How sweet it is!
As a self-proclaimed sugar enthusiast, I know just how hard it can be to eliminate this powerful substance from our diet. I like to compare sugar to a highly addictive drug that comes with many unwanted side effects such as disease and obesity.
Lets face it, most of us eat more sugar than we’d like to admit. That’s because, sugar comes disguised as many every day foods and we never think twice about it. Foods like white bread, ketchup, jarred pasta sauce, juice, soda, and packaged snacks all contain added sugar.
For many years, I tried limiting sugar in my diet by avoiding junk food and choosing fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meats, legumes, and whole grains whenever possible. To help compound the benefits, I was also incorporating a daily helping of fresh pressed green juice and working out 5-7 days a week. Then, reality struck. I settled down, started a career, and got pregnant so sticking to this strict lifestyle became nearly impossible.
A downward Spiral.
I began consuming foods that I knew were bad for me simply because of the convenience in preparing them. It took much less effort to throw a pizza in the oven for 20 minutes than to rinse, cut, peel, and cook veggies and lean meats for example. Also, I began making excuses for why I couldn’t make fresh juices anymore and completely stopped working out. Sure enough, I began to feel the negative effects of doing so.
It began with the excessive weight gain during my pregnancy which carried on into postpartum as well. In fact, I am STILL working on those last 20 lbs that just do not want to come off no matter what I do. This was surprising to me as I never had trouble keeping the weight off before. I chalked it up as a self-diagnosed hormonal imbalance of some sort and left it at that.
I also began suffering with lower back pain and stiffness during my pregnancy which from what I’ve heard, can be quite common. However, my back pain never got better even after delivery and in fact, appeared to get worse.
Along with the debilitating back pain, my joints and muscles began to ache as well. The pain appeared to be sporadic and widespread and would intensify after a day of heavy sugar consumption. Being someone who actively tries to avoid painkillers as much as possible, I would simply endure the pain and hope that it went away on It’s own.
I started to make a connection that the more I consumed refined sugar, The worse I would feel. I decided to do something about it this time and knew that it was time for a sugar-cleanse once and for all.
The results of my sugar cleanse.
I started with the obvious perpetrators; candy, cake, soda, and other various packaged goods. I don’t want to make any claims but I can almost promise you that by day 4 of my sugar cleanse, I was already sleeping better, waking up well rested, and had tons of energy throughout the day.
I began to have energy to workout again, and my mood began to improve. By day 7, I was over the moon at all the wonderful things that began changing in my life.
- I experienced an increase in range of motion.
- Decreased overall pain and stiffness in joints and muscles.
- Decreased headaches and dizziness.
- Clearer eyes and reduced dark circles under eyes.
- Clearer skin and fewer breakouts.
- Increased energy.
- Mood elevation.
- Improved memory and increased ability to think clearer.
All these wonderful benefits were experienced within just 7 days of cutting refined sugar out of my diet! Imagine what could happen if I actually stuck with this?! Now, I have to add that I did not give up ALL sugar. For example, I was using natural unrefined sugar to sweeten up my home made desserts such as honey, agave, or maple syrup.
Of course, these were used in moderation as increased amounts can have the same negative effects as processed sugar. I am a huge proponent of a balanced lifestyle and strongly believe that whenever we are imbalanced in one area, it can cause a whole slew of other problems. Therefore, I think that consuming a small amount of natural sweeteners like the aforementioned ones is fine when done occasionally.
I plan on continuing this sugar cleanse for another few weeks until my tastebuds have learned to live without it. They say it takes 21-days to break a habit so I will aim for that time frame and hope that by the time I’m done, I will no longer have the same intense cravings sweets that I do now.
Who wants to join me? Let’s motivate one another! tag #nosugarchallenge21 on Instagram or Facebook today!
As always, thanks for stopping by!