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40 days without sugar

For the next 40 days I have chosen to cut out sugar from my diet. Like me, you’ve probably gotten used to enjoying an occasional sweet treat, especially after a long day at the office. It can quickly transform into a daily habit, because sugar is so addictive. Don’t feel too guilty about it. Life is about balance. But if you want to make some changes, I’d like to make a suggestion.

Choose this time of lent — a full 40 days — and commit to eating no sugar. Go cold turkey. I give up sugar each year, for the past 4 years, usually for 1-3 months. It has led to permanent changes in my eating habits. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it.

Sugar is addictive and let’s face it, it’s also delicious. It’s like a cheap and lazy way to make food taste better. I bet you didn’t realize how much sugar hides out in hundreds of your favourite foods, from salad dressings, to yogurts. Even McDonald’s chips are sprinkled with sugar. It’s contained in most sauces and some breads and of course most beverages (except ÍON tonics!). Food manufacturers know that people like sugar and they know that it is addictive. They play on the fact that sugar makes us feel good temporarily. If you choose to cut-out sugar from your diet, you’ll suddenly feel like an ingredient patrol officer and your grocery shopping spree turns into an investigation as you hunt down the small print on packaging. But stay focused as avoiding sugar will be worth it. Here are some of my reasons for giving it up for 40 days:

  1. A sugar hit is not worth it Sugar robs your body of minerals and it lowers your pH making your body slightly acidic and this is the state that disease can arise and flourish in. Sugar fires up your inflammation and stresses your nervous system and adrenals. Besides giving rise to diabetes, it interferes with hormonal function.
  2. After processing, it's the most unnatural substance I love to research how things are made which is why ÍON tonics are made in the purest possibly way. As for sugar, the processing method is not so pure. Sugar is chemically treated to turn it from sugar cane into pretty white crystals.  The crystals are bleached by sulfur dioxide (a toxic gas) and are treated in a carbonation process to produce a whiter product.
  3. Join the no sugar revolution A major cover-up occurred in the 1960s when Harvard researchers were paid the modern-day equivalent of $50,000 to present their research in a light that portrayed saturated fats as the major health culprit, rather than sugar. Last year an article in The New York Times revealed that Coca-Cola provided millions in funding to researchers seeking to play-down the link between sugary drinks and obesity. If you give up sugar for a month, you’ll become part of a growing anti-sugar movement.
  4. Our tastebuds need a break Reclaim your tastebuds! Your taste buds will regenerate themselves if you avoid sugar and after a few weeks, a whole array of flavours will become more noticeable to you. Wholesome food will taste better, as your taste buds become more sensitive.

It is found that the cravings, withdrawal and relapse symptoms of sugar addicts are similar to those of cocaine and heroin abusers. Sugar is highly addictive so most people have it tough when they choose to go sugar-free.

This might help...

If you need some help in resisting your cravings, ÍON Ginger Herbal Tonics will give you a boost. According to feedback from regular ÍON tonic-drinkers, the tonics have replaced their afternoon sugary snack habit. These zingy organic remedies contain freshly pressed lemons and freshly pressed ginger, organic ginseng and organic liquorice root that satisfies sweet cravings, since liquorice root is 50 times sweeter than sugar. You can buy them here.

My experience

There were certainly times when I didn’t enjoy life without sugar. I know I will find these next 40 days challenging too but I will grin and bear the craving cyclone until it passes, and it will pass. At these moments, I find changing my environment helps and getting outside for a walk can do wonders. Remind yourself that it’s only for 40 days. The benefits of a break from sugar will continue long after these days are over. Your new normal might become more enjoyable than the old and you might just realise that you are sweet enough!