Episode 49: How to Fight Your Sugar Addiction

image of atheists in recovery podcast EP 49

Episode 49: How to Fight Your Sugar Addiction

(Disclaimer: This transcript was made using AI technology. Please excuse any errors.)

Music 0:00
Welcome to the Atheists in Recovery Podcast, where we talk about finding hope in recovery.

Music 0:06
And now your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri

Adina Silvestri 0:11
Hello Guys, and Welcome to Episode 49 of the Atheists in Recovery podcast. And today's episode is veering off of our normal episodes in that we are talking about sugar addiction. And so whether you are new to emotional eating, or binge eating is something that you're quite familiar with. Or maybe you've replaced alcohol addiction with sugar addiction, or regardless, I think a lot of us are struggling with this with having all of this food around and being physically isolated at this time of COVID-19. And so I thought, today we would talk about sugar addiction and how to overcome it. And so we have today our guest Johnathan Cranford. And he wrote a book. And the book is called Sugar Demons. And the book is interesting in that he takes the psychology of gaming, and he utilizes that to build a program on how to kill his words, kill your sugar demons. So that's just a little snippet onto our guest. Johnathan Cranford, Johnathan is a level to CrossFit trainer and a former USA boxing coach. Like many great authors of past generations, Johnathan is also a raging addict. His recent book the sugar demons and attics guide to conquering sugar addiction dives into is up and down struggle with the weight substance that holds most of us and its grips so true. Was 20 years of experience in health and fitness. He decided it was time to finally break his addiction. To face the consequences, Johnathan lives in Houston with his wife and two rescue dogs. Alright guys, onto the show. Johnathan Cranford, welcome to the show.

Johnathan Cranford 2:10
Thank you for having me.

Adina Silvestri 2:12
So I am excited to have you on the show today because we are talking about sugar addiction and your book, the sugar demons. But before we get to the book, I want to start our conversation by asking about your spiritual background from childhood.

Johnathan Cranford 2:30
Whoo. Okay. So I am currently I guess what you would call agnostic. Like, I don't really believe in any organized religion out there. I think that, you know, they all can't be right and they're probably all wrong to some degree. But I got there starting out as a Catholic. I remember going to Catholic school from first to third grade. That's how we started and you'd think that making the jump from Catholic to agnostic would be pretty easy because, you know, a lot of Catholics only go to church like, twice A year, everything's in Latin, so you can just kind of stop showing up. But that's not what happened. And around third grade for some reason my parents became or we converted, sort of to, like a southern baptist church. And I To this day, I don't know why and I haven't asked them and I probably won't because I don't really care but it was like this very angry form of Christianity. As I recall, I was really young but I remember the pastor getting like yelling a lot and getting like really red in the face like he would be like screaming so loud and you know, talking to us about sin, Helen was like fear very fear based also like, you know, if you didn't, you know, live a certain way or believe a certain way and you'll get saved then you know, you're gonna burn for all eternity and, and that was probably the beginning of the end for me when I started really questioning, you know, all of this stuff, and you know, what it meant to be a Christian and all of that. So that went on for a while and then around high school. I think I just started just just I realized, you know, after trying and I really did try, you know, after trying For a while to believe in all of this stuff into go along with it, I eventually just was like, Okay, I really don't. So I stopped doing all of that stuff. But I don't have any issues with it. My you know, it's very positive and beneficial in a lot of people's lives. I think my own daughter is a Christian now they she and her boyfriend practice of very positive version, it seems to me of sanity, so I'm fine with it. It's just, you know, the experience I had, it just wasn't for me. So I you know, I left it and I don't plan on going back ever again.

Adina Silvestri 4:31
Yeah, so it doesn't sound like you had a great experience with organized religion. So how did that impact your recovery? So maybe now just sort of talking about your recovery journey, I think might be helpful for the listeners.

