I have been thinking about sugar, and whether or not I should be eating it for years. It seems to me that every newspaper I pick up has a new headline on the subject and some of them are pretty compelling, headlines such as Sugar in processed food is fuelling the obesity epidemic. Sugar has become the new addiction, Eating too much sugar may wreak havoc on your sex life, Sugar - more fattening than fat…. The list goes on and on.
The reality of what I have learnt is that - over-consumption of sugar on an ongoing basis is all about empty calories that race straight to our livers, making us feel sluggish, tired, and on the back foot at best, it can also lead us down a road that may lead to diabetes, uncontrolled inflammation within our bodies and a grave risk of terrible diseases - Oh… and death.
But how did this all come to be? How did something that was once considered to be a treat, become such a headline grabber? How did sugar get so entrenched into our everyday lives?
According to Robert Lustig, pediatric oncologist at the University of San Francisco and a leading advocate for Americans to stop eating so much sugar,
Approximately 80% of the 600,000 packaged foods you can buy in the US have added calorific sweeteners (this includes bread and burgers, things you wouldn't add necessarily sugar to if you were making them from scratch ). Global sugar consumption has tripled in the past 50 years, while the population has only doubled– and it is clear that the food industry has been adding too much of it to our meals for too long. (ref 1)
Well that really got me to thinking, because I know it, you know it, everyone knows it – and no one is doing a thing about it… change does need to be made when it comes to hidden sugar. However change needs to be made quickly and personally I cannot see this happening.
For years we have gone through packet after packet of sugar in our house. Meatballs made at home from scratch? What working mother does that? The fresh store brought meatballs are great… add to them store brought pasta sauce, some pasta, serve it with a fresh lettuce salad and store brought salad dressing – and there you have it – your main meal… loaded with sugar. I wondered why I was addicted…. I wondered no more.
And then my health, there was the hospitalization for kidney stones, weight gain, insomnia, hormonal imbalances, anxiety…. all while I juggled work, children and life. They say nothing tastes better than health. Some go as far as to say nothing tastes better than skinny…health works for me.
I did not want to get sick again. I wanted to taste health. Thankfully that was around the time I started working for Xtend-Life Natural Products, because around that time is when I upped the anti. I started reading, researching, asking questions, I talked to everyone and anyone on the sugar subject, I opened my mind, and what I found out, scared me.
To beat my addiction to sugar, I had to change my life, and I liked my life, what I did not like however was the impact that my life was having on my health.
If you have ever been on a diet, or tried to give up smoking, you will know like I do that it’s not starting the change that is hard – it is sticking to it. The most compelling part of all of the above is that – no one is going to own the sugar in our food problem. To make change, I had to make the change, and I had to stick to it. Only I could ride out the cravings and physical withdrawal symptoms; fill the emotional void left by removing sweet treats from my life; change the nature of relationships bound by sugar-coated ties — and to come out the other side slimmer, healthier and happier than before.
That is where you came in; we set out to beat the food industry, with its hidden sugar and to take you on a journey to good health with us. My Daily Sugar Allowance became important to everyone here at Xtend-Life. We wanted to develop a resource based on quality information that was simple to follow; free and accessible to everyone. Free is important, and we see lots of I quit sugar guides with serious money attached to signing up for the program, and in our mind, un-sustainable goals.
So how do I feel after 10 weeks?
I get asked regularly about the benefits of reducing my daily sugar allowance. Personally, reducing my daily sugar intake has helped me a tremendous amount with my sleeping. While a lot of you ask regularly about the weight loss component – and reducing your sugar intake does help you shift weight if you need to – what I really love is that by the end of the 10 weeks people are commenting more about my energy levels, consistent mood and glowing skin.
And, believe me, had anyone said, two years ago, that the person handing out all this personal information about her life would be me, I would have laughed my head off. I can’t stress enough what an unlikely a pin-up I am for My Daily Sugar allowance. I was the girl who loved a wine with dinner, perhaps two. I lived a high-stress life, and I loved eating out and I loved fast food. Now – I am the girl, who loves being in her kitchen, plans all the family meals, shops around the outside of the supermarket, visits farmers markets and is back into exercising.
I do not want to be the parent who bans her children from having sugar. I want to be the parent who sets her children up for good health though setting a good example.
Will I go back to a life of processed foods and excessive sugar? No way. I love the new way too much. I also know that I love mucking around in my kitchen, playing around with real food, not food like products that come in a box. Creating great meals fills me with joy.
However, I do not believe that my path to better health means missing out on life. I will have a wine or two when having dinner with friends, and sure, if I am at a birthday I will eat cake, and I am pretty sure at Easter I will have a chocolate. But I will also own it.
I don’t want to miss any more of my life being tired or sluggish or slow, I want to be here, in the now, it’s exciting. Life without excessive sugar is much sweeter than I imagined it to be.
Finally, to all of you who came on the journey of My Daily Sugar Allowance, and those of you who took time to comment on posts, or message our page, thank you all for being part of this – I wish you all a life of great health and happiness. Stay in touch – I have really enjoyed your words of wisdom and encouragement, I feel like I have friends all around the world, and that is exciting as you won’t believe what I have planned next!
Talk soon, and keep going – together we can all make change.