What I’m Cutting OUT of My Life: SUGAR!

 

It’s the beginning of a new month, and a nice way to throw down a new leaf!

Yup, it’s time to get sugar out of here!

 

Now let me be clear on what this means:

I will do my best to avoid all kinds of sugar in whatever I purchase or make to eat.

 

If sugar is one of the ingredients, I walk away.

If it’s not in my possession, it’s impossible for me to consume, so the biggest part is about not buying this stuff in the first place.

As I’m not in 100% control of my food, and often eat at restaurants or at others’ homes, if it’s going to be too complicated to avoid sugar, I’ll let that slide.

I also know that going “cold-turkey” or “all-out” on strong habits can be really difficult; this is one reason why so many New Year’s Resolutions don’t see the end of January.

So I’m not being super-firm with this. You have to be flexible in life, and in some cases, I’ll just have to eat some damn sugar. ;)

 

 

BTW: one of my FAVORITE books on creating habits is One Small Step Can Change Your Life – quick + easy read and PACKED with practical info – check that one out!! :)

 

 

The biggest change for me: buying chocolate bars.

This has been one of my vices: dark chocolate (70% or higher cacao content).

I’d typically have a row (three small squares) once per day, a nice sweetener after a savory meal, like a salad. I can tell I’ve grown accustomed to the chocolate, almost craving it by the time I finish up with the salad.

I want to get control of this “craving” — while I don’t think these three squares are killing me, the fact is I don’t really know the benefits, and there’s really a larger question:

Can I optimize my healthy to an even greater degree?

 

I feel very healthy, have enough energy to do what I want, and even my numbers are excellent.

But can I do more?

 

Now I’m not looking to torture myself here – if I want chocolate or something else sweet, that’s fine.

This is really about me removing sugar from my life most of the time — maybe 90% of the time.

I don’t drink coffee or soda and I don’t bake pies or cookies; I think this will actually be rather easy.

I already do a pretty solid job of avoiding anything with processed (or refined) sugar, and have definitely stayed away from the dreaded HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup)!

When shopping, I steer clear of the sweets and fill my bag with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

 

Side note: there’s actually a movement to change “HFCS” to “corn sugar” on labels – consumer groups are totally against this as it will confuse us even further! “Well, I see corn sugar, but no HFCS – must be healthy!” 

Read articles about the ongoing debate here, here, and here.

 

Full Disclosure: the other night, I went to Whole Foods with this “no-sugar” approach in mind, and figured I wouldn’t be picking up any chocolate (sad face).

To my surprise, I did find a bar of Endangered Species Dark Chocolate (88% cocoa) that listed “unbleached water-filtered beet sugar.”

That sounded good, and it wasn’t just plain sugar, so I thought “what the heck?” and picked the bar up.

I may be kidding myself about the healthiness of it all – I’m still researching the topic/its impact to the body, so if you have any info, let me know! :)

 

 

Why am I doing this?

  1. I don’t need it.
  2. Most sugar we eat is refined.
  3. I’m stronger than sugar.

 

I can’t find any compelling information to definitely include sugar in my diet. Besides, plenty of other foods, like fruit, naturally have sugar in them.

On the other hand, there are PLENTY of studies that document the negative effects of sugar on the body. (Google: “sugar health” for just a few thousand :) Diseases like Type II Diabetes is just one of the results of too much sugar in our lives. And it doesn’t have to be this way!

 

Refined Sugar. Short answer: not good for us, and the body doesn’t process it well. This is normally the kind of sugar used when ingredients list “sugar” and certainly what you find in most white table sugar.

  • Stuff to avoid: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sucrose.
  • Even agave and honey, while they are “more natural” and have a lower glycemic index, really need to be consumed sparingly.

 

With everything I can accomplish in my life, how could I allow this substance to “conquer” me? Am I really so weak that I give into my sugar craving at every turn? What is this doing to me in the long-term, not only in regard to my health, but my willpower?!

 

It’s time to take this game of life a bit more seriously (all while having FUN!), and step it up.

Anyone care to join? :)

***

 

Is there something you’re looking to reduce from your life? How could you take one small step?

