I read somewhere that day five of a sugar detox is the magic day when it all starts to click. Today, I found out that’s true!
Last Day of Summer Vacation
My first meal of the day was a bowl of Grape Nuts with unsweetened almond milk, which both tasted good and satisfied me. Since this is the last day of summer vacation for my boys, who head off to 4th, 6th, and 8th grade tomorrow (I’ll still be homeschooling my K and 2nd grade daughters), I wanted to do something special with them. So, we headed up to Sheboygan to visit Bookworm Gardens, redeem the kids’ reading challenge certificates at Pizza Ranch, and go mini-golfing.
After a two hour delay, we finally headed out around noon. Before we left, I ate walnuts and an apple, and I packed almonds and grapes. Our first stop was the magical Bookworm Gardens, which combines children’s literature and gardening in the most delightful way. Here’s just one of the beautiful settings there:
We were famished when we arrived at Pizza Ranch around 2:30 p.m. For those unfamiliar with this restaurant, it has both a pizza buffet and a fried chicken buffet (with mashed potatoes, biscuits, gravy, corn and green beans), as well as a full salad bar. My kids gorged themselves on pizza, dessert pizza, and soft serve ice cream (along with the mandatory trip to the salad bar), while I opted for the salad buffet only. Here’s one of my two plates of salad:
We finished our outing with mini-golf along Lake Michigan, before heading back home. Upon our return at 6:30 p.m., I quickly scrambled up some eggs with mushrooms, onions, peppers, zucchini, and spinach and a slice of toast for dinner.
It was a great day! I felt really good, and I had far less cravings, although the smells of the day were challenging, especially the scents of Italian pasta sauce and homemade fudge wafting across the boardwalk we strolled along after golfing.
The question now is, where do I go from here? To start, I’ve been doing research to figure out how I’d like to proceed long-term. Here is the stack of books I am perusing from the library right now.
The kids and I are fascinated by this one in particular.
As we look through its pages, I am saddened to see how different cultures have adopted our Westernized diet, when before they ate much healthier. Also, in underdeveloped countries, it is amazing to see the time and work that goes into food preparation each day- grinding corn and grains to make bread, etc. It is also incredible to discover how little ($1.47) or how much ($500) families spend on groceries each week.
A Passion for Education in the Home
One thing I am growing passionate about as I embark on this journey is helping people understand and break their addiction to sugar and other unhealthy foods, particularly in the home. Not eating sugar (or dairy and gluten), and becoming more conscious about the ingredients we have in our own home, has made me acutely aware of the excessive amount of sugar my children are consuming. And yet, we are considered by others to be a relatively healthy family. My boys even get sympathy food at school from other kids because they (usually) have no chips, candy, or pre-packaged foods in their lunches.
When I hear about the boy in my son’s class who drank 12 cans of Mountain Dew at a school event, or the students whose lunches are filled with nothing but processed and pre-packaged food, I cringe inside. More than ever before, today’s children are at risk for heart disease, obesity, ADHD, diabetes, etc.- and it’s all because we, as parents, are either ignorant or apathetic about their sugar consumption (primarily).
I want parents, including myself, to take responsibility for their children’s health, to teach their kids how to read labels and track their sugar intake throughout the day, so that they can make good choices both in and out of the home.
My son was diagnosed with Crohn’s this past year, and out of all my children, he is the most addicted to sugar. I need to find strategies to help him break free from his obsession with all things sweet and to make better choices for the sake of his long-term health. It is an uphill battle, and he is NOT on board- yet. I’d love any suggestions from those who have successfully cut out sweets in their homes.
Not Done Yet
Thank you for joining me these past five days. I am not done with this detox; it is the springboard I needed to launch me into a healthier eating lifestyle. You can visit my Facebook page to see what our pantry currently looks like; my goal is to revamp our cupboards in the coming weeks, not just for me, but for my entire family’s well-being.
What changes will you make today to cut down on sugar? Will you replace soda or fruit juice with water? Will you eat fruit instead of cookies for dessert? Will you bring some carrots and hummus to work and eat them instead of a bag of chips or a candy bar during your afternoon slump? Find one thing, and try it for a week. I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
And, if you have kids, show them the chart I shared yesterday, pull out some of their favorite foods, and read the labels together. My kids have been fascinated and surprised by their findings when we have done this together. Awareness is the first step to change.