Johnathan Cranford 4:43
Yeah, absolutely. So I have been a into you know, an exercise enthusiast if you will, for a long time. I played some sports growing up, and I did some personal training and also now I'm you know, I'm a coach. I'm at a fitness facility as part time. It's not my real job. I'm a school teacher, a public school teacher, but I do coach people and health and fitness and I help them with their diets. It's just kind of a side hustle, if you will, but it's just some really more of a hobby that I enjoy doing. And I've been doing that for a long, long time now, you know, since I was in my early 20s, but that entire time, I was also struggling with sugar addiction, even though I really didn't know it, and I really didn't realize it until I was about 37 years old. And that's when it sort of all came together for me that I had a problem which is, you know, sad because I'm you know, I guess I'm just very slow it, you know, self realization or having an epiphany or whatever. But I was 37. And I remember, you know, that old, worn out movie trope or literature trope where you know, they we sort of symbolize somebody's addiction by showing them in a scene where they're like passed out behind a dumpster or garbage Right, yeah, there's some sort of trash receptacle involved usually just shows that oh, this person's hit rock bottom like this is they're they're addicted to something, you know it's alcohol or something and their life is in the gutter, whatever you know. And my life wasn't at that point. But I was staring into a trash can when I had my little epiphany. And it was my kitchen trashcan. And the reason I was staring into it is because I just finished eating two pints of ice cream which is sort of my go to my trigger food. And I have was trying to hide them by putting them into the trash can and then covering them up with garbage that was already in the trash cans. So that my family my wife and daughter wouldn't see that I had eaten two pints of ice cream, not just one. And I realized that I was doing that because I was ashamed. And that's when I realized Okay, this isn't normal. Like my wife and my daughter don't really care how much ice cream I eat. They don't even really understand that I have a problem. I didn't really have Understand that I had a problem at this point, they were just like, Oh yeah, Daddy's a lot of ice cream. And he's not really willing to share it, which is weird. But otherwise, you know, I was I wasn't really sick or obese or anything like that I kept in his best shape I could. But I, you know, I struggled with diet. And you know, it was hard for me. So I realized staring into that trashcan, I was like, Oh, this shouldn't be this hard, especially if somebody with the knowledge and background that I have. No, why is this so hard? That's the question. We need to ask ourselves. Why is it hard to stick to a healthy diet, you know, so I realized staring into that trashcan, I was like, Oh, I'm hiding this because I'm ashamed. And I'm ashamed because this isn't normal. And so this is a problem. And that's when I started to really understand like, Oh, this is actually an addiction. That's why it's hard. That's why I'm not making logical choices when it comes to food. That's why I ate two pints instead of one and I said, I was only going to eat one and say the other one for later. So that's what I really understood. Like, okay, I have an issue now. And that's when the recovery actually began because that's when I realized, you know, this is something I need to fight against. Huh,

yeah. And so how did that journey start for you? So once you acknowledged that you had a problem, what next?

Right? Well, I was really lucky at the time, because I happen to be reading had me come across this book by an author named Jane McGonigal. She has a TED talk. So somebody go, you know, check her out, or you can put the link in the show notes. Yeah, yeah. But she's amazing. And she wrote this book called SuperBetter, and in SuperBetter. The reason she wrote it was because she had had a concussion. And she had post concussion syndrome, which basically means they put you on something called brain rest, where you can't do anything hardly like you can't really watch TV for very long, you can't read you basically stay in your room and don't get too much mental stimulus, because it's just, you know, it's interrupting your healing. And so you stare at a wall if you're lucky, you know, you look outside for you know, a couple minutes a day, and it's very depressing. Her injury wasn't getting better. So she was getting very depressed and she basically was like, Okay, I'm They're going to kill myself or I'm going to find a way out of this. She also happens to be she I think she has a PhD in the psychology of video gaming or the psychology of games. Interesting, right? So she's written a couple of video games herself, she's created something. And so she was like, I'm gonna game my way out of this. So she developed this sort of video game like structure called Super better. And it's amazing. And I read, it was very inspiring to me. And so I was like, You know what, I can recover, I can do this. And, and so that was one of the things that helped to inspire me and I had to come up with my own system. But she, her system is definitely part of, you know, how I how I control my recovery. But that was the inspiration that started it. And you know, I was also writing and reading a lot of you know, what other people were doing. And I just kind of came up with this system on my own that works.

