I hear so many times a week “Oh Erin you and Ben are just so fanatical about sugar and eating right and obesity and exercise and Plexus.”
Yes, we are. We surely are. Why? Well it is no secret we both used to live extremely unhealthy lives. I was always obese and then morbidly obese before my gastric bypass about 7 years ago.
Ben had high cholesterol DANGEROUSLY high- and ate the typical unhealthy southern diet of fried everything and biscuits and gravy and hit the drive thru pretty often with his line of work which included travel. He ate lots of processed boxed frozen garbage for most of his adult life as well- until he finally followed his love of cooking and turned it into a side business catering in the medical field. Even then, when he began cooking more often, it was typical unhealthy, but tasty fare.
I fed my kids frozen fish sticks and we frequented fast food joints and I cooked things like boxed mac and cheese and hamburger helper when I was a single mom. I bought the snack cakes and Little Debbies and all of the typical junk we are feeding our kids. They were chubby. All three of them. Cute and chubby. And sugared up most of the time. From added sugar in boxed foods, to juices and cookies and cakes and ice cream, they had it all. And mom looked like this: And was totally unhealthy. I was a heart attack or stroke just waiting to happen. It was bad. REALLY bad.
Then my dad who was in pretty good shape, had a massive heart attack and quadruple bypass. It was enough for me to say NO MORE and my new healthier life was born which also brought a love for fitness and nutrition. Life changed FOREVER. It was little by little and not overnight. It came from educating myself and deciding NOT to be a statistic anymore but to truly change my life for good.
So a lot changed in my house over the years. We do not buy cookies and snack cakes and soda and junk. For us moderation really is moderation in that I can count on one hand the times sugar, specifically added sugar, not sugar from nature in fruits and veggies and dairy- enters my house in a year.
Think about the way we fill our kids with sugar like this: Do we give our kids alcohol or cigarettes? Sugar kills more people through metabolic disease than both of those but we still have commercials for sugar filled food and drinks BLASTED at our kids. Fast food restaurants give toys with meals and have playgrounds inside. The food industry is smart although I truly do not know how they sleep at night.
To me, feeding our kids loads of sugar is child abuse. PERIOD. And yes I used to abuse my kids with sugar. Morbidly obese kids who are eating garbage daily and have no other rare medical issue causing obesity are being abused. Can kids drive themselves to the grocery store or the fast food joint? Does a child have the ability to buy the ice cream and candy and cakes and trash we feed them? NOPE. Why is it okay to poison or kids from birth with the most addictive and abused drug on the market? We think it is okay and are brainwashed into thinking there is nothing wrong with “just a little bit”- or “it is just once a year.”
The bottom line is we are excusing ourselves into the destruction of our health. You can literally walk into any grocery store at ANY time of year and find a bakery and candy aisle stocked with sugary junk for some event that we excuse away by saying it is “just once a year.”
BUT- is it REALLY?
January- the Valentine’s Day stuff is out and in certain areas you will start to see King Cakes and Mardi Gras candy and junk.
February- Valentine’s Day junk and usually Easter junk already out for the taking.
March- Easter junk everywhere. Then comes all of the green junk for St. Patrick’s Day.
April- usually more Easter junk still there depending on when Easter falls. Mother’s Day junk is starting to show up also.
May- Mother’s Day junk because special candy and cookies and cake are just what we need to tell mom we love her!! Oh and now we have the end of the year parties and festivals and fairs. But its just once a year right?
June- Father’s Day junk and fun summer junk!!! TONS of summer sweets and treats and many are frozen. And they fool us by calling these sugar bombs organic and all natural. Yep sugar is natural, but its still refined and processed unless you are eating a whole piece of fruit or a veggie.
July- July Fourth Holiday and now comes the patriotic junk. HOW could we possibly celebrate all we love about America without candy and cakes and pies and cookies???
August- BACK TO SCHOOL JUNK!!! Our kids cannot return without mini bags of every type of junk known to man! Goldfish, cheese-its, fruit roll ups, granola bars, fruit snacks, juice pouches, cookies and EVERYTHING MINI. Just what we need for a successful year of school- SUGAR AND EMPTY CARBS!
September- Halloween junk is here!!!! No explanation needed!!!
