Okay so I kindly borrowed the title “Sugar is the Devil” from an eye-opening book, Skinny Bitch and let me tell you those skinny bitches had it right! I have mentioned my love for all things sugar in my post about 3 ingredient cookies….and let me tell you I LOVE….D sugar with all my heart 🙂 I think I can blame that one on my dad who also shares the love for the sweets, way to go pops:). So here’s the thing, I am a Registered nurse and I see patients with diabetes every day…and I am not talking 1 or 2 people, I am talking a hand full of people on a daily basis who are admitted to the hospital for diabetes type 2 (the kind that usually affects you later on in life, you are not born with this unlike type 1) or other diseases complicated by diabetes…NOT COOL! So why are we allowing our selves and loved ones to go through all of this unnecessary life-of-medical-complications when there is a solution right in front of us? Yes, my friends, I said S-O-L-U-T-I-O-N!
Let’s break down what sugar is for a second: In its simplest form, sugar is juice from a cane plant. Seems innocent enough right? Plants are good right? Well in the raw, the simplest form sugar is not all that bad for you in moderation. It is the process as to how we get our gloriously white crystallized sugar that is the problem. During the processing all of the enzymes, fiber, vitamins and minerals are destroyed and in turn makes sugar absolutely have no nutritional value to us. So why do we eat it? The excess sugar we consume today coats our organs and creates glass-like shards that can cut up the blood vessels and tissues of our body. The constant wounds of these sugar surges lead to chronic inflammation which makes us prone to infection and arterial damage, hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol. Our bodies are designed to break down sugar in small amounts so when we drink that soda (gross) or overindulge on those brownies in the break room, we’re unable to process the extra sugar. This extra sugar accumulates in the blood stream and our poor little pancreas can’t keep up with the demand for insulin (how our body controls our blood sugar). Our poor exhausted pancreas finally gives up from exhaustion and diabetes is developed.
The food manufacturers are extremely smart in giving the people what they want! They are keen to the idea that sugar is like crack-highly addictive! Too dramatic to compare it to crack?? Don’t get your panties in a twist-sugar kills us through disease…a slow miserable disease called diabetes…crack can just kill you faster. The idea is that if they put sugar in their products then we, as consumers, become addicted to their products and buy more….awww how sweet of them! Check your food labels and ingredients, you will be shocked.
There’s no lie that sugar makes you feel good, energized and maybe even gives us comfort during that break up (hello ben & jerry’s straight out of the container!) or holiday celebration (yummmm pumpkin pie). This high is short-lived though and often results in headaches, feeling of fogginess and fatigue just to name a few. I would say that most people don’t realize that why they are feeling so crappy is because of refined sugar, listen to your bodies people-it will give you all of the answers you need! I am a testament to that! I have had chronic headaches for most of my life and they always seemed to come around 3 or 4 in the afternoon….fast forward many years when I am fed up with the pain and I need a solution. I started realizing that around the time I get my headaches is always around the time when I need a snack/treat. After school as a kid I would have my Oreos or yogurt or ice cream etc. As an adult I would take a break from work at 4 and have some kind of delicious sugary snack to hold me over until the end of my shift….light bulb moment! I decided no more processed refined sugar-cold turkey, just like that. The result you ask? No more headaches and a bonus weight loss that I wasn’t expecting!!! I could tell almost right away that my body was thankful for not feeding it that devilish junk anymore. I have been processed-refined sugar-free for 17 months now:)
The sweet toothed girl still exists somewhere inside me and she pops out her irresistible head every now and then. I am still able to have most of the same things that I loved before, it has just caused me to be more creative. I have started making, baking and mixing up new recipes to create some deliciousness that I enjoy just as much, if not more than things I ate in my sugar eating days. There are some pretty fabulous recipes out there that don’t use refined sugar and for the recipes that you currently have that you can’t live without like aunt patty’s-famous-cheescake-that-has-been-a-family-recipe-for-years just substitute sugar for a tasty alternative like coconut sugar, agave nectar, organic real maple syrup, stevia, I mean your options are nearly endless. Please PLEASE please under any circumstance DO NOT-I repeat DO NOT use an artificial sweater like splenda, equal, aspartame, etc. Artificial sweeteners deserve a blog post all on their own because they are so horrible for you and don’t even get my started on high fructose corn syrup….yuck.
Let’s get one thing straight: I am not suggesting you stop eating all things sugar. Sugar is necessary for our brain to function and to feed our cells, just not in the white, processed and refined way. Fruits are your best friend! Complex carbs are your friends! Sugar alternatives are your friends! Give it a try for a month or two and see how you feel, maybe those extra pounds you have been holding on to will melt away and your headaches and mental fogginess will go on that permanent vacation!
Peace & coconut sugar cupcakes, nikki