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!”
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?
- I don’t need it.
- Most sugar we eat is refined.
- 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!