HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY WEEK!
If you read the blog from last week you now know the how, why and when of checking your own blood sugar so today we are going to talk about what that sugar you plan to eat tomorrow on Valentine’s Day is going to do to you on a microscopic level. WAIT…don’t leave…I know the moment you read “microscopic level” some of you automatically tuned out, but give me at least a paragraph of a chance because I’ve always taken pride in the fact that I’m the physician that can speak “medical” to the non-medical person well. We will be talking about why sugar can control your mind, body and spirit unlike anything else on the planet. Ready?!?!
Let’s start with mind of the “mind, body & spirit” part that I mentioned. The MIND…it’s the enigma that controls everything that happens in the body but is vastly unknown and misunderstood by everyone. The mind is where thoughts start that lead to actions, that lead to habits, that lead to what a person’s life ultimately looks like. Our thoughts start being formulated way before our very first memory and have everything to do with how you were raised, what was done or not done to you in your life, how things like food was presented to you in your childhood and many other factors. My point is, there will never be ONE THING a person can blame for having jacked up thoughts which ultimately lead to self-sabotaging acts like we often see in the health and fitness industry. Here’s the deal…who or what is to blame is not what is important. The WHY I am even talking about the mind is the thing that is important. The mind is where things like addictions and obsessions start. It’s where emotional reactions to life stem from and where beliefs start. Why am I mentioning all of these things? Because all of them are affected by sugar and sugar impacts their strength EXPONENTIALLY more than the average food!!
“Sugar is a drug” is thrown around a lot lately but to understand that sugar controls the mind, just like illegal drugs do, is so important in understanding the “mind” component of this equation. Sugar has been tested in many different ways over the years and if you follow me on my podcast or my live broadcast, you’ve probably heard me tell of one the many studies where the scientist give mice both sugar and cocaine. These mice are sensitized to both substances separately. Then when given the choice between sugar and cocaine, the mice all chose SUGAR. The substance of sugar works on your mind (brain) in a way that it takes over your thoughts and cravings. People have legit sugar addictions just like they have alcohol or heroin addictions, but because sugar is in a vast majority of “Big Food” products that are on our shelves at grocery stores nationwide, we will never see this substance being treated like an illegal drug. I’m not gonna go much deeper into this topic on this particular blog but know that your mind is being controlled by a substance that most people don’t consider lethal and cut down on that substance big time or completely can make a huge difference in your overall mental and physical health!!
“Body” is a word that provokes a lot of angst for many people. Our bodies are the most precious gifts we will ever be given. If you were gifted a 1M dollar car, you’d probably take the best care of it by keeping it clean on both the inside and outside. We were each gifted a body that is worth FAR MORE than $1M yet a majority of us treat our bodies like that of an old used car which barely even runs.
When we eat sugar it goes into our mouth, down our esophagus into our stomach where certain enzymes are released to continue breaking down the food we just ate. From our stomach the food enters this long tubing system called the small intestine, enters the large intestines after that previous long path and then sits in the rectum before it leaves our bodies completely. On this journey that our food takes, there is a ton of “things” that happen and one of those “things” is the absorption of important macronutrients into the bloodstream. Macronutrients are protein, fat and carbohydrates and I’m sure most of you know that sugar fits into the “carbohydrates” category. When these three macronutrients are taken up into the blood they have to be transported to their designated place where they can be utilized. I’m not here to teach you physiology but just know that when SUGAR is eaten an important step HAS TO TAKE PLACE NEXT otherwise, the person will die. Any guess what that next step is?
