Sugar.

Well, everyone…I have an announcement.

No, I’m not pregnant. πŸ˜‰ I wish.

After weighing the idea for quite a while, and after some timely encouragement I received yesterday, I’ve made a decision. I’m giving up refined sugar. So is Ryan. No mo’ suga’. If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that Jack is already sugar-free. I would like to try living this way – well, for many reasons – but mostly because there is no nutritional value in sugar and thereΒ just isn’t any good excuse to eat it (umm…besides the fact that it tastes glorious – but that’s not really the best excuse).

My value for the health of my family has increased majorly over the past 10 months or so. Some of you don’t know this – but I had two major gallbladder attacks in 2007 – one on my 21st birthday in August and one on Thanksgiving (that one lasted 7 hours, if I remember correctly, and was at least 5 times more painful than childbirth – no exaggeration). After my first attack, I was not convinced I needed to change the way I ate. I was told I could stop an attack by taking Tylenol with codeine. As a result, I still ate fried, fatty foods and pretty much anything else I wanted. Anytime I felt discomfort in the gallbladder region, I took a bit of Tylenol with codeine, had a little sleep, and woke up feeling better. This was obviously bad because not only was I taking excess amounts of strong medicine, I was also nursing, and had to try to keep Jack from nursing until a few hours had passed (even then, I’m sure some of the medicine got into his system).

My second attack was a lot scarier. Ryan and I were chatting in bed after we’d put Jack down for the night. We’d eaten ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, bread, buttermilk pie and pumpkin pie. I told Ryan I was feeling kind of funny and within minutes, I felt like my body was being cut in half. I battled the pain as long as I could – each time I tried to drink water, it caused me to vomit. Nothing would stay down.T Tylenol didn’t work this time. There was no relief. After 5 hours of dealing with this, we went to the ER (without insurance) and waited for almost 2 hours until they finally allowed me come through the doors. I was given a shot (which caused me to vomit yet again [I think I counted 12 times that night]) and then, after the pain had somewhat numbed, I was given some kind of pill. It was one of the worst nights of my life.

After that, I changed my diet drastically. I took out almost all fat – except for skim milk, some low-fat cheeses, non- or low-fat yogurt, and meat (it’s kinda hard to find fat-free meat). I stopped eating fried foods and stopped eating at fast food restaurants altogether. I stopped eating butter. I only allowed myself to eat vegetable oil and olive oil – in very small amounts. Along with this change in diet, I promptly lost about 30 pounds (I’d already lost 20 postpartum – so basically, all my pregnancy weight and then some! Woohoo!). Since then, I still haven’t eaten anything fried and if I am forced to eat at a fast food restaurant, I order grilled chicken or a salad (even that’s scary, though). I allow myself a bit more freedom with dairy, but I don’t eat butter and I eat red meat only on occasion.

I have gallstones to thank for giving me such a different perspective on health and eating. What we put into our bodies has a huge effect on how we feel and function. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize that sugar doesn’t help one bit, either. Considering I have a high standard for what enters my son’s body – why shouldn’t I hold myself to the same standard?

Last night, I talked it over with Ryan and asked him if he’d like to join me in the sugar-free journey. You know what he said? “Okay…what do I have to give up?” I was pretty surprised. So, basically, as of today, our goal is to rid our kitchen of all refined sugar and sugar-containing foods. I’m going to sit down with my shopping list and adjust it, and from here on out, we eat no refined sugar whatsoever.

It’s gonna be tough, but I am excited!

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5 Comments

Filed under eating food

5 responses to “Sugar.

  1. Wow! With this pregnancy, I’ve had to cut out a lot of sugar because it makes me feel just plain yuck! I am so surprised by what has sugar in it. It certainly is healthier to do without–if only is didn’t taste SO GOOD. I can do without salty foods, no problem, but sugar is tough.

  2. congratulations on this!! i know you guys can do it. i would advise that you replace any sugary goodies with goodies that have natural sugars in them. also, one of my favorite snacks is a piece of healthy toast, butter (i use earth balance “butter), and honey. it really hits my sweet tooth and i don’t need much at all.

    just make sure you have a lot of alternatives available around the house. this will help making your sugar-free life a lot easier. especially in the beginning while you are adjusting.

    in your honor, i am going to post more sugar-free recipes!

  3. Lindsey

    Oh man, your gallbladder attacks sound terrible. I am so sorry you had to go through that, but it’s good that you figured out what was triggering it. And…you DID NOT tell me that you lost all the baby weight! Now I know what to do after this baby is born in December!!! πŸ™‚ Kudos to the Websters for going sugar free! Keep us all posted, especially with recipes that you adjust and such!

    You are loved πŸ™‚

  4. Somehow.. I’m not subscribed correctly and I’ve missed a couple posts! Yikes! πŸ™‚

    Anyway, I’d really like to totally cut out refined sugar as well. But we’re dealing with cutting out the gluten first.

    And I’m not sure how I’ll figure out gluten free baking with substituting natural sweeteners for the sugar. But.. we’ll get there πŸ™‚

    At least Ryan is there with you. Jake won’t go gluten free and I highly doubt he’s willing to give up the sugar.

    But MAYBE if you guys lived across the street… you know, positive peer pressure πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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