After reading Year of No Sugar by Eve O. Schaub, I was inspired to fully eliminate sugar out of my life. I questioned if that little bit of daily honey was enough sugar to push my blood pressure up enough that my dear cardiologist felt that it was necessary to put me on medicine. I asked myself what could go wrong with eliminating honey and maple syrup, my last form of sugar, for a month. Honestly, I couldn’t think of a single logical reasonable thing that could go wrong or harm to my body. Maybe the worst thing that could happen is that my blood pressure didn’t go down enough to come off the medicine.
This might be the first time I mentioned on my blog that I have been sugar free with the exception of honey and maple syrup for over 8 years. I rationalized that honey and maple syrup was good sugar because it was all natural. Between the Year of No Sugar and a quick internet search it quickly revealed that I was wrong. Honey and maple syrup are the same as cane sugar to my body. My body cannot tell the different at all.
Years ago I found out that I had 12 food allergies. I really struggled with what to eat after 30 years of eating whatever I wanted. Sure I didn’t feel great. I had constant stomach problems and lived on Imodium most days. But I didn’t know better. I didn’t know what it felt like to feel better. In the middle of trying to figure out what to eat as well as finding out that I had more food allergies than originally expected, I broke down. Like I’m talking full sobbing to Mr. BMM. I declared that there had to be a better way.
I experimented with sugar. For some reason, this little thought that sugar was causing some of my issues crept into my mind. I have to thank my guardian angel. She works a lot of overtime keeping me safe. Prior to leaving on vacation, I eliminated sugar while sticking as best as possible to not accidently ingesting a single allergy food. You know like a good old science experiment I had to control the variables. On vacation I found ice cream that was safe but contained sugar. I ate that ice cream and loved it! I loved it until my belly bloated to make me look like I was pregnant. Oh the belly bloating pain! Hurts so much and it feels like nothing will help in the moment.
That was the turning point for me. I learned about candida and how it responds to sugar. Candida is an overgrowth of bacteria that feeds off sugar, starchy foods, and grains in your gut. FINE! I went on an anti-candida diet and within days I experienced what they call as die off. The candida came out. I felt great until the intense sugar cravings started.
HOLY CRAP! The CRAVINGS were unlike anything else I had experienced. Then the WITHDRAWAL symptoms hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew that I had a sweet tooth but I had no idea how addicted to sugar I was until those moments. My symptoms ranged between headaches, lack of energy, bloating, stomach cramps, racing heartbeat, irritability, anxiety, depression, and more.
After months of slowing introducing more safe foods into my diet (not sugar or allergy causing foods), living with overwhelming acne, and struggling to feel normal, I declared to myself that I would no longer consume sugar in the traditional sense. I allowed myself sugar from fruits, vegetables, honey, dates, and maple syrup. For eight years I have been living this way and feeling stronger and more in control of my food choices. My skin has cleared up while most of the scars remain. I refuse to cover them up with makeup. More on that in another post.
Now eight years later I eliminated honey and maple syrup as part of this experiment. When I say that I haven’t experienced a single withdrawal symptom this time around, keep in mind what I went through before. Maybe there has been a little bit of withdrawal but it was so minor that I didn’t notice it. What I did notice is that my mind feels clearer, calmer, and my stomach seems to be a little flatter. I am sleeping very well. And I am overall loving this experiment.
I haven’t gotten sick from drinking plain water first thing in the morning like I expected. I’m actually drinking more water first thing in the morning. I have had to readjust my “honey mustard marinade” recipe for chicken. Mr. BMM hasn’t noticed the chicken is sans honey. Mr. BMM is showing an interest in pushing his already healthy meal plan further. Like I have said with minimalism, you cannot make your family and friends change but you can drop nuggets of wisdom and let them come to their own conclusions.