Each meal is an opportunity.
An opportunity to fuel your body.
Healthy food keeps us strong, energized and looking our best. Some of the best foods we can eat are known as superfoods. These include vegetables such as kale and broccoli. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts, fruits like strawberries and blueberries, and omega 3′s like salmon and flaxseeds.
Do you know the worst thing you can eat? Sugar!
Particularly white, refined, sugar.
Sugar is my new worst enemy. I say “new” because it is the most recent thing I have had to tackle. I thought I could get away with eating my organic sugary snacks a couple times a week. But after doing a quick sugar fast about a couple months ago (I was inspired by this blog) I realized that I feel way, way, way, better when I avoid sugar.
I wish I was one of those people who could eat a cookie a two once a week. And be cool with that. But my problem is…. if I have one, then I NEED to eat the whole bag! So what’s been happening lately is, I can go about 2 weeks without eating sugar, and then I’ll reward myself. The reward ignites a monstrous craving and next thing I know I am hiding out in the garage stuffing my face with cheesecake.
Sometimes people say to me: Oh come on! Is it really that bad? You’re too hard on yourself. Must you deprive yourself of everything that’s good? Why not just have balance?
Well, after a couple years of eating mostly organic, healthy food, it has gotten to the point where my body recognizes when I eat something that’s “bad” for me. Almost every time I eat processed sugar, I feel gross. So… if I continue to eat something that makes me feel gross, then I’d say, yes. I have a problem!
As much as I do not want to believe it, sugar is absolutely horrible for- and dare I say, toxic to- the human body.
Most people know that sugary foods are essentially empty calories. Meaning they have a lot of calories but no nutritional value, and as a result, they are easy to overeat because they are not filling due to lack of nutrition. This is one of the reasons why people who eat a lot of sugar tend to always be hungry. But there’s more:
-Sugar suppresses the immune system. You are more likely to get sick when you have a diet high in sugar.
-Sugar feeds cancer cells. You increase your chances of getting cancer when you eat a lot of sugar.
-Sugar raises insulin levels. Basically, the body functions optimally on a specific level of insulin. When that insulin level rises, health problems ensue such as high blood sugar, which can lead to type II diabetes.
-Sugar causes inflammation. This is the root of many diseases. Think joint pain, atherosclerosis, cancer, obesity, and diabetes.
-Sugar speeds up the aging process.
-Sugar turns into fat.
For too long sugar has been lurking in the shadow of cholesterol and saturated fat. But I am convinced that sugar is worse. Sugar! It’s in a lot of foods and drinks, and chances are you are consuming a lot more of it than you think! (Beware of foods that say, “Fat Free” because usually the fat is replaced with sugar.)
Fatigue, stress, irritability, mood swings, depression, difficulty sleeping and joint pain have all been attributed to sugar consumption.
It’s just not good for us. One of the intuitive ways to know that sugar is not healthy, it that it is rarely found in nature. Even the fruits that we eat have more sugar in them today than they did 50 years ago due to cross breeding techniques. When sugar is found in nature, it’s not the white sugar we are used to eating. It’s a complex sugar that the body needs to break down to a form that the body can use. Also, if a food has sugar, there is usually some fiber in it as well which causes the sugar to be released more slowly into the bloodstream. To make matters worse, we know sugar is addictive because when you don’t eat it, you start having withdrawal symptoms!
Anyway, I’m just stopping by to say: I will be going on a sugar fast! My plan was to do it in October…. but I had vacation plans and knew I would be eating some sugar Hey- I was on vacation!
So I guess November will have to do. I really want to do a month. A MONTH of ZERO refined sugars. Fruit and honey in moderation is ok. Not sure what I will do about Thanksgiving… but that’s just one day and luckily it’s towards the end of the month.
I’ll let you know how it goes! I’m looking forward to having more energy, and kicking these sugar cravings to the curb for good!
Maybe you can try a sugar fast too! You know, just by avoiding fancy coffee, soda, fruit juices, and sports drinks, you are half way there!