Thursday, April 23, 2009

sweet tooth

I went to a discussion group the other night about sugar. The speaker was Tracy Harrison, a certified health counselor from Hopkinton, MA, who runs a company called "Purpose". Tracy did a wonderful job of describing the harmful effect that sugar has on our bodies, as well as drawing attention to the immense amount of sugar that the average American consumes. We certainly learned a lot of information, much of which was very thought provoking. Here are a few facts that I jotted down from the meeting:
  • The absolute best diet change that one can make in order to improve his/her health is to reduce the amount of sugar consumed.
  • A bottle of coke contains approximately 1/2 cup of sugar. Also, in many cases, "healthy" foods, such as yogurt and granola, contain as much sugar as that bottle of coke.
  • Sugar actually can become an addiction. Over time, our taste buds are "deadened" so we need more sugar to satisfy that sweet tooth of ours.
  • Our body considers all refined carbohydrates (ie. bleached flour) as sugar.
It can be overwhelming to think about cutting all refined carbs from one's diet. I'm not sure that's totally practical for many of us, but I do think the goal of significantly reducing sugar intake and eating healthier can be attained.

Our family has decided to do this by:
  • Avoiding high fructose corn syrup
  • Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Adding more whole grains to our diet
  • Drinking more water (we love the seltzer!)
  • Making our own fruit and vegetable juice (still on the lookout for a juicer, but found a free juice recipe book from someone online!)
There are lots of other changes I would like to make (like baking our own whole wheat bread), but we'll take it a few steps at a time. I've reassured my husband that I won't be taking all things sweet away. We'll still be eating chocolate chip cookies (I'm going to be trying a recipe calling for maple sugar soon), and you bet I'll still be drinking that coffee with a sugar (or two), but we will be calling on mother nature to provide more of the food we consume, and surely our bodies will be thankful for it!


  1. A big 'amen' to you, Erin and and a big thank-you to the Lord for revealing these things to you !! My daily fruit juice is easy to make in a regular blender: a big chunk of ripe papaya peeled and cut in squares, a big apple peeled and cut up too, a cup of unsweetened pineapple juice (Lotus & Dole are good) and a cup of cold water (distilled would be best). Blend well and drink. Your body cells will say 'gracias'. I call it "papamanziña" and is made of the 3 most recommended fruits to help digestion (papaya-manzana-piña). Salud !!

  2. Hey Sis, I too have a huge sugar addiction and found the discussion the other night so informative. I have made a few switches in the last 2 days including trying dark brown sugar in my coffee this morning instead of plain white sugar. I do want to switch to coffee without sugar, but as Tracy mentioned the other's a long SLOW process. We'll get there though... I'm going to tell the family tomorrow that we want to put off sugar in Brody's diet until he's 2-3 years old, but it will probably go over like a fart in church! xoxox Kel

  3. Great post Erin! I've decided to go sugar free this pregnancy. Meaning only natural sugars. I'm one week into it - so far so good. However not at all easy. Fruit and ice smoothies are my new best friend :).

    Jenny who is now gluten free has done quite a bit of baking using Agave Nectar -
    I just bought some at trader joes and I will say it's pretty tasty! Just something to look into.
    I wish you the best.
    Also TJ's sells a great whole grain bread with 5 grams of fiber until you get around to baking your own. We live off of the stuff!

  4. Hey Erin, I started making my own bread about 4 months ago. I just use a Betty Crocker recipe for making bread. I make honey whole wheat once a week and it makes two loaves. Usually on bread day we'll have sandwiches for dinner, because it's so tasty. It's easy too. has some great recipies for all sorts of bread.

  5. Michelle - Thanks for the tip! I made my first whole wheat bread last week (the recipe was on the King Arthur flour) and it was delicious! I'll have to try the Betty Crocker one too,she usually know what she's talking about :)


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