WritersButt Wednesday-Time to kick the Sugar-Crack habit

Happy WritersButt Wednesday!
I have a special treat for you all today — our first WritersButt Guest Blogger!  It’s my pleasure to introduce you to one of my best friends, Sandra Brougher. Sandra is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor.  She works hard helping others achieve optimum health and inner beauty through clean eating and positive experiences.  You can like her on Facebook at Whole Health by Sandra and follow her on Twitter — @wholehealthgirl.  
I asked Sandra to be here today because I wanted to talk about sugar. Earlier this week, I tweeted about this great 60-minute piece on the negative effects of sugar.  It’s worth a look, trust me. Because I occasionally work smarter and not harder, I remembered that earlier this year, Sandra wrote a fabulous and informative blog about sugar. So, instead of reinventing the sugar-blog, so to speak, I’m going to hand this over to Sandra and let her share her wisdom.
((Note: I will come back in below to show you my grilled salad like I promised last week and give you some workouts for the week.))
~*~

Sugar is Sugar, Really???

This past Sunday night I took some time for myself and sat down to watch a couple hours of mindless t.v.  I love having the room to myself, nobody talking to me, watching a few of my favorite shows.

This particular night ended with me arguing at the t.v. and wanting to throw my shoe at the screen.

What had me so upset?  The endless repetitive commercials for the Corn Sugar industry touting how corn syrup is just sugar and sugar is sugar.  OMG!  I could have had a coronary right then and there if it weren’t for my 9 yr. old trying to calm me down with my saying, “What you see on t.v. is not always the truth!”

The following sentences are taken from their website, CornSugar.com:

High fructose corn syrup is simply a kind of corn sugar that is metabolized by your body the same as sugar or honey.

A sugar is a sugar whether it comes from corn sugar or cane sugar. All are safe and natural. Your body can’t tell the difference.

Sounds perfectly ok, right? So what is my issue with all of this? Though your body may not be able to tell the difference between different sweeteners, I am here to tell you that sugar is wrecking havoc on your insides.

There is an assumption out there that wheat should be the first thing to eliminate from ones diet if one is trying to get healthy. True, wheat causes inflammation of the cells, the gut lining, joints, etc.  If one is consuming wheat with gluten the list grows even longer in terms of side effects.  With that said, I am an advocate for elimination of wheat, but here is the deal. Wheat can and does wreck havoc, but not everyone is affected by the side affects of wheat.

Sugar on the other hand, is a different story.  Sugar is the silent killer of our society and unfortunately if you eat the Standard American Diet, it is in everything you consume.  It is a cheap commodity(especially if made by corn) and thanks to the food industry slowly adding it to everything processed, our bodies have become accustomed to our food being sweetened.

What are the affects of sugar on your body?
Diabetes  – High LDL levels – Stress – Candida/yeast infections – PMS – Cancer – Allergies – Anxiety – Depression – Constipation – Fatigue – Headaches – Gas/bloating – Hyperactivity – Metabolic Syndrome – Obesity – Mood Swings – and craving for more Sugar!
Horrid, right?  These are just the major issues, there are many more I could list.

A good, easy, cheap test to see if you are addicted to sugar is to do the following:
Purchase a serving of full fat plain milk yogurt and sample it.  If you think it tastes great plain, then you passed.  If you gag and want to spit it out because it has no flavor, you failed.
You see, milk has a sweet flavor to it because of the natural sugars in milk.  If you are unable to taste the natural sugar, your body has become accustomed to too much sugar.

Can we survive without sugar?  No, our bodies need some sugar for survival. Our bodies use glucose to supply energy to our brain, etc.  What we do not need is the level of sugar that is consumed in today’s world. By eating a whole food based diet rich in vegetables and fruit, your body will get the amount of sugar it needs to thrive.

If you have to have sugar for your tea or coffee, whatever you do PLEASE DO NOT use an artifical sweetener.  These alone keep you from losing weight and they are made up of horrible chemicals and poisons.

Switch to organic stevia for your drinks, and if you must bake, look into coconut palm sugar.  Both natural plant sources and both low on the glycemix index.

If you are having cravings for sugar, try eating more sweet vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets and parsnips.  You may also be nutrient deficient in chromium or tryptophan.

So, now you have a better idea of why I was arguing and wanting to throw my shoe at the t.v.  If the idea of cutting sugar out of your diet overwhelms you, it is a step by step process, but it can be done.
I personally use an 8 week system with clients and I can attest to the fact that one can say NO to SUGAR.

