Tweaking the Diet Again: Potatoes Not Prozac

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I’ve been making a serious attempt to get off sugar again. Last year, I was able to reduce my usage of it to a large extent, but I never really cut it out. Gradually, my usage moved up the ladder again to include honey in my tea several times a day, a mocha every now and then and occasional high-sugar sweets. I had a piece of cheesecake in Tulsa as a treat, and I felt so bad afterwards that I couldn’t sleep all night. I decided then and there that I had to get off sugar. It’s impacting the way I feel too much.

So, I’ve been off it pretty much since then, but I wasn’t truly committed until a couple of weeks later. Since then, I have cut them out almost 100%. I did have a little sugar on Sunday of last weekend, but, again, I felt so bad, and it’s taken me several days to get back to normal. I don’t want to do that again for awhile. It seems I am just really sensitive to sugar.

One day a couple of weeks ago, I got curious to see if some people are more sensitive to sugar than others. I stumbled across this blog. I took Dr. Desmains’ test, and I answered yes to almost all of the questions. I had heard of her book a long time ago. The catchy title “Potatoes not Prozac” is hard to forget, but I guess I was never in a place where I thought I wanted to try it. Besides, I was on anti-depressants for a lot of years. I probably didn’t want to go the potatoes route.

I bought her book on Kindle, and I immediately devoured it. She hooked me big time when she mentioned that someone with sugar sensitivity would have a different reaction to a glucose test than a person with normal brain chemistry. When I was first diagnosed with hypoglycemia, my doctor signed me up for a 3-hour glucose test. I drank the sugary drink, and then they tested my blood sugar once an hour for the next 3 hours. He made me come into the office because my results were so bizarre. Instead of going up like they usually do in the first hour, mine went down. It started out at 67, then dropped to 54 and then plummeted to 44. He said my organs would start shutting down in the 30s. He was very concerned and had me see a nutritionist to fix my diet. Well, Dr. Desmains said that a sugar-sensitive person’s blood sugar would plummet after we eat sugar. Bells went off in my head. Finally … this all makes sense to me. She said my brain chemistry is so sensitive to sugar that it will overproduce insulin to lower my blood sugar, so my blood sugar will plummet. Then I get into a roller coaster of it being too low, eating sugar to abate cravings which causes it to shoot up again, and then pounding it with insulin to lower it again. No wonder I was feeling so bad.

Her program is simple. In fact, I’m already doing most of it. It consists of 7 steps:

  1. Eat breakfast within a hour of rising and eat 1/3 of your protein for the day and a complex carbohydrate.
  2. Keep a food journal and diary.
  3. Eat three meals a day each with 1/3 of my protein allotment and a complex carb.
  4. Take 3 different vitamins (not mega-vitamins) and eat a potato with skin before bed.
  5. Switch out white carbs with brown (complex) carbs.
  6. Reduce or eliminate sugars.
  7. Create a beautiful life.

She is really specific that she wants you to take it one step at a time and not do it all at once. The program is designed to change your brain chemistry a little in each step, so that by the time you eliminate sugars, your body is ready to handle it without too much of a problem. Since I was already doing most of it, I just tweaked my eating a little. I started keeping the food diary, got diligent about the complex carbs and started eating breakfast an hour after getting up. It hasn’t been that difficult, although I do miss my sugar at this point.

She says people that are sugar-sensitive are more likely to be addicted to alcohol since it’s sugar, too. In many cases, we may be addicted to other drugs, too. She discovered this as an addiction counselor and found out that recovering alcoholics had less relapse is they did this food plan. The plan balances the blood sugar, the beta-endorphins in the body and serotonin. In the past, I took anti-depressants, and they helped with serotonin, but my blood sugar was crazy. Then I worked with my blood sugar, but I’ve never done anything with beta-endorphins but run. No wonder I felt better when I was running marathons. I was hitting all three legs of the stool. She says that over time my depression and mood swings will disappear if I follow this program.

So, I’m excited to be trying something new. I’m excited it’s making me feel better. I’m having to force myself to eat more protein. I don’t actually like meat. But, I’m doing it. I can tell I’m off the sugar because my energy is somewhat low, but she says as time goes on, the complex carbs and the potato along with yoga, meditation and exercise will balance me out. I hope she’s right. I’d love to have a summer of smooth sailing. I have not had hot flash number one, I’m getting up to urinate less at night, and I’m not craving food as much. Those are bonuses right there. Time will tell. She says I just need to be consistent.

12 Comments on “Tweaking the Diet Again: Potatoes Not Prozac

  1. All of that information is fascinating to me – body chemistry is such an enigma! I don’t have a sugar sensitivity, but still think it is so interesting to learn how the body reacts to what we feed it. Good luck with your new eating plan!

  2. I was interested to know how you are doing with all of this? Are you still eating the way she describes (protein and complex carb at each meal?). I’m just starting to look into all of this.

    • Hi Kelley. I am basically still eating this way. I’ve struggled a bit along the way – on and off the plan. I’ve also starting making kefir, and it seems to be very effective at combatting my anxiety. I am convinced sugar is really bad for me. I am still off anti-depressants, and I’m feeling better than ever. This week I was trying to find some old workouts and read some emails that I had written to my running coach, and I couldn’t believe how much better I’ve gotten in regards to my depression, anxiety and disordered eating. I still have bouts of all of it but I usually find that sugar is the root of all of it. This is definitely a way of life for me. Also white flour seems to be almost worse than sugar for the same reasons. I hate the way it makes me feel. I drink the kefir before bed now instead of the potatoes but I remember the potatoes really helping me. Good luck and feel free to chat again.

  3. That is wonderful news, Sharon!
    When I gave up sugar & flour in 2013, I remember how sluggish I felt in the beginning. I also remember how much my body responded to my new way of eating after just a week of abstaining.
    I went from feeling so tired I could barely lift my arm, to waking up more refreshed as the days went on.
    It still amazes me that tobacco is soaked in sugar!! Thanks for that tidbit of info because I can pass that along to others when they admit that it is so difficult to quit smoking!
    Ya, it is! You’re body is addicted to sugar as well.
    Great blog & you keep up the good work!

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