It’s monthly challenge time again, and I’ve been thinking a lot about sugar.
While I think healthy eating should be a lifestyle and not a strict, limiting thing, every now and then a reset is still good.
While I no longer consider myself a slave to the sugar addiction, I’ve been getting sloppy about a little here and a little there. I’ve been giving it to my kids a lot more, too. It’s just so easy and I like to choose my battles. But in the end it all adds up to a lot of extra empty calories, and it sets an expectation for my kids that they won’t easily depart from.
This isn’t about losing weight, but I’ve found that I might as well focus on foods that are nourishing rather than just addicting. And I want my kids to think of sugar as a super-special thing, not something they’re entitled to everyday.
Don’t get me wrong. I totally believe in moderation. Special occasions should be off-limits in my opinion. There are actually holidays that I feel like I missed out because I was trying too hard to be healthy.
But why is a cultural norm to eat sweets every time we celebrate? And not just special occasions, but almost every time we get together with people? What can we do to change this?
I might sound like I’m contradicting myself here because I strongly believe in hospitality. But I think there’s a middle ground. A way to foster hospitality and community without becoming dependent on sweets.
So this month I’m giving up sweets and desserts (natural sugars like fruit won’t count.)
If you’re new to this concept, it all goes back to breaking the addiction. Sugar is a highly addictive drug that can cause energy highs and crashes. The best way to break the cycle is to simply quit sugar and start over.
There will likely be withdrawals if you’ve never quit sugar before. It helps to have a replacement snack for those cravings. (The book I Quit Sugar has some great not-too-sweet snacks and dessert options.)
I’m not advocating calorie-free sweeteners. They have their own set of drawbacks. I’m advocating a reset. A sugar fast to lower the sweetness threshold.
I used to be completely addicted. I used to eat dessert every single day – often twice a day. Cake was an acceptable breakfast. Sometimes ice cream was dinner. And I always craved sweets in the evening. I didn’t know anything else.
Since my first reset – back in 2013, I’ve been released from the addictive qualities of sugar and I just enjoy it on occasion.
But it’s never a bad idea to take another break. When I find myself saying yes more than I’m saying no, I do another go-around.
So this is my monthly challenge in May. Let me know if you’re interested in joining the sugar detox, whether you’ve done it before or not. The results are usually pretty amazing.
Here’s the recipes for some of my favorite healthy desserts, if you need a place to get started.
Have a great month, everyone!