Have you watched the 60 Minutes episode on how toxic sugar is? I’ve been obsessed with foodie-related shows on Netflix like The Beautiful Truth and The Gerson Miracle which talk about how horrible our current diet is and how a plant-based diet with loads of juicing can cure cancer. And Ingredients which talks about the benefit of local food. And Killer at Large and The Future of Food that talk about how sugar is in everything and has been linked to diabetes and obesity (duh), and heart disease and cancer.
And it just hit me that we are destroying ourselves! All these shows keep repeating the statement that I’m sure you’ve heard – where our children’s life expectancy is shorter than our own. We’re basically destroying our bodies and they’re checking out early. We are starving our bodies AND we’re obese. We aren’t getting enough nutrients because we’re overdoing it on crappy foods. It’s so sad!
I’ve always been a big fan of sugar (as any of my friends can attest). I used to eat gallons of sugar and I’d never feel sick. I could eat a half box of donuts without blinking. And I loved candy. It’s interesting that it wasn’t until I got pregnant with Holden that I actually felt sick after eating sugar. I kept thinking: “hmm, this is probably how I should feel after eating sugar, but it took me being pregnant to really feel it.”
So after we put Holden on the GAPS Diet we started paying attention to labels. And unless you have done this, I bet you have NO idea how many foods contain sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup: Hot dogs, yogurt, sausage, pepperoni, peanut butter, SunButter, juice, bread, bagels, deli meat….not to mention ALL fast foods like hamburgers, chicken nuggets, cottage cheese, sour cream, etc.
The thing that kills me is that I expected things like Snickers and Coke to have sugar in them. But I didn’t expect sausage to have it! GAPS Diet taught us to read labels and make more of our food from scratch. I used to make my own yogurt and sour cream so I KNOW that it should only have two ingredients, not 5-8. After that we became extremely cautious of the foods we bought.
We had already been buying grass-fed beef, range-free chicken, raw milk and fresh farmed eggs, after watching Food Inc (it will scare the $#@^ out of you) and reading Real Foods What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck. But after this we started shopping and buying organic fruits and vegetables, buying hot dogs without nitrates or sugar, peanut butter and sunflower seed butter with only peanuts or sunflower seeds in them, raw honey, bought 100% Maple Syrup to replace Mrs. Butterworth’s and stopped using white flour and white sugar.
But here’s the thing – to reward myself for eating so many wholesome foods, I still like(d) to treat myself to Baskin Robbins ice cream, cake, cookies, or candy bars sometimes (much to the dismay of my personal trainer). But watching these shows makes me feel like a pawn in some corporate-predator kind of game and I don’t like that at all. And I’m angry at how cute sugar is and how it’s almost always dressed up to appeal to kids.
Now I’m trying to eat more plant-based food, have way more veggies at our meals, and more protein and healthy fats. It seems like if I can keep myself full on good food, I crave sugar less. There are some awesome recipe websites that are helpful: The Nourishing Gourmet has great more nutrient-dense recipes with alternatives to white sugar. My Year Without Sugar is really fun to read and her Upside Down Pineapple Cake is amazing. I turn to these websites when I want a treat. Because I still like something sweet now and again
This no-sugar thing is new for me. What keeps you from eating sugar? What do you do to manage cravings?