Guess what? I’m finally taking a major plunge…
It all started a year ago when I went on my first cleanse program...for ten days. Before the cleanse, I had been chronically tired, bloated, and my back itched. And these symptoms disappeared at the end of the ten days.
Although I didn’t take the time to figure out what foods were having detrimental effects on my particular body, since that time, I’ve been focused on healthier food habits: reading ingredient labels, eating organic as much as possible, and studying nutrition. I’ve been eating much healthier since then, but it hasn’t been good enough because I’m back to scratching my itchy back and feeling continually exhausted. As if this weren’t enough, I suffered a chronic cough last winter that lasted three months.
My gut tells me the culprit is sugar. I have been craving sugar since childhood and have been in denial about it. When my sister and I were kids, we sneaked to the store down the street regularly, behind my mother’s back, to buy ice cream and candy as much as we possibly could. We begged our friends to buy us stuff. We even climbed over the chain link fence behind the store to retrieve empty Coca-Cola bottles that had been returned for deposit, only to return them again for coins to buy more sweets.
Heck, in my 20s, I used to have one of these every day:
(The photo of this delectable banana split comes from the talented food photographer, Stephanie Salo at lensandladle.com.)
And the older I get, the worse this addiction has become.
This June, I will be 65. A milestone. And so I’ve been thinking the time has finally come to address this sugar monster once and for all. Yet, I want to find a sense of balance — to savor my beloved sweets once in a while without overdoing.
My first attempt involved signing up for two separate dietbetter.com “diets.” It didn’t work. I’m just not able to enjoy an occasional small amount of sweets. It triggers bingeing on tasty, sugary provender and bingeing on foods in general. It’s all or nothing with me.
It wasn’t until a few days ago, when I read this post, Our Year of No Sugar: One Family’s Grand Adventure by Eve O. Schaub, that it occurred to me to try something drastic. When she wrote, “What I didn’t expect was how not eating sugar would make me feel better in a very real and tangible way…It was subtle, but noticeable; the longer I went on eating without added sugar, the better and more energetic I felt.”
I want some of that!
I also just finished Dr. Kelly Turner’s recently-published masterpiece Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, and what she says about the health evils of sugar confirmed again that I must do something drastic.
Anyone, not just cancer patients, can benefit from Dr. Turner’s book and what she says about sugar (see p. 15):
“While researchers are still not clear whether a high-sugar diet causes cancer, what we do know is that once cancer cells are in your body, they consume anywhere from 10 to 50 times more glucose than normal cells do. Therefore, it makes logical sense for cancer patients to cut as much refined sugar from their diets as possible, in order to avoid ‘feeding’ their cancer cells, and instead rely on the glucose found naturally in vegetables and fruits.”
Check out DrKellyTurner.com for more informative, fascinating details.
If I analyze how happy I am when I gorge on sweets, the answer is, short-term “happy” for sure, but long-term, bottom-line “happy,” not so. And because of all of the above, my plan is to give up sugar for a year. I’ll keep you posted on this drastic journey.
Yours in aging with class,