It’s been over a month since my last post, so I have some catching up to do! Over the last 6 weeks, I’ve started school with IIN, continued with my decluttering course, and taken two separate week long “mind training” classes. It’s been busy but exhilarating. Oh, and of course I’m still working my day-job (which has become a more than full time endeavor lately).
July 1st marks my one year anniversary from when I began down the road towards this nutrition journey. This time last year, I had just begun a month long nutrition coaching course, where I was learning so many excellent foundational things about nutrition and health in general. One of the HUGE lessons was about added sugar in our diets: where it comes in, how much is too much, and why it can destroy our health.
For information about why sugar is such a problem, check out these links: here, here, here. Even WebMD (which is pretty biased towards the statusquo when it comes to nutrition in my opinion) says to limit it.
It comes down to this: We are hard wired to seek out and crave sugar. Back in the cave-man and hunter-gatherer days, this helped us to survive since finding sources of sugars helped us to maintain our energy and calorie density. We evolved to taste sweetness and to have our brain chemistry alter when we had sugar to make eating sugar a reward and reinforce the desire for more. We need sugars for our brains to work properly, so it’s not all bad.
However, now sugar is available everywhere and in everything. We are over consuming and at alarming rate. “Everything in Moderation” applies here, but our concept of moderation is completely skewed. Women should be consuming no more than 24 grams (6 teaspoons) of ADDED sugars per day. However, we actually don’t need ANY added sugars to be in our diets (there are plant of naturally occurring sugars in veggies and fruits to meet any biological needs).
So beginning on July 1st, I accepted a challenge to eat NO added sugar for 10 days. This challenge is HARD for me to do, because I definitely have a sweet tooth! It;s even HARDER because – Hello! Holiday Weekend! I’ve never gone more than 2 or 3 days with 0g of added sugar in my diet (but I have been able to stay under the 24g limit for longer periods).
When this challenge was first proposed to me, I had a not-so-great reaction to it. The “mean girl” voice in my head began listing out 100 reasons why it wouldn’t work. She began calling me stupid for even trying and as my resolve to take on the challenge got stronger, she began bargaining on ways to “technically” cheat. Luckily for me, I finished the Bully in Your Brain class last month. Being more aware of what was going on in my (usually) subconscious thinking helped me to move on with a plan.
I’m very interested to see how I will feel at the end of these 10 days. I’m looking forward to the overall freedom this sugar break will provide: being free from cravings and free from mindless food choices.
Have you ever taken on a nutrition challenge? What did you learn about yourself and how did it go? Let me know in the comments below!