I’ve always considered myself a fairly healthy person, especially in the last few months since giving up dairy and processed foods. On average my daily meal plan would look something along the lines of:
Juice made with beetroot, carrot, ginger, lemon, apple, orange and wheatgrass.
Overnight oats sweetened with mashed banana, and then added flax seed, chia, cinnamon and walnuts.
Water with lemon and peppermint oil
Usually I’ll l eat leftovers from the night before or a fresh salad with homemade balsamic and maple dressing.
Snacks: Homemade baked squares, bliss balls made with dried fruit and carob, fresh fruit, etc.
In the afternoon I’d have a smoothie made with 1 banana, blueberries, kale, spirulina, water, cashews, maca, and hemp oil
Usually some form of curry with spices and honey, or a stir-fry with hoisin and soy sauces. Sometimes a quinoa pasta with sourdough bread dipped in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. And always a fresh salad made with greens from the garden.
Sounds pretty good huh? That’s what I thought too… so why does my mood still fluctuate? Why do I get so sleepy through the day that I have no motivation? Why am I still bloated?
I think I’ve figured out the culprit, if you look carefully at my daily eating routine there is one important thing that is present throughout the day. In fact, it’s at every single meal and snack… Have you found it?
I’ve been hiding my addiction behind “natural sugars”. I’ve been thinking that because my sugar comes from bananas, honey, or maple that it’s ok. I’m sure it is from time to time but when I’m eating it at every meal… there lays the problem. Sugar is sugar is sugar and the chemical composition of sugar is the same –whether or not it’s from a banana or a bar of chocolate. I came to this revelation after listening to a lecture given by Dr Stephan Rechtschaffen, who spoke of food allergies and how allergies are often determined, oddly enough, by what a person eats the most of. My pattern is definitely sugar.
During an average day, I consume nearly 30 teaspoons of sugar and that’s not counting the hidden sugars found in sauces and spreads. The American heart association says we should eat a maximum of about 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.
Every molecule that we eat corresponds to a particular appetite hormone. If we’ve eaten enough a message is sent to our brains saying it’s time to stop. We’re designed to only eat what we should.
Every molecule except Fructose.
Why? Because it was handy back in the real Paleo days. Cavemen would come across the occasional berry bush and use that sugar as an instant form of energy for hunting down food. They would literally gorge themselves on the sweet fruit so that they could use it as instant energy and conserve it as instant fat. The problem today is that we are no longer cavemen and the furthest we need to go for sugar is as far as our arm can reach.
So, I’m an addict, and I’m ready to experiment and see if by quitting sugar for roughly 8 weeks to see if I feel any different. It’s not a permanent step unless I want it to be. Often when people give up sugar they feel so much better they don’t want to go back. I guess we’ll just have to see.
Anyone want to join me?
On Monday I’ll be starting week 1.
The goal of week 1 is to just start to cut back gradually. I do not eat any refined sugars or refined carbohydrates but for those who do, you’ll want to start there.
No doughnuts, pastries, white floury things, or sugary treats. For me I’ll cut out maple syrups, honey and any other added sugars.
Are you ready to take the challenge? Let’s go!