Overcoming Addiction Diet Protocol?
I decided after much thought that it was time to share my story (mostly because my story was published by my favorite author on his blog). It’s not an easy one to tell, and it definitely doesn’t glamorize myself as a Business owner, coach, and man. However, I do feel like that people need know how important their brain health (and Gut health) is when it comes to overcoming addiction. Whether its food, cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, sex, etc.etc. Addiction is a disease of the brain. That vise or habit is giving us the rise in dopamine that keeps us seeking it out again and again.
Short Story of My addiction and how Diet helped me to overcome it.
I grew up in a normal middle class family in Southern Missouri. My Mother was deceived, in my opinion, by the low fat movement that was popular in the 90’s. Everything in our house was fat free or low fat. In 1998 my mother was diagnosed with late stage Stomach Cancer, that started in her esophagus. I watched her suffer through Chemotherapy and eventually die at the age 45, 11 months after her diagnoses. My Father battled with addiction most of his life. Sugar addiction and alcoholism go hand and hand, and before my dad’s alcoholism was full blown to the point that he was medically detoxed in the hospital (basically hooked up to breathing tubes, and sedated for a month to come off the alcohol). Around my mid teens I started smoking pot and taking pharmaceutical drugs to cope with the emotional pain of losing my mother. My dad’s alcoholism killed him shortly after I graduated High school at the age 18. The next 8 years of my life were filled with drug addiction, selling drugs, crime, and living an immoral life. After multiple drug treatments, and finally 3 stays in prison, I finally was so heartbroken that I was searching for answers. Answers for why life was so broken for me….. I will not use this platform to tell you about my experience with the learning the truth of the Bible, but if you would like to know more about how “Bible Truth” plays into this, feel free to email me your questions.
Along my journey through 3.5 year prison term, my sister (a nutrition coach, personal trainer) sent me a game changing book. The Book the “Primal Blueprint” by Mark Sisson. This book clearly outlines a primal way of living that gets us back to our basic metabolic biology that we would have had long before the industrial revolution. At the time I was struggling with Health issues that I didn’t know were really issues, but thought that they were normal part of everyday life. For instance, I thought that as a guy 185 lbs that it was totally normal to have gas all the time. I thought joint pain was just part of not being 18 anymore, and a part of lifting weights regularly. I also thought that it was normal to have an afternoon crash everyday. My normal afternoon consisted of taking a nap one to two hours after lunch and sleeping so hard that an hour later when I would wake up, I had to have coffee or sugar to crawl out of he hole I was in. After reading this “primal Blueprint” book, I realized that Mark, had been dealing with all the same things, and that they were not normal but actually health problems caused by our diet. This book made so much sense to me on so many levels. So I started to implement it’s suggestions like cutting some grains, dairy, and eating more vegetables. Within a week my joint pain was gone. So then I decided to cut out added sugars, and limit my carbs depending on how hard I trained that day. Within another week my afternoon crash was gone! Not only that, but my brain and mood was different. Despite being in prison, I was so much more positive. I found myself trying to encourage other people by being positive when I spoke to them. Looking Back, I can Clearly see that my brain was going through a healing/cleaning process. Coming out of that Brain Fog from things like Sugar, Gluten, and Dairy was so key to this transformation. I even began studying for a Personal Trainer exam through the American College of Sports Med. to become a personal trainer while I was in Prison.
Shortly thereafter I was released from prison and I got to have complete control over my diet. I immediately started working on my Gut health (taking Probiotics, eating lots of good veggie fiber), and focusing on healthy fats that I didn’t have access to in the joint. These two things took me to the next level. Suddenly my energy went through the roof, my workouts improved, and my focus and mental clarity was off the charts from what I had ever experienced before. I remember driving one day and pondering about my life, and suddenly I thought, “for the first time in long time, I could care less about getting high, or drunk, or eating sugar. I’m free!”. Now I knew I was on to something big that I wanted to share with others. I got certified 1st as a Personal Trainer in 2015 through the ACSM, then shortly after certified as a Cross Fit Coach, a IWA Life Coach, and then a Weight Management Specialist ACE.
The Science of Diet and Addiction
I firmly believe that I am sensitive to Gluten and Dairy, and that they brain fog that I was trapped under kept me stuck into addictive behaviors. Sugar has been shown in multiple experiments to trigger the same pleasure areas in the brain as cocaine. In combination with tons of Anti inflammatory drugs (from joint pain), the Gluten, Dairy, and Sugar were destroying my gut health- Which also is linked with our brain function. I could see how so many people get caught up in this cycle and destroy their Gut health, while gaining weight, living in Brain fog, and other digestive issues. Fixing my Gut, by removing the culprits, and replacing with “good Bugs” and prebiotic Fiber (tons of Veggies, hence my Website name). This all allowed the Brain Fog to disappear and energy, and digestion to wildly improve. With all that cleared up, I started packing on muscle like crazy, which in turn only raised my metabolic rate and got me leaner and leaner.
Working with Diabetic clients, getting them off Diabetic meds with Keto and Fasting
My blood sugar/insulin dis regulation was obviously causing my mood swings, afternoon crash, and excess fat. Cutting sugar, gluten, and excess processed carbs recommended in the Primal Blueprint regulated my glucose and insulin and allowed me to become more of a Fat burner, which in turn killed my afternoon crash, kept my energy high thought the day, and help me shed excess weight. This all inspired me to learn the science of blood sugar and insulin so I could teach it to others. This in turn, has led me to work heavily with the insulin resistant and type 2 diabetic populations in my personal training and health coaching.
When you can Balance your blood sugar (through becoming a Fat burner), Balance and Heal your gut (through taking out the Gut killers like NSAID’s grains, dairy, and bad oils), and find daily movement like Mark recommends in the Primal blueprint, than you give yourself a serious shot to overcome addictions. I could go on and on how stress, sleep, and fasting could help in beating addiction as well, but maybe for another blog.
Meeting Mark Sisson Paleo Fx 2017
Thank you for taking the time to read this. My aim is that others can receive courage and direction for overcoming their addictions to live as what Mark Sisson’s Slogan is: LIVE AWESOME!