Since sugar has been named the super villain ingredient of all diets, my family has decided to cut down. It’s hard with kids, especially on our Harkins Summer Movie Fun Days. I let my two have a drink and a small bag of candy, which is still too much, but it keeps my son focused on the movie instead of turning the theater into his personal gymnasium. We’re working on an alternative.
But when they see the full popcorn/drink/candy/villain pack that many of the parents buy their kids, they think I’m denying them one of life’s greatest pleasures.
And the words cavities, illness, and tummy ache from planet Naseum don’t do much to placate them.
So we started with yogurt. I thought it was healthy—my son eats bucketsful of the stuff—but when I actually read the sugar content, I nearly lost my Yoplait all over the kitchen. You could make sugar sculptures of superheroes eating the villains with the amount of sugar in one cup. So we’ve gone Greek.
It was a bit of a tough sell at first—I had to hunt down lemon meringue, Boston cream pie and pie flavors of all kinds to get them to eat it. But what motivated me to stick with it was my cousin. Recently diagnosed with leukemia, he cleaned the sugar and other “junk” from his diet, successfully lowering his white blood cell count. Motivated by this change, we’re taking one healthy step at a time.
After about two weeks of whining, they gave in and embraced the greek.
Then we took off for Disneyland, the land of regular sugar and more expensive sugar. Our hotel served a great breakfast, but they only had one kind of yogurt. That’s right; it was a giant bowl full of strawberry, sugar-dumped, disease-causing yogurt. But since we were on a rare vacation, I dug in, filled my bowl, and sat at our table with a view of Cars Land. Spoon to hungry mouth.
It. Was. Disgusting. I could finally taste the amount of sugar we had consumed day in and day out for years. It was like the time I switched from milk chocolate to dark chocolate, never being able to go back because the extra sugar in the m.c. makes me feel sick.
Should we do this with everything? I started thinking about the excess we surround ourselves with: dust covered stuff over all the shelves at home, over processed appearances (although we’re pretty good at keeping that to a minimum), food just as equally processed. I believe we’re consuming more hazards than actual sustenance.
This is the land of plenty, for sure. A great country, no doubt, but we’re all drowning in the additives.
I think good health is in shedding much of what we think we need.
My new goal, in between raising a family and working, is too take a good long look at our life, and really see what’s immediately good versus what’s everlasting good.
What about you? Have you stopped to reevaluate about the way you take care of your health? Tell us in the comments.
Yes, definitely. My husband and I read a book called It’s Starts with Food (his idea, not mine, or it would have never changed what showed up on the dinner table). It recommended a drastic 30 day fast from various substances, including sugar. I did a 30 day blog serious on the experience at tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com.
What shocked me the most was finding the insidiousness of sugar. It is pumped into everything we eat. Often masked in some chemical name. I still make it my goal to stay away from sugary foods (finding it easier to just say no at various social events rather than “well, just a little). It’s a journey, and sometimes a challenging one, being a chocoholic, but I can definitely tell the difference in my overall well being. I encourage you to keep on pressing on, no matter how hard. You will pass down a much better food legacy to your children.
Thanks, Jill, I’ll check out your series. Yes, it IS challenging….especially for a chocolate/Dr. Pepper lover!