When I first heard that Laura at HeavenlyHomemakers.com was doing another one of her wonderful challenges, I thought that I'd probably just observe silently and learn from her experiences and others. However, through a round-about way, I did take up her challenge!
Back in April a combination of issues reminded me again that sugar is really bad for me.
* Sugar causes us to keep or put on excess weight.
* Sugar corrodes the enamel on our teeth and causes/allows cavities to form.
* Sugar inhibits minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium from being absorbed by our bodies and steals those minerals from healthy cells in order to process it..
* Sugar feeds yeast (which in nursing mommies and babies shows up as thrush).
* Sugar is addictive (some even say it is drug like in its addiction).
* Sugar (which has been stripped of all of it's nutrients) often takes the place of other nutritious foods.
* Not to mention that all of these problems could potentially pass on to my completely-depending-on-Mama's-breast-milk baby!
I believe that some natural, God given forms of sugar--like honey or unrefined maple syrup--do have redeeming qualities and can be used by people in moderation with good results. But personally, I knew that going from too-much to moderation wouldn't work for me. I needed to call a sugar fast.
So, for the month of June, I am doing what I can to kick the sugar habit. Maybe after this, I will be able to eat some desserts in moderation. We'll see. Now I am avoiding all sodas, cakes, cookies, chocolate, candy, sweets, and sugary foods (some salad dressings, sauces, etc.). I am allowing myself one or two servings of fruit a day and a glass of milk on occasion (we still have a gallon of the good stuff coming to us each week!). I am also trying to avoid white flour, white pasta, bananas, and potatoes. I do have a good serving of brown rice, oatmeal, or whole wheat each day, but I try not to let the starches take over my diet.
On June 1st, I went to Costco and bought big bags of multi colored peppers, sugar snap peas (okay, so they are sweeter than many veggies!), cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, apples, and strawberries. I also went to pick up our first CSA share of the season which included bokchoy, mustard greens, and two different kinds of lettuce.
So, at the end of day 4, I have been eating big green salads and handfuls of peppers, tomatoes, and peppers all day long and eating a few strawberries after dinner. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but except for some strong pulls towards the candy basket on the second day (it's really slim pickings, but I was feeling desperate!) I haven't wished for any of the stuff I have been avoiding. In fact, it's early to tell, but I think I have more energy and am clearer headed than usual. I hope the rest of the month goes this well.
I am really happy that this decision is helping our whole family (all three of us : ). My eating healthier is forcing me to be more on top of the planning and cooking of meals than I have been since Clara's birth. We are forced to not rely on fast food for a quick last-minute meal (especially since our recent move has brought us within a mile of both McDonald's AND Wendy's along with about 10 other places!). James has joined me during the meals, of course, and now has veggies to take with him to work to snack on. He even encouraged me to make us a "to go" meal for the hour long drive to church on Wednesday night. It worked pretty well. And I feel so much better about myself being the homemaker I so want to be and am even more productive with my time--all just because I dropped sugar from my diet! Amazing!
So, my tip for those doing an eat more fruits and veggies challenge is to eliminate, avoid, or extremely limit all forms of sugar in your household. Yummy fruits and veggies will step up to fill the gap right away. Many of you are way ahead of me, but I'm excited that this is so doable. Let's hope I still feel this way on June 28th!