May 7, 2017

Hi {!firstname_fix}, 

Tomatoes are in the ground and are doing well. They love their spot. They have sun until 3:30 and then they have shake.They are happy.  Today I planted herbs in pots in the back. It is all feeling very nice.

I went to dinner at a friend's house tonight. She is a native New Mexican. She made chicken enchiladas with green chili. We also had calabacitas which is squash and tomatoes and corn.She had her son put the corn on the grill in the husks.  Oh my, it was a delicious meal. Then I drive home coming down into Old Town on old RT 66. The mountains were purple and the light was gold. The motels are straight out of 1950. It reminded me of being a child in the Southwest. The air smelled like high desert. I went through Old Town. People were strolling in the plaza. I am glad we are having Ranch next weekend. Albuquerque is an incredible place to visit.

I hope you are all reading the community forum.  Janice has been doing a wonderful job with writing a note for each letter of the alphabet. The discussion is really quite a resource for learning about the program's impact on your life. They have gotten all the way to Z for Zest. I love the whole thing. Set your preferences to display a whole month. Check it out and share your reaction.

Radiant Ranch is set to go. I put the finishing touches on the Ranch coloring book. It made me smile and I am excited for the arrivals who will begin being here on Tuesday.

Don't forget we have reconfigured our blog to share our stories of healing. 
Upcoming Classes
This option is ongoing. You may join at any time.

Radiant Coaching  

This is a unique offering for people who are serious about losing weight and would like to have ongoing coaching. It is ironically also for those of you who want to enhance your program. We do an individual assessment to sort out exactly where you are in the process. You will be guided in making your own individual plan. You can learn about journaling and adjusting your food for weight loss - what to do when. You can look at things to do to start while you are actually working the steps. This is not Boot Camp. You will be given tools and shown how to use them.

The coaching is done online in a group using Yahoo and Google. Because I have a number of people who are newer in the program, we will be focusing on the earlier steps in our coaching group.

I do want to clarify that coaching is not the same as the classes. It is more responsive to you and where you are in the program. If you want help and are ready to be be guided, this is the process for you.The benefits you get include learning how to do skilled journaling and to interpret it to really understand how the changes you are making affect your well being.

Another perk of coaching is that you can attend the regular classes I do at no charge,

The fee is $20 per week and is billed in 2 week intervals. It is an unusual opportunity to work directly with me to be liberated from your past diet history. The signup is under the *special* tab on the classes page.  If you want to join, please email me first so we can touch base about whether this is right for you.

There will be no classes starting this week because of Ranch.

Using the Resources of the Community
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!

Keep it simple, stay focused and stay connected. Watch the miracle!

Testimonial of the Week
Hello to all,

As of tomorrow I will have written in my journal for 30 days consistently!! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, emotional and physical feelings are all there. It wasn't always perfect and it wasn't always complete but I DID IT! I honestly wasn't' sure if I would be able to do this so this truly is a milestone. I've drawn smiley faces along the sides of tomorrow's journal page.

For those of you looking for help I can say that, prior to March 7, I was inconsistent. I kept a journal - with a day here or there - since October 2004. I started getting more consistent in January and even more so in February. I have not tried to analyze the journal or draw conclusions. That just seemed too overwhelming. Now, I think I can begin to do that some. I am still making the shift away from judging what I'm putting in my mouth. This will be a BIG step for me.

Some tips that have worked for me - I try to put the time I feel things, I especially find it helpful to spend time with the journal first thing in the morning and last thing at night - I think it fortifies my commitment. I like the idea of writing in the journal as "dessert" and have tried to do this. Sometimes I forget but always come back to it. I can say that, for me, the novelty of writing in the journal has worn off a bit and I find myself getting a complacent. And, who knows, I may "forget" my journal at times. It's all learning.

The bottom line for me is that my healing is a top priority at this time. And, journaling is a big component of the healing. So, here I am doing the journal..meal by by day.

I know the YOU can do it too. We'll help each other along this path. 