October- This is where it gets almost “frenzy-like” because we have Halloween junk, fall/Thanksgiving junk, and already Christmas junk all together!!!
November- Thanksgiving and Christmas junk
December- Christmas junk and usually Valentine’s Day junk and in the south Mardi Gras junk.
AND THE CYCLE REPEATS!!!
Now throw into the mix the trips for ice cream as a reward for something, the once in a while donut or candy store visit, the birthday cake, and if you have kids the endless birthday parties with said cake that they attend, the post sporting event treats from the team mom, the school parties with treats, and more.
So is the sugar frenzy REALLY “just once a year?”
And now the food industry has fooled most parents and well-meaning people again with LOW fat cookies and 100 calorie packs of cookies and BAKED chips. Oh and please do not get me started on the organic fruit juices and juice boxes and applesauces etc. Or the whole grain and gluten free breads which turn to pure sugar. Most people do not know better. Guess what? Low fat means double sugar. The calorie difference and sugar difference in baked/regular chips is almost NONE.
Look at my drug of choice- Doritos- yes I could have eaten a whole bag.
When the low fat and fat free craze began of course the food industry had a plan. They just replaced the fat with sugar. Why do you think obesity has grown and grown just as hard and strong while we have more gyms and more fitness equipment etc than we had 30 years ago? Because we as a society fell for the flawed theory- now disproven thanks to the hidden documents being uncovered, that fat was the enemy. If you have not seen the documentary Sugar Coated- You need to watch now!!! Here is their Facebook page.
If fat were really the issue we would not have the heart disease, diabetes and obesity we have now. We see BAKED and think it is great for us! The baked Doritos above are actually even worse and higher in carbs which is same as sugar than the regular. The food industry is NOT our friend.
When we speak to groups about the dangers of sugar and how incredibly harmful it is to us and to our health, we get a wonderful reply and reaction. When you are in person and have an hour to explain it all, people GET IT. However online, reading posts here-sometimes I swear I can see the eye-rolls through Facebook. I used to let it bother me, but now I just keep on preaching, with Ben, because for every person we touch, the one or two who roll their eyes or who un-friend us on Facebook really do NOT matter.
Here is a FACT- WE ARE KILLING OURSELVES with sugar in this country. And now all over the world. This means sugar- added sugar- in ALL FORMS. I do not care if you call it high fructose corn syrup, sugar in the raw, brown sugar, whatever, SUGAR IS SUGAR. It is added to over 80% of the processed grocery store items we buy.
Here is another fact- empty carbohydrates like bread and rice and pasta and cereals (with the exception of a FEW high fiber ones) ALL TURN TO SUGAR in our bodies. Newsflash- this “whole grain” craze may as well be called the “another name for sugar” craze. We eat far too much of this stuff. I am not talking to the elite athletes who run 30 miles a week and need extra carbs.
This is about the average American. This is for anyone overweight and or struggling to lose weight. Empty carbs are the same thing as sugar metabolically. I love a line from the movie Fed Up and is you have not seen it you really need to watch it ASAP. One doctor says “You can eat a bowl of cornflakes with no sugar or a bowl of sugar with no cornflakes and it is the exact same thing from the neck down.”
PROCESSED EMPTY CARBS MAKE US HUNGRY AND WANT TO EAT MORE AND RAISE OUR BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS JUST LIKE PLAIN SUGAR. Those Cheerios with no added sugar you thought were a good choice? NOT.
I AM ESPECIALLY TALKING TO PEOPLE WITH KIDS. We start our kids on sugar almost from day one. Many baby formulas- especially those for kids with a lactose intolerance- have added sugar. Seriously???
We have got to start looking at sugar as the poison it is and THINK about what we are doing to ourselves and our kids. The number of people on medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease is insane and through the roof. NOT ONE PERSON who reads this will be able to say to me they do not know someone on a med for either high blood pressure or diabetes.
Have you seen a photo of the way sugar lights up the brain? It is just like cocaine. And in lab tests, rats prefer sugar water to heroin. Pretty scary huh? It is highly addictive and destructive and is the root of all of our obesity issues.
God gave us one body and we are instructed to treat the body as a temple, but many of us treat ours like a garbage dump. Today is the perfect ay to make a change!