Almost There!

I am about to wrap up my 2 week fast of no sugar.  I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I had no idea.

For instance, did  you know sugar is in just about every salad dressing? 

And Ketchup?  Crackers? Almost all bread?  Every yogurt I could find? 

When this started, I had severe headaches the first day.  The next few days I thought about sugar ALL day, when I say all day, I mean the thought was in my head every few minutes, if not more.  I could not think of anything but eating something with sugar.

A few days into it, I went to Whole Foods and stocked up – and this made my fast so much easier!!  I bought Stevia to put in coffee, tea, whatever.  I also got some amazing peanut butter that is so super healthy.  Not cheap, but I think may be our new go-to peanut butter.  It is loaded with flax seed, peanuts, agave nectar, and that is about it.  No sugar and instead full of super brain food stuff (flax seed).

At this point, I am ready to have some sugar.  I want a few things that I just plain WANT. 

But this brings me to the BIG question!  Why do we feel like we can have whatever we want to eat?  Let me clarify.  I know R rated movies are bad, the language is horrible, the nudity or partial is unacceptable, and the violence is over the top.  So we stopped watrching R rated movies.  Yes, this stinks when a great movie (looks that way anyway) comes out and we see it is R.  Oh well.  We skip it.  {I did make an exception for the King’s Speech, but the only exception in a LONG time).  Anyway…

We know this stuff is bad, so we avoid it.  We know smoking is bad.  We avoid it.  And yet, I know sugar is bad.  It feed cancer in your body.  It stops the white blood cells from doing their job (i.e. keeping you healthy) and yet – we jump head first into a life of sugar addiction.  This is one of the few area where we do not tell ourselves no.  We seem to think we are doing everything else okay, I deserve to eat what I want.  But what I want is based on what my body has become addicted to.  Check out Healthy Familes for God – read From All Natural to Class A Drug for some crazy mind-blowing info. 

I am not advocating a life of no sugar, but I want to know what I am eating and the consequences it will have on my body.  If we ignorant of what is going on we have no way of doing something about it – and this is not good.  Ignorance is not bliss!!

We start the day with it (unless you are an eggs and bacon eater, but watch out for what you put on toast…..) we include it is our drinks (juice, sweet tea, soda, etc) we eat it at lunch (think : peanut butter and jelly) and then if not in our dinner (but again, condiments are loaded) we end the day indulging in some ice cream, cake, or generally something sweet.

Now, stay with me.  I will repeat, I am certainly not advocating a life without sugar.  While this 2 week fast has been okay, I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I want to get there.  I want to be able to have some things that, unfortunately, contain sugar.  But, I think I want to stay off the Sugar-Addiction bandwagon.  I want to be aware of what I am letting my kids consume.  Because if I know it is bad for me, think what it is doing to their little bodies!  They need much more in t he category of nutrition that we do, and that sugar is replacing some much needed nutrients.  I do not want to raise 4 kids to grow up to be the sugar addict that I was.

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Will this cost more?  Take more time?  Be hard? Yes, yes and yes.  It will.  Let’s be honest, healthy snacks take prep time, they do not come in a fun box you open ad serve.  It is more to buy things like healthy peanut butter and sugar free jelly.  But think about all those DR. bills.  If I avoid a co-pay I am saving $25 and that can buy a lot of even healthy peanut butter!

So for me this is my plan for 2012 & food:

1. No Candy in the house – if any, just the best and very little – otherwise NONE.

2. Peanut Butter – mostly, if not all, the good stuff

3.  Have more hummus, veggies and other good stuff for sandwiches

4.  Drink more smoothies with real (unsweetened) fruit

5.  Make granola every other week (enough to last); cut up veggies for snacks each week

6.  Make jelly lower in sugar (find a recipe to do this) – only eat homemade jelly

7.  Make cookies that are healthier (see Healthy Families for God)

8.  Make sweet tea with honey instead of sugar – drink less often; drink more water

9.  Be aware of the sugar we do eat (knowing is half the battle)

10.  Have dessert on celebrate days only – and other snacks other nights (nuts, popcorn, fruit, etc)

I know this is not what will work in every home, and I am not saying it should.  But we need to be advocates for our children and not just allowing them the candy they want because it is easier to say yes than no.  We can all attest that the more candy and junk they eat the more cavities and hyper-activity.  All is bad.  If we cut out candy almost all together, they would still be great, happy, healthy kids.  They would learn to deal with it.  It is possible.

There are so many options out there today, and this is a blessing.  It is possible to be healthier, it just takes work.

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