Happy girls are the prettiest girls

3.07.2013

Sugar we're going down

via my whole food life 
Oh dear Lord, what have I gotten myself into? 

My entire life I have been a sugar and high fructose corn syrup super consumer.Healthy in my house growing up was adding canned or frozen veggies alongside our meat and carbs, and lots of packaged "healthy" yet sugary goods to snack on. Chewy peanut butter chocolate granola bars and Goldfish crackers are not healthy, folks.  

As I aged and became smarter, I have learned that sugar is indeed terrible, and a major proponent to my up and down weight. I've written about my sugar addiction extensively here on the blog, usually highlighting how like cocaine sugar is in its addictive qualities. I am no slouch in my research, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that sugar isn't good. Thanks to documentaries like Food, Inc., Hungry for Change, Forks Over Knives, and Vegucated {watched all on Netflix}I was informed that my Standard American Diet, or SAD {ironic, ain't it} is bad for me. Even knowing this, I just ignorantly proclaimed that "Sugar is my vice, man! I have to have something if I don't drink regularly, smoke, or do drugs, right?!" And how hard would it be to get rid of sugar from my diet? Like so hard I have never wanted to try.

So imagine my surprise when I read a New York Times blog article {seriously, read that ish} last week that proclaimed sugar to be a toxin. "Metabolic syndrome {causes chronic disease and diabetes} is a result of insulin resistance, which appears to be a direct result of consumption of added sugars. The take-away: it isn't simply overeating that can make you sick; it’s overeating sugar. We finally have the proof we need for a verdict: sugar is toxic."

You know what was the most tune changing for me? This line: "The study demonstrates this with the same level of confidence that linked cigarettes and lung cancer in the 1960s. You could not enact a real-world study that would be more conclusive than this one.”

You see, I HATE cigarettes. I think they are one of the most foul, disgusting, and loathsome things a person can do or put in their body. My mother has smoked pretty much my entire life, and it breaks my heart that she won't, can't or doesn't want to quit. You see, she's addicted to cigarettes and nicotine, just like I am addicted to sugar. How can I allow myself to continue feeding an addiction that is just as bad as the one I hate so passionately? That would be hypocritical and I try to live my life as real as possible, even calling myself out on all my BS. 

So last week I decided to reduce, then remove processed sugar from my diet.

First step, removing products that contain sugar, and other sugar by products. My first day without sugar, I was feigning for something, anything, everything. GIVE ME ALL THE THINGS! MOAR SUGAR! I was prepared though, and had my meals planned, with lots of fruit cut up and ready to snack on, and I even had Simply Light chocolate bars that are no sugar added {although, the malitol sweetener, a sugar alcohol, made me super bloated and gassy, real talk} to get me through my cravings at the beginning. 

I will not be using Splenda or other artificial sweeteners because they are just as bad as sugar. Instead I  will be using stevia in the raw and organic coconut sugar. The coconut sugar especially because it has a low glycemic index, so it doesn't affect blood sugar levels or cause insulin spikes, and stevia is a great natural sweetener. You can check out this Hungry for Change post on nature's best alternatives to sugar if you need more suggestions. This My Whole Foods Life blog post has tips for quitting processed sugar that are also helpful.

I can't promise that I will never eat anything ever again that contains processed sugar, {hello, cupcake addiction} but if I can help it, I will avoid it as much as possible. For now, I am just working on reducing what was already in my diet and replacing it with whole foods, fruits, and natural sweeteners instead. We will see how the cravings go once all processed sugar is out of my diet, and what that looks like in terms of my baking, socializing, and general happiness ;)

2 comments

  1. Good for you!! I'm a fellow sugar addict for sure, and I've always said the same thing about that being my vice...Lol. I started a complete sugar detox diet this week (no fruit, even!) and it's forcing me to see just how bad I'd gotten with wanting sugar All.The.Time. ugh! Cheers to healthier lifestyles this spring! :-)

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  2. The most shocking thing I've heard? In 1820, the average American consumed 4 lbs of sugar each year. Today? The average American consumes 150 lbs per year! Disgusting!

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