Whole30: Cravings and Addiction

I’m writing this post from the inside of a McDonald’s – there are trays of cookies, “coffee” drinks with more chocolate/caramel than actual coffee, and burgers that are disgusting while also addictive (and would definitely satisfy this intense craving I’ve been having for cheese and bread). But, I’m sitting here with a black coffee and essentially ignoring all of the Ally McBeal moments I’m having in which I would jump the counter and start eating everything I could reach.

On New Year’s Eve, I saw a Hershey’s Kiss on the floor of a movie theater and wanted to eat it and run away to find more.

Tony has mentioned that all he daydreams about Kit Kats during conversations.

What do all of these things tell me? The more I practice a paleo lifestyle, the more I can see that nearly everyone is addicted to sugar (including me). It’s in bread, drinks, marinades, frozen vegetables, canned foods, soup, salad dressing – and that’s just the beginning. We consume this substance nearly all day every day for much of our lives; take it away, and you’ll experience symptoms very similar to those of a drug addict in withdrawals. Insomnia, headaches, irritability, restlessness, nausea, and fatigue until a week or so without sugar.

You might think this doesn’t apply to you – until you try a sugar detox. I invite anyone and everyone to truly remove added sugar (and limit natural fruit sugar) in their diets to see these effects firsthand. Remove grains, honey, sugar, agave, Stevia, and all sugar substitutes from your diet for a week to experience the extent to which sugar affects your life.

While the first week without sugar sucks, you will come out on the other side. Cravings will begin to subside the longer you bar sugar from your diet; they will subside more quickly if you don’t use fruit and juices as a crutch. With the above eliminations, many people will see a reduction in weight, better quality sleep, more energy throughout the day, and a better overall sense of well being. In fact, proponents of Whole30 often call the other side of their sugar addiction the “Tiger Blood” phase because they feel better than Charlie Sheen does on blow.

So as you begin 2014, reflect on what you put into your body. Should your food cause withdrawal symptoms when you choose more natural foods?

On a side note, here’s a pretty delicious recipe that can be made entirely vegan/vegetarian by omitting the bacon. It also heats up in the microwave well the next day!

Spaghetti Squash & Bacon

whole30 spaghetti squash

Ingredients
3 small cans tomato sauce (make sure it doesn’t have added sugar)
2 minced garlic cloves
2-3 tablespoons oregano
1-2 tablespoons red pepper
2 teaspoons garlic salt
as much bacon as you can handle
one spaghetti squash
1/4 cup minced onions

Steps
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and place in a baking dish with about a half inch of water. Place in oven and set timer for 30 minutes.

Put tomato sauce, garlic cloves, oregano, red pepper, and garlic sauce in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Fry bacon, put a couple tablespoons of bacon grease and a few pieces of chopped bacon into the sauce. Put the rest of the bacon to the side for snacking.

Remove spaghetti squash from oven/pan, shred into strands with fork. Mix with the sauce and top with a few slices of bacon.

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