I’ve recently accepted a challenge: eliminate sugar completely from my family’s diet. I always knew sugar is bad for the overall health, but I never actually put any serious thought in it. And when I read this article in a health magazine on all the damage sugar does to the body, I made an instant decision: we’re taking sugar off the kitchen racks. The problem was, my husband doesn’t like his morning coffee bitter, and to be honest, I don’t enjoy it either. And while I, as a woman would normally accept anything for the sake of looking good and healthy, he really wouldn’t. So if I wanted to go completely sugar-less I needed to find an alternative. And I did, but I’ll talk about that later.
A lot of you would probably say something like: “It’s just one small teaspoon in the coffee and it doesn’t make a difference”. But it does, a huge one. Because I’ve accepted these facts as a nutritional prayer, I feel obliged to share the knowledge, especially for the sake of children’s health.
Beware of white, refined sugar!
There’s nothing as beautiful as a pearly white smile on a person’s face. Sugar is the initiator of multiple damaging processes in the mouth; cavities, tooth enamel and gum diseases. I want Matthew to grow up a young handsome man with a blinding smile and strong teeth! That’s where my “discovery” comes to the rescue: stevia powder. From the many alternatives on the market, I find stevia powder to be most suitable for what I want to achieve: a healthy, sugar-free lifestyle that keeps our teeth healthy with the ultimate blinding whiteness effect.
Just to name a few of the reasons as to why white refined sugar is everything that’s wrong with our way of nutrition:
- white refined sugar speeds the ageing process of skin, which is another solid reason to turn to stevia; who doesn’t want a wrinkle-free skin at 50?
- most importantly, sugar affects the behaviour and cognition in children; I really don’t want Matthew to suffer because of sugar intake.
The truth is, there’s much more to that story. Obvious conclusion: beware of white refined sugar – big time.
How to include stevia in your daily life
If I have to be completely honest, getting sugar out of our daily diet wasn’t easy at all. The first 2-3 weeks were horrible, but we took it slowly: we started by giving up on gluten the first few days, then we added sugar on the off-list. That’s where I found stevia powder most helpful; we still get to have the sweetness in our diet, just without all the calories and bad carbohydrates.
Stevia is actually a herbal substitute of sugar. It’s derived from the stevia plant, and it’s about 200-300 times sweeter than regular sugar. It has zero calories, no sugar elements, no carbohydrates, its GI (glycemic index) score is zero, thus it has no effect on the glucose levels in the blood. And since it’s packed with all this goodness, stevia should become an inevitable part of everyone’s daily diet, especially in the diet of people who want to keep their energy levels high and retain their young looks. Plus, it it is really easy to buy – you can find stevia powder in most online shops which is pretty convenient. The process shouldn’t be hard if you follow a certain program. Mine comes down to three simple steps:
1. Use stevia for more then just the morning coffee – think of it as the ultimate sugar replacement: you won’t be true to your challenge if you don’t go completely sugarless. That means you’ll start cooking with stevia too and include it in everything you prepare in the kitchen. Also, make sure you don’t fall under temptation when you go out: ask for sugarless food and drinks, or if it’s a must, make sure it’s not white refined sugar.
2. Attention! Eating out can be very tricky – when you go out with your partner, friends or family, you need to remind them of your devotion to a sugarless diet. That means you’ll probably want to avoid certain places where they serve delicious cakes or cookies along with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. I know, I know, it’s going to be extremely hard but trust me, so worth it.
3. Don’t take all the burden by yourself – the whole fight would mean nothing if your family isn’t included and doesn’t offer their support. If you still need to make cakes with white refined sugar for your partner, then you’ll probably end up eating them with him. Spare yourself the disappointment of not being able to remain true to your goal (because you won’t and there’s nothing weird about it) and include your entire family in the challenge. But don’t force them – nothing good comes easy or when forced. Instead, explain to them in a rather convincing manner.