Kay McDonnell  - Massage , Advanced  Reflexology & Laser Therapist
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KayMcDonnell(Listowel Therapy Centre)

I am somewhere between hell and pleasure

Food containing sugar is everywhere . 
Sugar has range of ill-effects on the body including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, tooth decay and possible cancer, according to experts Consuming refined sugar can impact mood, decision making and memory.. Refined sugar—which is found in most sweets, sodas, white breads, and pastas,fat free" and "low fat" snacks, fruit juices, yogurts, energy drinks, sauces ketchup, BBQ sauces, mayo, pasta sauces .gravy, and other packaged foods is i am convenienced made me cranky
"EVERY SINGLE BOX OF CEREAL IN MY LOCAL GROCERY STORE HAD SOME FORM OF SUGAR IN IT—CANE SUGAR, SYRUPS WITH NAMES I COULDN'T PRONOUNCE, BROWN SUGAR, YOU NAME IT." In fact once you head into the middle aisles of your local supermarket then you are going in to the sugar caves i believe. Shop on the outside lane of the supermarket to avoid temptation.

Giving up sugar is not practical i think?  WHY? Because it is everywhere.
My refined-sugar-free diet  consisted of only fresh foods: vegetables, fish, chicken, and meat, and whole-grain pasta and rice.. I decided to give up dairy also.
I would eat those foods nearly daily but along side refined sugars.
I did give all sugar including natural sugar in week 1.
In week 2 i allowed myself a pear and an apple but only if i got a mental craving.
Some research shows without the consumption of natural sugars, the body would not have enough fuel to survive for long. 
For me i did have energy and my energy rose each day . I found in the first week the only thing that did push the sugar craving out of my head was a walk or the gym session.

I was getting too much refined sugar in my diet.Until i sat down and wrote down my sugar intake i was totally unaware of how much sugar i was consuming unintentionally

Day 1
Giving up sugar.......... hell or pleasure?
Day 9 and counting.
Not pleasure by no means. 
Sugar is delicious tempting and I would say comforting..
Hell???? i cant say its hell yet. Taking one day at a time. Even thou i am waiting from the crash which i am expecting.
I threw out every biscuit and emptied out a box of roses into the bin once i made the decision to do this. I really had visions of me scouting around the bin looking for the sweets. 
Its not about just giving up sugar in your tea/coffee
Its absolutely everywhere. Even crisps .Some crisps contain 2% of your daily allowance of sugar. 
Mayonnaise. Ketchup. Gravy etc

(I endlessly fantasized about a can of full-sugar Coca-Cola”yesterday)  As i was not feeding my addiction,my brain was shouting out to have sugar to satisfy its cravings.
Felt like I had been hit by a truck. I felt foggy and pain in my eyes The fogginess and lack of focus at one point got so bad, found it hard  to concentrate.
Bouts of being irritable/ cranky /sharp and quick tempered has shown its ugly head.. Not nice. Best stay indoors. Mix with no one is one option i guess. 
Dead heavy tiredness for about 2 hours yesterday.
Pains in my knees today but passing as the days is going on.
The amount of mucus coming up my throat and down my nose is unbelievable. Goodness a cleansing going on.
I find once i eat a lot of the symptoms of pain go away go away. Also once i am hungry now i have to eat otherwise i turn into a she wolf.

A lot of studies show headaches as being high up there with withdrawal but i have experienced none so far. Smiley face

Did you know that sugar ages you? I did.
Simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar, white bread and soda, cause your insulin levels to spike, which leads to what Dr. Nicolas Perricone describes as “a burst of inflammation throughout the body.”

Besides damaging collagen, a high-sugar diet also affects what type of collagen you have—another factor in how resistant skin is to wrinkling. Sugar suppresses the activity of our white blood cells. This makes us more susceptible to infectious disease. 

In a process known as glycation, sugar attaches to the collagen in our skin and other parts of the body. This causes inflammation and reduces the effectiveness of both collagen and elastin, the proteins in our skin that help it stay youthful. When these don’t work so well, your skin no longer looks supple and youthful. Instead it begins to look dull, dry and…old! While glycation can not be completely stopped, it can be slowed down. And you guessed it, quitting sugar is one of the best ways to do this.

So i am studying my wrinkles every day to see an improvement You don't have to take my word for it . A study with over 600 men and women those with high blood sugar levels consistently looked older than those with lower blood sugars.I am hoping for me in 3 weeks my cravings and withdrawal with be gone. 

