Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Too Much Sugar

I've been on a detox for over two weeks now and the process has taught me a few things. First of all, I'm on the detox because my liver had  excessive toxins probably due to allergic reactions to foods I was eating. I found out about a year ago I was allergic to yeast. I thought it was bogus because I've gone my whole life eating breads and never having any sort of reaction until a few years ago. But sure enough, as soon as I stopped eating yeast, my reaction went away. I had really itchy eyes with patches of eczema.  Soon though I noticed it was coming back. I started paying closer attention to labels of foods to make sure I wasn't getting yeast without realizing it. Sure enough, I found that almost EVERY single pre-packaged food and most seasonings have yeast. Chips have yeast, nut blends have yeast, crackers have yeast, soups have yeast, broths have yeast, the list goes on and on. 

So, I started making my own foods from scratch for the most part. This means fresh ingredients, no more fast fix. I realize to most people this might seem really overwhelming but truly what I found was that it was not that much more work if I plan well and make things in multiple batches. I avoid foods like chips (although I love the blue corn and flax tortilla chips by Archer Farms at Target, they are my snack weakness with a little homemade hummus or salsa!), snacks, and store bought seasonings. It is really hard to avoid yeast while eating out so I rarely do. If I do I try to order the most "whole" foods on the menu like grilled salmon, salads or items without breading and sauces. 

This all made me start to consider foods more seriously. How many of us are eating things all day long and not even realizing it?  Sugar is in everything. Yeast is in everything. MSG is in almost everything. Processed foods contain so many additives that we are barely eating "real" foods anymore. So many kids have issues with sugar and yet we have food industries that are literally pumping us full of the stuff from our breakfast cereal to the ketchup served with dinner. 

The detox is a week of "fasting" with eating only green veggies and shakes. This was a very hard week. I was always hungry, tired and felt a little "weak". It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought though. Truthfully, I mostly always feel tired and fatigued. Some days I even felt I had more energy than before the detox. I really was hungry all of the time though, and that is with eating a ton of veggies. This week I get to start eating real foods again, with loads of restrictions. I am eating no dairy (eggs, milk, cheeses), no wheat, no processed foods, no sugars, no caffeine. When I had my first breakfast after the fast it was so yummy but I could hardly believe it was. I don't think I've eaten oatmeal without a big spoon full of sugar since I was a baby! I had a serving of oatmeal with about a teaspoon of almond butter and a sliced banana. It was so sweet, perfectly so, and delicious. Granted, I was starving...but I'm telling you it was really tasty. 

Then, later on I had an apple for a snack and it tasted like the best apple I'd ever had. So sweet and perfect. It got me thinking, my taste buds have just been conditioned to the sweets. I wonder if this will keep up since I am still off of sugar for about 3 more weeks. I'll have to keep you posted but I am thinking that I might have really changed the way I think about food here. Foods in pure forms are so good and they get ruined by processing. How much healthier would we all be if we ate fewer foods from a box and started eating fresh, whole, clean foods instead. 

By the way, do you know how hard it is to find a cereal with no added sugars? Really hard. I found one worth noting. Natures Path Millet Oats. It is sweetened with pear and apple juices and made with millet and oat flour. It is really very good and I recommend it to anyone who is avoiding wheat and sugars.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, okay I get what you are doing now. I missed this post. It is amazing how your tastebuds adjust isn't it? I have been off sugar for a while now and, while I do have occassional cravings for the sweet stuff, fruit tastes amazing to me.


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