The following is a post from Peter’s wife, Katrina.
“You are what you eat.” Most of us have heard this before, and it seems like an obvious statement. But honestly, I didn’t always connect the dots on this issue. In my youth I considered myself to be a healthy eater because I didn’t eat a lot of junk and I kept my weight in a comfortable range. I never analyzed the relationship between the foods I ate and the way I felt until my early 30s. That was when I made one of the most difficult and life-changing food choices in my life—and I’m so grateful I did.
Every morning, for as long as I could remember, I had drunk a cup of tea. I came from a family of devoted coffee drinkers, but tea was my morning beverage of choice. I loved the taste of hot tea with milk and sugar. It was a comforting habit. On the way to work I’d stop at a deli and have a cup made for me. They knew how to make it perfectly, and some days they added a little extra sugar, too. I didn’t mind at all.
My first cup was usually finished by eight o’clock in the morning, and sometimes I would have a second. By ten o’clock, I was craving another cup of tea or something sweet like a candy bar or donut. If I didn’t get it, I would feel sluggish and crummy. By noon I ate lunch, and at two or three o’clock I was looking for another sweet snack. The times I went without a snack, I really felt out of sorts.
After a few years of this pattern, I began to recognize that I was chasing a “sugar high” through the day. Whenever my blood sugar got too low, I got that cranky feeling and wanted more sugar. So, I decided to try an experiment. I decided to make a New Year’s resolution to drink my morning tea without sugar and see what happened.
Truth be told, that first cup of unsweetened tea tasted like dirt. I winced my way through about half a cup and threw the rest out. But I was stubborn and stuck with the resolution. Day after day, I drank about half a cup and couldn’t finish it because I disliked the taste so much. But, by the third week, my taste buds started to change and I actually began to enjoy the sugarless tea. It made me feel good that I had stuck to my resolution, and it made me feel even better that I craved less sugar throughout my day. Less sugar meant fewer mood swings, and that made me (and my co-workers) happy!
What I didn’t realize was that one little resolution could make a profound impact on my life. After cutting out the sugar in my morning tea, I began to eat less sugary food and even crave healthy snacks. The more fresh fruits and veggies I ate, the better I felt. My energy level stayed naturally high through the day, I got fewer colds, and I stopped getting cavities. As the years went on, I ate better and better, cutting many more items out of my diet. Today, I honestly feel that wise food choices have helped me stay healthy and full of energy. And now I rarely even have a cup of tea in the morning; I just don’t need the caffeine to get me going anymore.
So, be honest with yourself. Do you eat too much sugar? Do you feel moody when you can’t get your sweet fix? Are you a regular dessert eater? Is it possible that cutting sugar out of your diet could help you feel better and more energetic? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, consider ways to cut down or eliminate sugar from your diet. After all, “you are what you eat,” and I know that you are sweet enough already.