Part One: The Not So Sweet Truth About Sugar
The single woman. She is brave, she is courageous, she is wise, she is responsible for her own health choices. Her health is her independence.
One of my earliest memories I have as a child is laying under my bed with a pink plastic Easter pail filled with foil wrapped chocolate bunnies quietly poking them in my mouth away from my mom’s watchful eye.
And so, my love affair with sugar began.
From the first sip of Kool-Aid, lick of a lollipop, slurp of a slushy, and nibble of chocolate it had me at hello.
My mother tried to break sugar and me up by enforcing the rule of one and two. If there was a sweet that was bigger than my fist I could have “one.” One popsicle, one piece of cake, one scoop of ice cream…you get the idea.
If there were multiples of a dessert then I could have two. Two cookies, two pieces of Halloween candy, two life savers, etc…
My sister and I thought if we ever broke mom’s rule of sweets a lightning bolt might hit us and we’d be transformed into a pile of sugar.
When I got to college I was an untethered free spirit! I woke up to the realization that I didn’t have to hide my relationship with sugar anymore. For breakfast, I had sugared cereal, maybe a pancake or two dripping in syrup. Lunchtime, I would pre-select which dessert I was going to have in order to get the cheesy, fried food taste off of my pallet. Then for supper, if I wasn’t super hungry, I might have soft serve ice cream with Fruit Loops tossed in for presentation and a little crunch.
By Christmas break I was well on my way to the “Freshman- fifteen,” and by summer I looked like the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka, “Daddy, I want a Toot-Sweet and I want it now!”
As a result of my faulty eating I was tired, lethargic, chubby, foggy brained, fidgety, and just plain, Meh.
At the time I didn’t realize it, but have since learned that refined processed sugar is like poison to our bodies. It affects everything from our mental state, skin condition, cell composition, energy level, immune system, waistline and much, MUCH more!
So, let’s all roll our eyes and say it in unison, “MOM WAS RIGHT!” Love you mom!
Ladies, especially you middle aged beauts like me, I have an announcement to make, “We don’t have to become bloated, broken down, stiff, forgetful, chubby, lethargic insomniacs.”
What if changing one thing gave you your life back?
Now, I’m not a doctor or dietician but I can tell you after giving up sugar over a year ago, the benefits have been life changing.
Responsible eating habits date all the way back to Bible times.
Look at Daniel 1:6-16. We read the story of Daniel and three friends who were summoned to the king’s court for being groomed to serve and protect the king. While they were in training they asked to not be required to eat the “royal food” but instead be allowed a diet of fruits and vegetables.
The steward who oversaw them feared for his life because he didn’t want to be accused of his charges looking gaunt and skinny. Daniel talked him into giving them a ten-day trial period.
After the ten days passed they looked better and stronger than their counterparts. They were allowed to keep eating clean while also outperforming the other men in the King’s service. The guard was so impressed with the results of Daniel’s diet that the rest of the men in his charge were given the same diet as Daniel and his friends.
The American Heart Association, and World Health Organization recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) a day of added sugar for women, and 9 teaspoons (38 grams) a day for men. Yet the average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons of sugar a day, which translates to about 66 pounds of added sugar a year.
Imagine this: one 12 oz soda contains 11 teaspoons of sugar. Just think how many a Big Gulp has, yikes!
Here’s why it’s a big deal. Excessive sugar over an extended period has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, Metabolic S, some cancers, Alzheimer’s, and the aging of our cells.
Chronically high blood sugar levels have been linked to inflammation in the brain and there is evidence that neuroinflammation may be one possible cause of depression.
A growing body of research suggests that a sugar- heavy diet could also increase age related cognitive decline and dementia.
Oh my word! Maybe THAT’s why I got C’s in college! IT WAS THE FRUIT LOOPS!!
With all of the research showing the negative affects of excessive sugar why do we still struggle to make good food choices? I for one have let myself slide back into the sugar bowl and I am in the process of “de-sugaring” AGAIN! WHY?!
I know I say it all the time but I just can’t say it enough. Ladies, our health (both physical and mental) is the only thing keeping us independent. If we take care of the things we can control I’m confident it will add life to our years.
Those years are important enough that next week I’ll be sharing more information, so we can all crawl out from under our beds, step away from the Snickers and do what our mothers knew all along. We need to break up with sugar!
Have you ever thought of reducing or getting rid of refined processed sugar in your diet?