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March 16, 2015

Hi {!firstname_fix}

We have trees in bloom now. And my neighbor, the gardener, has hundreds of daffodils blooming. I always go out of my way to come in on that side of the neighborhood so I can drive by and see what came up since the day before.

The peacocks have started calling at 4 AM. That means the big boys are announcing how gorgeous they are. Last week the adolescent male decided to parade around with his tail feathers up trying to convince the old aunties how pretty he is. They were just cracking me up and strolling around with great boredom. Ronan and Pepper were watching with fascination. Eventually he gave up and went looking for bugs instead.

I am working on the materials for Ranch that first week in May. Friday will be devoted to those of you who are new and wanting to learn more about getting started and how the brain chemistry stuff really works. Old timers always love this segment because it is so nice to hear how what we know so well still shimmers with its guidance.

Saturday and Sunday will focus on a comprehensive understanding of how body image and sugar sensitivity are interwoven. Why do we gain weight? Why do we get addicted to sugar? What is the healing process? What else besides the steps creates this life transformation that the step seveners talk about.

If you haven’t been to ranch, or haven’t come recently, you may not realize that we have totally transformed our learning style to match the introvert brain. If you think that a seminar should be 8 AM to 9 PM straight through with 10 minute breaks between sessions, this is not the place for you. My understanding of the neurochemistry of learning, and my understanding of how introvert brains work, have combined to design a special style and rhythm that will allow you to reflect, integrate and enjoy the process.

It is hard to convey, but I do pay attention to stopping and letting you shift gears for more than a 10 minute break. I outline the material in coloring books, so you can bring your gel pens and draw what you are hearing. Now you may think that is just a silly idea, but we discovered that the coloring book model enhanced retention of the information by about 80%.

Recently in chat we were talking about Ranch. People were sharing what they love...comments included the joy of being with people like them, having the food planned and taken care of, learning how to order in restaurants, walking around Old Town and going to the bead store, having blue corn pancakes at the Indian Cultural Center, going to the Indian Dances, hearing the drumming, hanging out at the swimming pool and on and on. Everyone commented on how welcome they felt, even the first timers.

I was laughing. I finally said, *Do you even notice material I put together for you?* *Oh, oh, oh was the reply, OF COURSE!!!!! But that is why we come. We KNOW it will be wonderful.* Hard to explain this to a convention planner. A bunch of sugar-sensitive people walking down to a little French Bistro in Old Town, sitting outside on the patio and getting gluten-free crepes with crab or strawberries or cream.

I can’t quite catch what really happens at Ranch...something like a miracle of coming to be with your people, to learn more about your transformation and to be in the sacred energy of the land of enchantment. We do have some space left. Love to have you.

This class will begin Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Please click on the name of the class and it will take you to the registration page:

Clearing All That Clutter (2 weeks) - A FOCUSED look at getting your house, your yard, your closets, your life, your soul cleaned up. This will be a funny, playful way to look at the scary corners filled with 15 spice jars, cosmetics pots of face cream, tools or old sheets that you might need someday. This is an opportunity to face your stuff and be supported in letting it go. The class will discuss some very practical tools that I love.

We will also look at ideas for you if you live with someone whose clutter is driving you nuts. (smile) If you have taken this class before, come take it again. I have learned LOTS on this subject in the past few months and am looking forward to sharing it.

This class will begin Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Please click on the name of the class and it will take you to the registration page:

What Else is Embedded in the Steps (2 weeks) - This is a special class for all you newcomers who want to move on ahead quickly or for those of you who came to the program *already doing everything*. Find out what else is in the steps besides the food. Get the inside scoop from the one who wrote them (smile). You do not have to second guess anymore!!

A number of you have asked me how the classes work. Check the class list page for more information on this. And please go read the questions and answers before you write to me. If you have trouble getting through the process, write the tech forum.

Be sure to visit our Radiant Recovery website and Community Forum regularly.



**Quote From Kathleen **

The foods you think of as providing comfort are the very things that have contributed to your problems.


