Monday, July 23, 2012

Life After Sugar (Part 2)

Here's a follow up from an earlier post on living without sugar.

During a recent visit, my doctor told me that sugar is "pro inflammatory" meaning that it can cause or precipitate inflammation. This is a big issue for me as my long-term health issue (11 years) is triggered by inflammation. I can often link an episode of illness with sugar.  So you can see why it is good policy for me to stay away.

One thing I noticed when I changed my diet—and this only took a few weeks—was that I no longer craved sugar and other high calorie, low nutrition foods. Instead, I craved vegetables. I began to crave what I was currently eating, not what I ate in the past. So I am pretty sure that if you can get through the first few weeks, you'll get over your craving for diet Coke or dark chocolate Snickers bars or Dots (a past sugar fix for me) or whatever it is that you are addicted to, consciously or not.

I knew I had turned a corner when I thought to myself, "Where's the broccoli? I really want broccoli."

I know some of you think I'm crazy. I am crazy. Crazy about feeling better.

Another thing I've noticed is that I have not gotten a sunburn over the last two summers. I have gotten sunburns most years since I was a little people, whether I used sunscreen or not. But not during the summers of 2011 or 2012 (yet), even though I get similar exposure to the sun, like last weekend. Something has changed in my terrain, probably from eating a lot of raw vegetables, that keeps me from getting sunburned.

And finally, a word about alternative sweeteners. I stay away from man-made "sugars" like Sucralose and aspartame. I do not trust them to be safe, though there are official claims to the contrary. I do occasionally use stevia to sweeten fresh-squeezed lemonade (I love lemon anything!) or homemade frozen desserts made with coconut milk, but still I use very little at that. And sometimes I'll use a little fresh fruit to sweeten an otherwise bland dish.

It is amazing how good things taste when sweetened with stevia, fruit or fruit juice when you eat almost no sweeteners in foods. Then "normal" things sweetened by sugar almost taste like they burn your mouth when you get away from them for a while.

Please don't get me wrong. I am not against sugar. I don't think it is a sin to eat things sweetened with sugar. It just that I have made a choice to stay away in order to protect my health, loose weight and feel better. That's all there is to it. And it works.

It's not for everyone to leave sugar out of their diets, but for me, it has made a huge difference.


1 comment:

  1. It's always good to hear a positive experience of someone who is living closer to the Word of Wisdom.

    I too have to avoid refined sugar. In many foods that need something a little sweetish, I find that a little bit of frozen apple juice concentrate (undiluted) does the trick. Apple doesn't usually conflict with the flavor of the food being sweetened. (I add a little apple juice concentrate to the tomato paste and herbs I use to make a great whole wheat pita pizza, for instance.)

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