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Sweet, Sweet Sugar

Sweet, Sweet Sugar

Here’s another throwback to 2015, a piece about my first addiction: sugar.

Sweet sweet sugar

When I was just out of high school, I used to work the reception desk part-time at a motor sports dealership, across the street from Tim Hortons. I’d buy a 20-pack of Timbits (the “jam”-filled ones with powdered sugar) and demolish them during my evening shift.  I’d often have an Iced Capp to go with it. And get this: I’d be hungry an hour later. In my mind there was zero correlation between this junk I ate and my crippling IBS attacks (this was before I even knew IBS existed), and the anxiety-bordering-on-panic-attacks from too much caffeine. I used to eat those Welch’s fruit snacks by the box. And fruit juice? I’d drink it by the litre. But I was a skinny-mini, so it must have meant I was invincible. DUH.

Remember when I said I have gut issues that are linked to candida overgrowth? The candida albicans microorganism just LOVES the sugar. And when you have too much candida, you don’t just loves the sugar. You needs the sugar. Concentrated, refined sugar, and lots of it! Fruit juice, fruit snacks, Iced Capps and Timbits are the BEST for candida.  You know what else is good for candida? Beeeeer. Wiiiiine. Ciiiiider.


Candida starts out as a single celled yeast. Given enough fuel, it will reproduce and morph into a multi-cellular fungus; at this point it’s much harder to kill and the associated symptoms get worse.

You can’t really blame candida. It’s just trying to live it’s life, alright? I happen to have been a fantastic provider to candida for a very long time. I put food on it’s table, I give it a roof over it’s head. I am a warm, moist, welcoming home. Is this getting a little too weird, me sympathizing with the thing that causes me so much misery?


Last year I attempted an anti-candida diet.  Very low carb and almost no sugar.  I had one apple a day to satisfy my sweet tooth. Sugar withdrawal sucks. Anyone with a sugar addiction who’s tried to cut it out cold turkey knows what I mean. The first week was the toughest. I had one panic attack from the shock of cutting carbs. After that, things started improving. I felt a tiny bit better every day. I didn’t feel so strung out and exhausted. I looked forward to that one apple every day, and it was so delicious!

All in all, I lasted three weeks before something emotionally traumatic happened and I abandoned my candida diet for vodka and cranberry juice. Am I weak? Some may say so but I find it’s counterproductive to put yourself down when you’re already down. I haven’t attempted the diet since, but I want to give it another shot at some point.

I should clarify, even if you didn’t have a candida overgrowth, you’d still need sugar to live. Every one of the trillions of cells in your body needs glucose to produce energy to make it go. If your gut bacteria was in balance, you wouldn’t crave carbs in the same insane, irrational way.  You’d likely be content getting your carbs from whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat, and pretty much any vegetable. The fibre in these foods helps your body break it down into glucose slowly, versus pure sugar that spikes in your blood and makes you feel like this:


Alternatively, you could be so burnt out that sugar (and caffeine) just barely brings you up to normal. That’s linked to adrenal fatigue, a topic I will leave for another day.

Physiology and pathogenic yeast aside, there is a deeper reason we reach for doughnuts or chips or whatever.  Stress, loneliness, boredom, sadness.  If you’re reaching for sugar, could it be you are lacking sweetness in other areas of your life? I speak only for myself when I say YES.

P.S. I haven’t had a drink for over a week now! Woohoo!  My greasy breakfasts at the cafeteria by my work, though… that’s gotta change. Baby steps!

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  • Sheila Rowe
    January 16, 2018

    I was diagnosed a couple of months ago with a sliding hiatal hernia. Leading up, had 2 severe artacks of back and abdominal pain with vomiting. Very fast onset, dissipated fairly quickly. Doc prescribed proton pump inhibitors (acid reducer), waiting now for GI test with camera down esophagus. Online, have read about taking apple cider vinegar (acid increase??!!) and/or food enzymes. Have you any experience with this condition? I feel like there are side effects from the ppi’s I don’t like.

    • January 30, 2018

      Hi Sheila,

      I will e-mail you with my further thoughts on this– but generally speaking, acidifying foods may aggravate a condition like yours, so I would avoid them for now. Thank you for your questions!

  • September 21, 2018

    There are several good in-depth documentaries on YouTube – just search for “Secrets of Sugar” – how the industry leaders have used sugar in their product to increase their sales – especially important because as we age, almost all of us will develop diabetes if we don’t curb our sugar intake – my father passed away due to complications of diabetes – so since then I have been very cognizant of sugar & minimizing my intake of it – thanks for sharing your story Magda 😉

    • November 11, 2018

      Thanks for the info about the documentary, Terry! I’m glad you’re taking responsibility for your health 🙂

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