Monday, August 16, 2010

Sugar

I love sugar. Full-on crave it. Eat it a lot. Truly enjoy it.

I know it's not great for me. I know I would feel at least some better, overall, if I didn't eat it. But it brings pleasure in the moment so it's really hard to convince myself that I will "feel better" if I don't indulge in that palm full of chocolate chips and a peanut butter dipped spoon when I need an energy pick-me-up!

This past weekend I read through a book on how the body's healing processes work and what causes them not to work. There were some issues I definitely agree with, others I really question the author's conclusions, and a few I will have to research more and prayerfully draw my own conclusions. But one point I couldn't really argue with in his logic was his explanation of how refined sugar is such a huge culprit in the breakdown of the immune system.

Believe me, I wanted to disbelieve those points, but something I already "knew" was finally presented in such a way as to make me really sit up and take notice. For years I've been told that "sugar is bad for the immune system" but now I finally better understand the whys and how of what sugar does to my body. sigh

I've often said if someone could come into my home and do my meal planning and cooking for me, I would really give gluten free and other such dietary limitations a go. Guess I need to add sugar-free to that list of foods I wish a personal chef could come rid from our family life! It's so frustrating to feel so sick that I barely function to get any kinds of meals together for my family, so I default to the "easy" (i.e. often least healthy) options. But if our food is adding to our feelings of ill health, that puts me in a vicious cycle of not being well enough to take the steps to encourage better eating that leads to more energy to do things better.

So after reading all this and taking the time to "digest" some of this news, I woke up praying this morning about what kinds of changes I can make. My personality is the kind where I could easily go on a rampage, rid the entire house of all sugar for a few weeks (or maybe even last a few months), put my family through withdrawls, then make one tiny slip and give the whole thing up, falling right back into our current lifestyle. Since those aren't the end results I'm looking for, I know I'll have to start small, but I want to start somewhere. With these thoughts and prayers spinning around in my head, here's the verse of the day sitting in my inbox when I open my email:
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
- 2 Corinthians 7:1

Somehow it's easier to trust God to help me purify my spirit than my body I think. Lord, I guess you can't be more clear than that! Out of reverence to You, please show me, one step at a time, how to better treat my body, Your Temple, with the day to day food choices I make for myself and for my family.

I am not disillusioned into thinking that all I have to do is change some dietary habits and I'll be fully well as a result. (The book I was reading would have me believe so!) A retrovirus is serious stuff and I know many a friend with much better dietary habits who are still just as sick as I am, or even sicker. But I do believe every step I can make toward giving my body the best environment toward healing is a step in the right direction. Healing is ultimately in the hands of the Lord, but if He is calling and confirming to me the need to make wiser choices in what I eat, it's an act of obedience for me to listen to that call.

2 comments:

Sue Jackson said...

Very interesting, and I;m curious about the book you read. I've heard sugar blames for all sorts of woes in the past and haven't put much credence in it.

Like you said, it's tough to make healthy meals when you don't have the energy for planning, shopping, and cooking, but we try to eat lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein without a lot of unhealthy fat. I figure if our diets are fairly healthy to begin with, then some sweets here and there won't hurt.

I don't actually eat a lot of sugar to begin with. My kids eat cookies and ice cream and stuff like that, but I don't nibble on it too often. My dairy intolerance helps actually because lots of desserts are made with milk or cream. I do like a little dark chocolate with my tea at night, but they say that's healthy!

I think the underlying problems of CFS are so big that sugar consumption has probably only a tiny impact - unless your whole diet is unhealthy. Just my two cents...

Sue

Jenni / Jennifer Saake a.k.a. InfertilityMom said...

Sue, I totally agree that CFS is rooted in much bigger issues than diet alone, and I hope I was clear in stating that because I would never want anyone to think otherwise.

I'll have to get the name of the book from my Mother-in-law as I was borrowing her copy but a lot of the premise of the book was about balancing the Ph levels in your body to make it an inhospitable host to germs, viruses, fungal infections, bacteria, etc.

I realize this book is only one author's educated oppinions and there were definately a lot of things that he stated that were counter to mainstream medicine, but then again XMRV seems to still be counter to mainstream medicine! Like I said, some things in teh book I agreed with, some not so much. But the stuff on sugar was pretty convincing.

He had a health scale based on physical symptoms, ranging from 1-9, with 1 being perfect health and 9 being death - I rated at a 7, almost into the 8 range. Makes me at least stop and think about what steps I can take to make a positive impact where I can.