Thursday, January 28, 2016

30 days of sugar free: Kicking the Addiction

I'm halfway through my 30 days without sugar, and feeling the benefits. My psoriasis is clearing up, the inflammation in my palms is noticeably reduced, and the cravings are next to nothing. I had one breakdown and it was on the day trip to Denver last weekend. Something about being in a car for 6 hours makes an old reflex kick in. I will confess. I ate a doughnut. I'm putting it behind me.

I have always had an addiction to sugar, and I'm not alone. During the past 100 years, the average American's intake of sugar and other natural sweeteners doubled- from 80 pounds a year to over 130 pounds a year. In a lifetime, that equals enough to fill a dumpster. And knowing what sugar does to us, it's no wonder why our health has decreased over that time as well. We have the technology and the knowledge to be healthy, but we're not.

Sugar suppresses the immune system, leads to chronic inflammation (next blog post), and if you're craving sugar, you're probably deficient in chromium, carbon, phosphorous, sulfur, and tryptophan (see image). Many of those foods rich in those nutrients are very helpful to curb my cravings when I'm weaning back off sugar, especially nuts, raisins, cranberries, and blueberries. I wish I'd had them in the car during my Denver trip!

Do yourself a favor, try a week without sugar and see how you feel. You'll see that sugar's in everything - you must be vigilant about reading labels. Even if you're good about not eating any processed foods (which your body would appreciate), you still have to be mindful of the sugars hidden in recipes like soups, casseroles, homemade granolas and protein bars.

I get asked: Am I doing honey? Occasionally, yes. Agave? A tiny bit in the raw cacao balls I have after dinner (not nightly). There's a little stevia in my Juice Plus Complete protein powder, so I cut that back as well. I repeat. IT'S IN EVERYTHING. It's no wonder our bodies are struggling.

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