With all the reading I've been doing lately about sugars — natural included — a nagging feeling settled over me that no matter what “natural” sugar I choose to eat myself and/or feed my family, we're eating too much. I read at Food Renegade that before the turn of the century (before sugar was readily available) people consumed 5 pounds of sugar a year. In my natural kitchen, I am sure we more than exceed that!
About six years ago, we drastically changed our diet – out went anything processed at all and out went all sugar (of any kind, fruit being the exception). But after awhile, we began to consume more natural sugars. Over time, more and more of these have crept back in to our diet (as if they did it all by themselves, ha!). So here we are, not feeling as good as we think we should, and we're packing around some extra weight, too. I know that I'm deficient in certain minerals.
So it is time for a change for us. And I'd like to invite you to join us. Several friends of mine on the internet are doing similar things in their diet – and I love it! I'm grateful for the inspiration and ideas that are floating around.
What's Wrong With Sugar?
What's wrong with sugar? Of the 146 Reasons Why Sugar Is Ruining Your Health from Nancy Appleton, I will share the ones that alarm me most.
- Suppresses immune system
- Upsets mineral relationships in the body
- Produces an acidic digestive tract
- Causes tooth decay
- Contributes to obesity
- Causes food allergies
- Lowers the enzymes' ability to function
- Causes headaches, including migraine
- Causes depression, fatigue, moodiness, and nervousness
- Can cause hormonal imbalances
- Is an addictive substance
- Can exacerbate PMS
- Decrease in sugar can cause emotional instablility (that's me right now)
- Can increase the amount of food a person eats
- Induces salt and water retention
- Causes constipation – enemy #1 of the bowel movement
The Beyond Sugar Challenge
For the next 30 days, my family is completely eliminating all natural sweeteners (honey, agave, evaporated cane juice, maple syrup, etc.). We already don't eat refined sweeteners.
As for sugar-like foods, I guess we'll take it as it comes. I'm thinking of dried fruit here. I plan on making some date- and apple-sweetened snacks, and also continuing to add raisins to our breakfast porridge.
Fresh fruits are allowed, but not excessively.
Obstacles I see:
- Tea – we love honey-sweet tea! I will explore stevia as an option here.
- Snack foods – we are used to having sweetened muffins, cookies, etc. I foresee making more crackers and biscuits and having more nuts, veggies and whole fruit available for snacks.
- Weight loss
- Energy boost
- Overall health improvement
- Improvement in seasonal allergies
- Bumps on arms go away
- Depression/mood swings improvement
- No headaches
- Improved PMS symptoms
- Break addiction to sweets (I think I am the only one who is truly addicted)
- Appreciate the true flavors of foods
- Learn to be sastisfied — no, more than satisfied — with the rest of God's foods
See I'm laying it all out here. I love my sweet tea. And I love a dark chocolate snack each afternoon. Yesterday, without those, I was downright cranky and also depressed and hungry.
- Will you join in? At whatever level you prefer-
- Will you share recipes, ideas, inspiration for snacks that are not sweet?
- Will you share your goals?
- Will you share your stumbling blocks?
To Join In
- If you have a blog, write a post containing the “Beyond Sugar” button (see code below). Answer any of the above questions, or anything else that you want to share. You don't have to go cold-turkey like we are. You can decide to cut back or to work on adapting recipes to rely on less sweeteners or better sweeteners. Then come back here and leave a comment with a link to your post – so everyone can benefit!
- If you don't have a blog, please share your thoughts in the comments. We want to hear from you, too!
- If you're on twitter, spread the word by sharing this link (and be sure to follow me — @TradCookSchool):
http://traditionalcookingschool.com/2009/05/04/beyond-sugar/— use the tag #beyondsugar
- If you're on FaceBook, spread the word by sharing this link (and be sure to “like” our page — GNOWFGLINS):
During the next 30 days, I will focus my writings on research, recipes, hints and tips concerning eating sugar-free. Just so you know, we're not going to be using artificial sweeteners, either!
Will you join us? What are your reasons for doing so? What are your goals?
This post was featured in 82 Ways To Heal Your Gut.
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