Tag Archives: addiction

The Book “I Quit Sugar” Makes Giving Up Your Habit Feel as Easy as it Sounds

You know the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, I definitely judged “I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook” but its cover, or at least its title. Give up sugar? For 8 weeks? Eek! That sounds like a lot of work and not a lot of good (or at least tasty) eating. But even the World Health Organization has joined the sugar reduction trend so when Crown Publishing sent me a copy I tried to keep an open mind.

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The book, written by Australian television personality Sarah Wilson, is a guide to slowly giving up sugar, welcoming in fat, and finding a place of balance in your body. Over 8 weeks you start to cut back on sugar then quit it all together, spend a couple of weeks without any sweetness to help reset your tastebuds and your cravings, then slowly add in a little natural sweetness as you’d like. The idea is that a little natural sugar (such as those found in fruits and brown rice syrup) goes a long ways, so long as you break your body’s processed sugar habit.

I read through the book and it sounded plausible, if not actually appealing. But when I got to the recipe section—108 healthy, inspiring meals, snacks, and desserts—I was convinced that “I Quit Sugar” deserved a place on my bookshelf. The recipes are absolutely divine. So far I’ve made two soups—a warm one with sweet potato, lentils, onion, and a blend of spices and a cool one with avocado, cucumbers, scallions, and cilantro. And I have the ingredients for a few more: fluffy squash and chia muffins, cashews chia pudding, and coconut curry meatballs, to name a few. These aren’t necessarily items I would expect to have sugar in them, but it is a good reminder that by focusing on eating good stuff I might naturally start to eat less sugar, which is a concept that’s a lot easier to digest then simply going cold-turkey on sweets. (more…)

E-Cigarettes Are Not as Bad, But Still Not Good

Billed as a healthier alternative to smoking, e-cigarettes may not be as harmless as previously thought. As they become more popular, more research is being conducted about e-cigarettes, and what the researchers are finding isn’t all that good.

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The latest research suggests the vapor produced by e-cigarettes produces tiny particles. These particles are then inhaled deeply into the lungs, which could cause or worsen respiratory diseases.

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Exercise in Moderation, Not in Excess to Prevent Heart Disease

In all dietary and fitness pursuits, moderation is key. Socrates put the concept of practicing moderation into our consciousness 2,500 years ago when he proclaimed, “Everything in moderation, nothing in excess.”

One hundred years ago, Oscar Wilde blew the lid off the whole thing when he said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

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But Socrates and Wilde didn’t live in a polarizing world of both obesity and extreme exercise. We live in a dangerously unhealthy society, and with the recent release of studies condemning grueling exercise, it’s important to strike a healthy balance.

Endurance athletes—the people who compete in triathlons, Ironman events, and marathons—are an intense bunch. They continually push their bodies to the brink of exhaustion, and then keep running. The small community of endurance athletes around the world are an understandably prideful group, and they feed off the narcotic high of extreme athletic accomplishment. So anyone who introduces a study claiming to have found damning evidence against radical fitness better have a hell of a case.

Various new research shows that there is such a thing as “over exercise,” and it can lead to many external and internal damages. (more…)

Mika Brzezinski Addresses Food Addiction in Her New Book “Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction and My Own”

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  • Journalist and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host, Mika Brzezinski is releasing a new book this week about her struggle with food addiction. The book is titled “Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction and my Own.”
  • Brzezinski appeared on Today this morning to discuss the book and defend any critics who might think because of her trim figure that she has no place to write on the topic of food addiction. However, the author contends her addiction to food looks just like anyone else’s, obese or not. “This book is all about the need to nurture a conversation and start turning back the tide of the obesity epidemic,” she said.
  • Though her weight wouldn’t reflect it, Brzezinski likens her food addiction to an alcohol or drug addiction, because she feels powerless over it. Even while writing the book Brzezinski admits she “fell off the wagon,” several times, one night eating an entire jar of nutella after what she calls a binging episode induced by the insomnia medication, Ambien. (more…)

Dr. Drew Makes Sex Talk OK and Addictions Go Away

Dr. Drew Pinsky straddles the line between medical expert and media personality, often combining the two. After graduating from Amherst College, Pinsky got involved with radio during medical school at the University of Southern California. That’s when he started guest starring on his friend’s radio call-in show Loveline. His popularity soared as he spoke with frankness about sexuality and relationships, and soon he became a regular host. The show went national in 1995, airing live five nights a week, and the following year MTV picked it up for a television version hosted by Pinsky and Adam Carolla, running for four years. Loveline has been taking calls since 1983 and can still be heard Sunday through Thursday from ten to midnight.

