Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sugar Free a Year Later

Ok, so I'm not 100% sugar free and it's not quite a year later. But I did want to talk about my journey a bit more.

It was March 2011 when I decided to cut sugar for Lent. (you can read about how I started and ended) For months prior I'd been so addicted that I was eating something sweet after lunch and dinner every day and it was hurting me. I'd get severe headaches and my body would just ache in as little as 15-30min after eating the sugar. I knew I had to make a change, I was scared of getting diabetes because of my sugar intake. So I cut it.

After Lent was over (Easter) I allowed myself to have some sugar in moderation. However I didn't allow myself ANY High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) because this was the biggest offender on my body. I did notice that powdered sugar and regular white sugar also were problems. At this point I'm able to eat brown sugar, organic raw sugar and honey in moderation without causing pain.

As mentioned in my end of journey post, we had to change some of the things we were eating that had HFCS in it that I never realized. Things like soup, bread, jelly/jam, cereal. David has started making soups from scratch, which was a wonderful bonus because they are 100 times better for us and tasting than Cambell's soups or anyone else. I found another whole wheat bread without HFCS and I eat Kashi cereal now which has small amounts of organic sugar. And lastly my jelly/jam, we've made some homemade using honey as a sweetener instead of sugar and it tastes great without being too sweet.

I also don't partake in eating sweets like I did before. I used to not be able to turn down any sweet. Now I rarely eat one. Sometimes David will make something like cookies and I'll have one and then no more (and then he takes the rest to work).

How does Sugar Affect Us?
For me, the most noticeable affects of too much sugar is physical pain. But if that's not the case for you then you may not think it's "that bad" for you. But it's damaging to our bodies. Here's a blurb from Keeper of the Home's blog:

  • It compromises the immune system

  • It feeds opportunistic bacteria (ie. the bad guys) in our gut. This leads to symptoms like tiredness and lethargy, mental fog, increased sugar cravings, impaired digestion and more.

  • It weakens teeth and causes cavities

  • It makes our skin break out

  • It messes with our blood sugar balance, creating vicious cycles of highs and lows throughout the day

  • It depletes our vitamin and mineral stores, and impedes the absorption of nutrients from the food we eat

  • It contributes to an overly acidic state in the body (which in turn contributes to disease)

  • It throws off insulin levels which can create/contribute to hormone imbalance

  • It is addictive and the more that we eat it, the more that we want it

  •  Did you catch all of that? It actually keeps your body from taking advantage of all that good food you do eat! And it keeps your body from fighting off illnesses like it should be able to, it weakens your body. I had never known that before and to me that was big stuff! I wasn't doing me any good to eat my fruits and veggies and other good foods if I was continually adding sugar to my body.

    I think a lot of times we think that if we eat more good than bad that the good will outweigh the bad. But I don't think that's the case.

    Yes I've "gone off the deep end" with my attitude toward sugar but I've experienced how much of a change it can make to my health. I have one body and I'm determined to make good decisions to make it the best I can. I probably have a million other things I could do to make it better, but it's a process.

    For me this was a life changing decision and one I don't regret. It lead me to make other changes in my eating and health for the better. I drink raw milk, eat more raw, eat real butter and we cook from scratch 95% of the time.

    The last year has been huge in terms of health changes. I know that even just 3 years ago, we wouldn't have believed we'd be doing what we're doing now. But I love the results and I love knowing that we are taking care of our bodies.

    I challenge you to make changes as well, you won't regret it!

    Comments make me Happy!

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