So it's almost like instead of going the traditional route, like 12 steps, or something like that, you decided to sort of write your own Bible If you will, on how to recover

Yeah, I did. And that was part of the recovery process is great for me to share it. And it was amazing to get so much good feedback on it. And it was, you know, an is a best seller to this day. But before I even wrote the book I was getting I was writing blog posts about this journey. And I got a lot of feedback on that, you know, on some of them, which is what sort of inspired the book, okay, but yeah, my system is not 12 steps, it's about three or four, really, depending on how you attack it, but the three basic steps that will get you you know, 80 to 90% of the way there is the most important number one, and I haven't seen this in a lot of other even you know, people who have written other books that you know, on addiction or recovery, but this one really works for sugar, and that is you need to track your cravings. Because your cravings are not random. Like you think they are. They're not just happening to you like they're actually very predictable for the most part. For me, it was always Right after I got home from work, so around 2:30pm, I was teaching high school at the time. So you know, at a high school schedule, they get out earlier and where I live. And so I was gonna get home at about 2:30pm and, you know, after a stressful day, and that's my first big trigger would be, you know, like, having a stress, you know, had a stressful day I get home, automatically, I want something to make me feel a little bit better. And then my last, my second craving of the day would usually be right after dinner, so around 8:39pm so and it's usually I guess, I would trace the trigger back to you know, maybe stressing about tomorrow, you know, something that has to get done tomorrow or else that kind of feeling which we all experience so a lot of people right now just from hearing that are like, Oh, yeah, you know, you can just track your craving some of you can do it just without even having to write anything down. You just do it. Like oh, yeah, that's me. So you know, for me, it was right after you know, right after work right after dinner and then on weekends, it changes a little bit, you know, you have to track those also to kind of figure out your weekend schedule. Anytime you're schedule changes, you know, your cravings are going to change a little bit too.

How would you recommend tracking your cravings because I feel like the average person is going to forget a lot of what's happened throughout the day. If they don't somehow write it down or track it.

