Sunday, 4 October 2015

Confessions of a Sugar Addict

yum. . . Skittles.
Source: Wiki Commons
I have an addiction. To sugar. To candies, pastries, chocolate, you name it. The beautiful substance that is refined sugar is my downfall. I have a serious sweet tooth. I cannot resist it's lure.

Well, actually, that's not true. I've gone many weeks in the past, sometimes months, not eating any refined sugar. And, I've felt great. And my skin has been great while doing that. It's greatly motivating.

However, as soon as I have even one bite of chocolate, boom!, I'm back to feeling an insatiable need for some sugar, preferably in the form of liquorice or jujubes.

So, it's time to hop back on that sugar-free bandwagon.

This time, my reasons are two-fold.

One, my skin hasn't been that great. I've been getting pesky pimples that surface on my jaw line and around my mouth and they are likely linked to my diet not being the greatest these days. I've been having something with refined sugar in it daily, sometimes a few times a day. And, as I've learnt myself and through others like Lara Briden: sugar and insulin resistance can be a major cause of acne.

Two, I'm 13 weeks pregnant and I'm sure all this sugar isn't good for the little human growing inside of me. I want to give that little person the best start, and that includes eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods and limiting the sugar. Because of pregnancy, I also can't take my acne wonder-supplement, berberine.

Yes, it's exciting news, but also a little scary for my skin. The last time that I was pregnant was when my acne went from bad to terrible. And following giving birth, it got a million times worse with a bout of perioral dermatitis that flared up throughout 11 months. It was what started me on this Glow Journey.

My skin has already been a lot better during the first trimester so I feel like I'm in better shape heading in this time, and if the acne gets worse and the perioral dermatitis comes back, at least I know how to fight it naturally.

One of the reasons for writing this post is that by putting it out there that I'm giving up sugar, for say, at least 30 days (small goals), then it somewhat holds me accountable. If only to myself!

So, here goes. Day 1 refined sugar-free. Thanks for the support, blogosphere! I'll update in about a week on progress.



  1. This is great way to work towards your goals. Set short goals such as for 3 days then extend them to a week and then more and than a month. Finally, you will have a control over your craving. Good Luck!

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  3. How has your acne been during pregnancy still?? Im pregnant and wondering how your dealing with it!i am on oral antibiotics that my ob approved of to help the cystic form of it and it has helped but I know its best im not on them my whole pregnancy (im 24 weeks)

    1. Hi Amber, congrats on your pregnancy! I'm 30 weeks now, and while I'm not doing too great on the sugar-avoidance, I am trying to eat healthy with lots of kefir, cod liver oil, veggies, magnesium, etc. Even with the sugar consumption, my skin has been fantastic! So I'm pleased with that. My skin woes started at week 28 in my last pregnancy, so I'm hoping they continue to be held at bay. This week I'm also starting to drink a daily cup or two of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea which I find helps my skin. My midwife says I can start RRLT after 28 weeks (it's great for shortening labour and strengthening your uterus. My first birth was 4 hours start to finish!).

      To help your skin and protect your gut from the antibiotics, I'd recommend taking probiotics and eating fermented foods like Kefir, reduce and eliminate refined sugar, and try and get some healthy doses of veggies like beets, greens, etc. How long are you on the antibiotics for? I'm fairly convinced that the reason my skin went bonkers like it did was because of the multiple years I was on a daily dose of antibiotics for my skin that destroyed my gut bacteria. A short term course should be ok, but you'll definitely want to flood your gut with good bacteria so you don't see a rebound once you're off them. It's good for baby too to get some good probiotics. I feel like everyday in the news lately I've been hearing about how important our microbiome is for our health. The research is really taking off. . .

      It might seem such a long way off now, but once the baby arrives and after you're done breastfeeding, you can start taking berberine and other stronger supplements. My skin has been a million times better this pregnancy and I'd attribute it to the healing I did in between.

    2. Hello! How has it been going now since your last reply in early February? Ive been on the antibiotic since the end of december and now it is the end of march and i am 31 weeks pregnant so i will be stopping the antibiotic... my skin never got quite clear on then but much etter... im like you and have been on them for years on and off for acne and they have always worked but i kno they are bad for my gut... im not on probiotics right now only because i am seeing a functional dr and i have sibo and bad bacterial overgrowth and moderate candida that i need to work on first... he has me on a strict diet with l glutamine to repair the leaky gut and grapeseed oil extract to kill the bad bacteria and fungus for 6 weeks.. then we will add in probiotics once the sibo is gone since they are bad for sibo.... so how would you recommend i tackle the postpartum acne? Berberine and what else? My skin is so oily abd full of acne! Im also on a thyroid medication which i started 3 weks before pregnancy which i think is also causing the acne :/

    3. Hi Amber, thanks for the update. I just did an update if you want to check out my latest blog post. 37 weeks pregnant and skin has been great. I'm hoping it continues that way once my milk comes in, because that did wreak havoc on my skin last time. . ..fingers crossed!

      That's great that you're seeing a functional medicine doc that is treating your gut, and that you're getting off the antiobiotics. He should definitely have good advice on how to tackle the postpartum period. If you aren't breastfeeding berberine could help your acne and help regulate your blood sugar. Good luck!

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