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June 8, 2015

Hi {!firstname_fix}

I have had a sick dog this week so have had lots of emotional ups and downs. Went to the gym for my regular time with my trainer and was shocked how my body was. I could barely lift half the weights I had been doing the week before. It really told me what a toll stress takes. So I have been extra careful with my veggie intake, that has helped. I am watching timings, browns and eating enough. And resting. :)

David and I have had fun planning Father’s Day. I suggested we bring Madison on over from Phoenix. Southwest was having a sale, I had some points, she thought it was a great idea. So we planned it all out, and she will be coming. I think we are all thrilled. I got an email from Pinterest about salads for summer. We are going to play ahead of time. I think we should share on the FB page so I can get some good ideas.

This class will begin Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Please click on the name of the class and it will take you to the registration page:

Brain Chemistry Beta Endorphin (2 weeks) - Learn how this chemical affects your self-esteem and why your capacity to cope may be directly related to your beta endorphin levels. A fascinating look at the part of the story that is most crucial to sugar sensitivity.

This class will begin Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Please click on the name of the class and it will take you to the registration page:

Radiant Clothing (2 weeks) - will explore our relationship to clothes after you start changing your sense of your self. How you want to dress, what works, what doesn’t work. What about all the clothes in the closet that do not fit. Do you want them? Even if they fit now, are they what you want to wear? How can you have a sense of style? Come have fun and play with us in a journey of discovery.

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 **

One of the real markers for your recovery is to begin to think about your food needs before you get into trouble.


**Testimonial of the Week **

Last night I had a moment with my kids where I thought, "Wow, this is what living in recovery is like." I wanted to share :-)

Wednesday night is Conversations Chat, and this is an important time for me. But the chat happens right during my kids' bedtime routine. This timing has been an ongoing challenge for us. My husband has tried to take care of things with the kids on Wednesday nights so I can do chat, but he has less energy for helping them than I do, and they don't usually settle down so well. I often finish chat and find two overtired, cranky, or hyperactive children waiting up for me.

Last night my husband needed to be away. So I told my kids the situation, "Tonight is chat, this is important to me." And I said, "I actually have no ideas for how to make this work with getting you guys to bed, do you have any ideas? " My 10 year old suggested that she take care of her little sister, saying she would help with bedtime, and then would put herself to bed. I had to laugh, well that would be great! (thinking to myself-why didn't I ask for their input and help with this situation before?!)

So while I participated in chat, I heard from other parts of the house the sound of the kids fixing themselves bedtime snacks, brushing their teeth, then my 10 year old reading stories to her sister. She made up a story too, and sang like ten bedtime songs to her. I was just smiling and smiling.

A few years ago I would have never believed this kind of gentleness and independence could happen in my family when my oldest had rages everyday, and even the most basic things like getting shoes on or brushing her hair seemed like impossible tasks to accomplish. Doing the food, this program has brought so much to our lives.

I've learned healing is possible for our SS kids. Each of us can have this radiance. It seems to start with little glimmers, like a smile from our kids during breakfast. Or our children handling a challenging situation in a calmer way.

I'm wondering, has anyone noticed a glimmer, a way in which doing the food with your kids has changed things? I think even the littlest shifts mean so much. Please share if you'd like, it's good to hear these stories!



** Radiant Recovery® Store **

This week we are featuring the bowls that Kathleen talked about in YLD chat and references in the YLD section of this week’s newsletter.

Get a set of 3 bowls - small, medium and large, or baby bear, mama bear and papa bear size.

On special for $12.95 for all three.

Life will not be the same with your bowls. No more calculating grams or weighing or anything. Just fill your bowls and eat! How can anything so simple be so powerful! Just one more Radiant Recovery thing, I guess. a little mind blowing, kinda like breakfast!

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


**Radiant Kitchen **

Roast Sticky Chicken

  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • ˝ tsp. garlic powder
  • ˝ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 large roasting chicken
  • 1 cup chopped onion
In a small bowl, thoroughly combine all the spices. Remove giblets from chicken, clean the cavity well and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture into the chicken, both inside and out, making sure it is evenly distributed and down deep into the skin. Place in a re-sealable plastic bag, seal and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook chicken put it in the Crockpot with the onion and do not add any liquid. As the cooking process goes on it will produce its own juices. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours and it will be falling off the bone tender.

