Hello, my name is Kristi Benenate and I. Love. Sweets.
It goes beyond addiction. It's more like "religious devotion". Every time I enjoy a delectable treat, I praise God for creating the ingredients that made it possible! It is now a regular part of my worship routine! ;)
I have had this highly developed appreciation for sweet things since I can remember. When I was quite young, I developed an allergy to sugar. Throughout my journey of having to go 4+ years without any refined white sugar, and then reintroducing it into my diet, I have learned some valuable things about sugar as we know it. I have learned that it is possible to have sweet things in my daily diet, while still keeping a close watch on my nutrition and getting twice as much energy out of my day!
Such good news MUST be shared! So here it is: gleanings from my experience!
First, let's talk about sugar. There is wisdom in that old saying "everything in moderation". The very reason I developed an allergy to sugar, is because of the large amounts of the stuff I consumed daily. Not just in the sweet things I adored, but as a "filler" ingredient in almost every food money could buy. The more I had, the more my system was addicted to it.
I learned that God equipped our bodies to absorb nutrients from our food and get rid of the toxins that our bodies don't need. However, when we have the same substance, like white sugar, in every meal of every day (easy to do in America) our bodies become overwhelmed, and are forced to store the extra as fat or quickly flush it out. To make matters worse, sugar has a tendency of spiking our blood sugar, giving us a "high" and then dropping us down in a "sugar-crash", just like some drugs (isn't that a comforting thought)! And just like drugs, sugar is extremely addicting!
So what are sweet lovers like myself left to do?
Good news! There is an answer!So I stumbled upon these valuable answers by accident, and enjoyed their benefits unknowingly at first.Step 1: Go off of sugar for a while.You don't have to go 4+ years like I did, you will notice changes in a week (depending on the rate of your metabolism)! And I did not cut out natural sugar, such as fruit, I just cut out the refined stuff.How long you go, depends on how determined you are. Cutting sugar out for a week will just barely get you past the cranky withdrawals and help your tongue adjust to a less-sweet diet. Both are great benefits.Cutting sugar out for a month will do much more for you. It takes a full 3 weeks for your body to completely flush sugar from your system, and if you go further than that, you will notice your metabolism will start to reset itself. You will start burning stored fat for energy instead of the all-too-available sugar highs you used to run on!Most of all, cutting out sugar will slowly enable your body to run on it's God-given energy sources. You will find that without your regular "sugar crash", you will have a more constant rate of energy from morning till night (especially if you drink plenty of water and use natural sources of sugar, like fresh apples or carrots).So does this mean you have to reject sugar forever in order to be healthy?! No. But there is wisdom in moderation. After you have purged your system, keep treats occasional - that is why they are called "treats".
White sugar is not the only source of sweet! There are of course natural sweets like fruit (which will taste sweeter to you after you have been off white sugar for a while), but what about your morning coffee or tea?I found that without my morning tradition of something hot and sweet to get me going for work, I would not have the will power to stick to my sugar purge.Some other sweetener options for beverages or baking are honey, agave nectar, cane sugar or Stevia (an herbal option). Experiment with these in your favorite drinks and recipes and give your will power a boost! Diversifying your sugars is a very healthy habit.I do not recommend chemical substitutions such as Splenda or other processed sweeteners as they usually end up being worse for you than white sugar. I heard that a few of them never actually digest, but just hang out in your intestines. There is a reason why the sweets God made are better for you - stay natural as much as possible!Remember: God gave us our bodies and told us to take care of them but He also made chocolate!So please! Don't stress about how unhealthy your lifestyle is! Take control of what you can, and trust God with the rest (because stress is unhealthy too)!
(Take a peek at our next post to view a recipe from Kristi.)