Pinsky has appeared on numerous television shows as a guest, and has also hosted several of his own series. Strictly Sex with Dr. Drew aired on Discovery Health Channel in 2005, followed by the currently-airing Strictly with Dr. Drew. Strictly focuses on general medical topics. His show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew began in 2008 and has proved to be very popular.. He also appears on HLN (formerly CNN Headline News) for the nightly show Dr. Drew, and on the CW’s daytime talk series Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers. (more…)

Our Brains Light Up at the Sight of Sugar

Not sure they needed to do brain scans to prove that seeing images of sugary treats makes us want them. Never-the-less the scientists did and they showed just how much we love our desserts and what power they hold over us.

According to Linda Carroll at MSNBC.com, the researchers had women look at images of sugary treats like cookies, cupcakes, and cake while being scanned. The brain scans showed that the regions of the brain that deal with hunger and reward lit up. This study had very similar findings as a previous study involving cocaine addicts. When the addicts were shown images of drug needles the same portion of the brain lit up. Wow, sugar and cocaine pack some serious power in our bodies. All of these findings were discussed at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society. (more…)

Over-Exercising Can Be Just as Harmful as Exercising Too Little

When it comes to being healthy, there are a lot of factors involved. Diet and fitness are just two of the key pieces that make up a healthy lifestyle, with finding a healthy balance between enjoying life and practicing healthy habits making up the third.

For some, that last, seemingly simple ingredient can be the most difficult to achieve as temptation to go overboard in extreme dieting and fitness routines can become too much to overpower, leaving some addicted to exercise or struggling with disordered eating.

In a recent article from The Today Show, Geralyn Coopersmith – the national director of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute – said that there’s danger in overdoing it when it comes to exercise because it leaves the body battered and bruised and opens the door for other unhealthy behaviors. (more…)

The Culprit for Food Addiction is Dopamine, Says Dr. Nora Volkow

Last year we found, and republished, an interesting graphic that pondered a curious question – which is worse, soda or marijuana? A side-by-side comparison of the two pits the processed against the natural, the legal versus the illegal. While we could debate the pros and cons of each all day long, to the pleasure center of the brain, they are one in the same.

A fascinating piece aired on CBS’ 60 Minutes tonight with the foremost researcher on addiction, Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2007, she was named by Time Magazine as one “of the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.” Tonight’s Hooked: Why Bad Habits are Hard to Break explained the chemistry behind addiction and showed that whether it’s a hamburger or heroine, soda or marijuana, our brain sees them exactly the same – as triggers for a rush of dopamine.

Morley Safer reported and described Dr. Volkow as the woman who has “revolutionized how science and medicine view addiction: as a disease, not a character defect.” She told him that the “Just Say No” campaign is just “magic of thinking.”

“If it were that easy…there’d be no obesity,” or other physical signs of addiction. In other words, addiction stems from deep within the pleasure center of our brains, and all the willpower, support, and motivation in the world can’t always turn it off.

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Sugar is Not Food, it is a Highly Addictive Drug

By Samantha Childs for NutritiousAmerica.com

Please say the following out loud: “Hello my name is ________ (fill in your name), and I am an addict.”

Congratulations, you’ve done it! Admitting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery. And you are a junkie to something far more deadly than drinking or even cigarettes.

Here are some clues:

  1. It’s most common form is as a white powder.
  2. In the 1300s it was recognized as a potent drug and handled under lock and key by apothecaries.
  3. It’s original name, bestowed by the French, was crack.

You guessed it. Sugar. Sugar is the crack of the masses. I learned this from famous psychotherapist Julia Ross at the 2011 Nutrition Conference held by The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sugar as a drug? Yes. And not just that, it is a high calorie drug. (A double whammy.) (more…)

Diet Coke Addiction Has One Man Seeking Rehab

by Kelsey Murray

I have often joked that I am addicted to diet soda. I turn to the tasty beverage to get me through my work day and then have another one after work each day. It tastes good, has no calories, and gives me a little caffeine rush that I have come to depend on to get through my busy days. While diet soda isn’t healthy in the least, when I compare myself to Darren Jones, a 38-year man from the United Kingdom, I have nothing to worry about.

Jones drinks 42 liters of Diet Coke every week, and in an effort to help himself kick the habit, he wants to check himself into rehab. He spends £100 each week on his habit, and it is damaging both his own life and his relationship with his wife.

“I believe what I have is an actual addiction and I start to worry if I’m getting near the end of the bottle,” Jones said. “If I can’t get in touch with [my wife] Paula to get me some more I start to panic – it’s like a drug or alcohol addiction.”

Jones started drinking soda when he was 13-years old and worked in a local market. Since then, his habit has evolved into drinking the equivalent of 18 cans of soda every day for the past 10 years. He used to drink regular Coke but changed to diet when he started to gain weight.

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