Two months ago, I embarked upon a 30 day trial to transform my personal finance awareness and put healthy financial habits in place. Money May was born.
The experience was challenging and full of growth. I’m happy to say that the financial habits I adopted in Money May are still going strong two months later. I’ve called on some of my water brothers for continued support and growth in that area, and we’ve formed a small group dedicated to financial awareness. When you reach out, the growth potential becomes exponential.
I took June off to let Money May settle in, and now I’m back for a new, way more challenging 30 day trial. Something way harder than making a new habit … breaking a really old habit.
Are you ready for this?
I am giving up sugar for 30 days.
This means sugar, artificial sugar substitutes, chemical hodge podge sugars, and any food or beverage that contains sugar or a substitute in the first five ingredients.
Alright, so it doesn’t sound super crazy at first. But it really is. Think about how much sugar is consumed every day. Try finding a sugarless beverage besides coffee, tea and water on the shelves at your grocery store.
If you need a shocking visual, check out Sugar Stacks.
And, I love sweets. Apple danishes, Hostess orange cupcakes, gummy bears, energy drinks (though I’ve kicked the large carbonated ones awhile ago), sweet fruits (a natural source of sugar I’ll be glad to keep in moderation), and more…
As consumers, we crave the sweet, white powder (the drug comparison is on purpose people) so much that food scientists have created compounds that are even sweeter than sugar. They have found ways to make our bodies demand more sweetness. And none of them are healthy for us (though there are great, healthy, natural sweeteners like maple syrup or agave nectar).
To make their products more appetizing, companies have dumped salt (another story entirely) and sugar as primary ingredients into most of our foods. This blows my mind, as most natural foods I eat are just fine without the extra crap. Try and imagine eating most manufactured, on-the-shelf grocery store foods without sweeteners or salts.
What would it taste like? I have no idea, but I know they dump the extra stuff in for a reason – to sell. If it wouldn’t sell without them, I’m betting that they taste pretty terrible.
Don’t even get me started on high fructose corn syrup, or HSFC for the food industry haters. One of the all time worst compounds that you can put into your body. If Michelle Obama was as serious as she should be about childhood obesity, she’d start working on anti-HSFC legislation instead of just getting rid of candy in schools.
The more time I spend considering this trial, the more time spent learning about sugar and its substitutes effects on my body, the more dedicated I become to this trial.
Why Do This Crazy Thing?
I’m a little crazy, and I enjoy challenging lifestyle changes. That’s not the main reason though, and if it was, I wouldn’t share it here on the blog.
Just like money, our health is an area where many people struggle with awareness. Within health, there are two main areas of struggle I see: relationship with food and relationship with exercise. This is all about the relationship that I have with food.
It is so easy to become unconscious about my eating or exercise habits. When they aren’t good, this becomes extremely damaging. Diet has a significant impact on your health, your emotions, your psychology, your physiology, and by extension, your goals and your relationships.
By giving up sugar, I am encouraging myself to transform my dietary awareness. I will be looking at more labels and ingredients, avoiding manufactured instead of natural foods, and making more health oriented choices.
Giving up sugar has side effects. It means that most of my caffeine intake is going to go back to zero. Sadly, with a full month of extra freelance work, I latched back onto caffeine as a fuel source. This month is back at the battle of living a mostly caffeine free lifestyle. All of my favorite energy drinks seem to have some sort of sugar or sugar substitute. I don’t like black coffee.
I’m left with yerba mate and green tea, which have pretty small amounts of caffeine.
How is this going to look practically?
- Avoid sugar, sugar substitutes and products containing either.
- Learn more about the effects of sugar, HFSC, and sugar substitutes on my body and on the population
- Learn a few Sugar Free recipes and ingredients
- Drink lots of water and yerba mate instead of energy drinks
- Re-introduce green smoothies to my diet
This trial isn’t just about sugar. It’s about health and health awareness. That’s why there are positive, non-sugar related steps involved as well.
I’ll keep you all posted on the progress I make. I’m expecting withdrawals and some bodily reactions to this abrupt and drastic change. I look forward to the results on the other side.
I would love to hear receive your feedback now and along the way, so leave a comment!
Aaahhhh… victory will be sweeter than sugar.