Over recent months I have become more and more aware of the consequences of eating badly on our health, the health of our children, and our nation.
After watching several documentaries (all searched out on you tube) and including Nigel Latta's - "sugar can be dangerous for you", and being totally shocked that sugar is being labelled toxic and as dangerous as tobacco, I decided personally to go as sugar free as possible and to definitely find out MORE ...
On top of that - I watched in horror as little 2-3 year olds were having their teeth pulled out because their parents put soda in their bottles ... and gradually over time I realised not everything is the parents fault. Sugar in our food is invisible and unless you understand how to read labels you can be tricked into the fancy marketing on the front of the packaging and get sucked in like I did. Some of the trick marketing leads you to believe some items are healthy - when in reality they are most definitely not.
All of this led to the decision to change how I feed my family. My husband and I became exceptional label readers. Included in this was putting in a vegetable garden at home and to eat organic where possible. This was certainly not something that could be addressed all at once, but over a few months, as a family we have become a lot more fussy about what we put in our mouths and a lot more healthy.
What is incredibly disturbing is that most of us do not give a second thought to what we put in our trollies at the supermarket. What is in the food, how and where it is made, what is it sprayed with and is it safe - all these topics are separate issues - but when it came to sugar I never stopped to consider how much was in the every day products I had been purchasing.
As I became more aware of the amount of sugar in the food that we were using as a family, my husband and I began to avoid those types of food. Spreads, dressings, processed foods, soda's where pretty much eliminated immediately.
We replaced these with lots of vegetables and fruits for smoothies, nuts, made from scratch dressings, oils, spreads, honey, and home made lemonade, jam and baking for treats. My new philosophy is that if there is a number or a word I don't understand on the label - I don't buy it! Easy really.
Yes quitting sugar and eating healthy does mean you have to be a lot more organised, shop from a list, prepare in advance, cook from scratch, google recipes, make lots of mistakes, learn from experience but it is totally possible and the best thing of all is that we are now saving money. That wasn't apparent at first but a couple of months into our new food routine I began to find I had so much food in the cupboard that I couldn't use it all in a week and a lot was just being thrown in our compost because I hadn't used it in time. Since then I have learned to juggle fresh food a bit better and if I can't use it someone else can.
My quitting sugar attempt was successful - I still have a little bit everyday as you can't avoid it altogether but you can get it into perspective.
"READING FOOD LABELS"
Did you know that every 4 grams of sugar equals 1 tsp
Did you also know that the American Heart Association's recommended daily sugar amount for a child is 3-4 teaspoons.
That's how much sugar is in the yoghurt I put in my son's lunch box - then there is the sugar in the bread ....
and so on ... and so on ... and so on ....
My sons lunch box for school used to resemble a candy store. Everything was in a packet. Chippies, muesli bars, yoghurt, fruit bars, processed cheese and a piece of fruit. He now has up to three pieces of fruit, sandwiches, nuts, yoghurt and dried fruit. My aim was to eliminate as much sugar and carbs that turn to sugar as possible. I admit I haven't fully mastered this but my aim is that by the end of the year there will be minimal sugar in my child's lunch box and items that contain sugar in my son's diet will be what they were always intended to be - a once/twice a week treat.
At the same time my desire was to see his lunch box be as close to zero waste as possible. I guess the next step on my journey will be to make our own home made yoghurt (which will also reduce the sugar content). The purchase of the below lunch box (a little more expensive) but it not only reduces waste into our over flowing landfills but also saves me money on purchasing food wraps. ..
Did I have objection from my eight year old when I changed his lunch box diet ... you bet I did ...
Did he get over it ... Yes
Would I like our primary school to be sugar free and implement a school community garden - to teach parents and the kids good nutrition - "definitely"
I did it - so can you - the +'s will out weigh the -'s and guess what ... I have lost nearly 4 kg's so far.
Have fun being sugar free
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