For great program-friendly recipes, check out our Cookbook in the store and visit our online Radiant Recipes site.


**Radiant YLD **

We had so much fun talking about using bowls to do the food. If you are a part of YLD MAKE SURE to read the chats!

Since the beginning of our program, we have been teaching you how to calculate protein grams. And we have not specifically been talking about carbohydrate grams, but have left that more vague as a serving. I recently bought some bowls because I happen to love their look and feel.

One day after ranch we had a couple of people here at the house and we were talking about the bowls and serving sizes. I started telling a story about how the bowls were working for me. That led to my thinking about the bowls as a teaching tool. Let me take you through what I was thinking. Here are the three bowls.
When we start, we eat like this:



Steps 3 gets things steady and adjusted so we are eating more like this:




Then by Step 6, things shift some:



Then, when weight loss time comes around, here is what changes:



It is a pretty powerful visual isn’t it?

A lot of people are trying out the idea of using the bowls to make meal planning simple and easy. No counting grams, no weighing, no cultural confusion about what a *bowl* size means, LOL.

I did get the bowls for the store!!

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


**Radiant Living **

Here is a note from Sandra about one of our past Living chats. It made me smile.

A couple things really stuck out for me at this week's chat. The first was regarding step 7 energy and "how one thing that changes a lot is learning to care about others. So someone might be on step one and really connect with how others are doing."

The second that "if you just do the food, a lot of the other stuff we put so much energy into and work to fix just works itself out by simply focusing on food." I just keep coming back to that.

Of course there were so many other good bits. This chat covered so much - so fascinating to talk step 7, I think: the energy/behavior, the spiritual lessons, trusting oneself, discerning, making decisions, waiting, holding the feelings, focusing on joy, learning to listen to our bodies.

All fantastic. There's lots in there.


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


**The C57 Story **
Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

This week I am reposting our C57 mouse story. We have a lot of new people coming in and this story is a KEY part of our culture. It will tell you why Radiant Recovery is different from any other *sugar* site. (smile)

Science has a lot to learn about sugar sensitivity. We can't just go to Pub Med, put "sugar sensitivity" in the search field and find hundreds or thousands of citations telling us all about our unique bodies and behaviors. But the story is there in the science writings, encoded in unexpected places and in unexpected ways. If we listen and watch our own stories, we can go back to the literature and better understand the whys of what we are living.

The Power of the Beta Endorphin Story

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my recent exploration. I continue to be intrigued by beta-endorphin and its relationship to the story of sugar sensitivity. I began my relationship with beta-endorphin when I learned two intriguing themes. The first came from the work of Dr. Christine Gianoulakis at McGill University. She noticed that two different strains of mice responded to the effects of alcohol in very different ways. The C57GL/6 mice had a far more potent reaction than their "dry" brothers and sisters, the DBA/2 mice. Because of this intensity of the response, they really go for the booze. C57s are called alcohol-preferring mice and DBAs are called alcohol-avoiding mice.

As an aside, many other studies have shown that not only do the C57s have a high preference for alcohol, they also love sweet things. In fact, some scientists are working with the concept that a preference for sweet may be an indicator of a risk for alcoholism.

Dr. Gianoulakis and her colleagues have worked with these mice for a long time. They discovered that the C57's and the DBA have very different levels of beta-endorphin. The C57's are born with much lower levels of beta endorphin in their brains, so their brains increase the number of receptor sites to try to catch more of the beta endorphin molecules. This is called upregulation. Because they have more places to catch the beta-endorphin, they get a bigger response to things that evoke beta-endorphin.

At Risk For Alcoholism

Dr. Gianoulakis extended her study to people and examined a whole group of people who are known to be genetically predisposed to alcohol addiction, the children and grandchildren of alcoholics. Children and grandchildren of alcoholics seem to be the human equivalent of the C57 mice. They, like the mice, have lowered levels of beta-endorphin and a heightened response to things that evoke beta-endorphin like alcohol and sugars.

As Dr. Gianoulakis was publishing her work, a number of other scientists were noticing that that sucrose quieted pain. They discovered that not only does sucrose quiet physical pain, but also it quiets the pain of loss or social isolation. When a group of baby chicks were taken from their mama, they peeped and peeped. When they were given sugar water, they stopped crying for mama chicken.

