Health Challenge Tip #5

#5: Eat the real stuff.

Eat real sugar! There. I said it. Now before you say WHAT?! I'm not saying to eat 40 tbsp of it a day (although lots of people do). I'm saying to stop using all that fake stuff and go with real, honest-to-goodness sugar. Use raw if you want to, but stop using Splenda, aspartame, dextrose, any artificial sweetener out there. Aspartame pretty much slipped through the cracks onto the market (from what I've read, a lot of sketchy stuff that went on with that process).

While artificial sweeteners seem like the logical choice because most have zero calories, they are made from chemicals. Yes. Chemicals and because most are relatively new, we have no idea what these chemicals are doing to our insides.

Telling yourself that you're doing your body a favor by eating a sugar-free (artificial sweetened) piece of candy, cake or bowl of ice cream is a lie. Quit lying to yourself. And quit eating stuff that's sugar-free. Our society likes to get on a kick with fad diets so OF COURSE food companies jump on it and say ooooh, everyone's eating sugar-free these days. Let's make sugar-free EVERYTHING. The problem is, it isn't natural or sweet free. You still crave more sweets and don't even get me started on what artificial sweeteners do to the digestive system.

How do I know? I've been there. I was a sugar-free faaah-reak until I got preggos with Sweet P. Then I read Skinny B*tch, Bun in the Oven and tossed all my sugar-free stuff out the window...including my gum! I still don't chew gum like I used to and avoid artificial sweeteners.

Whoa there. I didn't say to run straight for the processed food aisle. There's not much real sugar in those either. Most are loaded with high fructose corn syrup (not to be confused with sucralose...table sugar) and other sweeteners like maltodextrin and dextrose.

So when it comes down to baking, use the real stuff. Raw, powdered, white or brown. Or better yet, substitute NATURAL sweeteners like honey, maple syrup (the real stuff, not that pancake syrup) or agave nectar.

Of course, you're better off eating NEITHER, but if you just can't ignore that sugar craving (and an apple just ain't cutting it). Eat the real stuff. Chances are it'll leave you satisfied and not reaching for more because your body feels gipped. All sugar-filled food should be eaten in moderation and in minimal amounts, choose healthy options like fruit or whole grains instead.

Wave bye bye to fake sugar. Your body and your digestive system will thank you.