Burning in Eternal Hellfire(ball) for my Sins + Sugar Impact Diet Specifics

9 Feb

I absentmindedly took a shot of Fireball Whisky last night.  A few minutes later it occurred to me that there was a reason it went down so smoothly…sugar!  For the past half hour or so, I have been scouring the internet to investigate possible infidelities in relation to my sugar-free goals. I wanted to confirm that Fireball Whisky had added sugar so that I could feel proper guilt. Mission accomplished.

I also drank one of these bad boys: http://www.woodchuck.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/IMG_4551edited.jpg. I aspire to enjoy beer, so I consider a hoppy hard cider to be my training wheels. I really liked it. However, interestingly enough, it seemed quite sweet to me. The ingredients read as follows: hard cider, less than 1% of : natural flavor (I hate this suspicious catch-all idiom), sulfites to protect flavor. I started to get paranoid about the term “hard cider”, so I questioned my husband who has been making homemade hard cider for the past 6 years. He assured me that sugar would likely be added at the end of the fermentation process, not during, and therefore would show up on the list of ingredients. I wasn’t able to come up with any definitive answers through online searches. Basically, the best I could come up with was evidence that pointed toward a conclusion of no added sugar.  Twelve ounces of apple juice has 40 grams of sugar. (Yikes! That’s more sugar than a can of Coke has. No wonder Steve Jobs ended up with pancreatic cancer – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17093171 . By the way, I am referring to the fact that he was a fruititarian, not that he created the APPLE brand.  Although, that is clever, so you are allowed to take it however you wish as long as it makes me sound smart. 😉 )

I found information that Angry Orchard’s dry cider is made without adding any juice at the end to sweeten it up. Twelve ounces of Angry Orchard’s dry cider has 19 grams of sugar.  Each bottle of Hopsation only has 10 grams of sugar per serving.  Therefore, I can safely assume I am in the clear.  This is really exciting.  Possibly even more exciting is the fact that a dry cider with only the equivalent of about 2.5 tsp of sugar in it seems really sweet to me.  My taste buds are growing up.  I’m so proud!!! (Eyes welling up with tears)

Anyway, to make a long story short: no more Fireball, but most dry hard ciders seem to be okay in moderation (and do not contain added sugar).  Hooray!

Now, for the Sugar Impact Diet Specificshttp://www.everydiet.org/diet/sugar-impact-diet

Normally, diet gurus with shiny books that are wielded by Dr. Oz make me weary.  In fact, every time I see J.J. Virgin’s arms, I get a little scared. http://bohmphotography.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-branding/jjvirgin2.jpg  However, if you can get past all of the disgusting over-promotion & sensationalism, you’d probably come to the conclusion that she does know her shit.  I have, and so I trust in the merit of her diet plans.  I also like the 3 week approach.  There’s something less sad about 3 weeks without something than having to go a whole MONTH.

Here’s the gist of the program:

Week 1 – “Taper” – This is the week I just completed. During week 1, you are allowed 2 pieces of fruit per day max.  In addition, you substitute higher impact carb choices, such as potato chips, with medium impact carb choices, such as baked sweet potatoes.  The book lays out several categories of food: grains, fruits, vegetables, beverages, etc. with low, medium, and high impact choices spelled out for reference.  There is also a Sugar Impact Plate to follow that allows a person to visualize how much protein, how many vegetables, etc. should make up what percentage of your plate at meals. She recommends drinking a daily Sugar Impact Shake which is basically a protein shake with added fiber, fat, and greens. I loosely adhered to the plate concept but did have a daily smoothie for breakfast (along with coffee and coconut milk). I used non-offensive tasting collagen powder for additional protein instead of any of that stevia flavored garbage that others magically choke down on a daily basis in the name of health.

Overall, the week went well.  Somewhere along the way, the energy that disappeared when I first went low-carb magically resurfaced.  I think my body adjusted, because I still haven’t been eating very many carbohydrates relatively speaking.  I have been making an effort to make sure I get at least 50-75 grams of carbs/day, however.  Going lower than that can ravage your adrenals. For reference, here is some info about how many carbohydrates the average American eats: http://livehealthy.chron.com/average-american-diet-calorie-intake-2960.html and some more information about how to figure out your ideal carbohydrate number http://www.thepaleomom.com/2011/12/how-many-carbs-should-you-eat.html, http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/07/optimizing-carbohydrate-intake-for-your.html

I lost 2 pounds this week.  I suspect some of this may have something to do with the fact that I removed dairy again.  I am currently at 136 pounds, which is right where I was before reintroducing cream in my daily coffee.  After a week of that, I had gained 2 pounds.  This week, I’ve continued to have daily coffee with fatty coconut milk but have lost weight.  Hmm.  Seems ‘spicious.  I’m still not comfortable blaming dairy for the weight gain as there are other confounding factors, such as reduced fruit intake, to consider.  In any case, it’s something to keep in mind and monitor when I reintroduce dairy in the future.

Week 2 – “Transition” – I start this phase tomorrow.  Basically, you follow the same general guidelines, except you exclude all fruit (except avocados, olives, tomatoes, lemons, and limes) and swap medium impact carb choices with low impact carb choices.  Instead of sweet potatoes, now it would be pumpkin, etc.  I’m a little sad about cutting out fruit entirely, but overall, I think it’ll be a really great thing (not to mention it’s only for 1 measly week which is child’s play in my ongoing book of denials).  My blood sugar maintenance will probably be improved and my FODMAP load will likely reduce.  These changes point to potentials: feeling better and losing more weight.  I tend to carry extra weight in my belly.  It’s uncomfortable and unhealthy, so even though I am only borderline overweight, I feel compelled to figure out a way to lose some of my blubber. I have to work harder than your average Joe, because fibromyalgia decreases one’s metabolism by 25%. :/ (http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/fibromyalgia/articles/weight-loss_tips_for_fibromyalgia_sufferers.aspx)

Week 3 – “Transformed” – During this week, you test out your tolerance for foods that are higher impact to determine an appropriate maintenance plan.

There is a Sugar Impact Quiz you are supposed to take at the beginning and end of every phase.  You are also supposed to weigh and measure yourself at the beginning and end of every phase.  The quiz measures your cravings and other signs of sugar sensitivity.  This is meant to help a person gauge where progress is being made & whether or not introducing higher impact items on an occasional basis is halting your desired results.

There are exercise guidelines in the book that I have decided to more or less ignore for the time being… but not because I want to.  I was actually working out for awhile there and really enjoying it, but post-exertional malaise (http://chronicfatigue.about.com/od/cfsglossary/g/malaise.htm) is an ongoing battle for me.  This is a common trait of fibromyalgia and one that I hate a lot.  Basically, I do 30 minutes of Tae Bo, and I’m down and out for the next few days with increased brain fog, exhaustion, and/or pain.  Sometimes, there’s the added excitement of a neck migraine.  I can get away with exercise sometimes, but I never know before I start a session whether I will get away with it on that specific occasion. I’m starting to suspect that the reason I do better with exercise in the summer is because I am more active in general and the warm weather & increased humidity help relax my muscles. I am hoping to get to a place with my health where I am able to shun exercise solely on the basis of my own personal laziness (like your average human) rather than out of the fear of painful consequences.  It’s all very ludicrous, isn’t it?  Onions and exercise make me sick while both are endorsed by almost every health expert you can find.  Cruel world.

I am looking forward to Week 2.  I’ll let you know how it goes!


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