Though this article was originally written for my Emagazine (Summer 2019), reserved to my VIP community, I publicly share it as i believe it is important that people educate themselves on the presence of sugar in our North American diet.
I have always known that in yoga, sugar is considered as a stimulant and that we should avoid it as much as we can. But it is truly my one year experience that has made me feel its negative effect on my cerebral activity.
I wish you a good read, Namaste.
1 year without sugar
Next June, I will be celebrating my first year anniversary without sugar. What I mean by sugar? Cane sugar, white sugar.
No, as last April, I had to suck on little ginger “chewies” to appease my sore throat caused by the bad cold I got and that you almost all witnessed! tous été témoins. But aside this little period, absolutely!
I never want to feel what I felt in June 2018 ever again.
Le me explain what brought me to make such a drastic choice. Since 3 years, I have been experimenting on & off with sugar, after having read few articles on the effect of sugar on the brain. Last May, I feel like I might have gone a little bit more crazy with chocolate and felt this total brain freeze; a mix of having my head in the clouds accompanied of this headache but different from a “regular” one. I had this impression that my eyes were going to be pushed towards my brain and my eardrums were going to explode outward. A little bit like a hangover but much more intense and in a slyer way. I knew it was related to sugar, having experienced similar symptoms in my experimenting years, but it never had it hit so harshly.
So this said, I restarted reading some articles on the subject. Did you know that in many of the studies, they compare the brain of someone eating sugar to the brain of someone on cocaïne? For me, it was enough to stop any form of sugar other than fruits and good grains and thus for the first 3 months. So no processed sugar, honey, maple syrup, glucose-fructose etc. Then, I slowly started to reintroduce honey and maple syrup as the studies I am interested in showed that these two actually nourish the brain.
DETOX & CRAVINGS
Interestingly, my detox process, which generally takes about 3 months, went truly well. I started to get some sugar withdrawal syndromes around the 5th week and some more pronounced ones around week 8. Among these symptoms: insomnia, moments of high lucidity followed by crazy brain freezes and exhaustion.
As far as “cravings” go, not that much on my side. This winter, I felt a certain attraction towards sweet, but easy to control. In my last years of experimentation, I had many times felt the “drug” addiction feeling of sugar. If you go back to it, you fall back into it. So I truly now treat myself like an AA with it (except for these little ginger “chewies” that I knew had a very low presence of sugar).
Of course, I am no nutritionist and do not encourage you to make drastic changes to your diet without consulting a certified health professional. But I felt like sharing this little chapter of my life with you.
Here are few links of my readings on the subject (all in English):