Little Bunny Legions of Cravings!!!
I had threatened someone that I would write about caffeine and sugar soon....today's not going to be that day. Nope, today's the day that I'm going to whine about my sugar cravings, yet again. Now, I'm not claiming to be 100% off 'the sug', but I basically am. OK, I ate a giant teaspoon of honey today just to have something sweet. BUT! Honey is not particularly processed. SO, while this is definitely, NOT on the plan, it's also not technically cheating. I'm like Bill Clinton and the honey is Monica Lewinsky...Oh wait, he actually DID tap that. Not a good example. You get my point though, right? Kinda like the coconut milk frozen dessert being made with agave syrup isn't technically cheating. Yeah, I don't buy it either.
OK, in all seriousness, I've been basically off the cookies, cakes, brownies, pastries, real ice cream, candy bars, etc. since starting this blog. What's that, 2, almost 3 weeks?? Let me tell you, 16 days is the longest I have ever gone 100% sugar free. After the third day, it got easy, but as soon as I gave in, I couldn't stop! Well, I'm about ready to give in. I was doing OK with the cravings, as in, didn't really have any. However, once they came on, I've been obsessing over sugar and fantasizing about what I would eat...I haven't given in yet. Let me repeat that, I have not given in...YET.
So what is about sugar that seems to rock my world?? Sugar is what the biological world runs on, so why wouldn't my body want more more more??!! My body has to work to break down carbs into sugar for energy, so if it can take a short-cut, why not? Right? Well, in it's natural form (natural meaning how it's found in nature as a whole food sans processing) sugar is found in fruit. Fruits come to us in these great single serving packages called apples, oranges, bananas, berries, mangoes, etc. I'm sure you've seen them before. Anyway, when served up as a fruit, sugar is surrounded by lots-o-fiber (and you know how much I like fiber!), which slows the absorption of the sugar by our bodies.
When we eat sugar that is pumped into our body without the slowing agent of fiber, hopefully, our body responds by kicking up the insulin levels to process the hell out of it. In other words, our insulin levels spike until our cells have grabbed up all the sugar. Greedy little bastards. Guess what happens next though. Our insulin level drops and fast. When that happens, we think we need to eat again. Hmmm. Sugar gives us quite a high for a very short time and we like that. It lifts our mood, it gives us a burst of energy and it tastes sooooo good. It tastes so good because back in the days when we were cavemen, we needed to be attracted to high-energy foods that would give us enough energy to outrun the sabertooth tigers (some 'facts' may not be historically accurate). To go perfectly full circle, the fruit needed us to eat it and poop out the seeds elsewhere so that another fruit tree could grow (yeah, had to go there).
Today, our bodies still crave the sweet stuff! Only now, since the industrial revolution actually, we've been able to practically mainline pure fructose (really really pure sugar, the motherlode of sugar!) through processing the crap out of our food. The more sugar we put in, the more we want and the less able our bodies are to deal with it. When our bodies stop being able to deal with it, we see increases in the instances of adult onset diabetes. Yuck. We use our wonderful technological capabilities to stuff sugar that we've reduced down to it's most basic components, purer and purer, into our foods and daily diets until we literally make ourselves sick. Clearly, we've evolved and are smarter than a caveman.
Guess where I had breakfast! If you guessed Panera, you'd be right! Although, I bought the fruit at the grocery store...
Yup! Panera for lunch too! Now, in the interest of full disclosure, this is a meal from 4/2/11. It is, however, what I ate today for lunch. Greek salad, black bean soup, baguette and cranberry hibiscus tea. I'm so predictable!
And look at all those veggies!!!! Broccoli, frozen mixed veggies (as my starch--carrots, corn, lima beans) and chicken tenders with buffalo sauce.
You'll notice there was no snacking today...I'm sure this contributed to my obsessing over sugar. I went however many hours between meals and my bloodsugar dropped, making me want to eat and making me want fast energy...AKA, sugar.
And don't forget about my bowl of popcorn and I'll have some tea tonight. BUT, it's going to be an early night. I've got an 8am start time for that 5K. Wish me luck!