SUGAR: (click here for recipe to ween you off of sugar)
Here’s the deal: Sugar is Sugar, whether it’s agave, honey, brown sugar, cane sugar, fruit sugar, grain sugar. Our body registers it all as one big old group SUGAR. It feeds the UNHEALTHY bacteria living in our intestinal tracks; there is a HUGE surge in small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in this country. This is when there is an over abundance of unhealthy bacteria in the intestinal track. When this happens, our immune systems – which gains its strength dependent of the health of our small intestines suffers. Tummy aches, bad breathe, gas, pressure, yeast infections and frequent colds and tummy bugs are a sign that our intestinal villi are covered in bad bacteria, mucus or just plain mowed down – unable to grab the nutrients from the food.
Kids are HUGE victims of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. First of all their immune systems are not completely developed and they are fed foods sweetened to please them all day long. Hence the rise of digestive disorders in young children beginning at age 4 and up. Once one of the really bad gastro bugs find their way into these little digestive tracks they are then “fed” and grow taking control of the child’s immune system. Look at this way; we bring our infants home with a message from the doctor to take good care of the baby, as their immune system is not yet built, by 9 months old the baby is introduced to sugar on a high intake level, immediately suppressing the undeveloped immune system.
When we have too much bad bacteria disease on all levels set in – so every time you get that thing half way through the day that says “Oh, man my sugar droppedI need a soda or a cookie.” It’s not your sugar it’s the junky bacteria in your gut jonesin’ for more dope! (If you are a diabetic of course your sugar issues are different).
The healthy bacteria boosts our immune systems – cancer thrives in a weakened immune system. IBS is definitely related to an over growth of sugar, yeast and unhealthy bacteria. If you suffer from digestive disease cut back on your sugar and yeast for at least 4 months to see a difference. Cutting sugar for a few weeks won’t matter much; that bacteria has been growing like crazy for years by the time it’s giving you trouble.
My personal perception of sugar inside of my body: When we take a teaspoon of sugar that’s been sitting in our kitchen at room temperature (65 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit) and add it into a hot pan on the stove (around 98 degrees or hotter), the sugar begins to sizzle as it heats up. This is the same process that occurs in our bodies: the sugar heats up the blood, literally creating acid. Most folks consume 160 pounds of sugar a year. One 20-ounce bottle of soda contains 27 grams of sugar. Every 4 grams equals one teaspoon of sugar. Thus, every time you drink a soda you are drinking 6.75 teaspoons of sugar!
Imagine getting a glass of water and scooping 7 teaspoons of sugar or, even worse, imagine doing this to your children’s water. Did you know that most folks who are living on a theoretically low sugar diet are still averaging 40 teaspoons per day? Not to mention that this sugar is food for the unhealthy bacteria that is growing at a rapid rate in our digestive tracks due to diets high in yeast and sugar – every time I crave a sweet I stop and think, “Oh, that’s not my body craving sugar that is the bad bacteria calling out for more.” Instead I eat something to support the healthy bacteria that strengthens the immune system— miso, fermented foods, probiotics, coconut kefir and veggies rich in vitamins. Lastly, the immune system is not only connected to cold and flu’s but also cancers and autoimmune diseases. By supporting our cells we literally decide which cells we are going to feed—cancer cells or healthy cells. You see everyone has cancer cells; so when I take a bite of food I’ve got a choice in what I’m feeding my body and how I’m supporting my body’s immune system.
Upon my first meeting with Ginny Harper I swore that I didn’t have a sugar problem. The truth is, I didn’t know that I did. I’m not a candy gal; I
don’t care for sweets and processed cookies. Just a nice piece of cake now and then and two teaspoons of sugar in my coffee (8grams) were all I needed, and an ice cold soda a couple times a week; until the plug was pulled. When I started reading labels and observing how much processed food I was eating and attempting to stop taking in any sugar, I began to realize the truth behind my consumption. Once I started reading sugar labels and I couldn’t have ANY extra aside from what is naturally found in beans, grains and veggies, I started JONESIN’ like a junky shorty!
Let me tell you, I was rationing bites of cookies just to get a fix. Thank goodness for the Sweet Vegetable Juice recipe I learned. It was on the Ginny’s list and I needed it for my sweet tooth. The other naughty side to sugar is that it feeds the bacteria that cause ulcerations. If we view ulcerations as a physical wound, it helps us pay attention to how we are healing! If there is a large cut on your leg, we don’t add harmful bacteria or creams that feed the harmful bacteria nor do we allow dirt to get into the cut. Instead, we try to kill the bad bacteria and feed the healing bacteria. Sugar is food for bad bacteria and when we are craving it that’s a sign that we have plenty of it. I see the bacteria as a parasite and when it wants more food I say, “Hell No, Joe.”
Yeast is another item on the list that feeds bacteria. It is found in everything from bread, pre- made sauces, pretzels, and pizza to baked goods. Lots of people ask me about NUTRITIONAL YEAST and here is the skinny: it’s still YEAST. Yes, it is a source of B12 and protein and also lends a cheesy flavor so it makes great for creating vegan mac & cheese dishes, vegan cheese sauces: however it’s YEAST and if we are trying to clean up our intestinal tracks and support our immune system then I say PASS.
My personal experience with yeast is that for months after cleaning up my “dinner plate” I couldn’t figure why I was still having moments of pressure and blocked gassy attacks. YEAST was the answer. I’d never had a plethora of yeast infections or signs of yeast overgrowth. However, I did eat foods with yeast & yeast feeding foods (sugar) and I’d immediately moved to gluten free foods most of which contained a fair amount of yeast and sugar, once I cut these items out I’m pressure free and the gas is flowing in a healthy pain free way. I’ve learned to make almond bread as it is simple and contains no yeast. Plus Almond meal is a protein NOT a carbohydrate!