Post Easter Brunch Sugar Coma

Let me preface this by saying that I had the most delightful brunch today. I had a wonderful time catching up with friends and family in an environment which was definitely more people focused than food focused, which is such a wondrous change from most holiday gatherings I’ve attended.

Having said that, I also had an important insight that will serve me well as I start adding sugar back into my diet.

Here it goes: have you ever been in a situation where everyone around you – except you – is drunk?

That’s sort of what it felt like today, post-Easter brunch as I watched everyone around me slip into a sugar induced coma.

So, what is a sugar coma?

A sugar coma occurs because you eat too many calories – and too much sugar – in one setting. When this happens, an alarm literally goes off in your body, causing you to secrete insulin. Insulin is a hormone that pulls sugar out of your blood stream and stores it as fat. Insulin, unfortunately, is a rather efficient hormone. One could actually say that it’s too efficient, because insulin doesn’t just get rid of the excess sugar in your blood; it gets rid of all of the sugar in your blood. Then, when you don’t have enough sugar, you get tired, irritable, grumpy, and, let’s not forget hungry, which more often than not sets off another whole cycle of overeating.

Today, after brunch, I watched – like clockwork – as six reasonably healthy adults all pretty much dropped into a sugar coma within an hour (maybe two) of having finished eating. Without exception, every single adult (the kids, interestingly were unaffected; but then again, they’re still at the age where you have to convince them to eat!) started yawning and a couple of them even nodded off in their chairs.

Me, I felt completely energized. Moreover, I was relieved that I had foregone the regularly scheduled meal, despite the fact that it looked and smelled absolutely delicious! And based on the comments and expressions of rapturous delight around me, probably tasted just as good as it looked.

So, what constitutes a “normal” holiday brunch? I think this is a reasonable question, because I realize that my definition of normal is so far outside of the norm these days that it’s probably irrelevant.

This particular one consisted of mimosas, french toast, maple syrup, brioche eggs, spiralized ham, steamed asparagus, and green peas, followed up by a round of tea/coffee and an assortment of cookies and jam. (Actually, this brunch was pretty tame compared to those I remember from childhood, where there undoubtedly would have been some sort of “Easter Cake,” not to mention the infamous “Easter Baskets.”)

Me, I stuck to my aforementioned menu of Sunburst Salad, Black Sesame Bread, and Black Pepper Cheeze.

And though no one joined me in my offerings, as I didn’t choose to join them in theirs, I felt completely comfortable sitting down to break bread and catch up.

I think that the post-brunch-sugar-coma was so noticeable to me this time because I have spent the last month balancing my blood sugar and was therefore completely unperturbed by any rise or fall of blood sugar and, consequently, insulin following my meal. Also, there was nothing in the meal that would have caused my blood sugar to spike in the first place.

In addition to simply having had a wonderful visit with family and friends, today provided a really good reminder for me – as someone who is about to re-enter the world of sugar – to take it slowly (if at all).

As I noted previously, today is the last day of the 21 Day Sugar Detox, so as of tomorrow I can start adding sugar back into my diet. Judiciously.

Lesson from today: when I start adding certain foods back into my diet, I need to think not only about how good it’s going to taste going in, but also how it’s going to make me feel 2 hours, 2 days, and even – believe it or not – 2 years from now.

Does that mean that I won’t get any enjoyment out of my food for the rest of my life? No. But it does mean that I will continue to strive to eat the kind of food (that is, food that I actually do enjoy) that will allow me enjoy my life to its fullest.

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