Healthier Living: Step Four

 


BASIC 10 BABY STEPS:

  1. First, and foremost, health is a gift from God we need to steward. Be in prayer for the health of your family and yourself daily.
  2. Attitude Adjustment: Quit your stinkin’ thinkin’! Remember The Little Engine That Could ??
  3. Replace pop {soda, anyone?} with 100% fruit juice diluted with a little water. Or better yet drink…100% water.
  4. Be aware of every bite and gulp of processed sugar. Watch the video and imagine your blood reacting this way.
  5. Get out! Walk with a friend. Raining? March in place while watching your favorite TV show for half an hour daily.
  6. Reduce your gluten intake. Limit breads, pasta, crackers, cakes and cookies.
  7. Everything in moderation. Use small plates and only one helping.
  8. Limit the amount of corn you eat. Doug Kaufmann, host of Know The Cause teaches that corn is contaminated with mycotoxins.
  9. Less fast food. More slow food.
  10. Educate yourself a little each day by reading articles or trying new recipes.

Read the Original Healthier Living/Step One post here.

Read Step Three post here.

Healthier Living- Step Four with BackToFamily.net

STEP FOUR

4.) Be aware of your sugar intake. Wonder what sugar does to your blood? When my doctor asked me to watch Death by Sugar by Jorge Cruise, it was enough motivation for me. (He updated his video to promote his book.) Watch this:

Americans consume over 150 pounds of sugar in one year!

I am a sugar addict. I have to stay away from the stuff. One little bite does me in. The craving can be unbelievable! My weaknesses are ice cream and chocolate. I compromise by eating very dark chocolate. Like the 92% cocao kind. And a small amount of Greek yogurt. That works for me.

I feel so much better when I just say no. My energy level. No headaches. Skin and hair health. The list goes on.

Eating out can be a problem though. Sugar is everywhere! At church just yesterday the volunteers were offered delicious treats! HoHo cake!! A creamy filling sandwiched between two layers of rich chocolate cake topped with chocolaty icing. Hel-lo! Yum!! You have no idea how badly I wanted just a taste. My youngest daughter would not even allow me to consider it. Not even when I offered her half! Instead I ate apple slices, grapes, and cheese. And they were satisfying. (Full confession: Later I did have a small rice krispie treat. I told you I’m an addict)

“One hundred years ago we ate eggs for breakfast, meat at lunch, vegetables prepared simply, fruit as a treat and drank our milk whole. One hundred years ago type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cholesterol issues were a much less significant problem.” –  Sarah Wilson

When I decided to cut sugar from our meals it pretty much meant cutting out most things in boxes or packets. I began to help my hamburger without all the extra filler ingredients. I brown my in-laws’ farm-raised ground beef, add a quart of my tomato purée, some rice noodles, chopped veggies (onions, peppers…)  and herbs and spices.  Just as quick as the box version and much healthier as I know every single ingredient that I am serving to my family.

Our grandparents consumed much less sugar than we do. Perhaps it would do us good by cooking like they did. Eating real food. However, eating real food takes time to clean, chop, dice, slice. I think it would do a body good to reevaluate time spent online compared to time spent preparing meals. Prioritizing what’s most important. (These posts are great reminders to myself. During busy times of the year, I find myself falling back into old habits of convenience food.)

So, if you’re still not convinced to drastically cut sugar from your daily diet, check out how a year with no sugar transformed this family.

This is Healthier Living through BABY steps, so don’t beat yourself up if you are feeling overwhelmed. Start small. As you begin to see the difference the absence of sugar makes in your life {how much better you feel} it will become easier to say no to sugar laden false foods. Here are a few places to begin:

Replace cookies and cakes with apple slices, applesauce, an orange, or crunchy baby carrots.

Replace candy with almonds or frozen berries with a dollop of real whipped cream.

Replace boxed mixes with home grown, homemade ingredients.

Keep a record of your sugar intake. When I record what I eat, I am more aware of sugar content. I read more labels. If it’s high in sugar, I really don’t want to write it down so I will search for a healthier option. Keeping a journal helps you see what you are putting inside your body. The good, the bad and the sugar.

Keep on eye out for hidden sugar. Read labels. Our family removed sugar laden boxed cereals from our diet several years ago. We do not miss them. I will make oatmeal and sweeten it with a little bit of pure maple syrup. Another culprit hiding behind the “But It’s Healthy” reputation is fruit juice. Although containing natural sugar, it is a rather high amount. When drinking 100% fruit juice, I dilute it at least by half with water. Aim to eat very limited sweetened condiments such as ketchup and barbecue sauce which can contain alot of sugar. Opting for mustard instead.

Beware of low-fat products. The majority of items I have seen labeled low fat are very high sugar! If you drink milk, drink whole milk. The fat in it helps your body digest the sugar.

And lastly, steer clear from sugar substitutes. Lots of negative studies on them. When I choose to sweeten food or tea, I use raw local honey, molasses, stevia, or pure maple syrup.

You’ve read all the way to the end! I am proud of you. Keep up the good work!

One day at a time. One change at a time. One prayer at a time.

Step Five coming soon!

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