As a certified Nutritional Health Coach, I can help.  If you are interested in one-on-one Nutritional Health & Wellness Coaching, I would love to help you on the road to healthy living.

As always, please feel free to email me with any comments or questions atsdbrougher@gmail.com.

To your health,
Sandra
~*~
Thank you so much, Sandra.  If you have any questions for Sandra, feel free to ask them in the comments and I know she’ll answer them. She’s uber cool like that. 🙂
Alright, I promised to show you all my grilled salad.  I also tried a recipe I saw on the Greenling Facebook page.  I’m getting their local box delivered again and it’s above awesome!  Oh, the recipe was grilled avocados. Oh my gosh, you guys — To. Die. For!
Here’s what it all looked like.
Here is everything cooked and ready to be plated.  To make the grilled salad you see on the left, cut a full romaine heart in half, leaving the core intact. Drizzle with olive oil and your preferred seasonings.  Place on grill cut side down for a 2-3 minutes. Watch it! Flip it when it has wilted a bit and has some lovely grill marks.  Cook other side a bit and it’s done.  You can eat is just like that, no dressing or toppings.  Or, sprinkle on other veggies like bell peppers, olives, tomatoes, etc. For a special treat, maybe some feta cheese! Swoon!!  My kids LOVE this salad!
Grilled pineapple and Grilled Avocado.
My plate: Turkey burger topped with pineapple, grilled avo with my version of the relish (tomatoes, jalapeno, little balsamic and olive oil and spices) and of course my salad.  Now remember, I’m not a professional cook so I just wing it most of the time. Have fun with your food. Get creative! Make it beautiful.  Dig in!!  🙂
 Workouts this week:
I’m going to give you 3 workouts this week that you can try if you choose. If you have additional questions about these, ask me in the comments.
#1:
4 Rounds for time of–
200m run (If you can’t run for any reason, speed walk, slow-jog, — figure it out.)
10 x Box Jumps or step-ups (see if you can find a park bench, or bring a steady chair outside, get creative!)
200m run
10 x Push-Ups
**Note: This a great field trip workout to a park or a school track. One trip around the track is 400m, so halfway around, you do your jumps (even without a chair — just do tuck jumps — think outside the ‘box’ if needed), then run back to the beginning, 10 push-ups, etc.  If you do this workout, when you’re done, you will have done 40 jumps or step-ups, 40 push-ups and run a mile! Awesome, right?
#2:
4 Rounds for time of —
20 x Walking Lunge steps (extra credit if you use your dumbbells for weight!)
25 x Jumping Jacks
#3:
4 Rounds of time of —
5 Burpees
15 Sit-ups (FULL range sit-ups please. No crunches because those are just a partial sit-up. Let’s work your entire abdominal wall.)
**Keep up with your 100 oz of water, your potty squats, your 3-5 Gratitudes in your journal at night.
I’m cheering you on!!!  Have a great week.
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About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on April 4, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 41 Comments.

  1. OMG grilled avocado – I never thought but how AMAZING! I love avocado – totally trying this when I get back from vacay! Loved the post and thanks to Sandra for all the amazing info. YOU guys rocked my Wed!!!

  2. We will be firing up our brand new grill soon and I am definitely trying the avocado and pineapple. Sounds so yum!
    Another awesome, helpful post Ginger 🙂

  3. Haha. I’m the opposite of Natalie. I love grilled pineapple. I frequently use it as a side dish in the summer and have this great little savory recipe for pairing it with pork.

    • Marcy, share your little savory recipe. I bet others, like me, want to have it! 🙂 Pineapple is a favorite fruit in our house, especially with my middle child.

  4. Hubs and I had watched the 60 Minutes report Sunday night, and I thought of you, Ginger. The researchers who reported the negative effects of sugar came across as credible because they didn’t hype their findings. They almost seemed to regret the fact their research results compelled them to take such a strong anti-sugar stance.

    I’m going to have to give up my Dannon coffee yogurt, aren’t I? Damn. I really like it.

    Whoa, Ginger, those grilled veggies look awesome!

    • Unfortunately, yogurt is one of the biggest sugar culprits. If it has a flavor, chances are the sugar content is high. In most cases up to 3x the daily recommended allowance. That is just one item!

