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October 17, 2016

Hi {!firstname_fix}

I love New Mexico in October. The sky is very, very blue. The light shifts all day and I love watching how it changes in the trees as they are turning yellow. Our trees are not like New England. We don't get the multicolored riot that happens in Vermont. But we get brilliant yellow as the 100-year-old cottonwoods put on their autumn garb. It comforts me.

I think many of you know I did a talk for a summit on sugar addiction a few months ago. A new one is coming up on Depression. Our host, Heather Juergensen, has put together an interesting collection of people who are talking about depression from a whole range of perspectives. The free summit will run this coming week. I will be featured tomorrow. Register here. She did a very nice interview, so my guess is that the range of talks will be useful and interesting. I am going to put the graphic up on Facebook so you can see my picture. I am older now, LOL, but NOT depressed.

I have settled on the arrangements for Ranch in the spring here in Albuquerque. It will be on May 12-13-14. The seminar will cover introductory training for new people and the latest cutting-edge information for people who are more skilled with the seven steps. On Friday we will focus on the foundation of the program and look at step 3 in depth. You will learn things not found in the books with a special focus on what else is embedded in the steps.

Saturday will focus on special topics including *You are what you eat* which will include some fascinating science on digestion and assimilation. I am also going to expand and deepen the material I developed for a class this past month called *A Map for the Art of Success in the Program.* The impact of that short class was so powerful,I realized that I need to give this material to a broader audience. All participants will receive a Special Ranch Coloring book as an adjunct to the presented material.

And we are going back to the Rio Grande Inn, so you will be warm, have a shuttle from the airport and be able to go to the new Starbucks across the street. I have put the details up on the web. Don't forget there is a pretty significant discount for early registration.

This class will begin Wednesday, October 19, 2016. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:
Brain Chemistry Serotonin

Learn all about the “just say no” chemical. Learn how your depression may be affected by your diet. Learn how to manipulate serotonin levels safely and with tenderness. A real hands-on lesson in feeling better. Now this is going to be a VERY special class to follow with the summit. I have previewed some of the materials and I am very, very excited to offer you this class UNIQUE for sugar-sensitive people. We have done this class a number of times, but this one will be extra special. Listen to my talk tomorrow and then come to the class all fired up. Listen to the other talks and come ask questions.

This class will begin Wednesday, October 26, 2016. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:
Using Radiant Resources

This FREE class will teach you all the ins and outs of the resources in the community. You will learn to navigate the community forum, learn how to use the resource center, check out Radiant Ranch, and learn your way around the website. You will be on your way with an invaluable resource in your pocket!

Check the class list page for more information on how the classes work. See the the Class Schedule here.

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



**Quote From Kathleen**

All this work will create enormous gains for you. As you "do the food," you are going to reconnect with your birthright.

**Testimonial of the Week**

My 4 kids have been doing the food with me for years. My youngest, 11 yo girl, has been having increasing difficulty waking up on these cold mornings. It is winter in Australia, and getting food into her in time to walk to school has gotten more and more difficult ...until I remembered someone saying about bringing breakfast to the child in bed.

Now everything in my "when they obey they can have a treat" background screamed against me doing this "pampering" of a "willful" child. But when I thought about the biochemistry, it became an easy decision. So I take my medication (which must be 1/2 hr before food), get up, go to the kitchen, prepare oatmeal for myself and my daughter, stir in some milk powder and take it in to her. A drowsy good morning, and she eats sitting up in bed. I get dressed, then eat my oatmeal while cooking the eggs. Soon she is in the kitchen ready for the egg and bacon I have cooked for her. 20 minutes later she is fully breakfasted and dressed. 30 minutes from when she was asleep, she is ready to leave home (and so am I). Lunch gets packed as we finish eating.

The older 3 kids all cook their own breakfasts and pack their own lunches...all I have to do is make sure the doings are available...it messes things up if I forget to put the bread out before I go to bed!

No whinging from anyone. Not the child, or me! No nagging, no dragging, or dawdling...because we have addressed the biochemical reason that she couldn't do the things for herself!!



**Notes from the Website **

Have you ever wondered how to find prior newsletters? Here is where they are posted. I just had a fun time browsing through them.


**Radiant Recovery® Store**

A while ago I had reported that I asked David to order a new product. I want to let you know how much I LOVE it! I had hoped it would help my dry eyes. And man, it is fabulous. So we are putting it in the newsletter again.

