I have decided to quit sugar for one month. Refined or added sugar that is.
If you don’t already know, I attempt to live a healthy lifestyle- I eat a mostly plant based diet with low carbs and no fried foods but man, that sweet tooth sure can take over. Let’s go back 3 years. I was working out A LOT with my friend prior to her wedding and trying to eat healthier in order to shed a few stubborn pounds. A friend recommended the book, ‘The Beauty Detox Solution’ by Kimberly Snyder to me and I can honestly say it changed my life. The book explained things to me that seemed like no brainers once I read about them but had never occurred to me before. For example, Snyder talks about not eating fruit after dinner (a common mistake a lot of people make when they want a healthy dessert). The reason for this is that we just ate a big meal that is sitting in our stomachs and in our heated bodies; when we eat the fruit it will just sit on top of that meal decomposing and we will never receive the nutrients we could use from that fruit. Duh! Makes so much sense but it took someone else writing it down for me to understand. Synder doesn’t eat meat and at the time I was eating chicken and vegetables almost everyday- you know for protein (I now roll my eyes at that statement, knowing how much protein I get from all my yummy veggies). But I’m getting side tracked here, Snyder also talks about the effects of dairy and sugar. I’m not quite ready to give up my cheese just yet (drooling just thinking about it), but refined sugar- get the eff out!
As much as I love my chocolate and gummies, I know the effects that refined sugar can have on our bodies and so I’ve done 1-2 week long sugar cleanses before but 30 days is a lot! Or is it? I always say time flies, I mean I barely even remember Janaury, and a month, in retrospect, really isn’t that long at all.
There are three things I would like to achieve by doing this cleanse.
1. The food we eat has a huge effect on our health and how we feel. I suffer from shoulder and neck aches which lead to headaches. Will this detox help me?
2. Can I actually do this? A test to my own will power, can I survive without this addicting substance?
3. With consistent exercise, can I shed a couple of pounds that just don’t seem to want to go away? I’m not calling myself overweight or fat but a personal goal of mine has always been to be more toned. Sitting at a desk 5 days a week for approx 10 hours a day definitely doesn’t help this goal. 3 years ago, after I first read ‘The Beauty Detox Solution’ and followed the advice of the book pretty strictly, I definitely saw a difference in how I looked and I would like to go back to that.
So now, why? Why is added sugar so bad? Let me give you some facts.
-Digesting sugar causes acidity in our bodies which then causes a “breeding ground for diseases.”
–Refined sugar comes in many forms– white sugar, brown sugar, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup and many more!
–High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is very popular in the US as it is a very inexpensive way to sweeten our food products. The reason it is so harmful is the way it is made. When making HFCS, fructose and sucrose (which are naturally bonded together) become chemically separated which allows fructose to go directly to our livers which then produces fat, which leads to the disease “fatty liver,” which then leads to diabetes. If that doesn’t scare you enough, HFCS also contains toxins and chemicals. Read more about it here.
-There is also now research that too much refined sugar can slow down our brains as well.
-American adults consume about 22 teaspoons (355 calories) of sugar a day while the daily American Heart Association recommendation is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. (a can of coke contains over 9 teaspoons of sugar)
-Teenagers consume even more, about 34 teaspoons, a day of refined sugar.
-Refined sugar is found in around 75% of packaged foods.
-More than 1/3 of US adults are considered to be obese.
-Over 600,000 people in the US die from heart disease (1 in every 4 deaths).
-Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
Just researching for this post has made me want to throw away anything with refined sugar. I preach that we have one life on this earth and to live it to the fullest and follow our hearts. So now, I’m literally going to take that advice and follow my heart- to health. A moment on the lips… is just not worth it.
I’ll be posting some yummy, healthy & sugar free recipes over the next month so make sure you follow along!
If you’re interested in learning more about sugar and its effects, see the articles linked below for my references.