 

I’d love to hear your response + any other thoughts you have below.

Looking forward to learning more!
Nathan

 

###

About

Former life: actor/office worker/virtual assistant; lived in Los Angeles for 11 years. Since then: sold nearly everything, took a $5 flight to Hawaii, lived there for 3 months, wrote an eGuide about all of it, and still traveling. Currently: digital nomad - looking to improve myself, have fun and serve others.

Posted in change, decision, food, health, nutrition
5 comments on “What I’m Cutting OUT of My Life: SUGAR!
  1. Phyllis says:

    I am also trying to reduce the amount of sugar I consume. Not bringing it into the house is the 1st step. While I know I will never cut it out of my life completely, reading labels has definitely had an effect on what I buy and eat. Thanks for all the great information…and inspiration!

    • Nathan says:

      just came across a great book, The Pleasure Trap, that says exactly that:

      Rule #1: No junk food in the house!

      If it’s not there to tempt you/me/any of us, we won’t eat it! We’ll find healthier foods to snack on!

      And while it may be a challenge (I’m certainly learning how much), I do think it’s possible to definitely get it out of our life 90-95% of the time! The other part we need to focus on is advocating change – it’s just ridiculous (and literally sickening) how prevalent fructose, HFCS, and other sweeteners are in our foods.

      We don’t need this sugar, and now we know how directly it is leading to obesity and Type II diabetes. We’re literally killing ourselves, and certain corporations out there don’t seem to care – they just want us to continue buying!

  2. Sandy says:

    Hi Nathan,
    I eat no sugar. It has been a long hard battle but if your parents were heavy drinkers AKA alcoholics, you will battle for your very life.

    Sugar is deadly more to some than others.

    Regular white sugar is full of asbestos. You can read more about that in Hulda Clark’s Books.

    I actually found you site by the endangered species chocolate bars. I used to eat them. For what ever reason – the beets and the safer processing and perhaps the kind of chocolate, I was able to tolerate them once in a while.

    All chocolate has oxalic acid- hard on the kidneys. We were never meant to eat a lot of chocolate or sugar.

    Both sugar and chocolate are strong drugs of sorts.

    Chocolate is a feel-good drug. But will you eat it without sugar in it? No. Remember when you were a kid and tried to eat a chunk of bakers chocolate from your mom’s cupboard? Ugh- what a surprise!

    Another thing- chocolate is a very fine refined substance and it is a perfect carrier to carry the sugar into you teeth where it eats holes in it.

    Did you know that the teeth are the hardest bones of the body? And sugar destroys them, soooo….what is it doing to the rest of the body?

    Move on to honey. There are many wonderful kinds not just clover honey- which I do not like. Agave syrup another alternative has a few variations, too. The best for an alternative to brown sugar is coconut sugar. It is not coconutty. It is from the palm tree not the fruit. Has the lowest glycemic of all. It takes a few months to get your system to the point where you really don’t desire sugar. But I did it and have no real super cravings for it anymore. But I warn you, when you do splurge, it kicks up quick. Be tough!
    I now use a spoon of agave or honey in my tea. I make hot cocoa with a touch of agave syrup and about 1/2 or less teaspoon of organic cocoa. But once in a great while. The cravings will die even the chocolate. I have gone off of chocolate or many months at a time.
    But you have to not eat sugar in anything. Now that is eye opening. It is in everything.
    My best to you.

  3. Lela Cloud says:

    I often eat the entire dark chocolate bar and am straight-up envious of your ability to have only three squares a day.

    • Nathan says:

      Totally been there. :)

      AND, I think it’s easier for me (and perhaps others) to eat more when all we’re being rewarded with is straight sugar. When I eat a higher-quality, better-tasting chocolate, I find I want less – as opposed to woolfing down handfuls of sub-par chocolate chips. ;)

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Hi, my name is Nathan Agin. I love to travel and live as healthy as I can while doing it. I've been on the road since 2010 and see no end to this way of life. Every day I meditate, exercise, eat lots of natural foods, and do a few other practices to keep me going! I strive to be healthy anywhere, and am excited to share how YOU can do this, too— wherever you are!

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