Goodbye, Sugar! My August Commitment

Tomorrow is August.

As ridiculous as it might seem, I’m a bit glad to see July go. It was a heavy month, and the combination of miscarriage and wild hormone takeover has put my body out of sorts. For the first time since going vegan, I’ve recently gone to sleep with a bloaty, uncomfortable belly. At first I thought it might just be water retention after the miscarriage, but let’s not kid ourselves: it’s just bad food. I pride myself on being such a healthy eater, and I most always am, but the 10 pound bag of Sour Patch Watermelon in my pantry might tell a different story.

I recently watched the speech “The Plagues of Prosperity” by Dr. Benjamin Bikman, a diabetic specialist and professor at BYU, who boldly faced all the major causes of cancer, heart disease, and infertility in a devotional. I’m not sure about anyone else, but when someone mentions my reproductive health, I am all ears. So when Dr. Bikman brought up the study that found frequent insulin spikes (caused by sugar and carbs) is linked to reduced fertility, I almost screamed.

 

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Sugar is such a mainstream part of our lives. It is. It’s the actual (and embarrassing) reason I chose a flexible vegan diet over a whole food, plant-based restrictive one. And while we rarely consume sugar in our home (sans the Sour Patch, ha!), dining out makes me feel like the inside of a pinata. And then I end up feeling like a pinata, post fiesta.

Sugar is tricky. It fools your senses into craving more and more of it, despite that your body knows its harmful, energy-lowering, and insulin-spiking consequences. It’s one of the few inborn human addictions. For me to give something up, there has to be profound health benefits, and there has to be evidence. So, if you’re not convinced to join me in this sugarfree August, see if any of these wowing side effects of going off sugar could do the trick:

1.

Younger skin

This one was a major turn-on for me. As someone who has an avid skincare routine (and is always on the lookout for help), if reducing sugar keeps me young, I’m all about it. Sugar in your bloodstream can effect your glycation, which can hinder the amount of collagen you produce. And, yes, hello, you know that collagen is a key ingredient to keeping elastic, unwrinkled foreheads. Sold.

2.

Real, long-lasting energy

You’ve heard of sugar highs and sugar crashes. Same idea applies, since sugar is a simple carbohydrate and metabolizes fast, leaving you in a floaty, low state shortly after. Look, lots of healthy foods promise to give you energy, but even a bit of sugar can throw your whole metabolic track off, undoing the energy-producing good your greens are doing you. Don’t cave. It’s real!

3.

Flat stomach

Need I say more? Your insulin spikes encourage fat to fold in around the gut area. Lessening the amount of insulin spikes literally lessens the amount of fat you produce. Simple.

4.

Reduced risk of disease

There are so many other benefits with overall health, like reduced risks in diabetes, heart disease, and all the cancers. Plus, studies have been linked to improved mental clarity, heightened mood, and reduction of headaches. Of course, I’m not a doctor, and I won’t convince you–let the results do the work.

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This month isn’t going to be easy: I’ve chosen the Big Temptation as my target, but now I’m accountable. If you see me eating sugar out on the town, you have full permission to smack me. Right across the face.

I highly encourage you to watch Dr. Bikman’s speech. In lieu of a sugar-filled August, I’ll be whipping up some sugarfree alternates as the month trickles by (if I have the willpower).

Au revoir, Trader Joe’s chocolate bars!