It’s the holiday time of year. I love the songs, traditions and overall happiness that goes along with Christmas. But, there are a lot of sweets and treats that tend to come around my house that are simply hard to resist. From the cookie baking, holiday candy, pumpkin muffins and hot chocolate after playing in the snow, it’s all here!
I do my best to eat a clean diet and keep the sugar intake very low. But these little friends in the picture sometimes shout at me even from inside the kitchen cabinet!
A friendly neighbor of mine gave me some wonderful homemade cookies. She asked if I was allergic to anything and I jokingly said “Sugar! It makes me gain weight.”. This was a joke, but then she looked at me in all seriousness and replied that her mother-in-law was allergic to gluten and sugar. I was sort of taken back and almost took her comment about a sugar allergy as a joke but then realized she was serious.
Really?! I was jealous and felt sorry for her all at the same time. That would be so amazing to have a hard and true reason to not eat sugar. I know sugar has no nutritional benefit unless I’m using it during an endurance event for the quick energy release. But there is no significant side effect to eating sugar that I notice within 30 minutes of eating it. This is the time frame for when a food allergy takes place after consuming the item. I guess you could call a stomach ache a side effect if too much sugar is consumed. And then the longer term effect of weight gain, stress on the pancreas to release insulin to flush the sugar out of the bloodstream and the ultimate killer of diabetes. All of this is reason enough to stay away from sugar but there are times of the year when my focus is swayed.
So I do my best to stay on track with a plan. A plan is always important when trying to accomplish a nutritional goal. A few key points to this plan include:
- Limit the amount of sugar brought into the house (if it’s not there, neither is the temptation)
- Continue to drink plenty of water and eat a low sodium diet (I notice that when I eat something salty I have a very strong urge for something sweet to follow)
- Allow myself a few bites of this and that during the holiday season for special occasions (I like to relax a little during the holidays and keep everything low stress so if someone is offering me a treat I will most likely try a few bites)
- Keep up with exercising. If I’m going to slack a little in the nutrition area for a couple weeks then I better not slack off on the exercise side.
That’s it. I do my best to stick with these rules and find that I can enjoy the holiday season along with everyone else without being a debbie downer about the all the sugary foods. And once Christmas time passes by I’m usually relieved to have the sugar season over with. I tend to get pretty moody with the ups and downs of sugar, along with lower energy levels.
For now I will enjoy an occasional sweet but keep in the back of my mind the notion that I will have to endure the sugar withdraw in a couple weeks.