    • Hi Pat. I felt the same way about the 60 minute piece. No one wants to be that messenger, taking away the beloved sweetness of life. haha!

      Yeah, as Sandra mentioned, those flavored yogurts … Maybe as a very occasional treat? Or maybe you could do a greek yogurt, some cinnamon and, a pinch of finely ground espresso? I have no idea if that would taste good but you could try. Let me know!

  5. Grilling the Romaine – I’ll try that. And you can never go wrong with turkey burgers.

    Fun post and interesting facts about sugar. My husband swears by the “fake” stuff, but I never touch it. If I need to sweeten it’s either sugar or honey. I dislike anything artifically sweetened.

    Thanks for another great post, Ginger.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Hey Friend, as always, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Oy, we need to get your man off that junk.

      I love a good turkey burger. I try to mix up the flavors too. Last summer, I got on a kick with adding in pepperocinis, some olives — sort of like a antipasti burger. 🙂

      • I fuse my ground turkey with some grated apple, oatmeal and a little mustard. It’s delish!

        My husband is a recovering alcohol so he has a huge sweet craving. I’d rather he have the sugar than the alcohol, but he insists that the fake stuff is better because “there’s no calories, or fat.” He doesn’t understand that it’s all chemicals.

        It’s a hard row I hoe.

        Thanks for your encouragement.

        Patricia

        • My husband is a recovering alcoholic as well and his biggest craving has always been bread or any kind of wheat product which of course converts into glucose once digested.

          Maybe if I shared just how and why each artificial sugar was developed, it may change his mind. 🙂

  6. Ginger, your recipe is fantastic. And now that it’s spring in my part of the world, this will be such a nice change from indoor food.

    As to sugar, grrr, I feel like Sandra. I can’t stand to watch people use artificial sugar. And the food companies are so annoying. Sometimes when I want a bowl of cereal, I’ll have cheerios. So when they brought out whole grain Cheerios, I thought great, and switched. I had to chuck out the whole box because they’d sweetened the cereal. Pissed me off and every time I see a box of whole grain Cheerios, I curse the company for ruining what could’ve been a satisfying treat.

    • I hear you Shelia, very annoying. Don’t get me started on what is in cereals or how they are made. Unfortunately, most cereals are not what they are said to be. The only “true” cereals out there on the market are natural granolas. Even then, one has to be very careful about the sugar content.

    • Thanks, Sheila. Yep, don’t you just cringe when people mess with you stuff you love? GGRRR!!

      Your comment really cracked me up. 🙂

  7. Great post! I will try to cut more sugar out of my diet. I’ll start with switching to plain yogurt.

  8. Great post! I’m going to try cutting more sugar out of my diet, starting with flavored yogurt.

    • That’s an awesome first step! Sorry for the late reply. For some reason, wordpress keeps wanting to make me re-approve you, each time. Trust me, by now, you are UBER-Approved to comment on my blog. haha!

  9. I saw the 60 Minutes program on sugar and it was more than eye opening. Moderation is the key!

  10. Great post about sugar, it’s something that I have been worried about for a long time. Now I have a 7 month old I am more than aware that he will want to eat what I eat and I need to be the best role model I can be.
    I have given up sugar for 3 years several years ago. I eat pretty healthily but would like to do even better. My question/dilemma is time and effort in preparing food. I would love to cook and eat all these healthy sugar free recipes but I simply don’t have the energy to prepare stuff. And this was before I had the baby!!
    It’s not like we eat take out and ready meals, but I just lack motivation, energy and time to eat this stuff.
    Any suggestions?
    Also I would love to give up sugar but i don’t know if I could really live without chocolate.

    • Veronica, you face a dilemma that is familiar to probably every mother out there. Meal time does not need to be complicated. The majority of our meals are big salads with whatever veggie I have on hand with a side of some protein. If I am going to cook a veggie, then I will more than likely roast it. I always make enough so there are leftovers for lunch the next day. For breakfast , the easiest and very healthy way is a green smoothie shake, These will fill you up, get your quota of healthiness in for the day, plus load you up with energy.
      As for the chocolate, I hear you. I LOVE it!! I have slowly made my way up to only eating dark chocolate that is a minimum of 80% cacao. This will have very little sugar and be strong enough that you are satisfied with a little morsel.

