Healthy Living Tip #5: Sugar

Healthy living tip #5: Avoid Sugar. Diabetes, immune system suppression, depression, and weight gain are all linked to sugar consumption.

Sugar is everywhere in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Processed foods are packed with unnecessary sugars including high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Sugary treats and drinks are so prevalent in the SAD that most children are addicted to sugar before their second birthday.

You must stop and seriously consider the effects all of this sugar is having on your health.

Here are 3 serious health effects that sugar has on your health.

1. Diabetes

According to theAmerican Diabetes Association consumption of sugary drinks such a juices and soda are linked to developing type 2 diabetes. The ADA also recommends avoiding sugary drinks to prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes. Just one 12-ounce can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.  

Think diabetes can’t happen to you despite the soda you can’t seem to resist. No one is immune to the effects of a high sugar diet. Diabetes can be crippling and fatal when left uncontrolled. I think we can all agree that we would rather be walking around in our 50s and 60s rather than wheel chair bound due to the effects of diabetes simply because we couldn’t stop drinking juices and sodas.

2. Damages Your Immune System

Sugar suppresses your immune system, specifically the production of phagocytes within hours of consumption. Phagocytes are the cells in your immune system that surround and breakdown foreign material in your body. Suppressing these cells allows bacteria and pathogens to invade your body and cause you to fall ill.

There is no coincidence that cold and flu season occurs during the time of year when we consume the greatest amount of sugary treats and desserts.

Sugar also interferes with the transport of vitamin C through our bodies thus allowing our bodies to fall ill easier. Vitamin C is needed in the production of phagocytes as well as to neutralize cancer causing free radicals that float around in our bodies. Insulin transports vitamin C as well as sugar in our bodies. If insulin is too busy with the sugar molecules then the Vitamin C is left unable to do its very important job of keeping our bodies healthy.

3. Weight Gain

According to this WebMD article eating less sugar allows for weight loss and eating a high amount of sugar causes weight gain. Sugar is addicting plain and simple. When you have one piece or one bite of a sugary treat you want more. And more. And more. And the cycle continues until you are sick, walk away, or run out of treats.

Why are we doing this to our body for the quick “drug high” caused by sugar consumption? Break the addiction, detox your body of sugars, and start on your road to a healthier life. A sweet treat is not worth all of the negative effects it has on our bodies.

Please know that this is not exhaustive and I want to encourage you to do your own research into the additional negative health effects sugar has on your health.

You are invited to join me for the other healthy living tips in my 31 day series. 


How I Cured My Crazy Mood Swings Naturally


I used to think that a certain time of the month triggered my crazy mood swings. You know the ones, happy one minute then flying off the handle mad or frustrated over something so trivial and simple the next. But in reality the time of month didn’t matter, everyday was fair game for my happy one moment gone the next moods. Day after day I would go to bed and pray at length that tomorrow would be different. Tomorrow I prayed, would be full of happiness, patience, and respect for those around me and myself. When tomorrow came however I wasn’t different, just more of the same.

What was I going to do? I couldn’t continue like this, not for the sake of my family or my own happiness and stress.

I researched a myriad of solutions but nothing seemed right. They were either drug induced changes, hormone and mood altering herbs, or “snap out of it you crazy lady” options. I knew there had to be a natural solution because I hadn’t always been this way, certainly not to this extreme. I knew the stress of a large family, homeschooling, and marriage were taking it’s toll on me. I needed a solution that didn’t involve drugs, pills, or daily supplements. Something told me that the solution was out there, or in me as it turned out.

As of today, approximately 8 weeks ago my husband and I made the choice to remove all process sugars, animal proteins, and gluten from our diet. I’ve discussed the path we took to come to this decision in a previous article but what I didn’t know when we came to that decision was all of the changes it would have on my body and mental well-being.

I don’t know when the change in my moods happened, they just happened. I didn’t feel anything change, I didn’t feel a weight lift off of my shoulders, and I didn’t feel click my heels together in the air happy. I was just me, a homeschooling mom of 7 trying to raise my family the best I can each day. Gone were the fits of frustration, the walk away before I yell moments, and no longer was I holding my head before it exploded with anger. Yes, some days were that bad. It’s the truth. I didn’t notice these changes though, truly I didn’t. That is until the mood swings came back with a vengeance.

What could I possibly have done to bring back the mood swings?

I had 3 days of weakness. 3 days of afternoon binging on pre-Easter candy. Berry flavored lemon heads in abundance to be exact. Yes I did and they tasted great. But I couldn’t stop opening pack after pack and downing them before my toddlers asked for one. In those 3 days, I easily binged on 12-15 packs of lemon heads each day. It wasn’t pretty.

Then it happened.

The mode swing infested, frustration overload, red steam coming out of my ears self returned. Everyone in my family noticed. I just feel like a different person when I am that way, not myself at all. I know better, truly I do, I just let every little thing get to me and when you have 7 kids, a husband, a dog, and a cat, there are lots of little things everyday. When the red faced self returned and I finally correlated that I hadn’t felt that way since removing processed sugars and only after re-introducing it in abundance did I feel this ugly again I immediately threw out what was left of my kids pre-Easter candy. I talked to my husband about what I had discovered and he agreed, sugars were now clearly off limits for GOOD reason. I also discussed it with my children so they could understand the affects that processed sugars could have on them and why it was even more important to keep those items out of the house. They all agreed and understood. This made Easter day activities so much easier, they all said they didn’t want candy in their baskets and what candy they did accumulate at Easter hunts was not brought home.

It took 3 solid days to detox from the candy and sugar that I consumed. 3 wrenching days to get it out of my system and return to the more calm and relaxed self that I used to be so many years ago before kids, marriage, and homeschool stress. It wasn’t easy, everyday I prayed that it would be the last. But through those struggles I have a renewed sense of appreciation for what food can and does do to our bodies.

Everything we put in our mouths has an affect on our body. It is our duty and responsibility to make sure that we do consume every time our hand goes to our mouth is that we are nourishing and encouraging healthy growth in our bodies. We must build up our bodies rather than tear them down.

If you are struggling with mood swings, I’d encourage you to take a hard look at your diet. Sugar is likely the culprit.