What would happen if you decided to go Sugar Free in this crazy candy world of ours? Well let me tell you. In the first day that you and your family decide to do it your neighbors will send over a giant rice krispy treat shaped as a Hershey kiss. Then your daughter’s friend will save a special half of his chocolate bar just for her. (so sweet). Your kind and thoughtful sister-in-law will give you the most delicious smelling loaf of Cinnamon Bread you’ve ever smelled, your other daughters’ dance teacher will line her hands with suckers, and you will have a gigantic bag of the best ever homemade chocolate chip cookies just sitting in your cupboard from the day before you decided to go sugar free. (Theoretically speaking of course. J )
That’s a lot of sugar.
When I was growing up and I wanted a snack my mother gave me raisins, or on a great day I’d get some coconut. When my mom was growing up she lived off of tuna fish, bread and milk, and a little piece of hard candy once every other month or so was a treasure. When her mother was growing up it was through the great depression and I’m sure she was happy to eat shoe leather.
So why do we think we need “something sweet” every day? Like we might die without it. I’m not pointing the finger. I’m just as guilty as the next person. However as I start to open my eyes more and more it is becoming quite apparent that the overabundance of food in our society, specifically sweets, is out of control and it is going to kill us. Strike that—it IS killing us.
As I sat waiting for my daughters to finish dance today I watched at least 15-20 different dancers come in and out, sit on the carpet in front of me and…eat. What were they eating? Here’s a good list for you: ice cream cones, Funyuns, M & M’s, French fries, donuts, candy bars and, oh good, Gatorade. Not kidding. It made my stomach turn just watching them. There was not a single piece of fruit or anything even remotely resembling a vegetable (no, French fries don’t count) anywhere. And these were dancers who are supposedly more healthy than your average person.
It definitely made me wonder what has happened to our society and how this is impacting our children. Copious amounts of sugar cannot be good. We all know that, and yet, what are we doing about it? Do we really think fruit snacks are a good, healthy alternative? Please. And yet I feel unarmed if I don’t have fruit snacks in my purse to pull out and appease the troops if I’m in a bind. I’m sorry, since when is bribing children with food, especially sweets, ever a good idea? I’m totally disgusting myself here.
Cookies, candy, delicious treats and other sundry foods have become our solution for everything. My neighbor is sick. Bake her a cake! My neighbor just had a baby. Bake her a cake! My neighbor’s father just died. Bake her a cake! My neighbor is really stressed out right now. Bake her a cake!
And what do we do with our kids? You got a great report card? Great, let’s go out for ice cream! You did your chores so well. Great, pick some candy out of the prize bowl! You ate two bites of your meal? Great, you can have 5 cookies for dessert! You want to have some special one on one time with Mom? Great, let’s go for brownie sundaes!
Have we become so uncreative that sweets are the only way we know how to show someone that we care about them? Have we become so uncreative that food is the only way for us to motivate or have fun? Have we become so uncreative that food is what we turn to when we’re happy, sad, bored, excited, frustrated, stressed, angry, depressed, etc?
What is the deal?!
Sweets and other unhealthy foods aren’t the solution—they are the problem. Food isn’t meant for any of these purposes. It is an avoidance of real issues which prevents us from dealing with real emotions and developing real relationships because we aren’t really thinking about anyone else. We all have needs, physical and emotional, and they aren’t solved by cakes or cookies. I hate to say this, but Betty Crocker has led us astray. There is no such thing as comfort foods. You will inevitably have to deal with how “uncomfortable” they have left you.
Now, I have personally never been much of a fan for limiting food options. I firmly believe that you can enjoy every food out there in appropriate amounts. However, what I feel like our society has lost sight of is what’s appropriate. Including me. I don’t think many of us realize just how much sugar is involved in our daily lives and it’s time to change that.
The “No Sugar Baby” Challenge is a time to re-evaluate and maybe a chance for some detox, too. J As you go throughout these next 30 days notice how much sugar is around you, available to you even when you aren’t buying it or bringing it into your home. Notice how often it is offered to your children—stores, friends, schools, extra curricular activities, etc. I think you might be surprised at just how much it is. Allow yourself to be disgusted by this because really, it is disgusting. As you evaluate this you can come up with what you think is appropriate amounts of sugar for you and for your family.
We live in a society of excess in every way. It is our job to put that excess in its place. What we eat can no longer be a passive decision, but rather an active choice.
No Sugar BABY!!!!
Can you do it?
“No Sugar Baby” Challenge
CHALLENGE: For 30 days you don’t eat any sugar. This means no cookies, cakes, ice cream, candy, donuts, soda, slushies, brownies, GIANT muffins from Costco or other kinds of muffins you are trying to pretend aren’t like cake but are. You know what falls into this category, so don’t try and trick yourself into finding a loophole. There are no loopholes because you know.If you really don’t know you can ask in the forum and I’ll tell you.
EXTREME CHALLENGE: Don’t bring any sugar into your home and get your family to do the “No Sugar Baby” Challenge with you.