Wrap Text around ImageI am a homeschooling SAHM of my 3 children. My husband and I have been married for almost 18 years. I cook mostly from scratch and love buying our food from local farms. I am on a recent journey to better health. three years in and I am keeping the weight off and loving the life I live! Join me as I share my story as well as many tips I have learned along the way!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What's Your Daily Sugar Intake?

    Everything in moderation. We hear this a lot, or at least I do and I agree for the most part. But what do we consider a moderate daily sugar intake? Is it two soft drinks? Three? Two and a dessert with dinner? One and a big bowl of ice cream before bed? What would you say if I told you that women should have no more than 100 calories daily from added sugar and for men it is 150 calories. You're laughing aren't you?! Or is it scowling in disgust, wondering who came up with those numbers. The American Heart Association is the killjoy in this instance. Killjoy. That's actually an interesting choice of words considering that sugar seems to be the killjoy to the health of so many American's.

     Six teaspoons of added sugar is the women's recommended daily allowance. I used to reach that with two cups of coffee every morning and not even blink an eye. It is 9 teaspoons of added sugar for a man's daily recommended allowance. That means 100 calories for women and 150 calories for men. One soft drink a day and you're toast. How many people actually stick to that??? Not very many I assure you! I won't even address the recommended daily allowance of added sugar for children. It blew my mind considering that sugar is in everything marketed to children.

    Have you ever considered the damage that sugar could be doing to your body? I never thought about it until a year ago. I had no clue that my allergies and chronic sinus infections could be related to the copious amount of sugar I inhaled. I was sick constantly and took many over the counter medications to counteract the symptoms I had. I was addicted to Dr. Pepper, cake, candy, and cookies. I would send my husband to the store to buy me cake and Dr. Pepper. And I would finish that off and still want more. I could down a whole bag of Mint Chocolate M & M's, wash it down with almost 2 liters of Dr. Pepper and not bat an eye. Right now as I sit and type that out it makes me sick to my stomach. Literally.

    Thankfully, I read about candida one day while browsing Facebook and I was intrigued. I saw the list of symptoms that someone had posted and it sent me on a Googling spree. I researched for days reading everything I could find. I was convinced that what I was dealing with was a huge candida overgrowth. I remember one night particularly well. I had eaten dinner with my sister. Steak, baked potato and salad. I stayed away from the rolls since food with gluten had been giving me problems. Later we watched a movie and I polished off a 16 oz. Dr. Pepper and a bag of mint M & M's. I didn't overeat but I was sooo sick that night. My stomach hurt so badly I cried. It was a repeat of so many times before where I would eat, avoid gluten and most dairy but still get sick. I felt like everything made me ill and yet it never once occurred to me that all of that sugar was to blame.

     Everywhere I looked I was seeing the same 10 symptoms pop up associated with candida overgrowth. Of those 10 common symptoms, 9 applied to me. Nine.

     You may be wondering what sugar has to do with any of this. Sugar is what feeds the yeast and causes the overgrowth that is so hard to get rid of. That yeast is called candida albicans. It is a fungus that is normally on our skin and mucus membranes. It isn't a problem unless it gets out of control. Antibiotic use and the American diet are two large contributing factors here.

 10 Common Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth

 1. Skin and nail fungal infections

 2. Feeling tired and worn down or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia

 3. Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea

 4. Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis,    Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis

 5. Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog

 6. Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes

 7. Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression

 8. Vaginal infections , urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching

 9. Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears

 10. Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings

     Can you imagine how miserable it was to live with almost all of those symptoms? It was a miserable existence. I spent a lot of time in bed with a migraine and if it wasn't a migraine it was terrible digestive issues and chronic sinus and allergy problems. I got tired of telling my kids "No". I was sick of letting them down because I didn't feel well. Again. I decided to take drastic measures and on January 17, 2014, I began a health journey that lasted all year long and continues on today. I am down almost 40 lb and have dropped from a size 16 pants to a size 6. I feel better than I have felt in a decade. A DECADE! That is a long time to be less than your best self.

     It wasn't easy and it didn't happen overnight but every step has been a journey worth taking. I am not finished yet. I won't ever be finished getting healthy. I believe it is a life long journey, something we work at daily. My journey started with kicking sugar to the curb. Sometimes it creeps back in and I have to give it the boot once again. But I never let it linger too long. I feel like my life depends on it, because it does.

     I will be sharing more of my story and how I got where I am today. Be sure to follow me on social media to stay connected!