Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sugar Fast

Discovering 2Flower's cavities triggered a sugar fast in our family. I'm pretty sure sugar was a major contributor to the cavities (combined with it not being brushed off often enough), so we decided to boycott it for a few weeks.

But dental health isn't the real reason we're cutting sugar. I'm learning that modern processed foods in general are a major contributor to carries in our society, and it is nearly impossible to avoid all kinds of processed foods.. We are discovering that there is sugar in nearly everything. EVERYTHING! And we haven't even considered cutting refined flour or rice. I think we would have to stop eating altogether to avoid sugar. But that isn't entirely an option, so we're just trying to eliminate white sugar, brown sugar (we LOVE brown sugar), and high fructose syrup from our diet.

As I read Real Mom's Love to Eat last year, I came to the conclusion that I'm addicted to sugar.  I crave it often and eat it in larger quantities than I ever have before in my life. I want it constantly. I mentioned an interest in cutting, or at least reducing, sugar in my diet to Lost Boy a few times, but we were never really committed to it.

Lost Boy noticed that he has been eating more junk food in the past year, and made an effort to cut down by avoiding sugar every Tuesday. But we only remembered his Sugarless Tuesdays once, so that plan wasn't exactly working.

Going on a Sugar Fast will help me deprogram my body and reduce sugar cravings. It will help stabilize my blood sugar (and hopefully, my mood!). Cutting sugar will make Lost Boy think twice about what he eats. He can still have hamburgers, but there is sugar in ketchup. Does he want a hamburger without ketchup?

We're only committed to our sugar fast for two weeks. I hope we'll keep our sugar intake low afterwards, because I know it is good for us and will help us be happier and healthier in the long run. 

But Lost Boy really misses his cinnamon rolls, and I'm not interested in oatmeal unless it has brown sugar in it. I'd rather have the sugar that we choose than the sugar we're not aware of.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cavities can ruin your day

Last week we discovered that 2flowers has cavities.

I feel terrible because I knew I needed to be brushing her teeth better and more frequently. But it was such a fight, and I didn't know how to win it on a regular basis. I had hoped to get her all the way to high school without cavities, like my mom did for me. But I already missed that goal. So my new goal it to get her to high school without any new cavities.

I'm pretty sure 2Flowers has cavities because,
  1. I haven't been brushing her teeth often enough (and thoroughly enough).
  2. We've been sharing lots of sugar with her (Oreos, chocolate, cinnamon rolls, whatever we're eating).
  3. We share our cups, silverware, and toothbrushes with her. (I'd rather not share the toothbrushes, but sometimes she will get a hold of them and try them out.)
  4. I allow her to fall asleep while nursing (I feel really conflicted about listing this as a cause of cavities. I don't think it is a main contributor, but a few people have suggested it, so I'm acknowledging the possibility.)
I watched my sis-in-law brush her son's teeth a few weeks ago, and that has really helped my technique. Knowing that 2Flowers is going to need uncomfortable/painful dental work has helped me overcome the tears and screaming that deter me from getting the job done well.

I used to say, "Okay, that is good enough," but now it is obvious that it wasn't. I'm still struggling to brush 2Flower's teeth more than once a day, but I feel good about my progress.

I just wished I'd figured it out last year.