Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

“The Sugar Blues”

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According to some mental health experts, Monday, January 17th was the most depressing day of the year. Mainly due to the arrival of bills in the mailbox and gloomy weather. In addition, by this time, many will have abandoned New Years resolutions, short of the 21 days that it supposedly takes for good habits to take hold.

I don’t usually make New Years resolutions as I find that September is the month when I feel most upbeat about tackling new projects.  It must be all those years of mom-hood that have me stuck in the school-year cycle. Today however I feel the need to resolve to reduce my sugar intake for the rest of the year.

The reason for this belated resolution is that I have not quite recovered from the holiday season sugar overload and I’m hooked, with the energy lapses and subtle mood swings to show for it.  Some have called refined sugar consumption, “Death by installments.”  I read and was influenced by the book Sugar Blues in the late-seventies and this coincided with my return to regular exercise after a five year lapse. The results of these two important lifestyle changes were that my energy level became very consistent and stable through the day. Mid-afternoon sleepiness and drowsiness after meals can be avoided by reducing the refined sugar in our diet, and foods ranking high on the glycemic index.

Here is an enthusiastic review of the Sugar Blues by a more recent reader:

A true health classic! February 3, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from New York City
I’m sugar-free ever since reading “Sugar Blues.” I was sluggish, moody, hungry, etc. I remembered that John Lennon mentioned Dufty’s book in an interview once. So I bought it at the local health food store. He starts off with his own sugar hell and redemption and then delves into the whole history of the cane. Very interesting, health-wise and also politically. . . When I tell people I’m sugar-free they usually scoff, saying sugar’s not that bad for you, why give it up completely. Well, now I wake up clear and I get through the afternoon w/o any flagging of energy. At various times of the day I’ll feel some energy racing through my body. (A great feeling; keeps me motivated.) Now I need less food on my plate, and my hypoglycemia has all but disappeared. (Think about THAT one, folks.) Never eat “refined sucrose” again! It can be done! Sky’s the limit! Thank you, William Dufty!

Sugar Blues by William Duffy

Apparently, John Lennon used to regularly give away copies of Sugar Blues. Well I’m a believer in “baby steps” so here is what I did today to lessen my sugar intake, I had a non-sweet latte, at LIT, foregoing the usual triple-venti-whole-milk-vanilla latte and I skipped a sweet treat. Once I’m back to minimal sugar consumption, a sweet treat can be enjoyed every now and then without ill effect and it will be truly a treat rather than the satisfaction of an unhealthy craving.

I won’t delve into the more serious issues related to blood sugar levels such as Diabetes for which my knowledge is limited to first-year Biology and Nutritional Food Science but one starting point might be this link to The Canadian Diabetes Association.

LIT Latte Art

Here is a great quote from Jack Lalanne, the Godfather of Fitness who passed away recently at the age of 96.

Exercise is King, nutrition is Queen put them together and you have a kingdom.

Just say NO, to sugar!

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4 thoughts on ““The Sugar Blues”

  1. I read this entry RIGHT before I was going to the kitchen to eat a ginger molasses cookie (even though when I ask myself “what is this cookie going to do for ME?” I can’t come up with a good answer). In honour of Jack Lalanne, I will not eat a cookie tonight!

  2. What a terrific article, Lynn. Really gives food for thought. Would love if you would follow up with more ways to cut sugar out of our lives and increase our natural energy. Really liked your example, but as a Diabetic with high Triglycerides (fat in blood from sugar) I need to cut back sugar in every way.

  3. Yes, I prefer fat free zero yogurts (Astro) as they have only 35 calories per serving versus 90-100+ cals for regular yogurts (Astro). With so many Canadians 40 & older who don’t realize they can get Type 2 diabetes, we’ve all really got to watch our sugar intake. (I used to work at the CDA.)
    Great post Lynn.

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