Holidays without Sugar?

Not only is it possible, it’s better to cut out sugar during this season of eating.  I gathered with loved-ones, ate plenty, felt fabulous afterward AND lost weight. That sounds like a crazy claim for the latest weight loss product but it’s not. I don’t profit from saying this. It’s just my experience.

Holidays-without-sugarWhen I invited friends and family for Thanksgiving dinner, I told them that I was cooking a turkey and, to keep it simple, said a primarily “paleo” dinner and explained that that means without grains, sugar, dairy, etc.* They were all on board weren’t sure what they could bring that fit the parameters. We quickly found all kinds of things that would work and each was excited at the prospect of yummy + lighter and healthier. The turkey cooked with vegetables, onions, garlic, anise, thyme, and rosemary so it tasted delicious. For “gravy” we had fat and pan drippings without any flour. Diners could add as much as they liked or forgo. We had stuffed mushrooms; deviled eggs; green beans; seasoned pumpkin; and a quinoa dish; with fruit and cheese for dessert.

Considering the carb load of traditional Turkeyday dinners, this was revolutionary. I ate a few bites of fruit and cheese just to taste and I was completely satisfied. The most exciting thing for me was that it was delicious, easy and I didn’t feel awful afterward. If you take food satisfaction + after effects into account, it was by far the best Thanksgiving dinner I’ve ever eaten. I even lost a pound the next day and the next! I attribute that to all the ready-made turkey and fat.

It feels better

Now what’s amazing me is my body. My skin is velvety smooth and I can’t keep my hands off it. Hip bones are reasserting themselves as the puffy fat melts away. My legs look like they did 20 years ago. A small gelatinous cyst that persisted on my toe for many months suddenly went away in the past week. Mind you, even three years ago, I weighted less than I do now. But a youthful yumminess is returning that isn’t just weight loss. When I’ve lost weight before, I’ve lost it in my boobs and places I didn’t want to loose it, while it stubbornly stuck to my belly and hips. Now, my belly and hips are sweetly reducing while my breasts remain full.

Last night I did a quick, late workout and came in wearing sweats. My hubby was sitting at his computer, playing video games. I changed my clothes and reappeared wearing a short, red, clingy dress and my dance shoes. I wish I had a picture of his face when he looked up. 😉 He closed the computer and without a word got up to go put on his dance shoes. We had perhaps the sweetest dance evening in our long history together.

And what’s even more amazing is that part way through the many songs we danced to, I picked up my mom’s ashes that just arrived and started crying. My heart was so open that it was completely comfortable feeling the joy of dancing and the sadness of grief at the same time. David came over and put his arms around me while I cried and the grief washed though me like a wave. Then we went back to dancing. I don’t believe that would have been possible a month ago, before I started clearing out my energy system and emotions enough to tolerate such a dichotomy.


Grain Brain

I have just read Grain Brain by neurologist/nutritionist David Perlmutter, MD and recommend it wholeheartedly. If you need any evidence, motivation or incentive to get off sugar, wheat and carbs, generally, read his book!   Current research has turned the food pyramid upside down – i.e. we need to eat more healthy fat and very few sugar and grain-based carbohydrates. Dr. Perlmutter compiles and presents this information in a way that inspires you to make the changes you need to remediate and prevent dementia, heart disease, Parkinson’s and a host of other ailments. He shows how most of the diseases we suffer from these days – inflammatory diseases – are caused by the standard western diet. I had already chosen to go off sugar and carbs beforehand but reading the book had redoubled my clarity and resolve that I’m doing the right thing for my body and long-term health. If you have ANY feeling that you might need to hear this information, get the book.

Now, because I am feeling so much better and know this eating program is worth it, I am looking forward to the rest of the holidays without sugar, knowing that I can resist the sugary and high-carb foods and serve delicious dinners that satisfy our craving for holiday festivity. Eating this way I’ll sleep better and not wind up gaining more weight to lug around in the new year. I don’t even want tiramisu!   The point is that I’m learning to find the sweetness in life rather than in the food I eat. As my sugar-clouded vision clears I’m seeing that life is sweeter without sugar.


*I used the term “paleo” as a shorthand. I realize there are specific differences between a strictly Paleolithic diet program and what I was aiming for with that meal.

#MTHFR #weightloss #cuttingoutsugar   #healthyeating  #holidayswithoutsugar