,MScEd

Body Clutter: Love Your Body, Love Yourself by Marla Cilley, "FlyLady," and Leanne Ely, "Dinner Diva"

"JumpStart the Art! The Art of Losing It!," CD by Dr. J.J. Virgin

The Diet Boot Camp Program," CD, by Dr. Jonny Bowden

The Do’s and Don’ts of Low Blood Sugar by Roberta Ruggiero

The Great American Detox Diet by Alex Jamieson, C.H.H.C.

Supplement Your Prescription: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutrition by Hyla Cass, Ph.D.

Water from Primo Water

Fiscal Fitness book, cookbook and poster from fitness guru Jack LaLanne (who appears April 29 on the Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show


The Attractor Factor by Joe Vitale (Also on the April 29 Gab-Fest With the Gurus radio show.)