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Kicking the sugar blues….…gently

January 9, 2010

“It is as addictive as nicotine or heroine..and it is poisonous.”

William Duffy author of “Sugar Blues”

The first of the year rolls around and the sugar dries up. All those lovely sugar cookies, pecan brittle and sugar plums must stop somewhere and New Year’s Day seems to be the expiration date. Our bodies, used to a constant injection of America’s number one drug, begin to go into withdrawal and it’s not pretty.

Some of the symptoms of sugar withdrawal can be frustrated fanning of the cupboards and fridge, desperately drinking Hersey’s chocolate syrup from the bottle, and sneaking sugar by the spoonfuls right out of the bag. Yes, we have all been there and there is a reason why. It is because sugar is a drug not a food.

The process that makes sugar is actually the same way poppies are made into heroine. The moment you eat sugar your body galvanizes into action to process the sucrose before anything else, due to the ease in which it is burned. The body also recognizes that the sugar needs to be processed quickly or your system could be in grave danger from too high of blood sugar levels. If you aren’t running a marathon at the time, your body dutifully converts all that surplus of energy into fat, for safe storage ya know.

Once the body gets use using this quick and dirty energy, it wants more more MORE! There is one significant problem with all of this. Sugar, in all its forms, has been processed to the point that it has absolutely no nutrient value, none, zip, zero. So that means that our bodies have to borrow vital nutrients from other resources around, like our bones, to process this drug. Consequently, osteoporosis along with a many other diseases, has been linked to our national addition.

There are about 168 reasons not to eat sugary foods and only two reasons to; it tastes good and our bodies get hooked on it. Fake sugars, such as aspartame aka “nutra sweet” are actually worse for you, so don’t even go there. Aspartame breaks down into methanol which is a neurotoxin. This leads to a number of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.

So what do we do? Can we avoid sucrose all together in this jacked up sugar culture? Not likely, but there are some ways we can significantly reduce it. It is recommended by nutritionists to try and limit sugar consumption to three or four times a week. Cutting out all soft drinks and candy is a great start to a healthy change. Choose sugars that have some nutritional value to them such as whole grain, nut and fruit desserts.

I have put together a few recipes so that you can find an alternative way to feed the need for sugar without the hefty price. Most of these recipes can be put together in a jiffy, so when the desire hits you can satisfy it quickly!

Cinnamon sugar popcorn

8 cups of air popped popcorn

Or low fat microwave popcorn

1 ½ tablespoon of butter, melted

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

½ teaspoon of salt

Pop your corn and dump in a generous bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn tossing to coat as well as possible. Next, mix the sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl and sprinkle over the popcorn, tossing well to coat all the popcorn. Lick your fingers and crunch away.

Nutritional information for a 2 cup serving; calories 124, 4 grams of fat, fiber 4 grams

Caramel pecan baked apples

¼ cup of water

2 baking apples, like Rome or Braeburn

1 tablespoon chopped dates

1 tablespoon of dried cranberries

1 tablespoon of chopped pecans

1 packed tablespoon of brown sugar

Or maple syrup

½  teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of cardamom

1 teaspoon of butter, cold

2 tablespoons of fat free caramel sauce

(Smucker’s makes a good one)

Or 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Heat up the oven to 375 and take out a small square baking dish and add the ¼ cup of water to it. In a small bowl toss together the dried fruit through the cardamom. I like to use my hands to smoosh it all together. Wash your apples and core them with a tiny knife. Dig out a well in the center so there will be room for all the yummy filling. Set the apples in the baking dish and then stuff them. Dot the top of the filling with tiny pieces of butter. Bake for about 40 minutes till bubbly and aromatic. Plate them on a nice dish and drizzle with the caramel sauce or maple syrup. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information per apple; 277 calories, 5 grams of fat; 2 grams of fiber

19 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2010 12:11 pm

    Nice… i will ask my girlfriend to make me some caramel apples, see my post about chocolate

  2. January 10, 2010 2:33 am

    I’m on day 5 of a 7 day detox program and trying to kick a bad sugar habit. I had a headache for the first 3 days! Thanks for the good info. I know I need to keep this up and curb my sugar jones.

  3. January 10, 2010 4:46 am

    mmmmm, those baked apples look fantastic! YUM! 🙂

  4. January 10, 2010 3:41 pm

    I am officially madly in love with this blog. I love the fantastic information about sugar in this post! Not sure I can kick my habit so easily, but it’ll certainly make me think twice about plowing my way through the bag of peanut-butter m&ms that were just gifted to me. Which is honest-to-goodness progress.

    I appreciate all the recipes too! Looking forward to trying some out. 🙂

  5. January 10, 2010 3:43 pm

    This blog itself is a sweet treat all alone, i`m addicted to sugar wish I was’nt but i`m guilty cant help it, cool post by the way come check us out sometimes too

  6. January 10, 2010 7:09 pm

    Great recipes. I love baked apples!

  7. January 10, 2010 7:54 pm

    I love baked apples in any form, and can’t wait to try your caramel pecan version!

    On the subject of artificial sweeteners, have you ever tried stevia? It’s a natural alternative that comes from the stevia plant. You can grow it yourself so you know it’s not overly-processed. I can’t see it really being feasible for baking, but it works wonders for coffee and tea. Every little bit helps!

  8. Jean permalink
    January 16, 2010 5:05 pm

    Re: recipe for Happy Banana’s Foster as it appears in the North Coast Citizen.

    Directions mention adding rum but nothing said about the brown sugar or maple syrup. Please clarify.

    It’s probably not essential to know but I’m a stickler for doing what the recipe says!

    Thanks. I enjoy your articles in the paper.

    • ziabaki permalink*
      January 22, 2010 10:17 pm

      Opps, my bad. I will make a correction on the blog shortly. (why am I not perfect?)

  9. January 18, 2010 8:30 pm

    Wow this looks tasty, the baked apples just look so mouthwatering!

  10. babyblizz permalink
    January 20, 2010 2:49 pm

    Omg!!! This looks so good! And as for the sugar, I have a problem too with CHOCOLATE! I’m trying to ween off of it slowly 😦

    • ziabaki permalink*
      January 21, 2010 8:36 pm

      Thanks for coming by! I too love chocolate…..oh yeah. It calls me at night sometimes! Have a delicious day. Dana

  11. February 3, 2010 3:18 am

    Saw your article in the North Coast Tribune and immediately subscribed to your blog. I have a major sugar addiction and these will be a great resource to add to my repertoire of recipes as I work on reducing my sugar dependence. Many thanks!

  12. Kelley permalink
    June 25, 2011 7:13 pm

    Is this blog still active? If so, I wish to bookmark it for future healthy recipes.
    thanks, Kelley

    • ziabaki permalink*
      June 25, 2011 7:58 pm

      Sure is! Loving doing it for the last 3 years. Just had a computer glitch this month that needed attending to. Thanks for the bookmark!

  13. February 8, 2012 3:35 pm

    Thank you… and one thing that you didn’t mention was how damaging sugar seems to be on the digestive system… if you have a moment… please go a little more in depth about the processing of refined sugars.


    • ziabaki permalink*
      February 9, 2012 3:59 am

      Thanks for coming over and visiting Amy. I posted a link above that is a great explanation on the whole ball of wax. Please refer to it for all the science explained better than I could!

  14. September 4, 2013 3:04 am

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and actual effort to
    generate a great article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a
    whole lot and don’t seem to get anything done.


  1. NAMASTE SUCKERS: Urban Spirituality – Keepin’ It Real: Lesson 19: Kicking Off The Sugar Blues! | Urban Spirituality: Keepin' It Real!

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