All the best,


Radiant Recovery Store
Sometimes people ask me why we carry CetylM in the store. Kathleen went to a Golden Retriever Dog Show show a number of years ago. She watched these two videos of Jap. At the time, I had just moved to Albuquerque and my large Rottweiler was about 8 years. He had terrible arthritis and could hardly walk. Kathleen was blown away by the videos and said, *we have to get this stuff for your dog.* So we ordered some. In 3 weeks he was like a puppy. He was running all around. We have carried this ever since.

Click the following to view video. 

They also make a product for people called CMResponse. Everyone who has tried it has said it works way better than glucosamine. You can go here if you want to learn more about Cetyl M.

And their premier product is for horses. Let me know if you want me to get that. I don't know how many of you have horses.

If you haven't been to the store for a while, how about just coming over and browsing. You will be thrilled to see all the changes! 

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

Chicken Potato Kugel 

  • 3 T. oil 
  • 4 chicken thighs/legs, cut into pieces 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1 tsp. onion powder 
  • 1 T. hearty deli style mustard 
  • (cayenne pepper to taste if you like things hot, if not omit) 
  • 4 medium-large sized new potatoes, skin-on, scrubbed well (or any other thin skinned potato) 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 onion 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place oil in a roasting pan and place inside the oven to warm up. Meanwhile, mix garlic, onion powder, mustard and cayenne together. Spread the mustard mixture over the chicken and place in heated roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. 

Grate potatoes with skins (food processor recommended) and squeeze out any liquid. Grate onion. Mix potatoes, onion, eggs, salt and pepper until combined. Pour potato batter over the chicken. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. 

For great program-friendly recipes, check out our Cookbook in the store

Radiant YLD

I like that YLD has evolved so much. The desperation about weight calmed down. We got functional and mobilized. Yah, it really is Your Last Diet. The chats just bring that home over and over and over. You don't have to be fat or working on step 7 to join. You can be slender and caught in restriction and you will be totally comfortable. 

Your program includes:

  • LIFETIME membership
  • Exclusive information on what contributed to your weight and what you can do about it.
  • Special classes on weight loss including The Obesity Myth, Fat Terror, Exercise for Weight loss, Clothing for your size and style. These will be at no extra charge
  • Ongoing, in-depth discussion about successful weight loss with searchable archives.
  • Weekly private weight loss chats held at two different times each week led by Kathleen herself. They are funny, informative and healing.
  • Access to a private facebook group (secret) to share joys, progress, pictures and questions.

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

Radiant Living
Radiant Living is really just about the joy of recovery.

Radiant Living will allow you to share a dialogue with others – people who are asking the same questions and exploring answers boldly and with the humility that comes with doing the food.

These conversations will help you transform fear and give new tools for healing. We look at topics such as grief, crisis, trauma, emotional healing, revitalizing your program and stepping into your big self.

So the dialogue will be about the big picture and the practical ideas for daily implementations of the changes you are seeking. The dialogue will meet you where you are and offer ideas that you may not have heard before. Let go of old thinking that growing up has to be hard or painful. This is about joy, discovery, fun and creativity. And, of course, LOTS of laughter.

There is no step requirement to participate, only honesty, willingness, and openness.

Your membership will give you what you need to master this new way of being. Your membership will include:
  • People who understand and mentor you
  • A dedicated list on Yahoo with my own personal involvement
  • Access to a dedicated membership-only chat held at 2 different times each week 
If you would like to join us in Radiant Living, come find us here.
*The C57 Mouse*

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 therein 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 continue to be intrigued by beta-endorphin and it's 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 drug, which mean they go and sit in the brain's beta-endorphin receptor sides 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 through out 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 hey 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.

  1. 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. 
  2. 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
  3. The defeated mice developed tolerance to the beta-endorphin released in response to defeat.
  4. C57's get hyperactive with morphine. DBAs do not.
  5. 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.
  6. When withdrawing from morphine, C57's become lethargic and passive.
Next week we will Apply the Science to Ourselves 

If You Listen, Your Body Will Speak. 

©2017 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 of the location. Please visit the Radiant Recovery® website at for additional resources on sugar sensitivity and healing addiction. 

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