Dec 24, 2017

Hi, {!firstname_fix},

For those of us who celebrate Christmas, this is a holy night. I am sharing this picture with you. It is from my front porch in Albuquerque, NM. If you look closely, you will notice 8 little wooden houses posted on the fence. Tonight each little house will have a votive candle in memory of the dogs that have passed on from my place and Golden Retriever Rescue. This year I won't put out 100 luminarias, I will just have the dog memorial. it will be simpler and quieter. Later tonight David and I will go out driving. The whole city will be quiet as thousands and thousands of tiny candles burn. The air smells of wax, and the soft flickering light is in contrast to the brightness of the multicolored Christmas lights that get shut off for the night tonight. It is a little hard to explain, this stillness. The candles stay burning until maybe 4 or 5 in the morning.

The collective pain and hardship flowing from all of what is going on in the world is touching many of us in a deep way. We are called sugar *sensitive* because we feel deeply.  I know that eating holds us anchored. I know also that those of us who are safe and ok, can add to that flow of stability to those of you who are feeling unsettled.  I wrote about Soyal in the reflections class on Friday night. It is a hopi time of quiet and I believe it is surrounding us.
I have settled plans for Radiant Ranch here in Albuquerque in May [18-19-20].  Space is limited this year to 20, so if you are wanting to come, make sure to sign up soon. The early bird discount ends Jan 1 so watch the time. Ranch will be focused on how doing the food can change our lives.

​​​​​​​I have put the science section back in this week and will be bringing you interesting bits and bobs and I find them.

I am going to restart the brain chemical class sequence this week. I know we have a lot of new people on board and I can tell you that these 3 classes are a great addition to making sense of why we are the way we are.  

I wish you all a sacred and quiet day.
 Support for Your Program
Share with others, ask questions, explore everything and anything about your program. There is no charge for using the forum..

Learn the steps, get fit safely, learn creative program cooking, learn about depression, learn with other men, learn with parents, share in local areas. There is no charge for groups.


I have made a real commitment to being accessible to members of the Radiant Recovery® community. I provide coaching in small groups and works with people individually who are ready for more intensive guidance. As I was writing that science section for the newsletter, I thought, these are exactly the types of issues we work with in the Signature Consultation Program. We piece together old trauma stories, eating disorders, impulse control and such. It is like exploring the layers underneath the sugar addiction so you really get that the behavior is NOT your fault but is simply a biochemical response to a compromised brain. So it gets to the heart of things that therapy or just the food can't resolve.


Radiant Reflections​​​​​​​
A special class we do each year to remember what this time of year is about. It is a way for us to connect to the light in the darkness. This year, this is especially appropriate. You all are invited to join regardless of your religious tradition or background. Love to have you. It is very settling. It will continue through Jan 6. There is no charge for this class. You may still join us if you are interested.

This class will begin Wednesday, Jan 3, 2017.

Beta Endorphin

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.  I recommend this class for EVERY new person. It will blow your mind to discover the *why* behind what you have struggled with for so long.


Use this quiet time to heal.​​​​​

Testimonial of the Week

The course was great. It was exactly the right action to learn on a structured basis and to get into posting and interacting. I see that doing the actions of the steps exactly as laid out, the courses, the interacting, and helping others are all integral.

There are no huge profit margins in getting people to stay healthy by eating sensibly. No vested interest in researching or proving the simple theory of sugar sensitivity. Quite the contrary. But it is obvious to anyone who would look, sugar sensitive or not.

I know Kathleen and everyone involved are true friends. It's just something you know. I am grateful. I knew it driving down the road tonight listening to my CD player (I just installed myself). I was enjoying myself and I thought, Kathleen, what kind of music do you like! Such friends are rare in life.

I am starting to go through the newsletters chronologically since that seems to be the wealth of (unpublished?) data. I plan on doing courses, reading the remainder of the published books, easing my wife into this, and of course the steps.

And I finally found something useful to do with a computer!

Tim ​​​​​​​

Science of the week
 2005 Aug;46(8):1349-51.

This was an interesting study about bulimia.  It was done at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Department of Radiology. They looked at mu-opioid receptor binding in the left insular cortex  and found that there was less binding in the bulimic subjects. I found this interesting for a couple of, mu opioids are the type of opioid receptors activated by sugar, alcohol and heroin. Beta endorphin is a type of mu opioid. Two, the left insular cortex is associated with pain, love, emotion, craving, addiction, the enjoyment of music, or even the tasting of wine.  It may be that there is a higher density of mu opioid receptors in the insular. I don't know that, it is simply a hypothesis. 

Here is my guess about what is going on with bulimia. If we take a sugar sensitive female, we know that she will have lower levels of mu opioid receptors when she is born.  This will mean that when she finds something that creates a beta endorphin *hit*, she will be drawn to it because it will relieve pain and will raise her sense of self esteem. It will also make her feel less depressed. And the *something* will work, but when it wears off, life is worse.

