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November 16, 2015

Hi {!firstname_fix}

It is grey and raining this afternoon. I can hear the raindrops on the roof. The dogs are all snoozing. It reminds me of a November day in New England...soft and grey. I cleaned the house yesterday and am cooking chicken soup in the crockpot. Yesterday I thought I was doing a smart thing and put some brown rice shells in the chicken soup. And then forgot they were there. By dinner time it was sort of chicken rice starch LOL. I decided this would be a wonderful medicine for my super skinny Lulu. She tried it last night and agreed. This morning, I added the bones and put it on high. Tonight, I will put it in the vitamix and then freeze it in dog portions. Ronan explained there was not a snowball’s chance in hell I was to give her that for dinner unless it went into his bowl as well. Chicken soup and cold rain are a good combination.

It has been an interesting week. We are deep into the grief class and I have been modeling the process which means *feeling* many old stories. It is actually a rich process, kinda like finding old photographs and making a collage of images that have shaped who I am. As we get to be older, there are many, and I like catching them. As part of cleaning, I found my mother’s china in a dusty box. I asked my daughter if she would like it. I had been in eBay to figure out what it was and what it’s story was. I learned that each type of china in the set had a different picture on it...one from West Point, NY, one from Boston and so on. She said she had two bowls already and she would love it. Now, how she got those two bowls is totally beyond my understanding. She likes the connection to her grandmother and her history. I do as well. I remember having Christmas dinner on these plates.

Part of cleaning out old stuff, you get rid of junk, but you find treasures...and the treasures are more dear that you remembered.

This class will begin Wednesday, November 18, 2015. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:

Holiday Joy

This is a special SHORT class [5 days] on preparing and getting through Thanksgiving with joy and ease. Learn to transform stress into gratitude and relaxation. Deal with your parents and your children and grandchildren in a different way. Have fun, laugh and learn some radiant tricks of the trade for holiday sanity. This is a new class I made up because I LOVE Thanksgiving and want to share with you how that came to be.

This class will begin Wednesday, November 25, 2015. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:

There will be no classes starting this week

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**

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.

From The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff, Ernest H. Shepard (Illustrator). Viking Press, 1983.


**Testimonial of the Week**

I had my annual physical and check up this week. My nurse practitioner called me to tell me my cholesterol has gone down from 255-177. Now that's more like it!!! She said she's never seen a drop like that without medicines. I'm so happy right now!



**Interesting Bits of Science**

I get an email every day from a list called Green Med Info. This week one arrived announcing the POWERFUL health changes from coconut oil. The study was titled *A coconut extra virgin oil-rich diet increases HDL cholesterol and decreases waist circumference and body mass in coronary artery disease patients.* It sounded interesting so I went and actually read the study.

Now statistics can be a bit misleading (smile) because what actually happened is that at the end of 3 months the guys having coconut oil had lost an average of 1.3 pounds more than the other guys, and their waists were .8 inches slimmer.

That is a pretty small effect. And there really wasn’t any analysis of the complexity of diet. I am pretty sure I could design a study that would show a far greater effect of weight loss in 3 months than 1.3 pounds, LOL. But this is why I am a teacher and not a research scientist.


**Radiant Recovery® Store**

Here is a heads up for all you new people. Make sure to get a copy of our CD, The Theory and Practice of Radiant Recovery. This set is the complete audio resource for learning about the program. And it has things in it that are not in the book. Get it, put it on your ipod, listen to it in the car, it REALLY makes a difference.

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 Your Last Diet**

Some one recently asked me to explain what it is she actually gets by joining the program. She said she understood that she could come to chat, but what else? I raised this question in chat and we had an incredible conversation about it. It made me realize that there is so much that has developed over time, that it has become sort of *embedded* into an ongoing process without a specific compilation of what you will learn or think about. We brainstormed how to achieve and make it easier for new people to know what is available and how to find it. Here are some of the things we outlined:
  • We need an orientation class for YLD like the Using the Resources Class we have for new people coming into the community. It would teach people the core concepts of the program, logistics about the list and chat, and the process of moving forward in weight loss goals. I am writing up the curriculum for this class as we speak.
  • The tools of the program need to be more clearly identified. Right now they are in your orientation welcome letter, but most people kinda gloss over that.
  • We need to have people understand how to get to chat, how to find and read the transcript and how to participate in the discussion in an interactive way.
  • I need to be writing things for the YLD blog.
  • We need to set up a YLD (weight loss) page for FaceBook for the people who hate Yahoo.
  • We need an outline of the developmental progression that the program takes you through including weight loss readiness, getting steady, learning the variables that have contributed to your weight, learning your lifestyle factors, and then learning how to put it all together.
  • We need an outline for fitness for weight loss and how it differs from everything you have been taught.
  • We need a discussion of how YLD differs from Radiant Recovery and does that matter.
  • It would be nice to have a members page where people can post about themselves and their histories. We have been doing that on the YLD list and it has been fabulous.
  • Then we brainstormed the concepts we are working with all the time in chat and on the list like carb phobia, fat terror, restriction, self image, and 100 other things.
It was rather an astounding discussion to be honest. I think we have been so focused on just *doing* that a whole support system has matured and we forgot to take pictures. It is kinda like the time between age 11 and 14 when poof your darling sweet child becomes a miracle of a teenager with energy, enthusiasm and maturity. (T his would be a teenager doing the food, LOL.)

At any rate, it is a pretty incredible time to join us. If you join now, you will step into this dynamic joyful group of people who are standing in the face of today’s declaration that Obesity is *incurable.* That was published in the UK Guardian and is one of the most ridiculous analyses of OBESITY I have ever read. It is categorically untrue and YLD is a testament to that.

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


**Radiant Living**

Radiant Life continues to be the place where we talk about all the things that are important to us after the food. It is like tea in front of the fire on a cold rainy day with people you like, respect and find really fun to talk with. And it is an antidote for all the times and places where we are not understood or seen or valued.

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


**The C57 Story**

Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

Science has a lot to learn about sugar sensitivity. We can't just go to PubMEd, 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 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 C57's 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 it's 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. Jeykll/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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