Day 9

Waking up this morning and feeling dread .Today i eat boring broccoli AND KALE .How bloody exciting. My life is over  not really ..my brain is playing tricks with me at moment.
How easy is it to give it up?
Its extremely difficult. I personally think a family could not give up sugar. The temptation is too much and sugar is everywhere.
Your body is programmed to get energy from sugar, and it takes time to get used to getting it from a different source. It almost feels like a hangover as your body is getting used to the withdrawal of sugar."

Did i make the wrong new year resolution?? Have feelings of thinking my life is boring and so over. 
God what i would give to have a kitkat. Off course i can but i have started this mission so i will finish.

Foods that contain carbohdyrates are converted into sugars during the digestion process and cause your blood sugar levels to increase shortly after your meal.Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn and green peas, can raise your blood sugar levels. The starches found in starchy vegetables are quickly digested and converted into sugars by the enzymes found in your gastrointestinal tract.

All types of breads, such as bagels, sliced breads, rolls and English muffins, as well as rice, pasta, noodles, crackers and baked goods are all converted to sugars after being eaten and can contribute to raising your blood sugar levels in the minutes and hours following your meals.A slice of whole wheat bread contains close to 4 tsp. of sugar, while a large bagel contains the equivalent of over 17 tsp. of sugar

Goodness when i read this research i was taking a lot off sugar a day..
Jams, syrups, table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and brown sugar are all converted to simple sugar in your body, just like sweeteners that are perceived as being more natural, such as honey, maple syrup and agave nectar.Fruits contain natural sugars, they can significantly influence your blood sugar levels. Fresh fruits, canned fruits, frozen fruits, dried fruits and fruit juices all contribute to raising your blood sugar levels. A medium apple has the equivalent of 4 tsp. of sugar, while a 16-oz. glass of unsweetened orange juice has over 13 tsp. of natural sugar provided by the oranges.Milk, yogurt and some fresh cheese contain small amounts of carbohydrates that can be converted into sugar in your body. If you choose chocolate milk and sweetened yogurts, the amount of sugar that your body can obtain from the digestion of these foods is even higher and consuming these foods can cause a larger increase in your blood sugar levels. Aged cheese, butter and cream are not converted into sugars because they do not contain enough carbohydrates per serving.

How on earth can  families give up sugar. Its EVERYWHERE. Moderation keeps coming to mind. Have i done the right thing?

Day 15
Well what a transformation. I have lost the bones of 1 stone in weight. This has not surprised me BUT it is not the reason why i decided to give up sugar. It was just been curious and an experiment..Eating more protein, fiber, fruit, and vegetables increases your metabolism, and your body burns it off more efficient
The fogginess began to disappear . I am engaging a lot more in things around me and i am so motivated. My taste buds have changed. I am eating much slower and feel i want to taste every bit of food in my mouth. I believe this is my body healing and finally maybe the addiction is leaving me.

My sleep has really got much better and i feel more refreshed.upon waking. Your insulin levels are regulated when your blood sugars are balanced promoting good sleep patterns and gives you consistent energy, which also reduces fatigue and means you can focus more. 
Sleep is a critical part of mental health. Not only does it give the conscious mind respite from the day’s activities, it helps flush out toxins from the brain. 

What is helping me without a shadow of a doubt is the walks and the sessions in the gym

Are you motivated to give up sugar for Lent? 
Not sure how sugary something is. Divide the grams of sugar in an item and divide by 4. That gives you the the amount in teaspoons.
And yes u can do it. Even if u cut down or make yourself aware of how much sugar is in the food u eat..You might wonder how long it will take until you’re free of cravings and side-effects, but there’s no answer – everyone is different i would believe.
I prefer to go ‘cold turkey’ when it comes to things like this but you need to figure out what works best for you – there’s no hard and fast rule.

The World Health Organisation recommends that we get just 5% of our daily calorie intake from sugar.

There are natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables that should be our only source of sugar. These foods are high in anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants, help stabilize blood sugar, and nutrients that promote beautiful skin and a healthy body.

TO DATE My hunger has changed.  I still get hungry—just nowhere near as often. Eating a diet free from refined sugars fills me up and keeps me full for seven or eight hours
i AM BRIGHTER AND FEEL SO MUCH LIGHTER. When I now see chocolate-coated refined sugar bars and tonnes of different chocolate brands at the checks outs, i have no desire to eat them. I feel i have control over my brain. Its not my body that wants this sugar now.

Tomorrow is another day
To be continued; 

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