Well, that's when you write it down. Yeah, need to keep a spreadsheet if you're a spreadsheet person, you know, that's a great way just just make a little spreadsheet real quick. And then, you know, the first week of your recovery, you know, is just tracking your cravings, not even fighting necessarily, or trying to you know, avoid succumbing to your cravings but just writing it down so if you you know, had a bad moment and you know, ended up eating an entire package of Oreo cookies, which I've done many a time, then just write it down, it's okay you know, but but tracking that and you will see a pattern eventually it will not take more than a few days. Okay. So yeah, so write it down, make a spreadsheet however you want to track it is fine. And then you know from there, you know your step two is you need now a plan and replacement foods. Because you can see the cravings coming now, right? So before you had cravings before you tracked your cravings, there's basically it was very binary you were either in the middle of a craving and you're in that seeking mode or you're not in a craving anymore and or you know, you're either in or out of the craving and that was it. And now you have a before now you've got a three part then you've got either you've got before the craving during the craving and after and a lot of the before stuff you can kind of head off those cravings, which is really powerful but you do that by having your replacement foods ready and you do that by you know, which are healthy foods, you know foods and I list them in my book you know, there's there's a long list of you know, what is sugar What does I break it down into, you know, here's a green light foods, yellow light foods and red light foods and get into that later but you know, have your plate replacement foods ready have a plan. So, super better. She talked a lot about having like a boost. You haven't given yourself a power up they call it and so that's part of my you know, having a plan You know, before the craving even starts, maybe give yourself you know, take a supplement or do something that boosts your emotionally gives you a positive feeling like listen to a powerful song that you love or, you know, something, you know, it can be a physical thing, do 10 push ups, drink a glass of water, you know, take a supplement anything that just gives you a mental boost going into it, and then then you go, Okay, well, this is now I did that I feel ready to take this on. I know the cravings coming now I'm going to eat a healthy meal so that when the craving strikes, I'm already eating something or about to eat something, whatever that's that's healthy and better for me. And after you eat something, you're typically not going to, you're pretty much threw the craving at that point. Usually, if you need to do something else you find that's not working, then you know, you need to have another part of that plan that you know gives you even more resilience. You know, if you have to go brush your teeth right after, you know, stand on your head, whatever it is you have to do, you'll figure it out. But just having a plan gives you a lot of power and resiliency. So the other part of that is number three is control your food environment and this actually is also Really, you know, it kind of goes back to what I said, you know, have replacement foods ready, you can't really have replacement foods ready if you're not controlling your food environment. And what I mean by controlling your food environment is this, your food environment is the landscape of food choices that you have around you at any given time. So if I'm at work, and I didn't bring my lunch, then I've got to hurry up and find food within like a 45 minute window or something like that, depending on what your lunch break is, and your options, my options around where I work are pretty terrible. That's a lot of fast food. There's a few places that you could get something healthy, but you know, you're you also have to realize that you're Pardo, you're human, and you're always wanting to follow the path of least resistance. So my program takes willpower and discipline and all that out of the equation because I don't really rely on it. willpower doesn't work. Agreed, you know, so you have to really hit it off by controlling your food environment. So what I do instead is I meal prep once a week and I try to keep it as brief as possible, because I know people get scared when they hear the word meal prep, like oh my god, I have to cook you know, it's so hard but it doesn't have to be. It's really easy. You don't have to be that elaborate with it you can be if you want to, but you don't have to. So I carry a lunchbox most places, you know, if I know I'm going to be eating at some point, and you know, while I'm out of the house, and you know, I have already prepped healthy food with me. So if I'm at work and I have my lunchbox like it's the path of least resistance is, you know, just go into the lunch box and eat your food. Yeah, actually, it takes more work to go off away from your job and go get something that does just to heat up in the microwave which you already have. So meal prep is part of it, but it doesn't doesn't have to scare you off, you know, you can do it and I can show you how to do your entire meal prep in one hour. And so that's one of the main parts of the book is like every hour if you want to be more elaborate and do something you know a little bit more fancy or whatever, then you can take more time if you choose to but try to make it as simple and basic and easy as possible. And then you know the way you control your food environment at home is You just don't have sugar and processed foods in your home, which a lot of people you know, that's like the first step for a lot of people just get all that stuff out of the house. So the meal prep is the one that's usually the biggest hump for people to get over. But I will say this, and I think I say it in the book that anybody who tells you different that you can get through this, you know, using willpower without having to do some sort of prep or cooking is usually that somebody's trying to make money off of you or sell it just sell you a fad that isn't gonna work. I'm gonna be honest with you and say, if you don't do the work, if you don't put in if you don't cook a little bit once a week, even if it's just an hour to get that, you know, meal prep done, then you are going to succumb to your environment at some point. And that's a fail. And you know, we want to minimize those as much as possible.

Yeah, so I like that. So step one is track your cravings. And you recommend getting a spreadsheet or just some some way to track it. I'm sure there's an app, there are apps you could do that as well. I think recovery record is one that I recommend my clients use. Two is plan so like meal prepping when you say you could do it in an hour, which I think that's your right, I think that's a huge barrier for some people. And then three is control your food environment,

right. Yeah, plan and have replacement foods ready. Yeah. And that plan isn't just about you know, having the food the you know, the food ready to go right there with you it's also involves the, you know, the pre craving phase which want to give yourself a power up at that point, something to give you a little boost something to get you ready to take on the, you know, the sugar demons. After that, you know, have your plan to you know, I'm gonna eat this healthy food, it's already ready to go. And, you know, like I said, if you have to do something in you know, afterward, like go right to the gym, or you know, whatever it is to get your mind away from that craving. Do that. And then, you know, always control your food environment. And if you can do all of those things for about 10 days, that'll put you in what I call the promised land where the cravings died down a lot. It become much quieter. You know, willpower is actually a thing you can use that works at this point, because it's not a strong craving anymore. You can just be like, yeah, I've made it this far. I'm not going back, but it takes about two 10 to 14 days to get into the promised land if you know you basically what it takes is, you know, 100% compliance, no sugar, no processed foods for about 10 to 14 days, and then all of that stuff gets much easier. And once you're in the promised land, it's you're just coasting at that point, you just got to stay vigilant. Don't get too relaxed. Don't let those foods creep back into your diet. And you're there. And let me say that I'm making it sound easy. It's not necessarily that easy. And some people, some people addictions are stronger than others. But this will work if you put it into practice, if you really adhere to.