ProDHA Eye Bottle Here is a testimony to the impact of your input. One of our regular customers told us about a Nordic Naturals product she had tried. It is called ProDHA Eye. She said her ophthalmologist had recommended it for *dry eye* and it was having a huge impact for her. Kathleen read that email and asked me if I had sent in our Nordic order yet. I said, *No, I was doing it that afternoon.* Here is her response:

As I have gotten older, the issue of dry eye has become more of a problem. Living in New Mexico, which is DRY, DRY, makes it way worse. You know I LOVE Nordic products, let's give it a shot. I know it is a bit pricey, but when I think about how much I am spending on eye drops, this sounds way better.

Here is what Nordic Naturals says about it:

  • Added Zeaxanthin and FloraGLO Lutein for ultimate eye protection*
  • 93+% true triglyceride form for optimal absorption of essential omega-3s*
  • Promotes healthy eye moisture and tear production*
ProDHA Eye® combines concentrated omega-3 fish oil with key nutrients that have been shown to protect the eyes and support healthy vision.* The omega-3 DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is more concentrated in eye tissue than in any other part of the body, and is vital to the structure and function of healthy eyes. By supporting healthy inflammatory levels, omega-3s can also help alleviate many common symptoms of eye discomfort such as dryness, pain, and redness.* FloraGLO® Lutein with zeaxanthin has been added to further support the structures of the eye and provide protection against harmful ultraviolet blue light.* ProDHA Eye combines these key eye nutrients in one convenient formula.

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


**Radiant Kitchen**

This is from my cookbook:


  • 4 medium Jewel or Garnet yams
  • 2 Tbsp. light tasting olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, optional
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. alcohol-free maple extract
  • 1 Tbsp. orange or apple juice concentrate
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake yams for about one hour, or until soft. The skins should peel off easily when they are still warm. Mash yams well and mix with oil and juice. Place yams in a 8” square glass baking dish. Spread evenly and flatten the top. Toss pecans with maple extract, juice concentrate, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Spread evenly over the top of the yams. Bake until pecans are toasted and the yams are hot and bubbly (start checking after 10 minutes).
For great program-friendly recipes, check out our Cookbook in the store and visit our online Radiant Recipes site.

**Radiant Your Last Diet**

We talked about Your Last Diet at chat and looked at how the weight loss process fits into the bigger picture of healing. If you have been buffeted by all the cultural hype of what you have to do to lose weight and you are tired, this is the place for a new look. If you read the articles just published talking about the long-term outcomes of *the Biggest Loser* and feel you are doomed to regain whatever you worked so hard to lose and feel you have to end up regaining it, then the Your Last Diet is the antidote. The rebound only happens if you haven't HEALED your body and brain. Just working with the scale will doom you to always regaining. But it doesn't have to be that way.

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


**Radiant Living**

People ask me what the Radiant Living Chat is about. Basically it is about living a Radiant Life...things not related to food per se...relationships, jobs, family, hopes, dreams, fear...we talk about it. And we LOVE having you join us.

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


**Sex for the Sugar Sensitive**

Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

Someone on our Facebook page wondered why she sometimes felt really low after having sex. I promised that I would share some thoughts here. Obviously, the whole biochemistry of sexuality is a huge topic. But this is a little peek at one part of the story.
  • Understanding how sex and sexuality fit into the sugar sensitive equation.
  • How untreated (or unconscious) sugar-sensitive sexuality can affect you and drive your behavior.
  • How sugar-sensitive sexual physiology can affect your capacity for intimacy (for both men and women).
  • How your sexuality can enhance your recovery.
  • How your recovery can enhance your sexuality.
The Role Of Beta-Endorphin In Sexuality

I started thinking about this subject when I was asked to give a talk to a singles group. The title was Sugar and Sex: Is There a Connection? Of course I knew there was but I was a little short on scientific facts to back up what my own experience had told me. I went back to the on-line Library of Congress to ask some questions. Most of what I found was published about rat studies rather than people studies, but it sure was a fascinating way to begin to think about the role of beta-endorphin in sexuality. Let me share some of the things I found.
  • The beta-endorphin system contributes to sexual motivation. Sexual motivation (which means the desire to copulate - remember these are rats ;-) ) is heightened with higher levels of beta-endorphin. Lower beta-endorphin and the sexual motivation decreased.
  • Beta-endorphin increases sexual appetite but diminishes sexual performance in males.
  • Ejaculation leads to a release of beta-endorphin.
  • Vaginal stimulation causes a release of beta-endorphin.
  • Semen contains high levels of beta-endorphin.
  • There are beta-endorphin receptors in mucosa.
  • Sexual receptivity in females is reduced by beta-endorphins. After the male rats had ejaculated, the females were no longer interested.
What These Might Mean

Let's start by putting a few caveats on what I am going to say. We know there is a big leap between laboratory findings with rats and complex human interactions. But I think some of this material is both instructive and helpful in making sense of some of the behaviors I have lived and have seen in my own clinical practice. Let's first look at the lab findings and then talk about the interactive implications.

