And thank goodness I finally have my website back online. For those of you who noticed, I was revamping it (as you can see). Though I’m not quite done adding content, it’s at least functional again. Not all of the links work yet, but I’m sure the ones you most care about will suffice.

It’s October. There’s a lovely chill in the air. The leaves are changing colors. And I can have sugar again. Say what?

For the month of September, I went on a self-imposed refined-sugar diet. Though … I don’t like using the word diet, so I’ll say fast instead. I didn’t have a particular reason for doing a sugar-fast. Like so many challenges I often take on in my life, it was done on a whim.

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but it was still difficult at the beginning. There were a few days I told myself, “If I eat or drink this, I can say I went without sugar-sugar for the entire month except for that one incident.” Then I would talk myself out of it with “Really? You can’t go 30 days without whatever.”

I suppose what prompted my sugar-shun was the thought of it being a toxin. Sugar tastes good and gives our brain a rush. But the rest of our organs are yelling, “What the heck are you doing to us?” To be fair, I didn’t completely shun all sugar. When I started my little experiment, I consulted my sister who knows all about its hidden side effects. I say hidden because most of us probably don’t think about all the different ways sugar sneaks into our bodies. Or we don’t want to think about it because we don’t want to give up this or that.

We decided to make it less difficult by not eliminating all added-sugar foods, although I started limiting myself to fresh, non-processed edibles a few years ago. That’s not to say I’m a health-nut, but I try to stay away from the center aisles at the market as much as possible. So, Honey Nut Cheerios stayed on the menu. Near the end of the month, I attempted to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich only to find it not as satisfying as I remembered.

One of the sugar factors my sister taught me is the difference between complex and simple carbohydrates. I happen to love complex carbs, while she loves simple. Understanding that sugar draw, I am impressed with how she fights against her sweet tooth every day.

Complex carbs pack in more nutrients than simple carbs. They’re higher in fiber and digest more slowly. This also makes them more filling, which means they’re a good option for weight control. They’re also ideal for people with type 2 diabetes because they help manage blood sugar spikes after meals.

Healthline: Simple Carbohydrates vs. Complex Carbohydrates

It’s probably safe to say there are more cons regarding sugar than pros. One side effect I didn’t know about is its psychological link to depression. Though the article below cites sugar as a potential contributor of depression, I can’t help but wonder how much one feeds the other. Realizing everyone deals with their various degrees of depression in different ways, I’m thinking about the comfort food aspect. But I’m as far from being an expert as one can be, so I’ll leave the subject here.

A study following 8,000 people for 22 years showed that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop depression than men who ate less than 40 grams per day.

Another study in over 69,000 women demonstrated that those with the highest intakes of added sugars had a significantly greater risk of depression, compared to those with the lowest intakes.

— healthline: 11 Reasons Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad for You

It’s not my intention to criticize anyone else’s eating habits, or to claim I’ll never eat refined sugar again. We all know we need to eat in moderation. I might have sugar tomorrow or next week or next month. It might taste heavenly, or it may make me say “Ick.” Probably not the latter. But I’m proud of myself for setting a goal and achieving it.

Next, I need to set some new writing goals. I took a break for a bit. Lots going on. (I say that all the time, don’t I?) But now that I have a snazzy new website, I’m eager to fill it up starting with this Season 2 Discovery of Witches nugget. (Watch it before it possibly gets taken down.) Thanks to the gals at All Souls Pod for the contribution.

Discovery of Witches returns to the UK in January 2021 with a premiere in the US sometime after that. The second book (on which Season 2 is based) in the Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy is my favorite, mostly because of the time travel aspect. And maybe because of the larger than life character Gallowglass. Enjoy the sneak peek and have a great weekend.

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