Adina Silvestri 19:32
Okay, so let's talk a little bit about the struggles of using a sugar as maybe an antidepressant. So right now we're recording this and it is during COVID-19. And individuals are socially isolated, which in your book, you talk a little about that you say that you have to change your cage, but it's very difficult to do right now. And so, so I guess this is a two part question. So how does social isolation affect our sugar addiction and then also So why do individuals crave sugar and pasta and those types of things to sort of ease our, our mood, right? make us feel better,

Johnathan Cranford 20:10
right. So you know, depression is one of those things that is going to put your sugar demons on steroids, unfortunately, depression is a really, really tough thing to go through, you know, you don't have the mental energy to do a lot of things. So you know, you've got to and then the sugar D the sugar addiction isn't helping it's actually feeding that depression even more. So it's tough, it is difficult. So if you are struggling with depression, you know, you definitely have to fight that at the same time. So you're just fighting two battles at that point at this point, but the sugar is actually making it worse. And I'll tell you how. So Dr. Robert Lustig has a great book that just came out. It's this newest one. It's called, I believe the hacking of the American mind. And it talks about addiction and how everything that is an addiction is is really related to dopamine. And I actually had this explained to me a long time ago by a doctor who's an addiction specialist and was an alcoholic in recovery. And the way he described addiction to me was he said, you know, basically, you know, every time you do something that your body interprets as beneficial to your survival, your brain releases dopamine, it's like a reward signal. That's what dopamine is. It's basically tells you Hey, you did something good. So here's some dope. I mean, here's like a good feeling. And so you eat a healthy meal, you know, you get about a 40% increase in dopamine in the brain and tells you, hey, you did something you're gonna survive the next day, you're gonna be able to produce offspring. You know, it's an evolutionary mechanism, if you will, that keeps you alive is designed to make doing the things that are that are sustaining you. If you have a glass of wine, alcohol affects the brain by you know, increasing dopamine by about 60% or something like that. It's probably different for everybody. You know, hugging a family member, you know that that increases dopamine and some other chemicals in the body like oxytocin, but those are all things that are beneficial to your survival except for the alcohol. But if you're an alcoholic, and you have a glass of wine that might increase the dopamine, you know, a couple hundred percent, because brain is rewired right over time. And so you know, cocaine is a 200% increase in dopamine and across the board. I don't know what heroin is, I know that crystal meth is like a six to 800% increase in dopamine. So it's just a huge signal that tells you like, you know, it's an artificial signal, you know, because crystal meth is not good for you, obviously, we all know that. But your brain doesn't understand that it just gets the signal and, you know, gives you this large dopamine increase, it's going, Hey, this is great for you, you know, you need to keep doing this. And over time, whether it's alcohol or crystal meth or food, those signals they start to rewire your brain so that even though you consciously know that you're doing something that's bad for you, your brain is making that whenever the bad thing is more important than those other things that you need, like healthy food. The love of your family and you know, job, things like that. That's how that's how addicts are made. And you know, happens with food the same as it does with any other drug. So that's what you're fighting against here. And dopa mean isn't really what you're after when it comes to happiness. dopamine and happiness are two very different things, which is what Robert Lustig book explores the hacking of the American mind. That's what it explores is that, you know, dopamine, we've made very cheap in this country. You know, you can get it on tap, essentially. And you can go get fast food for super cheap, you can watch whatever you want on the internet. You know, for you know, the price of an internet connection, you can get double meet a lot of ways and it's very inexpensive and cheap in this country, but it's not the same thing as happiness. Happiness is related to something else, you know, it's a little more serotonin related. You know, having excess serotonin isn't necessarily the best thing for you either. It's a little more complicated than that. But dopa mean, comes at the cost of happiness essentially. So pleasure. You're basically talking about dopamine is pleasure. Happy is you know, serotonin and some other chemicals, and they interfere with each other. So basically, you can get pleasure easily on this in this country and cheaply, but it comes at the cost of happiness. So when you're just feeding your depression, with more and more dopamine, right, you're actually going backwards, you're actually stopping yourself from getting better and finding your way back to happiness. So you have to fight that. And that is really part of your struggle with addiction with depression, I should say is, you know, you've got to get this addiction under control. So you can also get the depression under control.

