Once upon a time, I was healthy. There was a time when I did not lack enough energy to get me through the day. A time when sleep came easy and I was always well rested. A time sadness was never in my soul. That was replaced with a time when everyone was being told with all the commercials touting energy drinks for America’s tired masses, I was happy I was not the one suffering. Now I am!
That was a time when I never dreaded the coming cold and flu season. This was a time when it appeared everyone but me developed some degree of germophobia. But then came the two six letter words into my life. Once they enter you soul, it is hard to stop. One is that wonderful white substance that once you have it, it is hard not to crave more! The other is moving up in a career and complexities in life create emotions that impact the body greatly. If you have not guessed, it is SUGARS and STRESS.
Looking back at my life and diet when I ran a little over three hour marathons, I was never tired and never was ill. I was trying to compare that era to now.
My job was simple, come in, do a task, go home. It was a job that you could never be behind and carry the work home. I never had to monitor people or have a job that was at risk. I had little overall responsibility for anything but myself. I ate very little, if any processed sugar. In fact, I never had a craving.
I came to this conclusion I have been denying when I, for the hundredth time, hear some disturbing new information about the effects of sugar. Several experts have scientific evidence that sugar is the thing that is making so many Americans fat and sick. The more I thought about it the more this makes sense to me — a lot of sense. One in seven Americans has metabolic syndrome. I recently learned that a metabolic syndrome drastically impacts sleep as well. Those who know me know I have major sleep issues. On top of this, one in three Americans is obese. The rate of diabetes is skyrocketing and cardiovascular disease is America’s number one killer.
According to many theories, all of these maladies and more can be traced back to one large toxic presence in our diet… sugar.
So today is my quest to no longer eat foods that contain added sugar. Yep, it will be hard but I want to cut out anything with an added sweetener, be it table sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, agave or fruit juice. I will exclude anything made with fake sugar or sugar alcohols. Unless the sweetness was attached to its original source (e.g., a piece of fruit), I will avoid it, and this will be difficult.
I mean we find sugar in the most amazing places: tortillas, sausages, chicken broth, salad dressing, cold cuts, crackers, mayonnaise, bacon, bread, and even baby food. I ask, “Why add all of this sugar”? I read it is to make these items more palatable, add shelf life, and make packaged food production ever cheaper. Again, whatever the wealthy greed needs to increase the investment income.
Call me crazy, but I see the benefits avoiding added sugar for a year have done for my girlfriend. She went from not being able to run to doing biathlons. Before she went sugarless, that struck me as a grand adventure for her.
So I am going to try. No, I am going to rid my body of processed sugar and unnecessary salts. I know how hard it will be, what interesting things could happen, how my cooking and shopping could change. After continuing my research, I was convinced removing sugar would make me healthier. For my girlfriend, not eating sugar makes her feel better in a real and tangible way. I want what she has and no diet or pill will get it for me. I believe the devil is in the sugar. I am willing to try. Although, I am told that it will take up to six month to feel the real benefits.
I anticipate the longer I go without sugar, the better and more energetic I should feel. I will eventually surrender to the sugar craves, but I have a goal of understanding and not falling way off the wagon. So I have a rule, more than an allowance to rid of guilt when I have sugar. I could have one actual sugar-containing dessert per month. I expect with a few months, I will notice my palate to change, and slowly, I will enjoy the monthly “treat” less and less.
I recall when I was primarily sugar free and I was given my favorite pie, COCONUT CREAM PIE. I recalled when I ate the decadent multi-layered coconut cream, I recall not only did I not enjoy my slice of pie as much as when I regularly indulged in sugar; I would not even finish it. Right now in my life, I not only finish it, but I crave the whole damb pie and may even eat a second if it was in the house. My girlfriend tells me how eating heavy sugar actually makes her teeth hurt her head would begin to pound. Her heart would begin to race and she felt awful. She tells me “I know now it was sugar that always made me feel bad, but because it was everywhere, I just never noticed it before?”
I think I will try to rid me of one of the six letter words I gained. I expect my body will be thanking me for it. If my guess is right, I won’t worry about running out of energy. And when flu season comes around I will no longer feel the urge to go and hide under the bed. I think I will feel less depressed. I will get sick less and get well faster. If my guess is right, this will be nothing to sneeze at when everyone.
I have been reading the book Salt Sugar and Fat. I have come to realize I am the person to blame for my health, but food processing companied sure does not make it easy. It is all part of the stock owners greed to take whatever steps you can to make them more money. For that, they need to make me want is more. It is a mind-altering drug and it is legal.
Wish me well my friends.