I’m doing it.
I’m jumping on a bandwagon.
I hate stupid bandwagons. Especially as they relate to food/diet/nutrition.
But I’m letting go of sugar.
I’m not doing the whole “sugar detox” thing where I rid it from my diet completely for X amount of time. But I’m cutting it DRAMATICALLY. I’m only leaving it in where I haven’t found a good replacement yet. For example? I’m still using one packet of sweetener in my coffee. I always thought I was doing good with that because it was “stevia” but it turns out it’s not “green leaf stevia” which is what is the “okay” sweetener, it’s “white stevia” which is evidently almost as bad as aspartame.
YAY! for making good decisions and finding out later you did it wrong!
But my coffee is necessary on SO MANY LEVELS for me and until I find a decent replacement, I’m still using one packet.
As I go about my day, I may discover sugar in things (that’s the problem – it’s in EVERYTHING) that I’m not ready to do without yet. Things that are not inherently sweet, so I didn’t consider them. I haven’t looked at the label of my vegan refried beans, or my salsa, or my white corn tortillas, but that “snack” is a staple to my day and I often eat it 2 times so going without that would be hard until I could find a suitable/quick replacement.
So…this is a learning process. But I think I’m dropping it all together.
I have known for awhile that I still have an issue with “sugar” and I know it’s an addiction on many levels, but I haven’t really wanted to give it up. At all. But I was listening to a podcast yesterday about “habits” and they discussed “keystone habits” which are the habits you change that have a type of snowball effect and will change tons of things in your life as a result. The mentioned that exercising is one, if you can start exercising, tons of other habits will change without you meaning to change them. They also discussed that the keystone habits are the hardest and the most scary to change. And when I think about dropping my sugar habit? It scares the SHIT out of me.
But I need it. It’s an addiction and I know sugar messes with my emotions – both when I’m craving it, and when I’ve obliged myself with it. You hear that it triggers a similar response in rats as cocaine and this does NOT SURPRISE ME AT ALL. It know a lot of my emotional relationship with food is connected to sugar and since this is the ONE HABIT I just struggle with the most (the emotional eating) I think it’s time I battle it from the chemical standpoint and – instead of trying to just not stress eat – I think I need to work on the chemical addiction that probably plays a huge part in that stress eating behavior.
Because y’all? When I crave “sweet” it’s INSANE. I become a crazy person. Seriously. And I crave it often, especially when I’m stressed, which I am constantly now that I’m trying to get my house on the market and trying to get the kids used to living differently as we have to keep the house “show ready” at any moment in time. The stress? IS SO HIGH RIGHT NOW. I actually feel like I’ll be LESS stressed once the house is on the market because – hopefully – that means I’m done with everything I was supposed to do. But right now? STRESS SO MUCH + CRAVE SO MUCH + EAT SO MUCH = CRAZY PERSON.
So…I’m not doing the whole “detox” thing because it’s not practical right now. But I’m going to try to keep my sugar/sweetener grams as low as possible (one packet of my “white stevia” has 3 grams of Erythritol which is one of those sugar alcohols they say are SO bad for the whole “addiction to sugar” thing) until I can find replacements for things. One packet of this sweetener in my coffee is about as low as I can tolerate and still drink it. AND I MUST HAVE MY COFFEE. That is not an addiction I’m willing to deal with today.
But – I’m hoping most of the things I normally eat in a day are okay. It will be a learning process, I’m sure. I’m going to log my sugars but not stress over “raw” or “unrefined” sugars that come in things like fruit juice. (I sweeten my oatmeal with a brand of preserves that are “Only Sweetened With Fruit Juice” so that stuff is in the clear, thank goodness.) And when I find out something (like my not-green-leaf-stevia packets) has a sweetener or sugar alcohol or artificial sweetener in it – something that is a stable to my diet – I’ll reduce it as much as possible until I can find a replacement. And really – my goal is to avoid things TASTING sweet. So, if I can reduce it (like with my coffee) to tolerable, but it not taste really sweet, then that is a huge step with the emotional/mental triggers.
And if 10 days of this “concerted effort towards a major reduction” doesn’t show me the TINIEST bit of change in my emotional relationship with food or my psychosis-inducing sugar cravings, then I’ll consider the full “official” sugar detox.
So! Whatcha’ know about sugar detox?