Sugar is the Enemy!

Sugar makes us happy, but we've got to lay off it for awhile.

JING says...
We thought it was going to be a relaxing afternoon.

When Maj invited us to try the services of Centro Holistico, Erika and I got excited. We thought we were going to have massages or facials or other such treatments. But, as it turns out, it became quite a stressful afternoon, for me most especially.

A wellness center focused on integrative medicine, Centro Holistico offers all sorts of services from acupuncture and nutrient therapy to energy healing and colon cleanse. But before anything else, there's the live blood analysis. It's a quick procedure where the doctor takes a sampling of your blood, gives you a peek of what's happening inside your body, and provides you a set of recommendations.

When Dr. Candy Drilon Dalman showed me a photo of my blood, I seriously got scared. I knew what normal blood looks like, and mine looked scary. The cells are supposed to be shaped like round spheres, but mine had tiny, little spikes. Dr. Candy just confirmed what I already knew: I was abusing my body. I had too much sugar, I had too much acid, I was too stressed, and I wasn't getting enough sleep.

"But Doc, I'm not going to die like tomorrow, right?"

"No, of course not. You just need to make changes in your lifestyle."

Yes, changes had to be made, and one of the first things that I had to let go was my daily Coke habit. Yes, I am a Coke addict. I drink almost every single day, Regular Coke, not Coke Zero. I had to let go of my habit of eating bars and bars of chocolates, and any other type of chocolate for that matter. I knew I had too much sugar in my blood. When I'm at home working, I would drink Coke and eat chocolate pretzels with the misguided belief that they help me write better. Bad! Of course, they didn't, and I'd just feel totally exhausted after a full day of writing and editing.

I went cold turkey.

The very next day, I quit drinking Coke and quit eating chocolates. I also started changing our menu. We switched from white rice to brown rice. I also made sure that we always had veggies in our meals. Indeed, the kids were surprised when we started having salad greens and fruits on the table.

ERIKA says...
I've been forcing mom to switch to brown rice for the longest time already and dropping hints about adding more vegetables in our menu. She never once considered. Who knew that seeing our blood composition would change her mind. Sana I thought to bring her matagal na, haha! But then I also didn't know that such clinics exist.

It was such an eye opener. I thought I was leading a healthy lifestlye. I watch what I eat to the point that I count my calories and make sure that I have the recommended protein, fat, and carb intake in my diet. But then I still couldn't get rid of eating sweets so I compensate by working out two to three times a week. I thought that it's fine to have as much sugar as I want as long as I burn it off in the gym. Oh, but I was so wrong! It turns out that my blood was WORSE than my mom's. I wouldn't have known because I am obviously thinner and more healthier-looking than her, but then the blood doesn't lie. Yes, working out made my body physically fit. On the other hand, excessive sugar intake was doing all sorts of not so very good things to my body.

JING says...
Miraculously, I didn't miss Coke or chocolates all that much. I've never had problems sleeping, but I started enjoying more restful sleeps once I got off sugar. And of course, kicking my sugar habit didn't have any effect whatsoever on my creative output!

And miracle of miracles, I also started going to the gym. I just wanted to run again (I used to run middle distances in college), but I felt that my ass was just too heavy. So I started going to the gym whenever my schedule allows me, in the hopes of shaving a few inches off my behind.

I've been off Coke for more than two months now. On my first month off, I lost four pounds. I actually didn't mean to lose weight but I suppose all the fiber I was eating helped. I've lost two pounds more but I don't want to lose anymore. I don't want to be sticky thin. I just want to be healthy.

ERIKA says...
Being healthy is achieved not only by working out, but also by minding what we eat. With this in mind, I now watch my sugar intake and only indulge in them on the weekends (but still in moderate amounts). Whenever I crave for sugar over the weekdays, I stuff myself with fruits instead--a much better alternative! As for working out, that will always be a staple.

JING says...
In the beginning of our journey, I was the Sugar Nazi. I refused any type of sugar and went to great lengths to look for substitutes. But as my sister Bel pointed out, it's all about moderation. I've only had soda twice since I quit Coke, and surprise, surprise, I couldn't even finish a glass. I just found out it too sweet! Ah, the miracle of the palate!


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Erika & Jing

Erika is a budding entrepreneur, who dreams of having her own fashion label one day. She's the mommy of Sophie and the daughter of Jing, a fortysomething single mom of four, who's a writer, editor, and craft enthusiast. Click here to read more.