**Testimonial of the Week **

This is total testament to this program, lol. There is NO WAY my day would have gone like it did if not for doing the food.

So, originally I was supposed to play a piano piece for about 20 nursing students while they "walked" to get their nursing caps in a graduating ceremony. Did I mention that I am a beginner piano student who gets nervous very easily in front of people LOLOL??? Well, last night I found out that it was actually 80 people that would be there. It got me for a second, but, breathe, I dealt with it pretty well.

When I arrived today I found out it was actually 200-300 people that I would be playing in front of!!!! Eighty people were graduating, and the rest were friends and family that were attending.

First I'll describe how it would have gone before this program:

I would have freaked out, literally, and gone flush and said over and over 'I just can't do that....'. I would have been FURIOUS with my friend for not knowing this and blamed her for anything that happened after the fact. I might have cried or come really close to it and would have tried desperately to get out of it. In my head I would have been convinced I couldn't do it, no matter what. If I had played anyway, not only would I have messed up, but I probably would have froze and then felt horrible after. I can guarantee my friend and I would have had a major confrontation. Yuck.

But this is how it did happen:

I had a fleeting flash of all of the above, lol, but quickly dismissed it. I realized almost immediately that there was nothing I could do to change it and in the end it really didn't matter. I would be nervous either way (smile). I practiced as much as I could beforehand and tried to visualize just the music and not who would be there. In short, I handled it with grace.

Overall I did great for me, lol. I messed up, but what was great was that I just kept on going and that's the hardest thing for me to do on a normal day! I am very proud of myself and for more than just my playing.

It was a HUGE rush, though, and I'll have to be extra careful these next days. Journal journal journal and spot on with the steps.

Thanks for listening!

Heather D.


** Radiant Recovery® Store **

Nordic Naturals has just introduced a new product specifically designed for cholesterol levels and hearth health. I think you will really like it. Here is what Nordic Naturals says about it:

Naturals Omega LDL™ is a blend of highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids, red yeast rice, and CoQ10 to help keep cholesterol levels healthy.* Omega 3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA and red yeast rice help support and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, while CoQ10 provides antioxidant protection.

Omega LDL

Omega LDL

60 gels


Omega LDL

SUGGESTED USE: Three soft gels daily, with food, or as directed by your health care professional or pharmacist.

  • Maintains overall cardiovascular function*
  • Helps maintain normal cholesterol levels*
  • Supports healthy blood vessel function*

Please send questions and suggestions. I love hearing from you and truly want to help you do your program better.


**Radiant Kitchen **

This recipe has been around the community a long time. Everyone who tries it just loves it. Hope you do, too!

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Citrus and Mascarpone

  • 4 pounds small or medium sweet potatoes (to yield 2 pounds cooked sweet potato pulp), or 6-8 medium-large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice [I used a pulpy fresh-squeezed one]
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese [pricey, as much as US$5.99, but worth it!]
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 1 whole orange
  • chopped fresh chervil
  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Bake sweet potatoes until a fork can be inserted easily, about 1 hour. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and carefully scrape pulp out of skins, leaving about 1/8 inch of potato lining the skin.
  2. In a food processor [I used a hand mixer which worked fine], combine cooked pulp, orange juice, and 4 ounces mascarpone. Purée just until mixed. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
  3. Refill sweet potato skins with purée. [This was actually pretty easy to do.] Heat through for 15 minutes at 375º. Preheat broiler. Dollop remaining mascarpone on top of each potato. Place underneath broiler just until mascarpone begins to brown. Watch carefully to avoid burning. [I found that my mascarpone topping didn't brown; it just melted, so I don't do this broiler step with the leftovers.]
  4. Using a fine zester, grate zest from one orange over potato halves and garnish with chopped chervil. Serve immediately.
For great program-friendly recipes, check out our Cookbook in the store and visit our online Radiant Recipes site.