We can add another variable into the story. If she has experienced childhood trauma, it is also likely that the part of the brain that processes emotional regulation was damaged (the anterior cingulate cortex). Imaging also show that subjects exposed to trauma have impaired binding capacity.

If she is particularly unable to process painful emotions and she is exposed to the idea of purging from her friends or family, she might well discover an extraordinary relief from bulimia. What she does relieves the pain, but when the relief wears off, she is more vulnerable to the pain and gets hooked into a behavioral pattern that is addictive and destructive.

*Doing the food* actually heals the brain and repairs what the trauma did.  I think this is why people with bulimia or exercise purging have such a profound response to our program.
Radiant Recovery Store​​​​​​​

There has been so much press recently talking about *gut health*.

Here is a wonderful option that the folks at Nordic shared with us.. Kathleen tried it and reported back that it is fabulous. Here is her quote:

This is an incredible find for anyone with an unpredictable gut. I have not thought of myself as having GI problems, but I was floored with the positive impact of taking this product. I can well imagine for those of you who struggle with digestive stability these would be fabulous.

Radiant Kitchen​​​​​​​

I happen to love this recipe so I am posting it again for you.


  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained or 4 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 8 oz. tahini (sesame butter - mixed according to package directions)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika (garnish)
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley (garnish)

Blend all ingredients, except oil and garnishes. Place in serving dish and drizzle oil on top. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Serve with vegetables, whole grain crackers and whole grain pita.

Variation: a) you can add 1/4 cup of cooked chickpeas to the blended mixture before drizzling the oil and topping with the garnishes b) you can add a few tablespoons of roasted peppers and omit the garnish of parsley and paprika 

For great program-friendly recipes, check out our Cookbook in the store and visit our online Radiant Recipes site.
Radiant YLD
 I can tell you that YLD is the best option for healing the angst of being overweight AND then losing weight.

YLD chats are actually the place that nurtures much of our latest thinking on successful weight loss. It is ironic that the place that starts with so much angst has become the place for so much innovation. I am going to start sharing these new thoughts in chat. and then will be talking about them on the list.

Come to chat, join the private list for members.

If you would like to join us in YLD, come find us here.  
Radiant Living
Some of the old timers wanted to have a place to share about *refinements* and *life enhancements*. We have support for depression and cooking and fitness, but nowhere to look at *life* stuff. The logical option is Radiant Living. It is kinda the *after the food* place. If you are steady with your food, think about becoming a Living member to share in our weekly chats on life topics.

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

Another Look at Commitment

Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

Every week, I get many letters from people who feel inadequate, overwhelmed, fat, out of control and unable to do the program. Or I get letters from people who feel buffeted by the stress in their lives. People have died, work is demanding, no time, no space, no capacity to do anything but get by.  Or we all hit these weeks like this one where the *world* itself feels overwhelming.

And each time I say, these feelings are caused by being out of balance. The stress does not create the feelings, our biochemistry does. When we are balanced we respond to stress differently, it becomes functional rather than overwhelming. We stand in the center of the swirl with a sense of calm and clarity about priorities and demands. And when we are not balanced, that idea seems totally off the wall.

When we are in the middle of what I call sugar feelings, we will be reactive and feel done to. We will feel like a victim. We will feel like we can do nothing right. And of course it seems like these feelings are REAL because it is what we feel. And when we feel that way, we need something to help us hold them, so we get ice cream and soda. And we feel better for a little while. Life is manageable for a few minutes and we are seduced into thinking that this is comfort. But what we think is comforting us is the cause of what we  are feeling. It is a deadly, seductive dance.

When we are in that place, the idea of the program seems totally overwhelming. No, you cannot give up sugar. No, you cannot manage to plan anything. I just don't get it! You feel it is just too big and too unattainable. It is too much so you need to just give up and feel that nothing will work.

So, here is the bottom line. This program can not only save your life, it can transform it. It can make you clear and steady. It can give you a platform for losing weight. But it cannot work its magic unless you do it. And you do not have to do it all at once. You do not have to be perfect or rigorous or disciplined. You can come, you can whine, you can stumble. But if you show up, you ask for help and you listen, and then you follow instructions, things will change.

Sugar sensitive people are notorious for not listening. We think we know it better. We think that we are unique, a special case and the plain ole boring do the steps slowly and in order does not really fit our situation. That way of thinking has to go. If you want what we have, do what we do. We do the steps. We have breakfast every morning, on time. We journal. We eat meals on time. We have enough protein for our body. We take the vitamins and eat the potato. We eat whole grains and we do not have sugar. We are funny, focused and purposeful.

And we are NOT different from you. We were there in that dark, horrible place. Every single one of us, including me, has been there. And it is a place we do not want to go back to. The way out was not magic. It was showing up and doing. Doing breakfast, doing journal. Doing potato. One choice at a time. One day at a time.

Nodding will not heal you. Agreement will not make change. Commitment makes change. You do not have to live that way any more. Come on over and let's do this together. 

©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. 

You are getting the weekly newsletter from Radiant Recovery® in response to your signup. A copy of this newsletter may also be found posted on the web.