Recently, while attending a women’s empowerment weekend to catch live talks by the inspiring Elizabeth Gilbert, Deepak Chopra, and Joan Borysenko, I was surprised and duped.
Don’t blame the awesome experts, whose words of wisdom I zealously savored. Instead, the fault falls on me, because I neglected my usual, super-vigilant, detective-like scrutiny about what I eat.
Essentially, I let down my guard come mealtime, and became a victim of hidden sugars, which often lurk in allegedly good-for-you foods.
Symptoms Galore Struck Me Because of Sneaky Hidden Sugars
I imagine that you’re wondering how I realized that I’d overdosed on hidden sugars without even knowing it. Well, my reaction to the toxic sweets was quite dramatic. In fact, you, too, could be suffering from Sneaky Hidden Sugars but not even know it.
So how did Sneaky Hidden Sugars harm me? Well, before lunch, I’d been thrilled to participate in this amazing event, which was designed to help us women find spiritual solutions.
But within an hour of enjoying my ostensibly healthy lunch, I got walloped by ferocious dizziness, a crushing headache, overpowering fatigue, horrible brain fog, sudden jumpiness, nagging irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
With the little mental clarity I could still muster, I reviewed my buffet selections—a salad with no dressing, cooked tofu, sautéed vegetables, grilled eggplant in tomato sauce, and no dessert.
And then it hit me: The marinara sauce that I’d generously poured over the sliced eggplant—not once, but twice—had been my undoing.
Without knowing it, I’d ingested some 3 to 7 teaspoons of Sneaky Hidden Sugars.
What embarrasses me is that I know better.
Soon after I’d unknowingly downed all those toxic, hidden sugars, the thrill of getting to personally hear or talk to Elizabeth Gilbert, Joan Borysenko and Deepak Chopra evaporated.
Instead, I dragged myself through about the last three hours of the afternoon program.
Then, as soon as possible, I escaped to my hotel room, made a healthy, nutrient-packed shake using the Magic Bullet that I’d brought with me and then—at the insanely early hour of 6 pm—I crawled into bed and konked out for a whopping 11 hours.
It Was My Fault That I Was Duped by Sneaky Hidden Sugars!
Ultimately, it took me all weekend to recover from the Hidden Sugars Poisoning
At first, I was furious at the organizers of the fabulous event and at the facility’s food service personnel for not properly alerting us health-conscious, sugar-shunning diners to the presence of sweeteners such as sugar, honey, barley malt, molasses or agave. Thankfully, they did label gluten and dairy, which, incidentally, I also avoid.
But as I began to feel more like myself, I accepted full responsibility for my faux-pas.
It was my own fault that I got so sick. Because I know better!
And it was wrong for me to assume that a vegetarian, uplifting, spiritual haven would be a sugar-free zone (other than the obviously sugar-filled desserts).
Let me backtrack briefly to share my sugar story.
Back in 1998, I was a sugar-addicted journalist, who urgently “needed” my frequent candy or other sweet “fixes” to concentrate, quickly crank out stories, and meet my many, demanding deadlines. (The irony is that previously, while interning at a newspaper, I’d pooh-poohed a reporter friend’s rigid, sugar-free diet, thinking, “Not for me. Too extreme.”)
But after years of overdosing on sweets and processed carbohydrates, my body rebelled, and I began to suffer 44 horrible, debilitating ailments—including headaches, brain fog, and the incapacitating exhaustion that I experienced again during my purportedly spiritual weekend.
During my addictive heydey—unless I was “high” on sugar or quickie carbs—I didn’t much enjoy or appreciate my life. I just felt too awful much of the time.
So when a savvy doctor recommended that I cut out all sugar and processed carbohydrates, I was desperate enough to try his seemingly outlandish suggestion.
Not only did all 44 of my baffling, debilitating symptoms vanish, but I became a reborn, ditch-sugar evangelist.
Fast forward 17-plus years. I’ve been sugar-free this entire time—well, other than a few slips here and there and a handful of times I’ve been thrown off-kilter by Sneaky Hidden Sugars.
By the way, please note that when I say “sugars,” I mean any kind of sweetener, including honey, barley malt, agave, evaporated cane juice, organic sugar, or coconut sugar.
Because I feel so much better without sweets—energetic, focused, cheerful—I try to be super-careful about what I eat. But no one knows better than me how hard that can be, especially when you’re dining out and there are no food labels to study.
Anyhow, I’m now a sugar expert and educator and author of two books about the subject, Sugar Shock (Berkley Books, 2006) and Beyond Sugar Shock (Hay House, 2012). I’m also a certified health coach, certified life coach, and Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping) practitioner in training.
I’ve also been honored and privileged to guide thousands of people worldwide to reach what I dub Sweet Freedom.
Ironically, I even offer assistance to help clients find those Sneaky Hidden Sugars.
This last Hidden Sugars fiasco both outraged me and embarrassed me.
Now, I’m determined that this will never happen again.
That’s why I’ve now created Tips to Help You Outsmart Sneaky Hidden Sugars When Dining Out.
Visit back next week to get these simple guidelines.