Sugar: Another Pseudo-High

Before recovery:dripping chocolate

  • I would politely decline dessert, after all, I was watching the calories.
  • It wasn’t tempting to peruse the sweets isle—that was for kids.
  • I had a take it or leave it mentality.

In early recovery:

  • I’d go the Tuesday meeting for the home-baked cookies, because (clearly) it was not my favorite meeting.
  • I’d go to the market for candy, like I used to go for wine.
  • I had a take it, hide it, sneak it mentality.


  • I’m good except when a holiday is forthcoming. It’s conversation hearts near Valentine’s Day and jelly beans at Easter. It’s everything at Halloween and chocolate at Christmas.
  • I have to monitor it, measure it, fast from it. I am clearly still having a relationship with sugar—and it’s not serving me.


Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, Kathy Catlin. I love this gal. She’s inspiring. I’ve been reading her newsletter, trying her recipes, and gently hanging on her coattails. Yesterday I got this gem (PDF) in my inbox:

Get Off Sugar in 4 Easy (& Strong) Steps


It’s packed with valuable, practical, and accessible information.

A little about Kathy:

As a coach, what are some common themes associated with recovery and sugar?

  • Sugar obsession and sugar addiction…not surprising given that sugar hits our dopamine receptors, like alcohol does.
  • We want quick fixes! However, making sustainable lifestyle change takes time.

How did you get into wellness coaching?

I got into wellness coaching after experiencing the healing power of good nutrition in my own life. Dr. Mark Hyman’s book, Ultra-Prevention, got me started. It started with a two week plan, not eating gluten, dairy, and sugar. To my surprise within two weeks chronic allergies disappeared, I started sleeping better… and when I finally gave up sugar for good (it took a little longer) my migraines disappeared and my energy levels evened out! Lifelong issues just cleared up.  As a result, I am compelled to share the power of healing through good nutrition and wellness practices. There is no reason we should get sober to feel like crap! I believe it is an act of humility to care for our bodies so we can be the best sober people we can be.

What’s your comfort food?

My comfort food is rice crackers! I go for salty crunch when I am stressed out.  My favorite food lately is grapefruit. It changes with seasons – summer is strawberries, fall is apples, winter is the citrus…so I am getting close to the end of grapefruit season! Spring is asparagus, fresh lettuce, and fresh spinach. Always wild blueberries….I can have them year round thanks to freezing.

What part of your body do you love? Dislike? (If any)

When I am down on myself it’s a whole package deal…but, overall I feel deep gratitude for my body and all it can do. I am grateful I can walk, lift weights, dance, and make my pottery.

How big of a role (if any) does nutrition play in relapse?

I think there is a connection between poor nutrition and relapse. When we eat the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) we don’t get the nutrients we need and we throw our body into imbalance. This includes inflammation that can cause depression and anxiety – and that makes us extremely vulnerable. Sugar is a huge part of this problem.

In 20 words or less what is your biggest nutrition tip?

My biggest nutrition tip: Eat Real Food! If you can’t pronounce the ingredients in your food, don’t eat it!

Any other sage words you must tell us about you coaching, recovery, and life?

When a client makes that connection between her lifestyle and thinking habits and her nutrition…and she realizes it’s not just about eating fewer calories or exercising more… that it’s deeper than that… the A-Ha moment that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts…and she says: This is a lot like getting sober!  That moment just lights me up!

Thanks Kathy, You’ve got a lifetime follower in me. I want freedom more than I want sugar. Now doesn’t that sound familiar? LOL


Kathy Catlin


Download her PDF: Get Off Sugar in 4 Easy (& Strong) Steps

FaceBook: CatlinWellnessAndNutrition

Twitter: CatlinWellness

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Catlin Wellness and


9 Responses to “Sugar: Another Pseudo-High

  • Thank you, Lisa. I very much appreciated this article. As a 40 plus year Type One Diabetic I had some issues with all the sweets at some of my recovery meeting. At times, a resentment for certain. I couldn’t understand how a person smoking and shoving cookies in their face could consider them self sober. I have gotten better with my resentments and realize today I’m no one to be judging others. However, i do have very strong feelings about taking care of my body to the best of my ability. Thanks for reminding me of that today.

    • When I read Kathy’s PDF I was so inspired. She has some solid suggestion for dealing with/eliminating those cravings. I got to the point at meetings where I was okay if I just stayed in my chair and avoided the “treat table” all together. I’m still growing and learning and I’m still working on not judging another. Thanks for the share mknob. xo

  • catlinwellness
    8 years ago

    We are all addicts and looking to numb out is usually our first line of defense… I get it, I still can look to numb in other ways: shopping, facebook distracting, eating a box of rice crackers…. However, I do find the sugary stuff is not appealing when my Body is well nourished, as well as my Mind & Spirit.

    We used to be so good at BYOB stuff…Heck, I usually had a pint in my purse. Now I BYOW or BYOF (bring your own water or bring your own fruit)!! Ha! 🙂

    So grateful to be on this path with all of you~

  • This post came at a perfect time for me. On day 16 sober and hoping for no more day ones. Starting today I’m trying to break free of the sugar avalanche I’ve been ingesting the past two weeks. I’ve always been interested in healthy living, I just need to get steered back to it. This is perfect. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • M. Great job. Day 16 was one of my tougher days. You’re way ahead of where I was at day 16. I hope you get to Kathy’s site. She’s got a great newsletter. And download the pdf too. Let’s get healthier together. Who says we can’t have it all. Lots of love. Lisa

  • catlinwellness
    8 years ago

    Way to go M! Eating good quality protein can help with the sugar cravings. If you eat meat – get grass fed, organic or fish, wild caught. Organic free range eggs… Other options are Hemp hearts, Beans, Quinoa, Pepita Seeds, Almonds to name a few. Remember to stay hydrated as well. Work to drink half your body weight in ounces per day. Eat as much whole fruit as you want, that helps too!! 🙂

  • I don’t know what I would have done with ciggarettes and coffe in that first year. Sugar has never been a source of addiction for me. But man, I’ve found other ways. Was just musing about it in a blog post I published today actually. I’m totally hooked on writing and connecting. It also has it’s drawbacks like anything I get hooked on.

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