Sunday, January 13, 2013

Guest Blog: Living Life "Unprocessed"

One of the No. 1 perks about blogging is the friends you meet along the way. The health and wellness community is very supportive of one another so it’s all too eager to embrace your work, your page, your blog, etc. -- whatever it is you’re doing to help drive positive messaging about nutrition.

I have a special surprise for all of you today.

Last week I had the pleasure of connecting with Melissa. Some of you may know her from her Facebook page and website My Whole Food Life, in which she shares her and her family’s journey to living life “unprocessed.” This means they eat zero processed food. Sound impossible? Well, she’s proof it’s not.

I’ve asked her to share her story with you today. Once you read it, go on over to My Whole Food Life and give her Facebook page a “Like” or bookmark her website. Melissa shares amazing “unprocessed” recipes as well as eye-opening information about some of the most common foods branded as nutritious that are anything but. You may be shocked to find that many of the food items you’re stocking your pantry with aren’t as healthful as you think.

Without further ado, here’s Melissa.

My name is Melissa and I wanted to share my story about quitting processed sugar.

I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty healthy eater. I worked out regularly and thought I ate OK. Sugar and sweets were my vice. I grew up in a house full of sweets. My mom is German and she always kept the house stocked with German candies, cookies and chocolates. As a child, I would sneak Nutella into my room and eat it right out of the jar. I know, gross! I could never seem to control myself around the cakes and cookies. As an adult, I would stash jellybeans in my car and snack while I was driving. I would eat sugary treats until I made myself sick.

I had never really had a weight problem, but could never seem to lose those last few pounds after having babies. I knew I had to do something. I thought the best way was to quit sugar. I read as much as I could about how bad sugar really is for you. The book that changed my life was The Sugar Fix: The High-Fructose Fallout That Is Making You Fat and Sick. The book explains how so many modern day diseases like metabolic syndrome are linked to high-fructose corn syrup and processed foods. So, I set out to quit both.

The first thing I did was quit putting sugar in my coffee. The first few days were kind of tough, I can’t lie, but now I really prefer coffee with just a bit of almond milk.

Once I decided to quit sugar, I knew I had to quit processed foods as well because, let’s face it, high-fructose corn syrup and processed sugar are in almost all processed foods. Within a few days of quitting sugar, I noticed some incredible changes in myself. I had TONS of energy. There was no more lagging around after my lunchtime meal. I felt as if I could run a marathon! I was bursting with energy. This all took place over the summer and I had begun running laps in my pool for low-impact exercise. I was able to do 60 laps a day! Before I quit sugar, I had to drag my tired butt out the door to exercise.

The second big change I noticed was that my skin cleared up and my hair became soft and shiny again. I had been having horrible acne issues and I couldn't understand why. Now I know that it was more than likely a reaction to all the nasty chemicals in processed foods.

The third and last big change was that I dropped those last few pounds without even trying. I went from 132 lbs. to 122 lbs. in a matter of months.

I eat a lot more these days and never count fat or calories. I just eat real food without processed sugars or flours. I never would have believed this was possible before I quit sugar. Once you quit the addiction to sugar, a piece of fruit will satisfy you. You need less sweetness to be satisfied. I have even developed healthier dessert alternatives that use less processed sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar; however, even these items need to be consumed in moderation.

So the moral of this story is to forget every diet rule you’ve ever read. Just cut sugar out and eat all the whole-food you like instead. I swear it works! If I can break my sugar addiction, I know anyone can. Before I go, I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite cookie recipes.

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  1. Anonymous1/14/2013

    Amazing!! I'm going to look into this. Thank you for telling us! :))


  2. Anonymous1/14/2013

    I follow Melissa at My Wholefood Life on Facebook. Daily she shares wonderful and helpful tips.

  3. I will check her out! Thanks for sharing. Hope all is going well!