Yup...I bet some of you guessed it. The body has to release INSULIN into the blood to act as a key to the cells so all of the sugar floating around in the blood can get INSIDE of the cell where it will be used. Why am I getting geeky and telling you this? I tell you because this step is happening WAY TOO OFTEN in the average American in 2019 due to the large amounts of SUGAR we are eating and how often we are eating it in our “SAD” aka the “Standard American Diet.” Without insulin the key to the door of the cell stays locked and sugar continues to build up to TOXIC levels that aren’t sustainable to life. A Type 1 diabetic just stops making insulin in their pancreas for reasons that are still unknown to modern medicine. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetics basically slowly burn out their pancreas over time because they are constantly eating foods that cause large amounts of insulin to be secreted from their pancreas and eating these foods multiple times a day. This process describes the slow road of Type 2 Diabetes which starts with Insulin Resistance that leads to Pre-Diabetes that eventually leads to full blown Type 2 Diabetes. That is the process I want you to understand.
The more and more the cells are exposed to insulin the more and more they become resistant to it. In my private online groups where I coach my clients, I like to recommend getting their own glucometer (like I spoke of in last week’s blog) so that they can pick up insulin resistance EARLY before they become prediabetic or diabetic. Being aware of INSULIN RESISTANCE is good as well because the more insulin your pancreas excretes, the more fat you will store. Insulin has often been called the “fat storage hormone” and this is the hormone that is causing a majority of people to have excess, unwanted adipose tissue. Why though?! Think of a small room full of helium balloons. You fill that room up to the point where you can no longer fit any more balloons in it when you’ve reached 50 filled balloons but you’re told you have 75 balloons to fill up for the party. What happens to those other 25 balloons? They have to go into another room, right? Well the same with sugar. The cell can only take up so much sugar, so what happens to that excess that doesn’t make it into the cell? It gets converted into fat for storage...just in case you need it for later. That’s all sugar is, right? Energy. It gives the cells immediate energy but what happens to the energy that isn’t needed? It’s stored of course!! Hence the “fat storage hormone” nickname that insulin has been given!
Now...let’s be honest. Y’all know that I could write and write and write about the BODY part of this blog, but there will be plenty of other times I will be getting geeky with my readers on stuff like that. The SPIRIT part of this is where I want to end this blog article because I believe the spiritual aspect is the most important part.
Let’s be honest. Sugar has been my boyfriend MANY A NIGHTS on the couch by myself while eating ice cream and watching movies. It’s been there to console me when I was grieving loss of relationships. It has been present at the most stressful times in my life too. Wait...I’m confused? Why am I talking like SUGAR is an actual human helping me through hard times in life? Because THAT is exactly the spiritual attachment we allow sugar to have on us. The emotional connection we have with food and especially sugary foods are typical of some of the most unhealthy relationships in our lives. I will be the first to admit to dealing with an unhealthy spiritual connection to sugar but as I learn more and more about food and how it is either good or bad for us, I’m starting to also take to heart the fact that our spiritual connection with it needs to be right too. Eat to live not live to eat, right?
SUGAR ON VALENTINE’S DAY
Look...tomorrow you may be given a chocolate heart by your parents, chocolate dipped strawberries by your lover or maybe those nasty heart-shaped candies that have stuff written on them by a friend. Those are all gestures from someone that cares about you. I’m not telling you you can’t eat them but I am giving you permission to recognize and appreciate them for what they are and know that you won’t go to hell if you don’t eat all of them. Do NOT lose sight of the main purpose of this holiday and it is to tell those that we LOVE how much and why we love them!!! Get creative on how you deliver that message and maybe even try to get a non-sugary gift for your loved ones!! Just know that in order for someone to love you the way you deserve to be loved, YOU have to first LOVE YOU and that looks like you taking care of that >$100M machine of a body you own.
I want to end this by saying that I truly LOVE & APPRECIATE each one of you for all of the time you spend watching my videos, listening to my podcasts and reading my posts & blogs. Because of the unconditional love you all have given me throughout the years, I’m living a life I love everyday! I hope that most of you are on that path too. If you aren’t on it yet or maybe on it but struggling, I would love to help. There are many ways in which I might be able to help you on your own journey so just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject VALENTINE’S DAY REQUEST and let me know you’d like to get the options of how I can possibly help you on your road to a life you love. Happy Valentine’s Day to y’all!!