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The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program Paperback – May 28, 2002

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Editorial Reviews Review

Sugar lurks in foods in more than 85 different forms. Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D., the first person to receive a doctorate in addictive nutrition, says that besides being detrimental to the immune system, the more than 100 pounds of processed sugar consumed annually by each American is responsible for "mood swings, depression, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, PMS, impulsivity ... [and] unpredictable temper." And while overdosing on the sweet stuff is a national pastime, she says her research shows indulging in sugar highs should be treated much more seriously, akin to heroin or alcohol dependency, because sugar causes spikes in the neurotransmitters serotonin and beta-dopamine just like those drugs--and can eventually wreak similar mayhem on one's health, work, and relationships.

The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program is not a quick fix; DesMaisons's plan aims to eliminate sugar cravings, requiring five days of "detox," along with building up the resolve to stick to the recommendations over time--including while out at restaurants, during social gatherings, and while traveling. Fortunately, she offers plenty of tips for those situations, and her prescription is practical and easy to follow, including seven steps as simple as making sure some protein is included with each meal. (That's not to say this is a high-protein, low-carb diet; she criticizes Dr. Robert Atkins and other fad-diet hawkers.) DesMaisons includes more than 50 recipes that cover breakfast through dinner; advice for choosing comfort foods to replace those M&Ms and sodas; and an invitation to join the support group she runs through her Web site. The Recovery Program should be of particular interest to parents and teachers, considering the way sugar-saturated foods are ruthlessly marketed to children--Coke machines are more and more commonplace in elementary schools--and that many of the behaviors DesMaisons links to sugar sensitivity are remarkably similar to those of ADHD. --Erica Jorgensen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Following in the tracks of her Potatoes Not Prozac, nutrition expert DesMaisons serves up a practical and promising dietary plan for sugar addicts, which revolves around several basic tenets: no sugar, moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates, more protein, regular meals and a nightly potato. (Eating potatoes enables tryptophan to enter the bloodstream, which increases production of the brain chemical serotonin, which, in turn, boosts optimism, creativity and the ability to concentrateAkey factors, DesMaisons avers, in maintaining a healthy diet.) Using biochemistry to alter mood and cure sugar cravings is DesMaisons's primary goal, and she maintains that the best way to redirect a sugar-sensitive makeup is to deal with the sugar addiction step by step. To that end, she offers an accessible diet that allows dairy (butter on the potato is allowed!), meat and plenty of whole grains. The book includes menus and recipes (including some creative ways to fix "Mr. Spud"), tips on what to order when dining out or when eating on the run and a list of foods containing "covert" sugar. DesMaisons guides readers graduallyAalbeit with some repetitionAthrough her plan This is a sensible approach that will surely tempt sugar lovers hoping to find a natural, long-range solution to their addiction, and ultimately change their lives. (Dec. 19)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (May 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345441338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345441331
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D. is the best selling author of Potatoes Not Prozac, The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program, Your Last Diet, Little Sugar Addicts and Your Body Speaks. She is both a compassionate coach and a social commentator, who has taken the concept of sugar sensitivity and transformed the way of looking at the relationship of addiction and food as a healing agent. Kathleen is a cultural visionary, understanding the essence of addiction in a compassionate and revolutionary way.

In 1988, Kathleen started a small addiction treatment center in Northern California. Seeking new alternatives to enhance the success rate of her center, she initiated a nutritional protocol with her clients that caused the sobriety rate to skyrocket to 92%. Following her deep commitment to understanding the biochemistry of her clinical success, she returned to school to obtain a Ph.D. She chose to attend The Union Institute, the country's oldest and most prestigious interdisciplinary university committed to connecting scholarship and social action. The nature of her work was so revolutionary that she graduated with the first degree awarded in the field of Addictive Nutrition. That work chronicled her efforts in seeing Drunk Driving as an issue of alcoholism rather than criminal action and resulted in a dissertation of the impact of her nutritional intervention on a group of multiple offender drunk drivers which was associated with a 30% drop in offense during the time her program was in place.

As the biochemical understanding of sugar sensitivity and sugar addiction have evolved, so has Kathleen's mission, transforming from a lone voice on the cutting edge of addiction treatment to a cultural leader and life guide, inspiring hope in hundreds of thousands world wide who have suffered from alcoholism, sugar addiction, depression, eating disorders, and the complexities of parenting. Kathleen's voice is caring, skilled and clear in a realm where fog, blame and dysfunction abound. She provides not only hope, but also practical skills for profound life change.

Kathleen's books have a worldwide audience from all over the U.S. and Canada, Europe, Australia and into the Far East including Mongolia, Japan and Thailand. Her books have been best sellers in the UK and the U.S. and have reached close to a half a million people. She has taught animated and informative workshops, seminars and retreats since 1988 across the country and the UK.

Kathleen's name has become synonymous with the healing of sugar addiction through nutrition. The genuineness of her vision and the depth at which people have bonded with her message have powered the development of her website at into a leading voice of hope and healing throughout the world. In 1998, she set out to build a worldwide community of supportive sharing, previsioning the social networking of today. She has empowered hundreds of women and men to collaborate with her in providing support to thousands daily. The members of her community respect her as a trusted servant of truth and an embodiment of authenticity. Her unique style and vision flows out into a vibrant and empowered collective voice of recovery.

