This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

4 dinner parties, 1 cookie exchange, covered in hives, still no sugar

Well, still considerably less sugar, no more than 24 grams each day. The detox process is getting a little weird, might I say. I thought I would have a whopper of a headache and I really haven't had that, but today I am covered with hives that appear on my neck, go away, move to my back, go away, currently on my face and left elbow (?), but I trust they will go away soon. I had absolutely no idea how much sugar I was consuming until I started this little exercise because I didn't know that things like spaghetti sauce, salsa, ketchup, and salad dressing could have so much sugar!

I have based my 24 grams limit upon information I found on several websites, including this news article that suggests that for 1800 calories consumed only 6 teaspoons (or 24 grams) of sugar should be consumed. There was also a lot of information on websites catering to diabetes but the one I have linked says all the same stuff very concisely: eat less sugar.

I'm eating a lot of natural peanut butter and tuna fish, that's for sure. I still have a smoothie for breakfast and that takes up a total of 12 grams (6 grams of sugar for 1/2 c. blueberries and 6 grams for 1/2 a banana) so the rest of the day is pretty restricted. Counting the sugar has given me a lot more freedom than I would have thought because I feel like I can make choices: skip the smoothie and save 12 grams that I can then use for something else, OR have a smoothie for breakfast and another for lunch and that's all the sugar for the day but I only have dinner to get through and that's actually the easiest meal for me, OR drink two 1/2 smoothies for snack time and still have 12 grams for get the idea.

When I lived in Toledo I actually had this list posted to my pantry door: the article lists 76 ways sugar can ruin your health. I liked the list because it has scientific research backing it up, it is easy to read, and it listed a lot of things I hadn't realized could be affected by sugar such as sugar can cause a loss cellular elasticity (turkey waddle neck, anyone?), and sugar can cause nearsightedness, reduce collagen in skin, and contributes to accelerated aging! I just see myself with coke-bottle-thick-glasses, saggy skin, and looking about 65 when I'm only 40 all because of sugar! Not a pretty picture. Anyway, when we moved the list probably got thrown into a recycle bin because I hadn't seen it for awhile until I embarked on this new venture. Rereading the list was an excellent jolt for me and I will print it out again and re-post it once I buy ink for my printer...(As a note to all of you waiting for Christmas cards, the ink-buying-delay also applies).

(Also just to keep you informed, the hives have moved to my right calf and right pinkie finger...)

I became particularly interested in sugar's effect on the body when I was looking for ways to reduce my brain tumor. My neurologist and neurosurgeon, both extremely educated and fantastic men, basically said that there wasn't anything I could do but have surgery. I couldn't accept that. They also didn't recognize a link between nerve irritation and hormones but I knew for a fact that my symptoms were worse during my period than other times of the month. Armed with this limited info and a life-or-death-desire to not have brain surgery again, I began to research online "hormones" and "tumors." What I found is basically summed up in 2 facts: 1.tumors (cancer) feed on sugar; 2.sugar can throw your hormones out of whack.

Could there be a greater impetus to reduce sugar than that?

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