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March: No Sugar

Giving up sugar was extremely hard, because I love my daily cup(s) of coffee and can’t stand coffee black, so how was I going to enjoy my daily motivator? Then I watched this documentary on Amazon Prime and Sugar Coated on Netflix, and that was it. Sugar was gone, and the idea of eating something that “feeds cancer” made it a no-brainer.

This meant I gave up coffee too.

Talk about a sacrifice.

But I did it, because I want to live to be 150 and be healthy for every minute of it. And things have changed! I no longer depend on a jolt of caffeine to be able to function each morning, and when I lay down to fall asleep at night, I fall asleep. I also stopped spending money on raw sugar and coffee every two weeks (wow, was I going through that stuff!) and I find that with all the changes I’ve been making lately, food is starting to taste better. Mangos are my favorite fruit, and instead of eating four in one sitting, one now suffices (because it’s sooo sweet)… so did all that sugar in my coffee ruin my sensitivity to sweet fruit for years??

And then there is the crazy side effect of discovering I can sleep any which way I want at night, and don’t have to worry about acid reflux. I can even eat later at night and still not worry about waking up with my chest and throat burning, so now I’m wondering if it was my (I’m embarrassed to admit I drink up to six cups a day to keep me going) very strong caffeine addiction that led to my problems with acid reflux and ulcers for the last two decades, and lots (lots!) of sleepless, pained nights.

Definitely a good decision, and just as easy was the decision to remove all processed foods loaded with sugar, any foods that spike my insulin index super high (like cakes and brownies and muffins), and anything that I only enjoy if I add in sugar. If it only tastes good with sugar, it doesn’t really taste that good.

sugar is bad for you

Sugar is not sweet

The fact is that sugar doesn’t do anything good for you. There are no benefits to eating sugar. There is also no benefit to eating sugar substitutes either, but I never did so I don’t really worry about those. Sugar does, however, have a lot of really yucky effects on your body. Here are some you should really know about:

Rots your teeth (you knew this one, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to stop many people from sucking on candy, so keep reading)

Makes you fat Sugar spikes your insulin, which isn’t the worst thing since pretty much most foods do this, but sugar does it even more so, and all that insulin tells your body to stop burning fat for energy. Your body starts to store fat instead “just in case” you ever need it, and you have to burn through all the sugar in your body, including all the glycogen stored in your liver, before your body starts to turn to fat for energy. That fat is now yours to keep. Thanks, sugar.

Can cause insulin resistance which is a pre-cursor to type II diabetes. I am not going to go into all the problems diabetes can cause, but suffice to say, this is not a road anyone should take lightly. If you have to start taking meds or insulin, you will likely head into a cycle where you continue to get fat (and can’t lose weight despite honest efforts to exercise and diet), and sugar just ain’t worth it.

Damage to cells including collagen producing cells, so you age faster. Cutting out sugar is anti-aging. Cells suffer because oxidation occurs more rapidly, and you don’t want free- radicals running amuck causing all sorts of health problems (including cancer, mental health problems, certain heart diseases, joint diseases, and dementia).

Sugar feeds cancer ‘Nuff said. There are so many other bad effects, but these are some of the big ones. Sugar is bad news, and you should love your health, youthful looks, beauty, and LIFE more than sugar.

I renovated my pantry- no junk for anyone

I cleaned out the house, and there are no snack packs anywhere. No lollipops, no M&Ms, and no artificially flavored or sugar-enhanced muffins or “kid treats”. Why on earth do companies make junk for kids? It’s all gone, because I love my children and believe in feeding them only what I know to be healthy and good for them. My children still eat dairy and carbs (it’s my own choice to cut all that for myself) and some products that have sugar in the ingredients (like natural ice cream or crackers with non-GMO ingredients) but there is nothing in this house anymore that could be defined as junk food. I even tossed out fruit juice boxes that are not 100% fruit juice, and hope that as we cook together more over the years, they make the choice to continue to be healthy on their own in the future.

This is my third month in my health and life improvement project. I’ve given up all dairy except feta cheese, since it’s a natural cheese that isn’t processed in the same way other dairy products are. Feta cheese a PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin) made in Greece and many people who have digestion issues or are lactose intolerant can safely enjoy it. I also started intermittent fasting, which completely changed the game for me in terms of weight loss… I now weigh what I did the day I started college!

Stay tuned for other changes as I move forward to becoming my best self ♥︎

Read more about our 2018 year-long healthy lifestyle changes:

January- Cutting out dairy products

February- Intermittent Fasting