Friday, January 6, 2012

Am I insane or just overly informed -- Warning: Food Post

I can be a bit obsessive about things. And that obsession right now has everything to do with food. As you know if you read my BPA post, I've been doing a lot of research about the food we consume and the things it can do to our bodies.

For myself, I'm pregnant and I know that my baby is exposed to the things I ingest. And, I want to live a healthier lifestyle and minimize risks associated with bad diets. For my son, study after study exists linking pesticides, color additives, hormones, etc. to a whole host of issues that possibly include autism, ADHD, cancers, and more. I say possibly because no study I've read definitively proves the associations. However, I am inclined to lean toward the premise that these things, especially in high concentrations MUST have some effect on our systems and those of our unborn and living children. We are what we eat -- a quote first attributed to Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1826. Even then, people realized the power of diet.

And so, I have found myself researching and absorbing a slew of data revolving around our food sources. The fact that you can barely get your hands on soybeans that are NOT owned by Monsanto scares the hell out of me. What if I don't want genetically-modified food (GMO)? And companies don't even have to put a label on foods that are GMOs. WTH?

I have read about the connections between mood and attitude and sleep and sluggishness that comes from eating too many refined carbs and sugars. And I have read articles that show a distinct increase in the number of supposedly healthy within-weight-range individuals suffering from diabetes because of an increase in sugar. And don't get me started on the sweeping epidemic of children inflicted with Type II diabetes, which not long ago only plagued adults. These things are happening because of the choices we make in our homes. However! I am not silly enough not to understand what we're up against.

The marketing and advertising put out for our foods is smooth. They know how to hit us below the belt and fighting against it? Well, it's damn near impossible. I get it. I'm there. Hell, I ate Chinese yesterday. Fried chicken smothered in MSG overload. And the eggroll? I don't even want to know the trans fat number on that baby. But I LOVE eggrolls. Talk about a weakness. And that Hershey's bar at home? Yep. I was all over that baby last night! I say that to say I understand that it's hard because I'm there!

And so, knowing and learning what I know and what I'm researching, I HAVE to make a change. And it's gonna be a bitch. I'll be honest. It's gonna hurt. Come February 1, I'm going to embark on something that might be one of the hardest tests I've put myself through. I'm going to give up refined sugars.

I have a friend that has given up refined carbs, but I'm not quite ready for that. My thing is sugar. It's evil. Very evil. So I've decided to give up the refined crap. Why is that so hard? Let me tell you.

Refined sugar is in everything. So I buy whole grain breads with no refined, enriched flour. BUT, it has brown sugar in it, which means it has refined sugar. So do English muffins, tortillas and pretty much all bread substances bought in a regular grocery store. Fun! If you start to look at ingredient lists, you'll see that nearly everything we buy has some form of refined sugar in it. In fact, this site lists 50...that's right FIFTY....different names for sugar!

This doesn't mean, of course, that I can't eat any sugars. There are natural sugars, which do not include white sugar, by the way. That stuff is lethal, too. Pure Maple syrup and Honey are natural sugars. And there are certain brands of 85% cocoa bars (dark chocolate) that have a natural, unrefined sugar in them. Fruit has natural sugar, just ask my son, who will quickly tell you that natural sugar is better for you. So I can still get my little sugar high; it'll just come naturally.

By cutting refined sugars, I'll be cutting MOST refined carbs as well. The two seem to go hand-in-hand. I've been told by reliable sources (aka my best friend) that I should feel a significant energy and mood difference within just a few days. And that 3 o'clock slump? Well, it should become non-existent. :)

My goal to start is two weeks. We'll see how it goes.


  1. If I was living by myself, I could totally give up the refined is amazing though, the stuff we eat. I don't know how people could think that the food we eat isn't related to the sudden increase in cancers, behavioral issues, and whatever else is plaguing our society today. It's the only common denominator and it's serious. I wish more people would wake up and educate themselves and realize the harm they are causing their children.

  2. I've just recently gotten into this myself... I know our family needs to make a change I'm just not sure how or where to start exactly. I have switched to only organic hormone-free milk and organic produce... but I know there are a ton of areas we could improve. I just need to get the hubs on board.

  3. I think you're really smart to do this, but I think you're also incredibly brave to try it when you're pregnant and craving everything under the sun!

  4. That is exactly what I need. I have done low carb before but not the sugars. I am going to join you, or at least try!