Adina Silvestri 24:33
Right. Thank you for that. So as we sort of wrap up today, I thought maybe we could talk a little bit about what to do next. Right. So what would you recommend that we do in light of this physical distancing and not being able to get to see our loved ones or because addiction is the disease of isolation.

Johnathan Cranford 24:58
There's author named Johann Hari, he wrote a book chasing the screem. And he wrote that addiction isn't the opposite of sobriety. I think it's the addiction is the opposite of connection. Something like that. I can't remember I'm probably misquoting him. But that's the you know, that's kind of where you get that is it you know, without human connection without connecting with people? Yeah, that's when you kind of lead yourself down into that path of chasing the dopamine high, whether it's through drugs or food or you know, online gambling, whatever it is that you're doing. So in this time, when we are socially isolated, one, you're going to be at home a lot more. So you really need to make sure that you are going through the you know, the first couple of steps and you know, your cravings are different on the weekends than they are you know, when you have like a regular schedule, right. So now we're just on this long weekend

It's a never ending weekend. Yeah.

Yeah, so your cravings are going to be different. So make sure you know where your cravings are coming from the when and the where so that you can at least you know, have a plan to fight them. That's step one. Right there. Step two is I put the you know, that's getting to the promised land. So you know, get to the promised land, track your cravings, have your replacement foods ready, you control your food environment, you know, have a plan, get get through the first 14 days, if you can, and get to the promised land where the cravings die down so much that that's not the issue as much anymore. Now, it's just about, you know, staying compliant. So, and then I have you know, that's where that's the majority of the book. That's like the first several chapters of my book is just getting to that point, because that's the hardest part. But then I switch over into the last chapter and I talked about where you said, changing your cage. Like, yeah, I go into this little acronym I invented. I think that's aim, aim. And it stands for, you know, activity, isolation avoidance, and mindfulness. So the activity part is just it's basically just a blueprint on how to live a little bit more of a focused life. I guess you could say, you know, something that you know, make your life a little bit more enjoyable, intentionally. So how do we do that? Well, with activity, you know, you should be doing something, you know, you shouldn't just be laying around watching as much YouTube as possible. I know that's hard to do with depression, but, you know, having some sort of activity for me, obviously, it's exercise. And that is has been known to fight depression, to be very useful in a battle with depression. So, you know, do some sort of activity doesn't have to be intense exercise, necessarily. Walking around your neighborhood is an activity of gardening is an activity, not doing anything where you're just using your mind and your body together, you know, do something have plan your day out to where you have a little bit of that every day, something where you're actually moving. That's the number one you know, that's, that's the first part of aim activity. Then the second part is isolation avoidance. Unfortunately, we're right in the middle of you know, a thing where we kind of are forced to be isolated. That doesn't mean you know, you can't still connect with people you know, you can still do it online, you know, but don't go into the necessarily social media. Where you're connecting, you know, and it's it's there's like some sort of, you know, negative rhetoric or picking up the phone and calling your grandparents you know, make it a point to, like, verbally reach out to people over the phone is better. We don't really use the phone anymore. I know this because, you know, if I want to talk to my daughter, I have to basically do with your text.

