Whole30 Day 11: Getting Up On My Soapbox

Today’s blog post is less about me, and more about you. Because, you know, I love ya. It’s where I turn into your worried mother, or your nagging wife, or your know-it-all sister. Sounds great, right! You can’t wait to read on! But please, read on. Today, I want to attempt to impress something upon you that I fully intend to be for your own good (told you I’d sound like your mother!). It’s something that might just extend your life, provided you stay out of the path of city buses and marauding jungle cats.

I want you to think about drastically, and I mean DRASTICALLY, cutting down your sugar intake.

*Grabbing you around the knees*

*Blocking the door*

*Not letting you run away*

I know, I know — it’s like I just suggested that you skip Christmas or quit petting puppies, but honestly, I’m having a bit of an epiphany here on this Whole30 adventure. I’m learning stuff. I’m opening my eyes and turning my face to some serious science that is, bit by bit, proving, at a fairly damning level, that excess sugar is a drug, like cocaine or heroin. And, even worse, it gets to the level of being a poison. It’s hella bad, lovies.

I know it’s a lot to process and, because, like a bajillion other people, you’re probably uber addicted to sugar right now, it probably seems like an insurmountable request. But it’s not. I promise. It took me less than a week to get out from under the grasp of sugar. You just have to try. Whole30 is a great place to start. Sugar Busters looks like another possibility. Just try.

But WHY, you say? Why would you ever want to reduce the amount of glorious, delicious sugar in your life? Sugar is sooooo good! Well, I will agree; sugar does taste pretty darn good, and that’s no accident. We are physiologically programmed to respond to sugar because, back when we were knuckle-dragging cavemen (and women), sugar — always paired in the natural world with LOTS of fiber, BTW — was a cue that, “Hey, this isn’t poisonous!” Nature is super smart. But, sadly, we took a good cue and turned it into a huge problem once we started refining sugar and putting it into almost literally EVERY processed food. It’s bad news, my bears. Here are some things I didn’t know about sugar. Maybe you didn’t, either, but you should:

  • The way we all generally eat it, our bodies are reacting to sugar (fructose) in the same way they do to alcohol — as a toxin.
  • The “low-fat” craze, and all the low-fat foods you can get? Fat has been replaced with sugar, because food with fat removed tastes like cardboard. Your body responds to that sugar like it does to a high-fat diet. Low-fat is, behind the scenes, high-fat. And you wonder why you didn’t lose weight eating Snackwells.
  • Of the 12 or so really awful, awful things chronic alcohol consumption does to your body, over consumption of fructose shares eight of them.
  • What amount of extra sugar per day is okay for your body? Only 150 calories worth for men, 100 calories for women. That’s not even a can of Coke. How many cans of Coke have you had today?

I’m totally paraphrasing from stuff I’ve watched lately, so don’t take my word for it. Educate yourself. If nothing else, take some time and watch at least one of these videos (the deepest and most flourish-y hat tip to the inimitable Katie Hill for the heads-up on all of these). See if it gets you thinking. See if it horrifies you like it horrified me. And then see what you might want to do about it.

This one’s just 15 minutes. A good primer:

Or this one’s packed with information and super science-y, if you’re getting on board, are interested in data and have some time to kill. It’ll scare the pants off you…or at least the sugar off your table:

Or this one only focuses on sodas, and is kinda sad, but definitely gets the point across:

Now that my PSA is all wrapped up, what was on yesterday’s plates?

What did I eat?

Breakfast

Morning Snack

  • Red pepper

Lunch

  • Mustard-baked tilapia with pecan-coconut crust
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Honeycrisp apple

Afternoon snack

  • Black coffee
  • Five prunes

Dinner

  • Few plantain chips
  • Bacon-wrapped filet mignon with mocha rub (wow, this was killer)
  • Steamed green beans

How did I feel?

Besides increasingly hostile toward sugar, I felt awesome. I’ve also noticed my sleep is feeling MUCH more restful, and I wasn’t aware it didn’t feel restful before. When I wake up in the mornings now, it’s like I’m coming up from being submerged in a deep, dark, velvety pool of rejuvenation. No spa can offer you THAT.

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4 thoughts on “Whole30 Day 11: Getting Up On My Soapbox

  1. I’m doing the Whole30 thing too, only on day four. Today has been killer, so I’m browsing for other people doing it. I am enjoying cooking so much more, but I am really fighting the cravings. Needed to read this! I think processed sugar is basically toxic and we should definitely stay away from it almost all the time. Great post!

    • Thanks, Kate! It gets a lot easier, pretty much after day 4, so you should be on the cusp of sweet, sweet relief! I feel really fortunate I never had awful cravings, even on those first few days, but I could still totally tell my body was “noticing” that something was different. Good luck, keep it up, and I’m going to (try to) keep blogging all the way through, if you need commiseration.

  2. Hi Caroline! Good post – nice to hear some tough love about sugar addiction! I am not a dessert person so I thought I’d be fine starting the Whole30 but WOW sneaky sugar added to all of my food made me a sugar addict just like everyone else. So I had a heck of a time on days 3-5 of Whole30.

    p.s. I am on day 10 of Whole30 and feeling great!

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