Great Skin Without Birthday Cake

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Great Skin Without Birthday Cake? Jack LaLanne didn’t eat birthday cake.  “Haven’t had any in seventy-five years. It makes me feel great not eating birthday cake. That’s the gift I give myself.”  This quote and Mr. LaLanne’s philosophy on food (he also said, “Would you get your dog up every day, give him a cup of coffee, a doughnut, and a cigarette?”) seems counter to cultural norms.  For most of us, it is tacitly understood that we reward and sooth ourselves with sugar.  Heck, my three-year-old son knows that if he has a bad fall, I’ll break out the “emergency chocolate” to help ameliorate his pain.  But with a new study presented at the American Heart Association conference linking 180,000 global deaths to sugary drinks, perhaps it’s time to reexamine our relationship with sugar.

We all intellectually know that “rewarding” ourselves with sugar ends up hurting our bodies.  It’s like celebrating a promotion by requesting a upper cut to the jaw.  Just as when you sprain your ankle it swells and when you expose the skin to copious amounts of sun, it burns, too much sugar effects your body.  And I’m not just talking about the lethargy of a three donut breakfast.  Have you noticed what your skin looks like on too much sugar?  Perhaps not.  If you are anything like me, you haven’t had sugar out of your system for a long enough period to know how good your skin can look.

I took sugar out of my diet for one month.  My goal was to loose the last bit of baby weight from my second child and renew my energy.  And yes, both of these things did happen.  What amazed me was the number of compliments I received on my skin.  My skin glowed – even though I’m still a severely sleep deprived mom of two kids under four years old.  Yes, it was a secondary result but it reinforced the importance of diet on the health of your whole body.

If you can, try to eliminate sugar (and all chemical sugar substitutes) from your diet for a day, then three days, then a week.  If you’re a chocoholic like me, substitute a low glycemic Kind Bar for a candy bar or venture out and try a crazy concoction like Avocado Chocolate Pudding.  After a week, notice your skin. After two weeks, others will notice your skin for you.  And after a month, you’ll be amazed at how young and refreshed your skin looks.