Sugar as a Drug

Dr. Elliott Blass, then at Cornell, wanted to understand how this happens. How could sugar act like a drug? He did some experiments and showed that sucrose cut physical and emotional pain by evoking the brain's own beta-endorphin. Beta-endorphin is the body's natural painkiller. It is called an endogenous opioid or internal painkiller. Morphine and heroine are opiate drugs, which mean they go and sit in the brain's beta-endorphin receptor sites and get the brain to block pain signals. Sucrose acts like an opioid drug such as morphine or heroin. Not as intensely, but on the same beta-endorphin system.

And, if we return to our friends the C57 and the DBA mice, we discover that the C57s have a 35 times more powerful reaction to morphine than do the DBAs. Think of that. Insert sugar in the place of morphine, and we begin to see why some body and brain types seek it, love it and get addicted to it. Now the sugar story and the connection to C57's is well researched throughout the scientific literature. But no one in the science lab is yet making this leap from the C57 profile to the sugar sensitivity profile in people. But the "match" is extraordinary.

How We Are Like Those C57 Mice

If we start thinking of ourselves as little C57 mice, we can have LOTS of clues about why we act the way we do. And we can start understanding why our DBA friends cannot in any way understand why we keeping going back when they are able to just say no.

As we continue this discussion, let's stop for a moment and take one cautionary note about our attitudes towards the different types of mice (or people). Scientists do not look down upon the little C57s. Nor do they laud the DBA. They simply know that they are two very distinct strains with different body chemistries. If they wish to look at the effect of a given intervention and want to see the differences in different body types, they order both kinds of mice.

Getting Rid of the Negative Spin

So, we can work on taking the negative judgment and shame off of the C57 way of life. Our first step is understanding. As we get how this works, we can start making choices for healing. And then TURN US LOOSE!

Let me list some of the C57 "facts" I have found with my own research. I can then reflect with you on what it might mean for our healing.

  • All C57's regardless of their gender like sweet stuff more than DBAs. A C57 male will prefer sweets more than a DBA female will.
  • In a situation called defeat-induced learned submission, the DBAs looked for an escape, while the C57's crouched, became immobile and defensive. Defeat-induced learned submission comes from a release of beta-endorphin.
  • The defeated mice developed tolerance to the beta-endorphin released in response to defeat.
  • C57's get hyperactive with morphine. DBAs do not.
  • Caffeine antagonized the hyperactivity in C57's caused by morphine, i.e. when the C57's were given caffeine and then morphine they did not become hyperactive.
  • When withdrawing from morphine, C57's become lethargic and passive.

Let's Apply the Science to Ourselves

Let's translate these and play a little. Replace the word C57 with a sugar sensitive person and replace the word morphine with sugars.

Let's go through the list again.

  1. We all know some people who act like DBAs. They are the ones who say to us, "Why don't you just......say no.." They are the ones who decide to diet and do and then lose ten pounds in a month. They are the ones who give up chocolate for Lent and never look back, the ones who carried a little orange pumpkin at Halloween. They are the ones who would eat the chocolate chip cookie only if they were hungry. We know immediately who they are. Since society tends to recognize and value DBA behavior, we will judge ourselves against their standard. We carry the message that "DBA behavior is good, C57 behavior is bad."

  2. And we also know that WE are the C57's. Intriguing to think why we can feel connected to the C57 mice so well. We are often children of alcoholics. We feel deeply, struggle with self-esteem issues, are sensitive, creative and impulsive. We may do rage or depression. And we all share the deep feeling language whether we are male or female.

  3. When we feel defeated and overwhelmed, we assume the fetal position, lie still and don't move, and tell everyone it is not our fault. Now, we may not do this on the outside. On the outside we may be doing big theater and having everyone believe that we are absolutely in control. But inside we are holding on by a thread and feeling horrible.

    • We may be "lying still" way inside our hearts but we absolutely know this pattern. And we see our DBA friends, who when faced with the same crises, get mobilized and energized. We take Prozac; they change jobs and get a promotion. We hate this "injustice" and have not a clue how biochemically mediated it is.

  4. Sweet foods give us "energy". That means they get out of the lethargy of beta-endorphin withdrawal. Sweet foods can give us "motor mouth." We become engaging, funny and self confident. Sometimes our friends wonder if we have been drinking.

