And now for something completely different. A serious attempt to cure my sugar addiction. I have made many half hearted attempts over the years (those annual 40 day Lenten fast from sugar? Not very successful). But here I am, starting a radical 10 day detox with absolutely no sugar or any sugar derivatives. What accounts for the change of heart and mind?
It started with an article in the Washington Post back on August 6 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/does-a-sugar-detox-work-im-on-it-and-have-had-some-surprising-results/2019/08/02/561245b4-a724-11e9-9214-246e594de5d5_story.html). Steven Petrow wrote so honestly that I had to think about my own sugar addiction. Maybe there was hope in this detox diet by Dr. Mark Hyman. I borrowed the books from the local library and read. The three most important statements that hit me were, ‘it’s not your fault’, ‘fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar makes you fat’ and ‘sugar is in everything’. The food industrial complex is making huge profits at our expense. Hooking us on sugar and processed foods that is killing us. But finally I read a solution, hope, for my own body and life.
You see, I have gout. Have had it 8 years now (since 2011). It’s an arthritic related condition, I can feel it in my joints, in my feet, in my hands. Thankfully I have controlled the crippling pain and swelling with meds, allopurinol. It is said to be hard on my liver over time. But what can one do? I want to live pain free so I take my 200 mg daily.
But lately I have also felt a list of other symptoms. Nothing so bad that I need to go to the doctor; a general sluggishness, tiredness from morning to evening, lack of energy, sometimes an angry gut (runs in the family), and occasional achiness of my joints (even with meds). Is it age or illness? Should I put up with fatigue the rest of my life or is there hope? Are my constantly stuffed sinuses a hopeless case or is there an answer?
In September I decided I wanted to try the 10 day detox program and talked with Wanda about it. She read the book and agreed to join me. She’s a veteran of diets, has seen it all. Me, on the other hand, am a rookie. I began spouting Dr. Hyman quotes from his book and she would counter with, heard that before. She knew all the diets past to present. So perhaps there was nothing new under the sun after all. Still, Dr. Hyman put it together so well, so organized, so complete, that I was sold.
We made an appointment with our naturopath, Dr. Sarah Millar. She encouraged us and answered questions we had. But when to start? It’s not so easy when you basically have to buy a whole new pantry and refrigerator of food. Dr. Hyman suggests a major clean and throwing food out. Should we do that? Another point is recording results. Starting with a baseline and keeping track of our body changes. So this is what we agreed upon, starting on Tuesday, October 1 for 10 days, finishing the detox on the 11th, just prior to Thanksgiving (Canadian) on that weekend. Additionally, we will get full blood tests done on that Friday to see the effects of our 10 days of detox.
The one other thing that Dr. Hyman highly recommends is to find a way to be accountable to others. I’m doing this with Wanda so we will hold each other accountable. But he insists on more. So I have decided, with some hesitation, to share this on a blog for others to read and comment on. It’s pretty high exposure for me to do this. But I am doing it because I want to succeed pretty badly. Perhaps this will be my ‘cloud of witnesses’ that I need to succeed. So, as you read this, you are my cheering section (I hope). I will share as honestly as I can for 10 days. Thank you for your support.
Bravo Doug, and thank you for sharing this journey. I believe that you and Wanda are “Food Warriors”, taking on the no sugar challenge with an adventurous spirit. Y’all inspire Anita and me.
In honoring the two of you and this journey, Anita and I will begin a 10 day sugar fast too. (So far, the diet contents sound rather tasty!).
Warm regards and Love,
Hey Kenneth, thanks for this. I hope your fast goes well.
Wow, you are brave! Thanks for sharing the reasons for your journey and your daily trials and triumphs. I will follow your progress with much interest. I know that I also am addicted to sugar and some of the symptoms you describe I have attributed to depression. I think that you are not just holding yourself accountable with these posts. You are also serving as an inspiration.
Thank you Jeni, it’s been tough. Wanda’s has struggled more than me. We keep the goal of finishing successfully a week from now in front of us.