So, you know, but actually picking up the phone and just checking on somebody actually made a list a few months ago, when this started. I was like, You know what, I'm gonna reach out via phone to just one person a day that haven't talked to in forever. And just to be like, Hey, I'm just calling to check on you. And you know, I didn't manage to do it every day. But I tried to ascend up Yeah, that was very powerful because people were just like, Oh, yeah, Hey, man, thanks for checking, you know, thanks for checking on me. Thanks for seeing how things are. So you know, that's something you can do to fight the isolation, your you'll feel better just from, you know, just calling, reaching out to somebody, anybody. You can have zoom meetings with people and that we're all sick of those. I'm sure if you're, you know, having to do your job. But you know, there's ways to reach out. And social media is probably the worst way to do it. So I would avoid that. But you know, just reaching out via text or phone, preferably phone, this is as close as you can get to actually talking to another person one on one, that's going to be your best bet right now. So you know, face to face, meet with people just go with the next best thing. And you know, that's not Facebook, that's not Instagram, that's not Twitter that is picking up a phone and calling them or setting up a zoom with them or something. And then the mindfulness thing, that's another thing, I would schedule some of that everyday to, yes, schedule some reaching out to one person a day if you can, and schedule, a little bit of mindfulness and you know, in mindfulness, I'll give you guys several ways to do that. There are several free apps out there that you can check on that you can use. I like the headspace app, but that's a paid app even though they do offer I think portion of it for free. You can get started for free but then you have to pay after a while but there's other stuff out there. There's like breathe calm or Zen calm. And a few other things that are that are free and you know plenty of things on the internet and YouTube that can teach you how to just sit quietly with your thoughts. And if you're not into that cool, you know, do some yoga you can do you know, that can be activity and mindfulness together. Yeah, I'm a big fan of yoga. But there's a few also, you know, there's several apps out there that are free and some that are paid, I give both options in my book, but, you know, put plan some of that because, you know, when you're doing any sort of mindfulness activity, you're really just taking care of your operating system, your brains, your operating system, and your you know, you're working on that functioning properly. And, you know, there's some stigma about all of these mental health issues that we have, whether it's addiction or you know, negative self talk, or you know, whatever it is, that's wrong with your operating system, you know, we were ashamed to talk about it, but it's the most important thing ever. And so, you know, planning to take care of yourself. You know, I consider that right up there with my, you know, some sort of mindfulness practices right up there with some sort of physical activity you know, their boats super important for your mental and physical well being.

Adina Silvestri 31:03
Mm hmm.

Yeah, that sounds like a good place to end. So Johnathan, how can people best find you on the social and find your your awesome book?

Johnathan Cranford 31:14
Sure. So my book is on Amazon. You can find it it's titled The sugar demons an addicts guide to conquering sugar addiction. That's the only place it's sold unfortunately. But it is a you can get a paperback or an E version of it. The ebook version is I think it's priced as cheapest I could possibly price it at $2.99. And if you order the hardcopy, it's a $6.99 I believe. So that's the best place to find the book and the only place to find the book to my knowledge and the social media. I do have a sugar demons Facebook group where I just post holes in discussions so you can look there and it's just called sugar addiction group killed the sugar demons. I'm sure if you look or you search groups on Facebook, you'll find it but in sugar addiction and then I'm on Instagram @Crandiva My last name is Cranford you can find me @Crandiva C r a n d i v a And I believe that's the best places to find me on social media. Yeah. I'm also on Twitter. It's just Johnathan Cranford,

Adina Silvestri 32:17
Johnathan Cranford Okay. Sounds good. All right, Johnathan. Well, thanks again for being on the show.

Johnathan Cranford 32:23
Well, thank you for having me.

Music 32:25
Thank you for listening to the Atheists in Recovery podcast. For more great info and to stay up to date, head over to

Welcome to today’s show!



  • How Johnathan’s early view of religion helped shape his identity in the world
  • How his southern baptist “angry form of Christianity” messages made him question life
  • At age 37, Jonathan found himself at a critical crossroads when staring into a garbage can
  • The three steps to help you overcome your sugar addiction
  • Why Johnathan feels the willpower argument is a lie
  • Johnathan talks about what to do now that we are physical distancing and food is everywhere
  • What practice Johnathan started in order to socially connect while staying physically isolated
  • What’s Johnathan’s message to the A.I.R community





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