Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Going sugar free!

Awhile back, I posted something about how I wanted to give up sugar for Lent.  I was still addicted to sweets.  Loved them.  I love bread, sugar, potatoes, anything with sugar or sugar like substances in it.

Then, I started nurse practitioner school.  I learned so much my first term.  But, two very important things I learned affected me personally.  I started putting things together.  I realized I had to change.  But, I was changing a culture, something I had "known" my entire life.

First, I learned insulin is really the root of all evil, not fat.  For so long, I have thought fat was bad.  I never ever used butter, full-fat milk, or anything like that.  As I learned more about insulin, I grew scared of what I was doing to myself.  I learned that insulin causes cells to grow abnormally, causing tumors.  Insulin causes you to store body fat.

Next, I learned about aspartame.  See, one professor, made a comment, obesity was never a problem in the U.S. until the introduction of aspartame.  That really made me wonder....did we eat more because we thought it was okay, since we were using aspartame OR did the aspartame make us fat?  I learned it was really a combination of the two.

I put those ideas together.  Here's an example to illustrate my point:  you drink a diet coke (hmmm, I miss those), you drink a lot of aspartame.  Your body TASTES something sweet.  Your poor little pancreas thinks you've eaten sugar.  They really did a good job making aspartame, to trick your body like that.  Your pancreas releases insulin because it thinks you have eaten sugar.   Your body must release insulin when you eat sugar, to be able to move the sugar into cells.  What results, from the aspartame plus rise in insulin, is extra insulin.  Your body stores body fat as a result.  Plus, because you have this extra insulin, you ARE's your body's attempt at balancing the insulin/glucose teeter-totter in your body.

So, yes, aspartame is making us fat.  But, it's because of insulin.

On July 12, I gave up all sugar, grains, breads, and good that act like sugar (aspartame, splenda, honey, all sweeteners basically...except stevia).  As of last Friday, I had lost 11 pounds.  Then, I did something dumb (well, what I ate was dumb)...I went on a date with my husband.  We went to the movies.  I drank a diet dr. pepper (not as good as I remembered), ate popcorn, and had some lovely junior mints.  Wow! That's a lot of sugar, I know.  Then, we went to dinner.  I did drink some red wine there (that's okay in moderation) and ate some bread (ugh!) and a lovely molten chocolate cake (I would do that again, but it was homemade!).  I felt like crap!

I gained about 5 pounds in that one day.  I tried to eat a pancake the next morning...I was trying to get all the sugary cravings out!  Fortunately, the pancake was gross.  That was 4 days ago.  I'm only 3 pounds away from my 11 pound mark.

So, what do I eat?  Eggs, cheese (not fat-free), butter (not by itself), meat (organic, usually local), all the fruits I want (except watermelon, because of it's high glycemic index), all the veggies I want (except peas, corn, and all potatoes, because of their truly starchy nature), nuts, nut butters (lots of peanut butter, but we eat local peanut butter with peanuts and salt listed as the ONLY ingredients).  For dinner last night, I had grilled chicken legs, brussel sprouts, chilled tomato soup, and salad (with blue cheese, tomatoes, olive oil, and red wine vinegar).  It was yummy.

We buy fruit, veggies, and eggs every week now.  I have more energy and feel better about myself.  I have already noticed a difference in my clothing!

Officially, I am following Dr. Olson's Sugar Free Challenge.  I love it!


heyfreckles said...

I'm wondering if the aspartame is also addictive? Or if it's the caffeine? Proud of you mama, keep up the hard work!

Brooke said...

Well, according to Dr. Olson, it's mostly the aspartame (and sucralose or other sugar-type foods) that's addictive. He "encourages" quitting caffeine, but totally does not push it. He says green tea is better than coffee and that caffeine can contribute to an addictive lifestyle. All, in all, caffeine, I think, is not something awesome, but not something horrible either.

And thanks so much!