Kathleen lives with her three Golden Retrievers in Albuquerque New Mexico. She also serves as the President of the statewide Golden Retriever Rescue. She can be reached at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

351 of 356 people found the following review helpful By ALS on December 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Kathleen DesMaison's first book, Potatoes not Prozac, changed my life. I had been depressed and negative for years, and just couldn't change my attitude, no matter what I did. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that those desserts I loved so much were the cause of my problems.
The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program picks up where Potatoes not Prozac left off, and provides the practical know how to follow the plan outlined in Potatoes not Prozac. (By the way, this book stands by itself, so you don't need to read Potatoes not Prozac first.) It's full of practical tips and techniques. You'll learn how to make a grocery list, and shop for food, how to find a sugar free snack at a convenience store, what to order when you eat out, how to deal with nosy people who try to get you to eat sugar, how to sail through the holidays without sugar, and many other things. The book also features recipes submitted by people who are following the way of eating described in the book.
Kathleen DesMaisons has a very accessible writing style. You feel as though you are having a conversation with her. A feature I really enjoyed in this book is quotes from people who have been following the program. In case you are having doubts about the ability to have a good life without sugar, just read some of the quotes. It can be done, and here are real people who are doing it, just to prove it to you.
If you have even the slightest suspicion that you might be sugar sensitive, buy this book. It could totally change your life. In the last two years, since I started this program, I have changed in so many ways, I feel that I am finally becoming the person I was meant to be, instead of just staying stuck in depression and negativity. This book will show you how you too can become the person you were meant to be.
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135 of 138 people found the following review helpful By "sara-bear" on December 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book very clearly explained the biochemistry of Sugar Addiction and how to recover from it. I loved the gentle, reassuring voice of the author, Kathleen DesMaisons. I felt like she was holding my hand and walking me through the steps needed to change life-long self defeating patterns.
I have implemented these changes in my life and my life is turning around. People are telling me how radiant I look! My mind is clear and I am energetic and creative. I am going through the holidays without being tempted by the myriad of "treats" surrounding me.
For the first time, I really know how to take care of myself with food and, more importantly, I am able to follow through on what I know.
Kathleen's research and experience are a lifesaver! I highly recommend this book. And make sure to check out her website, which is an abundant resource: [...]
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171 of 179 people found the following review helpful By Gretel O'Brien on December 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I had been following Dr. DesMaisons' plan for nutrtional healing of sugar sensitivity as outlined in her previous book, Potatoes Not Prozac, for a year and a half. And I have been aware of the research she continues to do to help people who come from places of pain and shame surrounding issues of addiction. Her warmth, compassion and dedication to carrying a message of hope has touched and inspired me.
This new book is a wonderful hands on, practical guide that addresses all the details and questions people might have for implementing a revolutionary new way of addressing addiction related to sugar sensitivity. Gathered from her own personal experiences as well as those of the global community that has grown in support of each other, she offers us menus, shopping lists, recipes and practical tips to guide us in ways to heal our biochemistry through food.
All who have experienced the feeling of hopelessness surrounding addiction, who are looking for a solution that works, will find simple tools in this book to help reestablish their physical, mental and emotional well being.
Bravo, Dr. DesMaisons! This is a 'keep it with me all the time' guide to the serenity, sanity and radiance that has eluded me because of addiction.
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83 of 85 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a long time customer of and this is the first time
I've written a review because it's that important. This book as well
as the author's first book (Potatoes Not Prozac) is life-saving and
life-changing. I am 37 years old and I've finally discovered why my
whole life has been wrought with mood swings, unpredictable violent
tempers, depression, body pain, obesity, low self-esteem etc. The
reason: sugar sensitivity and an unbalanced biochemistry. My whole
life is changing now for the better since reading the books and
getting support from the author's community forum. I thank God everyday that I found these
books and Kathleen DesMaisons.
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76 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Luvs Lupin on February 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Like so many others, I was overweight and couldn't seem to find a way to lose the extra pounds and keep them off. On top of that, I was severely depressed for several years. Not until Dr. DesMaisons first book, "Potatoes Not Prozac" did I learn that the way I was eating, and the things I was eating, was all contributing not only to my weight problem, but also my depression. This first book was an eye opener. It teaches the science behind the problem of sugar sensitivity.
Because of my irregular work hours, I can't eat my meals at "normal" meal times. But this program is adaptable to MY schedule, not someone else's. I just follow the outline for eating at proper intervals, and keep it in the context of my workday. And it works! I have begun to lose weight, and I no longer have to depend on an antidepressant to elevate my moods. I have been out of the depression for over a year, and I have never felt better.
Dr. DesMaisons' second book, "The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program" is a great follow-up to her first book. It gives us a "roadmap" to follow to recover from sugar addiction, as well as practical information to incorporate this program into everyday use. I recommend it to anyone who wants to feel better and live life the way it is meant to be lived!
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