Treats Redefined

I know we think giving our grand-kids and our kids (even babies!) donuts, candy, and other sweet foods is a treat and that we are doing them a favor, but it’s not. It is exactly the kind of thinking that is causing this country’s epidemic of obesity. Getting kids used to sugary sweet foods is setting them up for a lifetime of craving sweets and feeling like they deserve them…when they are down, to celebrate important events and to reward themselves for doing well or being good. I am not judging, I did it with my kids too. It is the norm in our society. It is SAD, really, that is what it is referred to, The Standard American Diet (SAD). What if instead we got the message that eating well– eating “good for us” food– is the reward?

After all, when we do, we look and feel better…what could be better reward than that? And I am getting to the age where that message is really sinking in, and speaking up loud and clear. Giving our kids a few bites of any food and they will probably get used to it, and like it, just like anything else. It’s true, my kids like broccoli, even more than I do because they started eating it when they were little, got used to the taste and texture and now for them, eating it is no big deal. I grew up thinking green beans and corn were “good for you” vegetables and have since learned that (at least one of them) is NOT! Who knew? But that is another story.

I get it, sugar is great and I love cake and sugary treats just like you do. But a little over a year ago I stopped eating it and I went into withdrawals…YES, WITHDRAWAL FROM SUGAR! Make no mistake about it, sugar is a “feel good” substance that is VERY addictive! You know what else feels good? Having fewer aches and pains, losing 3 pant sizes and feeling shocked when I put my hands on my hips… I still feel amazed (6 months later!) and wonder whose thin waist my hands are resting on! I am so used to seeing and feeling those extra 20 pounds around my middle, I hardly recognize myself! And now, I still have cake and other sugary treats, it is just MUCH LESS, and much less often and not really missed at all.

Of course other than giving up sugar, I made other changes too, not all at once and not without some complaining. I’ll talk more about those later. Gradual, baby steps. YOU CAN DO IT TOO! Start with one thing, one small thing. Read labels. Buy nothing with sucrose, fructose, glucose, or maltodextrin, to name a few (and no fake sugars, other than stevia– this is also another story). It is really easier to just buy food without labels, unless it is frozen fruits or vegetables with nothing else added.

Reap and ENJOY the benefits…your body WILL THANK YOU, and you will thank it back!


P.S. I also want to give myself a big pat on my back, there has been a can of Coke in my frig for months! The kids don’t even hardly ever order pop in restaurants anymore, woo hoo!

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