Blood sugar is the key. I know this. I don't know enough about it to know how to manage it very well, but I get the concept. And I am acutely aware of the sugar cycle. If I have ONE sugary snack during the course of a day, my body then craves sugar for the rest of the day. I am guessing this is both chemical and mental. And I'm certain that it's a bad cycle for me. Okay, so easy, right? Avoid sugar.
Well, sometimes that's easier said than done. When you look in your prepared foods around the house you're going to find sugar added to most of it. Yuk. I was fond of a muesli mix from my local grocery brand. Fourth ingredient. Their granola under the same label, 2nd ingredient. If that's not crap-tastic!
Okay, so it's important that I am aware of all my sugar intake. I've started calling it "conscious sugar." As in, I'm conscious that I'm eating sugar and I am making a decision to eat it or not to eat it. The hidden sugar in my diet is under surveillance and attack. I'm on a jihad against sugar in all forms.
Guess what, it's in a lot of whole foods too. A friend and I were talking about fruit and he said, "You know if you drink a glass of apple juice, you're consuming about 5 tablespoons of sugar." What? That's not good. "But, when you eat the actual apple, the parts of the skin and the fiber slow down the metabolism and allow it to be absorbed in a more healthy way." Still sugar, but not concentrated or massive amounts. As much as I love my honeycrisp for dessert right now, I can't imagine eating five of them in a row. Besides these honkers are beasts that weigh in at nearly a pound each.
Orange juice is even worse. The "not from concentrate" versions are really no better for you. And that little swig of OJ in the morning, that I used to use as a wakeup jolt, a really bad idea for me.
What happens inside my body, in my blood, when I eat or drink sugar is not good. What happens afterwards, when I feel a little high and then a huge energy drop, is also toxic to my health and my fitness plan. Time to watch for sugar and hidden sugar and root it out.
We didn't learn how to eat healthy in our family of origin. While my mom is a great cook, she's also a bit on the round and jolly side. And it's okay with her if I'm on the round and jolly side with her. That's the household I grew up in. And she's preparing whole meals. She's working to be healthier, but she's not shying away from the dairy and oils. And she does love the desserts. A dinner without dessert is an anomaly. Whereas, I think it should be an exception. That's how I grew up.
I remember weekends where I would be playing tennis and the bottom of my energy would drop out. Not in a natural way, but like being dropped off a cliff. I know this was blood sugar stuff. I probably had pancakes with plenty of syrup. And when the carbs and sugar ran out, boom I was sick.
I know this about myself NOW, but as a kid, you have very little understanding or say in these kind of things. As I've grown into a middle-aged man, I still don't have many of the answers. What I know is, sugar is bad. And managing sugar is an important part of my health plan.
Be sweet but kill the sweeteners.
Take the next step,
reference: sugar stacks – how much sugar is in foods and drinks
image: sugar loops, vox efx, creative commons usage