Why after 20 years of contemplation…I QUIT!
Sugar is my Kryptonite! It renders me helpless against all that is healthy & pure!
The sad part is…I know better!
I coach many people on healthy living- the dangers of toxins in our food sources, the dangers of processed foods, the dangers of consuming antibiotic and hormone induced proteins, the dangers of too much caffeine, and yes, the dangers of sugar! But I just can’t help myself when I pass a decadent three-tiered chocolate fudge and caramel cake!
In my early twenties, I was a nanny for an incredible Mom who shaped a lot of how I parent today. She was beautifully poised (all the time!); she was disciplined and woke up every morning at 5:30am before her family woke up to run along the Silver Comet Trail (even while pregnant!); and when she worked from home twice a week, she would close her office door & focus…undistracted, until it was time to reconnect with her family. Her children were always properly dressed like 18th century sailors, each hour in her home seemed perfectly structured and she didn’t allow television- in the traditional sense (although Grandma’s scuba diving adventures were allowable because technically it was a DVD!) One day, during the quietness of naptime, I stumbled upon a book called Sugar Busters and read page after page of the dangers of sugar. Almost 20 years later, I am now ready and willing to put that knowledge to work and break my addiction to sugar.
When my twins were born, I had the BEST of intentions. From colostrum to homemade puréed baby food…I wanted to ensure that my children were receiving the best nutrition possible. Slowly they were introduced to sugar…an Easter basket here, a birthday party there and the next thing I know…I have two mini-me’s running around requesting sugar everyday all day! Now that they are in pre-kindergarten, and somewhat out of my sphere of influence, they are constantly being seduced by the inescapable powers of sugar. Everyday seems like another classmate’s birthday party, a holiday requiring the consumption of sugar, or our regular visit to Nana’s! I feel like I have lost control!
But I’m done! I’m quitting sugar! And here are my reasons for quitting:
- Because sugar is not a food group!
Sugar has no nutrients, no minerals or vitamins, no protein, no healthy fats, and no enzymes. Just empty and quickly digested calories that actually pull minerals from the body during digestion. It is counterproductive! And consuming these empty calories put us at risk of obesity and health problems, including but not limited to, diabetes, heart disease, liver damage, strokes, and spikes in bad cholesterol levels.
- Because sugar has become our drug of choice!
Sugar is addictive. Eating sugar makes us crave them more later. Much like street drugs, sugar triggers the release of chemicals that set off the brain’s pleasure center. This then creates a hormone cascade that starts a positive feedback loop in the body to encourage more consumption. This addictive sugar response in the brain, creates the need for more sugar to achieve that feel-good “fix.”
- Because sugar turns us into energy-starved zombies!
Sugar may give us a brief jolt of energy, but it will soon be replaced by unrelenting fatigue…and “ain’t nobody got time for that!” Science shows that it takes just 30 minutes or less to go from a sugar rush to a sugar crash. This sugar spike-and-crash pattern sets you up to want more sugar and it becomes a vicious cycle.
- Because post-sugar meltdowns suck!
Just remembering the series of post-birthday-cake tantrums… these patterns of irrational and overly emotional episodes, that is enough for me to want to my children up for adoption! We might reach for sugar to feel better, but end up with the opposite effect in the end!
- Because THIS I can control!
As a reformed control-freak, I recite the Serenity Prayer often to remind me that I cannot control everything. I refuse to succumb to the control sugar has over me and my family. It usually takes about a week for the taste buds to habituate to lower levels of sugar. By resetting our palates and retraining our taste buds, I can remove the cravings and desire for something sweet.
I could continue my list to include my numerous concerns of my aging skin, weakening immune system, and of course teaching my children about healthy nutritious eating…all valid concerns, but I am sure you get the point! Everyone knows that sugar in not a healthy option!
And while many of you probably think I am being extreme… the “all things in moderation” mantra isn’t effective for me (I am a consummate rebel and rule-breaker!) and since I rarely do things half-assed (I am an all-or-nothing type girl)…my mind is made up! As for me and my house…no sugar allowed!
I realize that in today’s world, it can be tough to completely avoid sugar since it is so readily available. I am not foolish enough to think that as my kids grow and become more independent, that they are not going to make sugary choices! Of course they will…they are kids! My goal isn’t to completely deprive my children of sugar…I just want to get our cravings under control and learn to enjoy sugar deliberately so we can develop a healthy relationship with the sweet treat.
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