Those Sneaky Slippery Slopes

I know I am a sugar addict. I love sugar. It’s great! If I’m down…I have some sugar and feel happier. For a little while…

4 years ago, after my heart attack, my Handsome Hubby and I made some pretty dramatic changes in our standard diet. We cut out all processed food and started eating Paleo. I baked with only maple syrup, coconut sugar, or raw honey. We had the occasional high quality dark chocolate.


Fast forward to the birth of our third son in May of last year. I’m 37 at the time, having a harder time losing the weight, don’t have much time for the gym, my friends have gotten into being fitness coaches and share some protein shakes with me. I was skeptical. It wasn’t “real” food. It was advertised as being real but really it wasn’t. It was still a powder and just bits and pieces of real substances processed to make a palatable drink. But I tried it and was hooked. It was sooo sweet and delicious. So I took the bait and went forward. I ignored my questions such as is it non-GMO, is it organic, what about the agave in it?

My morning green smoothies went out the door and I switched to my protein shake. But the weight stayed and my sugar cravings increased. It was strange to me. Everyone else in my fitness group saw their sugar intake decreasing and I felt like I was having more than I had in the years past or at least craving more. I really was having a tough time. My chest pains had returned that I had experienced when very stressed, run down, or eating wrong.

Then my Handsome Hubby and I watched That Sugar Film. This documentary follows a previous healthy, whole food diet eating man’s journey into consuming 40 grams of sugar per day (the Standard Australian and American for that matter diet). I looked up the American Heart Association’s recommendations for added sugar intake for women and men. It’s 6 teaspoons (24 grams) per day for women and 8 teaspoons (32 grams) for men.

So the protein shake I was drinking had 18 grams of sugar. If I divide that by 4 to figure out teaspoons…it’s 4.5 teaspoons of added sugar. Sure it was agave but that is still added sugar. So that meant I only had 1.5 teaspoons of added sugar allowed in the day to take care of my heart. No wonder I was having a sore chest again! That 1.5 could be a bit of raw honey in my tea, or a touch of my half sweetened almond milk splashed into my chai. Bam…sugar limit met.

Let me back up…sugar causes inflammation. Inflammation can lead to heart disease. Inflammation irritates your arteries, drains your body of Vitamin C as it tries to deal with all the crazy free radicals in your body, Vitamin C is key in keeping your arteries and veins strong without lesions/tears and as a result…your body…to protect itself…produces cholesterol to cover any lesions.

So we cut it out. My husband and I went back to square one. It’s harder this time but I’m doing it. Before, the stent placement was new, painful, and it helped I had a massive bruise extending from my groin to my knee for a “leak” where the stent entrance site was. I was more afraid.

We are one week into the change. My body is detoxing. I’m having my kale smoothies and one to two local free range eggs every morning. My skin is breaking out as I detox from it all. I no longer touch the chocolate chips in the cupboard or my sons’ candy on the fridge. You see…for me…I had already cut most of my sugar out.

So when I added the shake in…my body jumped on it. Sure I had a nice high from the shake and looked forward to it every morning. Added sugar is like cocaine. Studies have shown that it’s just as addictive or worse than cocaine. Veggie smoothies are not cocaine but they do cleanse your body and you still can look forward to them.

So I had to reassess and am thankful for a husband who reassesses with me. We are back to hardcore. I even left the complimentary candy at the table when I paid a restaurant bill this week.

Our Superheroes aren’t too pleased about it but they are surviving and hopefully my heart will beat on for many years to come. As a side note… my veggie intake is back to what it once was and the moods and peace in our house have been restored as a direct result of the sneaky sugar exiting our house. If you haven’t gone hardcore…you should try it. It’s tough but it’s worth it…especially when I have these guys to live for.



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