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I’ve decided that at 51,

its high time I drew

a line in the sand

of

what gets left behind

going forward…

Drawing a line in the sand on certain things we no longer wish to do in our lives defines us during our lifetime.  Its very rare you just keep doing the same thing over and over again without consciously knowing it is either pushing you forward or dragging you back. Hopefully we all get to a point in our lives where we realise something is no longer serving us, it may be a partnership, a job, a toxic person in our lives or other harmful things and we start to pay attention which finally leads to change.  For me, its been a long love affair with a toxic substance subtlety consuming my life ~sugar, and it has had me addicted for as long as I can remember.

Its not my fault that this addiction has grown as I have grown, that’s the fundamental underlying principle of the food industry, to make big money any way it can, even at the expense of our health. This insidious substance hides behind a veil of genius marketing and strategic food tricks which brings this toxicity into most of our foods that so many of us are unaware of.

The manufacturers know all about it, they even have a name for getting their foods ‘just right’ so that you do not detect this substance, however it keeps you coming back for more time and time again. They call it ‘The Bliss point’.  You can read all about how they reel us in here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/feb/24/salt-sugar-fat-moss-review

A prominent Pediatrician in the United States, Dr Robert H. Lustig, deals with obese children every day. He calls it a pandemic.  His findings are very enlightening if you wish to take the time to hear about what the food industry is doing to us all, take a moment to watch ‘Sugar the bitter truth’ : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

I quit sugar on the 4th of June 2015,

three weeks 

prior to my 51st birthday.

 I am currently on an 8 week online program designed by Sarah Wilson who originally gave up the sweet stuff as an experiment to help her autoimmune disease and in doing so has paved the way for over 600,000 people world wide to live healthier lives.  Here is Sarah’s story if you wish to read how she did this https://iquitsugar.com/start-here/my-story/

Entering week 7 of this 8 week program,

I am 2 kg lighter and I am calm.

Sarah explains in her program the switch that our body intuitively makes once you stop feeding it sugar and inevitably a calmness comes over you.  Its true, I don’t feel  jittery anymore and I am not hungry. My switch which says I am full is working again.

This program does require commitment and support from others around you.  If I want to eat something sweet, once I have gone through the 8 weeks, there are plenty of recipes through the I Quit Sugar Program and on the internet which are sugar free and still look just like the sugar laden ones. I look forward to sharing them once I test them out for myself.  I haven’t made this recipe yet but tell me this ice cream looks just like what you would buy from the supermarket and its totally made with guilt free goodness:

 I haven’t been able to achieve giving up sugar in the past (and I have tried this a couple of times) because I don’t think my family took me seriously however they have been very supportive this time round and I credit my success this time to my own commitment and their support.  They even now are starting to look at food labels to see what amount of sugar is in them.  They have been listening to what I am finding that the tomato sauce they use is 45% sugar and there are 10 teaspoons of sugar in a can of coke and 9 in a bottle of apple juice and even savory items such as a tin of baked beans have a hidden 4 1/2 spoons, there is just so much hidden sugar in just about all processed foods.

They know that this time I mean to make it a lifestyle change which is why I am calling it my line in the sand.  My commitment means forever and even if I do stuff up occasionally, I know that there is no going back to how it was.  You cannot do Sarah’s in depth program, learn what we now know and ever go back to the same place we were before we started.

I am actually too scared to try a piece of cake or biscuit full of sugar.  A few people on the forums have and have felt absolutely awlful afterwards.  Our bodies are amazing how they can simply adapt to a new environment (cleaner living) and react badly if ever they are compromised again. Doing this program has made me so much more aware of my choices, my existence, my energy levels and what I feed my body.

There’s a new book on the street I am yet to buy, Michael Moss Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, and according to all reports is well worth the read and debunks any thoughts that the processed food industries care about their customers health. http://grist.org/news/how-the-junk-food-industry-has-encouraged-us-to-eat-ourselves-to-death/

Michael writes: ‘Does it surprise you that food giants Kraft, Pepsi, and General Mills use extensive research-and-development processes designed to find a consumer’s ideal “bliss point”? Does it surprise you that said “bliss point” is a combination of way more sugar, salt, and fat than any of us would load up on a plate otherwise? Does it surprise you that this makes those corporate food giants a huge ton of cash?

Tragically, my mother died of bowel cancer, my father died of a stroke both way too early. Both diseases are totally preventable and have been directly linked to high sugar diets. They, along with so many other Australian families have been eating more and more sugar as the food industries have found more and more clever ways to disguise it.

The buck must stop here, a line in the sand has to be drawn so its time to draw it in my life.  Its time to find out myself what is better for me, do my own research and mainly try to just eat real food. I think the first 40 years of my life, I had been following the food industries and their marketing ploys like a sheep.  I want the forthcoming decades to be on my terms. My intention is to be the healthiest version of me I can be in my fifties and sixties instead of living in fear that I am just going to get old and sick because that is what seems to happen to most people and somewhere along the way we have fooled ourselves to think that this is normal…

So…what do I love about my new sugar free life?

  • I love that my sense of smell has returned and my taste buds have come alive. I now taste the natural sweetness of pumpkin, peas, peppers and sweet potato and turn to these to compliment my meals knowing that this sweetness is not harming me.
  • I love that I am finding wonderful condiments to enhance my taste buds, things such as lavender mustard and macadamia and lemon myrtle dukkah. Farmers markets and fresh produce barns are now my new favourite hangout.

  • I love that if I do feel like something sweet, a cup of fresh leaf earl grey tea does the trick and when I am off the program there will be plenty of sugar free deserts to try if I really need to have something.
  • I love that I totally look forward to my hot lemon drink each morning to begin my day.
  • I love that my favourite breakky is now avocado on sourdough toast with Lemon Myrtle dukkah and a squeeze of lemon – oh yes, try it and see…
  • I love that I am trying to cook meals where I use beautiful aromatic fresh herbs to season a dish and they are first on my shopping list each week. (until I learn to grow some myself).

  • I love that I have learned that ‘low fat’ and ‘sugar free’ promoted items are usually code words for chemically laden, overly processed and unnatural.
  • And finally… I love that I am giving my body the best possible chance of living well and disease free as I pave my way through the rest of my life…

So far I think my 51st year has started off rather well…

 

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