Hungry Haley

it's more than food

The Sugar Experiment

Haley Hansen3 Comments

"Sugar-free", I guess you could call it. It being my decision to cut out sugar for a while. How long is "a while"? Well, I haven't figured that out yet, but I'll let you know by the end of this post. 

WHY 

I've always been curious about sugar - the thousands of different names, their effects in the body, their origins, etc - and I've always had a sweet tooth. If you've read my story (both, I guess) then you know my relationship with food hasn't ever been very stable. One thing that has stayed consistent, however, is that sweet tooth. Thankfully, I now have a better idea about which sugars are better for me (bananas, grapes, sweet potatoes, and the like) and which are to be avoided when possible (white sugar, honey, agave, etc.) Butttttt I'm still a little lost in the forest of sugar, trying to find my way around to discover the trees to climb and those to stay away from. Some researchers tell me that whole foods, plant-based sources of sugar like fruits and veggies are beneficial and should not be limited, while others tell me that all sugar, even that from bananas and grapes and sweet potatoes, is bad. 

Whether or not you research nutrition as often as I do, you've probably heard similar claims simply because of the health issues affecting millions of Americans today. Now, I don't have diabetes or heart disease or any of those, thankfully, but you already know about my sweet tooth. Combine that little guy with my curiosity about all things food and that's how I ended up here, typing away this sugary post. 

Anyway, I'm giving this a try because I want to. I want to uncover how sugars including maple syrup, agave, turbinado sugar, coconut sugar, and the like (I'll add them to the list when I find them) act in my own body. I will NOT be eliminating any whole fruits, vegetables, or grains from my diet. Bread? Maybe. Ezekiel tortillas? Maybe. Again, I'll let you know. 

I'm researching articles written by doctors or anyone else who has partaken in a sugar detox and much of what I'm reading insists on cutting out most, if not all, fruits, starches, and grains. Yeah, well, as a vegan, those things are my life, so that's not going to happen. I've never had any problems digesting whole grains like oats, rice, or quinoa, and whole fruits and veggies are, like I said, LIFE. They provide so many vitamins and minerals, not to mention macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates and fiber, so why would I knock them out of my diet and add in dairy, meat, fish, and eggs (all of which have caused problems in my body before)? 

Think about it - these websites are telling me to cut out every food containing gluten, grains, beans, and anything containing fruit. What in the world would a vegan eat? Kale? Spinach? Literally just vegetables. HAHAHA no. 

I'm going to sum up one of the main points of veganism right now - we eat fruits and vegetables and grains and beans (everything these articles condemn) because they give us energy mainly in the form of carbohydrates, as well as protein, fiber, and healthy fats when consumed in their whole-food form. A non-vegan diet, especially one heavy in animal products, provides those nutrients, too, but in the opposite order, and those nutrients come in the form of another being's carcass, out of which it's life has sucked. I know that may sound harsh, but it's the truth. I'm vegan because I don't want to put that in my body, nor do I want to encourage others to do so. I want LIFE, so why would I feed myself another being's form of death? 

Maybe I'm not taking on a "real" sugar detox, then, so I should probably just call it something else. Any ideas? We'll figure that out later. 

Another reason I'm not cutting out fruits, especially the really sugary ones like dates and bananas and grapes (among others), is because I understand when my body has had enough. My sweet tooth can handle a lot of sugar, but it's limit is reasonable and easy for me to identify. In other words, I do get sick of sugar sometimes. 

I'm cutting out the processed sugars I previously listed because I've heard about benefits like clearer skin, better digestion, increased energy, and sharper mental functioning, not just limited to these, though. What's unfortunate here is that I just remembered the four brand new boxes of cereal in my pantry. Dang it. 

Hmmm, I'm thinking about a suitable name for this "detox" or "cleanse" or whatever, and it seems like a simple reset back to more whole foods. Like I said, I'm not kissing my sourdough bread, dates, bananas, rice, beans, or oats goodbye. Call me "weak" if you want, but I know that they don't cause any harm in my body. If you have any useful information or comments (opposing or not) about those foods, let me know below or via email. My tentative decision for the amount of time for this experiment is two weeks. Tentative... 

Soooo I think that sums everything up! I'm so excited for so many reasons. This is not the end of my sweet tooth, but rather the beginning of a better understanding of how it works in my body :) keep up with me on instagram and here, on my WIAW posts, and 365 Days of Gratitude :) I'll post regularly specifically regarding the sugar experiment - oooooh that's a good name! - here. 

BAM. Can't wait!