    • Hi Veronica. I completely get where you’re coming from. I can’t cook a new meal every night so I try to stick to a method of cook once — eat twice (or more). For instance, if we grill one night, I will load up the grill with tons of meat and veggies. We’ll have leftover the next night, maybe with that meat but another veggie I can whip up fast, or throw together a salad. I’ll also use that same meat for snacks/lunches during the day. Or, say I make tacos. I’ll cook 3-4 lbs of meat. (remember, we’re a family of 5, two of which are teenage boys!) We’ll have the tacos then the next night we can use that taco meat in omelets, etc.

      I don’t prepare anything that takes very long. I don’t have the time either. When I really started cooking and experimenting was years ago when I got hooked on Rachael Ray’s 30-minute meals. Love her and have lots of her cookbooks. Do you have a crock pot? That’s a real easy way to get your meat cooked or a whole meal if you add veggies, or throw together a stew or chili.

      I can empathize with you. I remember when my children were babies. I think healthy eating and the preparation of wholesome meals is a habit, but like all things, it’s a habit you have to create, which at first is sometimes challenging. I’d start with 1 or 2 meals per week that you can make ‘big’ so that you can eat off them twice, which gives you 4 meals right off the bat.

      Oh, and like Sandra said, you don’t have to give up chocolate. I wouldn’t! Just splurge on the high quality stuff with the high percentage of cocoa. YUM! 🙂

      Thanks for the comment and question. I appreciate it.

      • You’re right, I’ve been so exhausted that I’m just eating anything because I don’t care, but now I have a little more energy and time I can start doing a little more. ESPECIALLY as my son is going to eat what I eat.
        Grilled avacado and Romaine lettuce – wow gotta try that!

  11. lynnkelleyauthor

    I saw that segment of 60 Minutes and it blew my mind. The study on how sugar affects the body is alarming, how in two weeks time those people had negative results in their blood levels. And the part about certain cancers feeding off of sugar is scary, too, like some breast cancer tumors and colon cancer tumors. Time for America to have a wakeup call.

    Thanks, Sandra, for sharing your knowledge with us, and thanks, Ginger, for hosting Sandra. Great post!

  12. Karen McFarland

    Well alright! I am down on the sugar thing as you know Ginger! Thank you Sandra for that awesome post! I’ve been off sugar for years. I’m a stevia girl. And I love plain yogart! That’s all we have in our house. Now I’m working on gluten free. I try not to overload on the grains because if I’m not mistaken, they too can turn into sugar.

    I would love to talk to Sandra some time. I am a bit broke right now though, so it will have to wait. Hubby’s accident has thrown us into an uncomfortable monetary curve.

    And I went for a nice walk Monday. Need to stretch my legs this afternoon. I’m doing the push ups and I’m getting my ball out to do sit ups! Yes, I love your posts Ginger! They’re so inspiring! Thanks for caring so much about all of us! 🙂

    Ooh, an the grilled avocado is making me drool! LOL!

    • Yep, I know how well you eat and how dedicated you are. That’s why you inspire others! You are exactly right about the grains, your body processing those carbs as sugar, which is why they effect insulin levels.

      Hey, how was the appt for your husband? I don’t think I saw an update. You’ll have to message me and let me know.

      Oh, sit-ups on a stability ball — love those and haven’t done them in years. I’ll have to hunt down our ball. 😉

      As always, you’re awesome, Karen. Thanks so much for the support.

  13. I haven’t eaten sugar, in all its many forms for many many years. going off cleared my head and healed my body.

  14. Awesome post and very timely. Love it, live it.

  15. ummmm….loving the grilled avocado idea. Sugar is evil and I try as much as possible to cut it out. It sneaks in though…I love my wine. 🙂
    And great workouts, Ginger!!
    Thanks!

    • Hi Elena. Welcome to my little blog. 🙂 You gotta try to the grilled avos. SOOO good. I love my wine too and I’m not giving it up. I figure I’m so disciplined in almost all of my other nutrition that I can have my wine.

      Those workouts should look a bit familiar. I’m creating mini-CrossFit-like workouts that people can do at home in very little time with much impact.

  16. Reetta Raitanen

    Yes, I am very addicted to sugar 😦 It is such an easy mood and quick energy boost. I’m printing this post out to help me stay on a healthier path. Thank you so much.

  17. You already know I love your grilled salad! I always forget about grilling Avos!!! Ugh!! I need to remember that! Thanks to Sandra, my sugar addiction is long behind me. Yes, I still consume sugar but, I know I have control over that now. 😀

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