I have without a doubt discovered one of my biggest enemies. Yep, it’s sugar. I’d heard for years how bad sugar was for my body, how it feeds cancer cells, etc. But like many others, I thought I don’t eat “that much” sugar so it can’t really hurt me. Unfortunately sugar is in just about all processed foods. Until I became a label reader, I had no idea how much sugar is in different products.
It’s such a shame that I had to wait until I became desperate to change my way of thinking about sugar. A few years ago my doctor informed me that I have Fibromyalgia. That was my wake-up call. I began to read all I could about this subject and that is when I started to realize how detrimental sugar really is to my body. I’m not talking about natural sugar from fruit. I’m talking about granulated sugar and things like corn fructose. I was a sugar junkie. I used to love to eat honey buns and drink Dr. Pepper, eat ice cream, sugary cereal, lots of ketchup, you name it, if it had sugar in it, I probably ate it. I used to drink a little coffee with my flavored creamer. I had to change my way of thinking so that I could change my eating. Instead of saying, “I can’t give up soda, or creamer, or fill in the blank,” I had to start telling myself “I can do this for my health. I’m worth it.” I prayed and asked God to give me the strength and courage to quit drinking Dr. Pepper and to quit eating so many sugary foods. God is so faithful. He has helped me. I’ve had to do my part by keeping things like ice cream out of my house. Every once in a while I’ve allowed myself to indulge, but more and more I’m realizing it’s just not worth it.
Recently our church had a potluck dinner. I was so proud of myself for passing up all the desserts until I saw a friend eating ice cream. Then someone said, “You have to try this gluten free dessert.” It went downhill from there. I ate ice cream and a small piece of this gluten free dessert (that was loaded with sugar) and by the time I got home my joints were swollen and I was in pain for a few days. This was another wake-up call as to how much sugar really does affect my body. The next day we went to a grocery store and they were grilling ribs smothered in barbecue sauce. I was so tempted to buy some, but when I thought about the pain the sugar would cause, I was able to say no.
I’m always trying to find recipes that I can cook that taste good and are good for me. A couple of months ago I was going to visit my daughter and her family in Colorado. She informed me that she had changed their way of eating based on the “Trim Healthy Mama” plan. To be honest, I was dreading eating this new “cardboard diet” that she was on. To my surprise, every meal she cooked I absolutely loved. I was there for nine days and boy did it start to make a difference in how I felt. After three or four days I began to sleep through the night. I hadn’t done that in years. I woke up with more energy than I had felt in a long time. I am not struggling as much with my memory now either. That is when I determined that I was going to jump on board and become a “Trim Healthy Mama.” My sweet husband bought me the cookbook Trim Healthy Mama by Pearl Barrett and Serene C. Allison.
With the Trim Healthy Mama plan I can enjoy delicious food and even some desserts. Instead of loading my body down with sugar, I use organic pure Stevia. I realize some people may think Stevia is not a good substitute, but from everything I’ve read, it’s actually fine to use. I’m referring to pure Stevia, not the cheap stuff that is full of fillers. Even with Stevia I feel it’s important to use it in moderation.
I’ve been cooking very tasty meals with the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook. My favorite so far is Chicken Jalepeno Popper Soup. I’ve been amazed at how I can cook healthy meals that taste great. My husband is enjoying the new way I cook and that speaks volumes. I am learning how to cook and bake yummy food that doesn’t cause me pain. That is a win for me.
I hope this blog will encourage those who struggle with sugar addiction. I understand your pain, literally. You can break free by God’s grace and by changing the way you think. Remember the little engine that said, “I think I can, I think I can…” By the way, I drink a cup of black coffee every morning now and I look forward to it. Start taking steps to break this addiction. Please don’t wait until you are sick or diagnosed with something that brings on a wake-up call. Do this for you because you deserve it!