Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sugar Culprits and Other Ingredient Demons

Recently one morning Toby and I were watching the Ellen show before he left for work. One of our favorite authors, Wayne Dyer was a guest on the her show. He was speaking about how he had lost a good bit of weight just by cutting sugar out of his diet. He set himself a limit of 25g of sugar per day.

Being a naturally thinner person, that is up until I hit 40 when I got the "middle age spread", I never paid attention to things like fat, sugar, calories, etc. I could eat whatever I wanted and never gain a pound. Even now, I don't gain weight very easily. You can say it's one of the very few qualities that I was born with that I now appreciate.

So anyway, Toby took Dyer's suggestion of cutting out sugar in his diet. After only a couple of weeks of limiting his sugar intake he has lost 7 lbs. Trying to help him about a bit, I have kept my eye on the sugar in the food that we buy. Some of it is unbelievable. Things you wouldn't think have sugar..e.g. milk, canned tomatoes. Some things have outrageous amounts of sugar in them..e.g. a coke and an ice cream cone.

Not long ago, we learned that partially hydrogenated oil in products was a big NO NO. Almost everything on the shelf includes this particular ingredient. It's so hard to eat healthy these days with all the processed, quick and easy meals out there. Healthy food is also more expensive so when you are on a grocery budget as most of us everyday folk are, it's even harder. It's amazing what greed and laziness has even done to our food supply.

I have been trying to pay closer attention to labels now also for Summer's sake. It's obviously very easy for bad eating habits to creep in. When Summer was younger we could get her to eat anything..or at least try it. It wasn't until that day that she got a taste of the sweet stuff (I'm sure it came from her sugar crazy older brother) that she started turning her nose up at healthy meals and snacks. It's really hard to find something healthy that she likes to eat these days. I don't keep sweets in the house at all because if I did she would want to eat them morning, noon, and night. She is such a finicky eater that I have to supplement her diet with vitamins.

Since we have got back from Alabama in August '08, she has been nothing but sick. A cold here, a virus there. Every month since we have returned we have encountered an illness every couple of weeks. Her abundant illnesses have ruined a few of our holidays and get togethers.

I was reading online for ways to boost a child's immune system. One was to remove the refined sugar from their diet. All this checking labels stuff is just going to make my already complicated grocery store trips even harder but it has to be done.

My goal for the year is to limit the refined sugar in our diet. Even if I have to end up paying more at the grocery store, my intention is to make this change in our eating habits for the better of the family. I have this feeling Summer is going to starve to death during this lifestyle change.

Wish me luck and if anyone has any healthy meal ideas my ears are open wide. :-)


  1. I think that is a great idea. My experience with eating healthy is that it isn't as hard as you may think. Stop thinking about buying diet and low-fat products marked on the shelf and start thinking about the very basic foods that make meals, i.e. sliced turkey and other lean meats, whole wheat bread, salads and fruits in season. Make sure you have plenty of in-season fruit and force yourself into the habit of eating fruit when you have the munchies. Not so much apples and oranges, but try bananas, mangoes and other more exotic fruits. Mangoes are loaded with vitamin B which is great for staying healthy. Think colors and try to get as many different colored fruits in as possible. Beans and other legums are excellent food. Experiment with cooking your own to eliminate the added sugars from canned beans. Also, instead of peanut butter in a jar, buy roasted, unsalted peanuts and put them in a blender. Add honey and salt as needed. Good luck!

  2. My problem is in the serving size. A single serving of steak equals the size of a deck of cards. A dinner plate holds four serving sizes (or more) of spaghetti. Who knew? I always ate a whole plate of spaghetti! I found that when I paid attention to serving size instead of eating 'diet' food, I lost weight.

    Cutting sugar is a good idea...however, remember fruit has sugar! Don't cut out fruit! You'd be missing out on needed vitamins!

    Totally cutting sugar was unrealistic for me; I like sugar! It was all about serving size for me. I eat M&Ms when I crave a chocolate snack. How many M&Ms does it take to make a serving? More than you think! 50 or so!

  3. yea...when I was losing weight it was becasue I was cutting way down on sugars. I've since fallen back into the same'ol trap.

    There are some excellent books out there that can give you great information about sugar...before you know it you'll view it as evil and want to completely eliminate it, that is until you put back ont he blinders and ignore the thought.

    But there is a ton of yummy food to eat...and without the sugar addiction you really don't crave the junk anyway.

  4. I guess I should have clarified....refined sugar, not natural sugar. :-)

  5. My daughter is going back to school for holistic nutrition - we are doing lots of things different these days. It is just a lifestyle change. We eliminate only one bad thing at a time and then allow ourselves to have it occasionally. It works! Eventually you really don't even want the "bad" thing.