Natural Living

By Amanda Lerner

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After two months on the Doctor’s Detox and Cleanse, I’m happy to report I’m a new woman. I’m off coffee and refined sugar and gliding on natural energy. No more anxiety or mild depression. No more calls to the OBGYN. I stopped wearing foundation during the day. I’ve been regular for the first time in a decade. My metabolism is up. My cravings are down. What more could I want?

I’ve been taking herbal supplements day and night and I’ve got it down to a science. Between the digestive enzymes, probiotics, green juices, Oil Max, Fiber Max, Colon Max, Yeast Max and Liver Max, I’m totally maxed out! It’s been a busy couple of months but I feel fantastic.

I confess I was flirting with sugar last month. It’s hard to say goodbye to a lifelong affair. But I had to. I know I can’t resist if I get around My Sugar so I wrote a “Dear John” letter.

Tuesday, March 28
The Truth Will Set You (Sugar) Free

Dear Sugar,

You’ve been my best friend, my lover, and my savior. You’ve lifted me up and you’ve let me down. You’ve been fake and you’ve been pure. You’ve been rich and you’ve been nutty.

It was love at first bite. I was five. You were blonde. It was summer camp in Montauk. My parents were health nuts. They never let me near your type. I knew it was wrong but I was a rebel. I needed a taste. My eyes widened with devilish greed, as you quickly became a part of me. With my arms spread wide, I spun ’round and ’round, smiling from ear to ear. I’ve been trying all my life to recreate that Twinkie feeling. You were my first love.

You were always there when I needed you – when Dad got remarried, when my high-school sweetheart told me he needed space, when Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, when I got fired from my big sales job, when Mary found a new best friend.

There were good times, too: Birthday cakes and wedding favors, Halloween treats and Hanukkah Gelt.

But it was never enough.

Thirty years later and the only thing that’s spinning is my internal hamster wheel. I’m sick of it all. The weight gain, the zits, the tears, the broken promises, the mood swings. The spoon scraping the bottom of a pint of ice cream, searching for MORE. More of what you could never give me.

My friends and family warned me. They told me to stay away, that I was different when you were around. But I defended you. I told them I could count on you, that we never had any problems. I lied. To them and myself. You played right into my feelings. You promised to make it all better and I listened. I knew you were no good but I had no control and I let you hold me back.

Did you ever see me after a bad night with you? Of course not. You never stuck around for the crash. You have no idea how much you’ve hurt me.

Well, I’ve had it. We cannot be together anymore. Don’t whisper sweet nothings into my ear. I won’t be listening. I’m going on a journey and have decided not to bring you along. Please don’t keep in touch. It’s just too painful.

So, goodbye Sugar. I’m moving on! Go peddle your sweet promises elsewhere. I’m done with you forever.

Monday, April 17
Is Good Fat an Oxymoron?

Dear Diary,

Can you believe that eating fat has helped reduce my sugar cravings? For years, I was on the SOD (Standard Office Diet) of low-fat salad followed by cookies. I never thought to turn to fats for long-lasting energy.

Now I’m thriving on avocado and almonds, olives and oils (in moderate amounts of course).

I’m “getting fat” and I love it!

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Sunday, April 23
Carb your Enthusiasm

Dear Diary,

I don’t know about you but I was terrified of carbs. I didn’t realize that, like men, there were good ones and bad ones. Now I crave kale and quinoa. Anything complex. Nothing simple for me.

Tuesday, March 28
Instant Gratification

Dear Diary,

Let’s face it; this is a city based on instant gratification. We all want to know who, what, where, when, how and NOW.

Who? Dr. Salzarulo. What? Cleansing and Detoxification. Where? At the magnificent Great Jones Spa. When? As soon as you’re ready. How? By appointment only.

“Sounds good,” you say, “how do I start?” Well, here are the basics.

Good luck!

Sugar-Free Survival Guide for the Struggling Sweet Tooth

1. Replace white, brown & organic cane sugar, corn syrup and artificial sweeteners with natural sweeteners like honey, stevia, maple syrup and agave nectar.

2. Eat sweet fruits and root vegetables that please your sweet cravings like raisons, dates, bananas, sweet potatoes, cooked carrots and squash.

3. Substitute refined carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates that provide long-lasting energy like quality whole grains and vegetables.

4. Drink tons of water to combat sweet cravings, low energy and other symptoms caused by dehydration.

5. Slowly reduce coffee, tea, soda and diet soda. Replace with water, green tea, fresh vegetable juice and wheat grass.

6. Eat sufficient amounts of protein found in beans, nuts and low-fat animal foods to inhibit sugar craving.

7. Consume sufficient amounts of good quality fats like extra-virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, avocado, olives and nuts.

8. Give your body the nutrients and minerals it requires by increasing your consumption of green vegetables.

9. Allow yourself to get enough sleep so you don’t turn to sugar as a solution for low-energy.

10. Reduce stress and anxiety through regular exercise, satisfying relationships, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice such as yoga, meditation and helping others.

The Key to Success: Commit fully to the desire to live a healthy, vibrant life!

Originally published May 2006
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