    • More often, we chose other C57s as friends, so we go out for "coffee", have cake and REALLY enjoy our social times. And having coffee with the sweet roll feels like heaven. We get clear, focused and relaxed for about 30 minutes. We LOVE that feeling. And those cold frosty coffee, sugar drinks (you know which ones I mean) are the BEST because they make us feel so energized. Our DBA friends enjoy their coffee (they have the plain bagel), but they do not live for it.

  5. We see these same behaviors clearly in our children and grandchildren. Give a three-year-old C57 a piece of birthday cake and he will be the life of the party. Give a two-year-old a twelve-ounce can of Sprint on the plane and she will be bouncing over the top of the seat for two hours. The more work we do with our program, the more clearly we see this profound shift in behavior pre and post sugar.

  6. When we detox from sugar, we kinda sits around and waits till its over. We hunker down with our discomfort. Immobile. We literally feel as if our cells are made of lead and/or are all screaming. We feel the effect of withdrawal in our gut, our skin, our brain - wherever there are beta-endorphin receptor sites.

The Patterns Are Powerful

Pretty interesting isn't it. For many years we have struggled with learned helplessness, with self-esteem that fades in a moment. We vacillate between hyperactive clarity and lying on the couch in a stupor. The Dr. Jekyll/Ms.Hyde syndrome is very close to home.

Beyond Mood Swings

But now, I am pushing us beyond the idea of mood swings. I am inviting you think of yourself as a big C57 and to connect with the enormity of what these mouse studies mean for us. Those things which we have considered "character flaws" for all this time are a function of your sugar sensitive biochemistry.

Our alcohol, sugar, fat, white things literally get us mobilized, make us brave, funny, self confident for a little. But we only remember the feeling okay, feeling brave. It's why so many people who come to the forum lament that they cannot imagine giving up the sugar. It's the "only" thing that makes life worth living. This is addiction. This is being caught in a place that kills us. But we don't see it.

The Power and the Disappointment of Beta Endorphin

The beta-endorphin hit wears off and we crash. Then it's horrible. And we become more immobile, hopeless, demoralized, overwhelmed and tearful. But we do not make the connection to withdrawal. What we remember is that when we "use" we feel okay. And so we are willing to trade 30 minutes, then ten minutes, of feeling okay for the rest being horrible because we are so desperate to feel okay. We will do ANYTHING not to experience the horror of the withdrawal.

Ironically, many sugar sensitive people are very intolerant of alcoholics and drug addicts. But alcoholism and drug addiction are only the more intense forms of what we ourselves experience - a life driven to feeling better, terror of the withdrawal, and a life centered around getting our "fix."

Putting the Story Together

And along comes the Potatoes Not Prozac food plan. Suddenly things start to make sense. The vague "knowing" we have had for a while (and we are intuitive people!) gets a name, It makes sense. We don't have to think of ourselves as hopeless, depressed and out of control. We are sugar sensitive. But Potatoes Not Prozac is only the beginning of the story.

We create stability. We heal the brain. We take out the foods like sugar and white things that prime us. Sometimes this spooks us because when we take out the stuff that has made us feel "good" in the past, we enter an uneasy space. We feel better overall, but hardly confident. After all, our core brain is a C57, not a DBA.

Raising Beta Endorphin Naturally

This is the magic of all those things we affectionately refer to on the www.radiantrecovery.com forum as BE raising activities. Mozart, laughter, exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer, pups, babies, grandbabies, good sex, rollerblading, and great movies. What is not to like in the list? Do these things and create beta-endorphin. Slow and steady beta-endorphin. They wash us with feeling self-confident. And it grows on us. The more we feel it, the more we want to do these things.

Many of us have been listening to the voices on the forum. We can see these patterns as our friends in the sugar sensitive community make changes with the food. The voices of our "newbies" are very different from the voices of the "old-timers." When our food wobbles, we wobble. We whine, we munch, we get cranky. We go into beta-endorphin crash. We retreat, we isolate, and we crouch, get defensive and withdraw. Beta-endorphin crash.

Claiming Our Birthright

And miracle of miracles, when the food is steady, we are steady. We are funny, compassionate, tolerate, patient, resourceful and willing to hang in there and find solutions. Same bodies, same brains, same biochemistry. But under the influence of a different way of eating. Balance brings our birthright home.


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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