Day 8 sans sugar and grain.

Did I forget to mention I’ve dropped grain for the month too? It’s the sugar dragon that I battle primarily, usually in the Smitten Kitchen meets David Lebovitz form of sweets and baked treats, albeit in moderation.

But what is balance and moderation when we’re weighing our health? Does eating your greens and beef for dinner somehow warrant/allow/offset lemon layer cake for dessert? Are the negative effects of the cake negated by the benefit of meat and vegetables? Or vice versa? What are we wagering with our food? Who are we really having these conversations with and what does that say about efficacy and personal peace?

I’m so tired of that inner dialogue of bargaining. Have you heard it too? I can have one cookie if I _______. Sometimes I fill in the blank with eat very little or lean for the rest of the day, or do an extra workout, or make the cookie with healthier substitutes. I feel like I have to earn my sweets in some way, even though the reward isn’t rewarding anything but my attempts to justify other behaviors. And I do so even when I know it doesn’t make me feel better in the long run.

What if I only ate food that I knew was whole, nutritious, delicious fuel? What would happen to the scales of moderation if I only put healthy things into my mind and body? I’m very interested in the psychological effect sugar has had on me and am excited to see this month through because I am learning carefully that I have to treat my body very differently, all the time, when I don’t give it quick carbs for fuel. Waking up and refilling my body with protein, fat, and vegetables is a complete shift in paradigm, as insignificant as breakfast may seem in our busy lives. I’m still not eating enough in the mornings, but just making that meal a priority has made me more aware of my sleep patterns, my metabolic activity overnight, and my hormonal response to insulin, sleep, and carbs. It’s all connected, for sure.

I had a great strength day at the gym yesterday and am running another 13 miles before the week is through. Asking my body to be strong requires that I only make choices that make it resilient and don’t drag it down. I want to fuel with protein, carb-rich vegetables, and quality fats instead of sugar, because the effects of the quick energy carbs turns my brain and body into an energy wheel, spinning too fast, falling too hard, too high, too low, day and night. I want to be slow-burning, even tempered, and well rested. I want to glow. 

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