**Radiant YLD **

We have some new people who have joined the community who are set to go on getting the sugar OUT and LOSING WEIGHT right now. I suggest to all of them that they join Your Last Diet!. The very first thing we work with is the old *fat terror* aspect of weight. Trying to manage pounds from a place of terror and angst simply does not work. You know that in your heart of hearts, and if you are ready for something different that will change your life and your body, this is the place for it. The chats keep getting better and better. We sure would love to have you join us.

If you would like to join us in YLD, come find us here


**Radiant Living **

We set up the Radiant Living Chats to support people who are skilled and steady with their food and are ready to look at how to incorporate challenging life issues into their programs. Chats are funny, tender, powerful and very helpful.

If you would like to join us in Radiant Living, come find us here


**One Vexing Problem **
Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

One of the most difficult aspects of our program is that sometimes people put on weight in the beginning. And sometimes they put on weight down the line. Both of these can store deep anxiety that causes them to ditch *the program*. I have been thinking that it would help to write about it so you can understand what is happening and feel less victimized. Let’s look at the variables.

Early weight gain: This usually happens at step one. Most of you come to the process by managing your sugar and white stuff by restricting what else you eat during the day. Usually it means skipping breakfast, sometimes skipping lunch and cyclic dieting (which really means periodic fasting). Sometimes you just have one meal a day.

You come to the program and we have you eat breakfast. Nothing else has changed. And sometimes when you know you will be giving up sugar, you start having lots. Your brain does not register the sugar and whites because they are amnesiacs. You simply do not connect to that, you only register what happens on the scale and attribute it to the *program*. MY GOD, I HAVE GAINED WEIGHT!

Later weight gain one: This happens down the line for people who managed their sugar addiction through control or addictive exercise. They follow the steps carefully, being very *good* but over time their weight increases, usually bringing them up to healthy normal. And that weight gain can feel horrifying.

Later weight gain two: This can happen if the early stage of the program happens to overlap with menopause. Hormone changes affect weight because metabolism slows.

Later weight gain three: This comes with insulin resistance brought on by over exercising. Sugar sensitive women are particularly vulnerable to the effects of intense, cardio exercise. Driven by the underlying *fat terror* and the assumption that the culture teaches us - exercise more and lose weight. However, this type of exercise causes a release of the stress hormone Cortisol. Cortisol is designed to hold or build weight for emergences.

Underlying this entire process is the demon I have named *fat terror*. Sugar-sensitive people are highly vulnerable to approval. What others think of us really matters. Our biochemistry is hard wired to feel less than, out of the circle, and shamed by who we are. In our culture, being overweight is considered a very bad thing. Weight determines sexual attractiveness, intelligence, morality, integrity, health and self worth. We are washing with this and have it ingrained by the time we are 3 years old. It is why we start dieting at age 9. And NO one tells us that all of that is simply not true.

Over time, the terror of being fat starts to define who we are - literally a pound on the scale can send us into a tail spin. Or worse, can create a frantic mobilization to get on a diet and take care of it. Fat terror literally becomes the driving force of our self.

Think about that, think about how profoundly true this is. Our self worth defined by the scale. Fat terror strips us of joy, creativity, respect, optimism and self worth. Think about how fat terror disempowers us at a cellular level. It is almost as if there is a cultural message to take away our deepest selves by defining us by weight.

Ironically fat terror only holds us in bondage when our sugar-sensitive brains are out of balance. Heal the neurochemistry and fat terror recedes to a functional assessment of weight as one factor of who we are. Did anyone, ever, think of Maya Angelou as *that fat woman?* When we are balanced, we think, *Oh, I weigh more than suits me, what do I need to do to take care of this?*

Create steady and heal fat terror. It is that simple.

The steps are designed to heal your brain. They do.


Thanks for reading! If you know someone who could benefit from this, feel free to forward it to them.

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Until next time!
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©2015 Kathleen DesMaisons. All rights reserved. You are free to use or transmit this article to your ezine or website as long as you leave the content unaltered, use this attribution: "By Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D. of Radiant Recovery®", and notify kathleen@radiantrecovery.com of the location. Please visit the Radiant Recovery® website at http://www.radiantrecovery.com for additional resources on sugar sensitivity and healing addiction.

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