Sugar is the #1 culprit of inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation is the root cause of disease. Do the math. SUGAR = INFLAMMATION! Now let's subtract. > sugar = > INFLAMMATION. There is your math lesson. I've never been known to be a math wiz, but even I get that equation. I was forced to get it.
I suffer from Fibromyalgia (un-diagnosed chronic pain). Doctors can't figure out why I have chronic pain all over my body. I went to to numerous eastern and western doctors and have been tested in countless ways for things like: lyme disease, thyroid conditions, spinal or disc injury, vascular disorders, neurological condition, just to name a few. I finally gave up on finding the cause and started focusing on what makes me feel the best.
Food is my medicine. I decided to do a food detox (food elimination "diet") in order to identify what foods were aggravating my body's ability to function properly. I'm not going to lie, it was HARD at first. I tried and failed, tried and failed. Each time I tried and failed, I noticed the yo-yo affect in my pain. AAAHHH...I must be onto something. See, failure isn't always a bad thing.
What foods did I give up?
ALL the foods I deemed YUMMY! That's right, you can pretty much guess what that meant, I was miserable at first. I had to stay away from PROCESSED foods. UGH. Once you start to read labels you will quickly realize SUGAR is in EVERYTHING processed and worse than that, it's typically not a natural form of sugar, it's the chemically processed, GMO shit, like HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. I gave up sugar in my coffee, desserts, dairy (that's a big inflammatory trigger), even down to the condiments that contained sugar. What I also found out by giving up sugar and all things processed is that I gave up a lot of foods that contained gluten. Too much gluten is another inflammatory trigger. (that's a whole other blog 😉
Keep a food journal
In order to help me through this process, I decided to keep a journal. This helped me stay focused and mindful of what I was eating. If you suffer from brain fog like me, you will understand that this journal process was extremely critical to my success. I swear, my brain was so tired of being triggered by pain, every minute of ever day, it decided to shut down and forget things. Keeping a log of what I ate, how I felt, and what the weather was like that day was extremely eye opening. Want to know what I found out?
First, let me give you my FREE Food Tracker Printable!
Simply, fill out the form below and I will give you my food tracker to get you started.
By keeping track of what I ate and how I felt, I was able to see how powerful food really is. Powerful in both a good and bad way, depending on what you eat. The food I was eating, although I thought was somewhat healthy, was the cause of the constant nag to my body. I was able to track my "good" days and not so good days. This journal gave me hope, it gave me motivation to keep going, it gave me answers to questions I had for 10+ years. The answers were inside of me all along, I just need to listen to my body.
I needed to find a way to make sugar free a sustainable lifestyle for me. I knew the minute I got lazy or started feeling good, I would go back to my bad choices. This is how I kicked my sugar addiction:
- I started to search for healthy replacement recipes that would fill the void. I missed those yummy treats, but not enough to sabotage my health and well being. Check out my chocolate recipe...QUICK.EASY.AMAZING. Oh...you like ICE CREAM? Check out this recipe for HEALTHY CHUNKY MONKEY.
- I adapted to a raw food diet for about 5 months (it was in the summer which made it extremely easy). I love veggies and fruit. Yes, fruit is high in sugar, but I realized that was one form of NATURAL sugar my body was ok with. In moderation.
- I replaced processed sugar with organic maple syrup in my coffee. I allow myself 2 Tbsp a day. Any more will start to affect my cravings and pain.
- I used coconut palm "sugar"and dates as a replacement in baked or raw treats.
- I did my research and found replacements to products like: ketchup, mustard and even my protein shake, that are made WITHOUT processed sugar.
- I stopped eating out (yes, I made exceptions) and started cooking my own food. This way I knew exactly what was going in my body.
I am a creative person by nature so I started to have fun with food.
What did I find?
I found that my cravings for sugar started to go completely away. GONE! It become effortless to pass up those tasty treats. Why? Because sugar creates a negative cycle, the more you have it the more you want it. It is literally a legalized drug. SCARY RIGHT?!?
Do yourself a favor and pay attention to what you are eating and how you are feeling. Small positive changes compound over time and before you know it, it's will be 3+ years later and you won't believe the positive affects of your efforts.
One of my best food friends that I made in my journey so far has been with Shakeology. Shakeology is my naturally sweetened, meal replacement shake that doesn't have processed sugars or flavors in it. It's packed with so much dense nutrition, vitamins, pre-biotics (great for digestion) and super-foods which are known to reduce inflammation. I have been drinking one (sometimes two) a day for over year and I feel the best I have in over 15 years. And because my body is getting all the daily nutrients it needs in this one meal that I chose to start my day with, my body doesn't crave sugar or junk. It is so nutritionally satisfied that it does't require anything more. Sure I get hungry and I eat whole foods I now crave. It's been my sustainability partner! One that I will NEVER cheat on. One that I KNOW will never cheat me. Now that is true love!
Please comment below or reach out to me if you have any questions about giving up sugar or finding sustainable ways to live a healthy lifestyle.
A video message from me: