We hear it all the time, don’t we? Sugar is bad, bad, baaaaaad…..
For years, I used to think it was just the typical “sugar rots your teeth and makes you spazz and then crash” kind of bad…. So during that time, I didn’t give it terribly much thought. I figured, using that lovely 80/20 rule would be a-okay for this. Then over more recent years, I began to realize just what exactly sugar does to our bods, and minds – and how that ultimately also impacts how we show up in the world.
You can get a pretty good idea for how sugar can turn our innards upside down, and therefore our energetic mojo, by re-visiting a past post about my own plight with sugar and battling candida.
Not only that – but did you know that consuming processed sugar lowers your immunity for up to 5 full hours? AND, studies have repeatedly shown (science is more reliable when it provides repeated results, after all) – that sugar is as addictive (if not more so) than street drugs like cocaine. It starts a vicious cycle within our systems, making it ever more difficult to move away from the patterns involving sugar consumption. It’s a precursor to systemic inflammation – which leads to all kinds of ailments and disease, and literally damages our ability to flourish on all levels. Eeeeek!
So when it really comes down to it – “quitting sugar” is optimal. BUT, doing away with the unhealthy forms allows some room for that old 80/20 to come into play – thanks to many a viable substitution! While forgoing the processed sugars (and the artificial sweeteners out there as well) can be beneficial – sugar is sugar (in the bod). Our body has to process it no matter its source – even the natural sugars present in fruit! There are indeed some that are better than others, bearing less of a glycemic load. Heck, there are even some that provide some healthful benefits (such as raw, organic honey). It’s a matter of first getting OUT of the addiction, and then into a balanced intake of healthy sugars that our body can better-tolerate – especially those that can actually benefit us too.
Here are some general do’s and dont’s when it comes to sugar:
- Avoid processed sugar wherever possible. [Especially if it is not cane sugar, wherein it’s likely GMO-derived.]
- Avoid an over-consumption of grains! [Said to be worse on the bod than sugar itself! Most simple carbs are turned into sugar in the body…] Choose whole grains when you can, and organic as well – (to avoid GMO’s.) In spite of what the FDA recommends – don’t rely on grains as a primary fuel source. Be sure to limit grain consumption overall. (More to come on this soon!)
- Don’t turn to artificial sweeteners in lieu of sugar. They are loaded with toxic elements.
- Once you have ‘cleansed’ yourself – and are free of cravings, you can experiment with enjoying a small amount in moderation if you want to take a cue from the French culture – and treat yourself once in a while. But remember – natural SUBSTITUTIONS are always the best way to do that!
- Some suggested ‘better’ options for sweeteners include:
– Organic, Pure 100% Stevia
– Raw, Organic Honey *(UPDATE: This is a natural anti-biotic, and can therefore still impose on the health of a balanced microbiome/ our gut health. It should be limited to treats.)
– Organic Date Sugar
– Organic Coconut Sugar
- Food for Thought: Limit fruit intake (and possibly starchy veggies too) until you’ve gotten through the ‘withdrawals’ and are ‘addiction’-free! Then these are obviously your best sources of the sugar our bodies can actually utilize.
Here is a fab, *sugar-free recipe for a chocolaty indulgence that is actually good for us to get you through the cravings! I’m calling it D. Mack’s Healthy Raw Cacao Melts. *[NOTE: The recipe is sugar-free if you use Stevia to sweeten it; healthier sugar if you go with the honey.]
I’ve been following many a spiritual guru and rebel-health-advocate, and I’ve come to find that most of them concur; we cannot truly thrive if we don’t nurture all the aspects of our being – physical, emotional, and spiritual. I’m a big proponent of how letting go of sugar has helped me in each of those realms. I’m more energized, I have more thought clarity, better overall immunity, I sleep better, and I actually crave sugar way less. (Confession: I still have my monthly ‘need’ for something sweet, if you know what I mean. But I’ve found that my home-made substitutions are a fantastic way to beat it. More of those will be shared in my upcoming e-coureses & guides!)
We have the POWER to make informed choices and make our lives more meaningful and joyful! Whatever you do – don’t give that power away. However you decide to approach it – limiting sugar intake is essential for thriving. Know that you CAN do this….I’ve got your back. Remember – Little Steps = BIG Impact!