Refined sugar. What is it and WHY CAN’T I STOP EATING IT?

Refining is a process where impurities and colors are removed from the natural sugar cane or sugar beets, which is where the “sugar” you know and love comes from. And then you have the chemically processed sugars like high fructose corn syrup which is in just about everything these days. Our bodies metabolize (break down) the refined and chemically formed sugars much differently than our bodies metabolize natural sugars. Natural sugars meaning the ones that come from fruits and unsweetened dairy, which also happen to have many vitamins and nutrients packed into them.

When our bodies break down the refined and chemically produced sugars it happens very quickly, which causes a spike in our insulin and blood sugar levels and often we do not feel very full after consuming them. The naturally occurring sugars break down slower due to the fiber content, which expands in our guts causing us to feel full. Once the sugar (whether natural, refined or chemically produced) passes through the gut it does not matter what type it is as it will still get digested just the same.

Sugar is the biggest cause of obesity today. The amount of sugar we consume is more than has ever been consumed by any past generation and is in just about everything we eat. And now, our bodies are going haywire. Our hormones, insulin levels, brains…refined and chemically produced sugars affect your entire body.

As a 20 something (soon to be 30 something) I do not think it is normal for my body to feel sluggish, my brain to feel foggy and my menstrual cycle to never be consistent. Especially when I am far from an unhealthy eater. Yes, I consume junk every so often but I eat a pretty decent diet. I’m gluten free, I limit my dairy consumption and we make sure most of our dinners are balanced and healthy. We try to be active. But, when sugar is in almost everything from ketchup to pasta sauce it is hard to avoid. Cane sugar is one of my “sensitivities” from my big food sensitivity panel I had done. To be honest, I am having a pretty rough time giving it up. Especially because the rest of my family still consumes everything I do not.

This is why I decided to plan a 30 day sugar cleanse and include anyone who’d like to participate! I read nutritional labels constantly as I am so sensitive to gluten and it’s been my main focus but I often forget to look at sugar content. However, that is something I really want to change. I know it will be tough, which is why I thought I would make this open to whomever would like to join. It will start on March 1, 2017 but I would love for people to sign-up as soon as possible as I will be prepping people mid-February to get you all ready to start the cleanse. It will not be easy. I want to make sure that the group is a supportive place for everyone so that if you slip up and have something you shouldn’t or you just feel like absolute crap during that first week, you have a great support system to keep you going. And it will be within a private event through my Facebook so it’ll be a closed group.

How about worries? My biggest one is my morning coffee. I’m not sure about the rest of you but coffee is my go to in the morning and it needs to be sweet or I won’t drink it. So, I will give you some ideas of more natural sweeteners to use instead and some cream options. Along with that I’ll post recipes for your everyday foods and condiments that you might start to miss as you begin the 30 day journey.

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