Quitting Sugar

quitting sugarA few weeks ago, we went through all of the food in our house, trying to eliminate every food that contained refined sugar.  The results were astounding.  Things I never imagined would contain sugar had it hidden in various forms in the ingredients list.  We are quitting sugar completely.  As I have mentioned, I suffer from gestational diabetes in my pregnancies, and GD gives a 60% increased risk of type 2 diabetes within 10 years.  I don’t want that hanging over my head anymore.

During my gestational diabetes diet, I lost 20 pounds.  I actually gained no weight at all with my pregnancy, but felt healthier than I had in a long time.  Once I delivered, however, the old habits came back in a hurry.  By the time my new baby was 3 months old, I had gained back at least 15 pounds (I quit weighing myself) from eating carbs and sugary junk.  I craved it SO BAD that I couldn’t stand the thought of missing out on dessert any night.

One night, I was nursing my baby and felt the telltale pain of a thrush infection.  Thrush is essentially a yeast infection but in other parts of the body.  In this case, in my breasts which is also transferred to the baby’s mouth.  For me, that was the final straw.  I knew that quitting sugar was necessary for both my peace of mind and my long term health.  I don’t want to always be worrying about getting diabetes.  Having it during pregnancy is quite enough, thank you.  Like smoking, which I quit a few years back, the guilt and shame from continuing with my addiction finally overshadowed any good feelings I got from eating sugar.

So we went through the house and piled up everything that had sugar in a pile to go either to the goats (past its expiration) or to the food bank (food that’s still good).  I was floored at all the foods we had to get rid of.  I didn’t realize just how ubiquitous sugar had become in our diet.  From the no-brainer foods such as marshmallows, cereals and desserts to things I didn’t suspect, such as Bear Creek Potato Soup (dextrose) and our hash browns we were eating every morning (also dextrose), sugar was everywhere in our home.

You have to be really watchful of the ingredients list when you shop.  I had no idea it was so bad.  The organic tomato sauce I bought because it was supposedly healthier had added sugar in it.  The summer sausage I ate for lunch every day while I had gestational diabetes was also a culprit.  I felt so betrayed that these foods I thought were healthy were actually poisoning my family and undermining my attempts to get healthy.

There are all kinds of reasons to avoid processed foods, and now that I know how many are getting in the way of my family quitting sugar, it is another nail in the coffin of the processed food industry, as far as I am concerned.  I want to spread the word and tell the world that these companies are happily poisoning us in an attempt to wring one more penny from our thin pockets.

Stay tuned as I keep talking about our efforts in quitting sugar, and help me figure out a way to live without it in our diet.

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