How is the quality of your life? Do you exhibit brain fog? Do you have enough energy to play with your kids/grandchildren? Are you always hungry? Are you always tired? Are you easily irritable? Do you want a solution? What if I told you that you could cure these ailments and feel amazing?
I have been on a journey back to a healthy lifestyle for the past 9 months. And I am happy to report that the brain fog has officially lifted, my skin has cleared up, I have more energy than ever, I don’t need coffee in the morning or afternoon, I no longer crash around 2pm, I don’t crave sugars or carbs, my appetite has been curbed, oh, and added bonus, I have lost 12 pounds!! I feel amazing! This is the way I believe God intended us to feel so that we can actually enjoy our lives, to thrive! And the best part, I can still eat the foods I enjoy, chocolate pudding, peanut butter cups, fudge, butter, bacon, etc.!
And I don’t have to work out every day…in fact I only work out 3 times a week, for 20 minutes or less.
I will start at the beginning of my journey….my initial pursuit was to remove the brain fog, think more clearly, not be as agitated and irritable.
STEP ONE: I REMOVED the SUGAR!!
Did you know Sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine!! (Source) The addiction is REAL folks! And sadly it is in EVERYTHING! We all know soda and candy has sugar, but did you know it can be found in foods marketed as “healthy”, like oatmeal, yogurt, bread, soup, etc. Our food supply has been altered so much! Fat has gotten such a bad rap; manufacturers have removed fat and increased sugar immensely! Too much fructose shuts down the part of your brain that tells you when you’re full, so what do you do, eat more sugar just to get that feeling of being satiated.
This first step, removing the sugar, is the toughest step and one you will want to do slowly. I do not advice going cold turkey. If you go cold turkey you will have horrible withdrawals, headaches, stomach aches, irritability. Sugar is like a drug and after we consume a certain amount we need that same amount every day just to feel “normal”. So I advice taking it one day at a time, it took me weeks to get through this step.
Tips to wean your family off sugar:
- Don’t bring it in the house! Stop buying the big sugar items like soda, cookies, desserts, etc. If those toxic items are not in the house then you & your family will not consume them.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store….the produce, meat, cheese, poultry areas, avoid the isles filled with temptations.
- Look at your LABELS! Manufacturers have gotten sneaky; always double check the serving size! The nutritional facts might indicate that there is only 2g of sugar but look at that serving size, do you honestly only consume that serving size?
- Keep a FOOD Journal. Write down what you are eating & how much sugar you are consuming each day then after a week reevaluate the consumption and determine where you can cut sugar the following week. Don’t obsess, only review once a week….the idea is to start a new lifestyle not diet fad….and to do so you need to go easy on yourself, it must be practical!
- Focus on adjusting just one meal a month. I found it helpful to start with breakfast. It was amazing how much better I felt and the children acted when I didn’t fuel our brain with fructose. Click here to read about the day I Killed Cereal.
So how much sugar should you consume?
The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance. For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about 26g per day for women and 36g per day for men). Source
It is also important to remember that not ALL calories are created equal. But that is something I will discuss at a later date.
I lost my grandmother due to complications from diabetes, she was only 63! She got robbed of her life. Sadly I fear that there are so many friends and family heading in the same direction if we don’t take control. The research is mounting when it comes to the connections between sugar and Alzheimer as well as Cancer. They have found insulin receptors on cancer cells….sugar feeds tumors! (Source)
I am happy to say that I am no longer sugar dependent!! I will admit it wasn’t an easy road but one I am glad I went down and conquered. And you can too!!
I know what your thinking, “but she was eating chocolate pudding”!? And I promise you can too…I will share STEP 2 next week.
In case you have a lot of sugar on your hands, I will let you know that I have found a place for sugar in my life, I use it as a scrub in the shower…it is a FABULOUS exfoliator! Just an FYI….1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons olive oil.
Please share your thoughts and concerns in the comments. Did you realize sugar is practically added to everything these days? What are your thoughts? What do you currently consume for breakfast? What sweet will be the most difficult for you to give up?