Welcome to My Year Without
On January 1, 2008, I made a New Year's resolution to cut out refined sugar for one year. I cut out white refined sugar and corn syrups. My quest to be sugar-free evolved into political interest, public health, and letter writing to food manufacturers. Join me in sugar sleuthing, and learn more about the psychological aspects of sugar addiction, and those who push sugar on us.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
After three years abstaining from the white stuff, I'm back at it.
A new problem has surfaced.
Going without sugar was the most amazing thing I've ever done in my life. So empowering. The most incredible journey of willpower, discipline and research into the food industry. What would make me want to exchange all this for a cookie?
I wish I knew.
Perhaps to see how far I'd come in my discipline..... "Of course I am self-controlled enough now to enjoy one cookie!" The occasional sugar should be a non-issue in my life at this point....
So here's the problem: Because I am super aware of my body's response to sugar now, I am noticing affects it has on me. My body had three glorious years of freedom and repair from the white stuff, and now my body feels....different when I eat sugar. I'm not talking about the sugar crash. It's like sugar is directly causing pain in various parts of my body. I have been experiencing crazy symptoms within an hour (more or less) of eating sugar.....every time. I can only attribute this to sugar because most of the time I feel healthy and wonderful. I have a few health issues but they are stabilized and don't bother me much.
For example, my gout. I've had it since I was a kid. Over the years I have learned to control the symptoms with diet. When/If it flares up, I drink black cherry juice and drink an herbal anti-inflammatory. It always works. Not sure why I have gout, but it's easy to control the acute inflammation.
Unless I eat sugar. Within a few hours of ingesting sugar my big left toe feels stiff and aches, sometimes the ache goes up my leg. Sometimes my neck, my hands or my other leg hurts.
I've noticed other symptoms that seem to be directly related to sugar.....and/or refined grains. I can't seem to eat sugar or white flour (they are usually eaten in combination) without a yeast infection, and I can count on it disappearing in a day or two when I stop eating sugar/refined crap--100% of the time.
I meant to settle down here in this new city with a new diet--a whole foods diet. That hasn't happened yet, and I feel like I am paying the consequences every time I make a bad food choice. Not lesser food choice, BAD food choice.
The body does not need refined sugar. Some have argued with me that the brain runs on glucose so sugar is helping the brain. Whole foods like fruits and vegetables and whole grains also provide the body with glucose. Sugar is a lame excuse for food. I don't know about you, but I have not evolved to digest sugar without consequence.