The beta-endorphin system contributes to sexual motivation. Lower beta-endorphin and the sexual motivation decreased.

As you know, sugar- sensitive people have a heightened BE response to alcohol and sugar. They will also have a heightened response to sexual cues. If BE is activated, sexual interest goes up. This explains why wine with dinner may make people more interested in sex later. It can also explain why the marketing promise of chocolate being a turn on has some truth to it.

Women have the highest levels of BE at ovulation. Sexual interest often peaks mid cycle and then drops proportionately as BE levels plummet towards menstruation. As the beta-endorphin levels drops, the woman will crave chocolate, feel inadequate and experience isolation distress. When you think of this, it makes sense to think of the female body being wired to maximize the potential for pregnancy.

Beta-endorphin increases sexual appetite but diminishes sexual performance in males.

This may account for the gap between the promise and the action in sugar-sensitive men plied with wine and dessert. Laboratories equate “performance” with the ability to maintain an erection. Real people may measure “intimacy” rather than erection, so we may not have really helpful data from the lab on this one. But this finding offers some wonderful insight on the high confidence/cold feet syndrome. It can also explain why a meal of pasta, wine and dessert leads to a huge sense of feeling safe but trouble in sexual connection, while a meal of protein and veggies with sex for dessert leads to euphoria.

Ejaculation leads to a release of beta-endorphin. Vaginal stimulation causes a release of beta-endorphin. Semen contains high levels of beta-endorphin. There are beta-endorphin receptors in mucosa.

No surprise that it appears that sexual activity between men and women is deigned to be an experience of biochemical “connection.” Each part of heterosexual sexual activity seems to heighten the BE effect. In many ways, the system is biochemically designed to be an elegant way to encourage people to connect on a sexual level.

Because sugar-sensitive people have materially lower levels of BE, they will experience a heightened response to the effects of BE release. Not only will you like sugar and alcohol; you are also likely to like sex. You may have experientially learned that sexual interaction and orgasm not only creates euphoria, but also stimulates a sense of being valued, connected and feeling wanted. This is BE levels going up.

Why Sex May be Really Important to You

Vaginal stimulation creates a significant release of beta-endorphin. It affects a more than 100% increase in the pain threshold (mediated by beta-endorphin). In fact, because many of you may feel inadequate, less than, isolated and disconnected much of the time, the call of sexual activity may be even more compelling. Sexual encounters may be a critical contributor to your feeling okay. Sexual encounters may create an opportunity for powerful connection and intimacy.

However, there is a risk involved. If your sugar-sensitive biochemistry remains imbalanced, sugar or alcohol priming may trigger your desire for sex. Or your sexual activity may prime you to binge on sugars. Or either may activate a huge spike in BE and create a major withdrawal as the effects wear off. Beta-endorphin withdrawal can account for why women look for chocolate after her partner leaves. Withdrawal will effect loss of euphoria, separation anxiety and isolation distress. Euphoria crashes into loneliness and the quest for the perfect night goes on.

Sexual Addiction

The sugar-sensitive person may struggle with sexual addiction without understanding the power of BE reactivity that is operating. This draw and reliance on the BE effects may be masked as a commitment to find the perfect partner. New encounters can heighten the BE effect of the sexual interaction by adding the component of novelty. New situations and risk both heighten the BE impact of a sexual encounter.

Sexual addiction for the sugar-sensitive person may also manifest in masturbation. Many of you may take care of the feelings of isolation and inadequacy by using self-stimulation to provide solace and comfort.

The Spike Effect

Much of the BE risk inherent in sexual activity of any sort comes with the “spike” effect - a large flash, followed by a concomitant drop and BE withdrawal. Sexual beta-endorphin is no different from any other kind of endorphin action. A rush will set you up; a warm and flooding cascade will heal you. Sexual encounters that evoke a long, slow infusion of beta-endorphin can be a part of an overall BE raising recovery program. Relational intimacy does not carry the same associated risk behavior. This type of sexual encounter seems to flow from recovery. As your sugar-sensitive biochemistry becomes more and more stable, you will be drawn to those activities which reinforce living in a heightened state of BE. Activities such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi evoke flexibility, endurance, stability, groundedness and compassion.

Relational intimacy seems to evoke the same cumulative effect. Emotional stability fosters the interest in such activities. And the activity reinforces emotional stability. By shifting the BE effect from spike to flow, you move from priming to healing.


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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Here are the folks who are helping put the newsletter together:

Gretel, our webmaster, puts it all together.
David runs the Radiant Recovery® Store.
Mosaic contributes to the Notes from the Forum column.

©2016 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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