Editors Note: We are proud to welcome Christa Cassilis-Hayburn as a new contributor to CopsAlive.com. Christa was a police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department for 11 years until she was forced to leave the job due to chronic pain from an on the job injury. Today Christa leads a healthy, relatively pain-free lifestyle and teaches others how to do the same. In this installment Christa will tell us about the dangers of too much sugar in our diets.
How much Sugar do you think you consume in ONE day?
Police officers and other law enforcement professionals have had a love affair with sugar and caffeine for centuries. A cop with a cup of coffee and donut is the stereotypic image used to typecast law enforcement officers. In this article I want give you an alternative to that nutritional choice and help you find something that will get you through your shift and help you survive the rigors of your career in law enforcement.
Here is another question that will really make you think… Are you ADDICTED to Sugar?
Like heroin, cocaine and caffeine, sugar is an addictive, destructive drug, yet we consume it daily in everything from cigarettes to bread -William Dufty, author of Sugar Blues.
How dare I ask such a question like that but I certainly remember those days where I “knew” that I needed to eat Sugar just to wake me up mid afternoon.
When I went into the police academy I never drank a cup of coffee in my life. After a few months on the job, I was drinking one to two 16 ounce cups of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Here was the order that I gave: “Medium coffee with X-tra –X-tra”. That’s right Extra Creamer and Extra Sugar. Did I have any idea what Sugar would do to me in the long run? NO Clue!
As law enforcement officers we need to… eat a healthy and balanced diet to stay strong and alert for the challenges of our jobs. It’s time we started controlling our food intake and stop consuming things that are bad for us.
It wasn’t until I was suffering from chronic pain for six years from my on-duty injury that I decided to make a change that would change my Life dramatically.
I learned how “Refined Sugars” aka “Sucrose” were affecting my Entire body negatively. I made some cuts to my diet, which included some of my favorite staples, these were: my morning coffee with flavored coffee creamer, my favorite soda Coke Zero and Candy bars. Were there side effects from removing sugar from my diet? Yes! Was it all worth it, 100% YES! I was able to get out of bed every day and be a Mom! The pain I felt everyday almost vanished in about a month.
Was it hard to turn my back towards cupcakes, Hershey candy bars or a soda when my family and I ate out? Yes! I actually relapsed from refined sugar for about a month and all of my symptoms returned. I was in pain, had headaches, felt bloated and so tired. It wasn’t worth it! I detoxed yet again… Wow just as I write this I think back to dealing with the drug users that I would arrest or move along on the streets… I admit I was a “Sugar Addict”.
Today, sugar is found in many of the usual suspects, like cakes, cookies and candy. But you will also find it in canned vegetables, baby food, cereals, peanut butter, bread and tomato sauce. It is often disguised in fancy language, labeled as:
• Fruit juice
• High Fructose Corn syrup
Just to name a “few”…
The average American now consumes more than 100 pounds of sugar and sweeteners per year. In contrast, Americans consume an average of about 8 pounds of broccoli. The USDA recommends we get no more than 10 teaspoons per day, yet most Americans eat about 30 teaspoons per day—that’s three times the liberal recommended daily value.
According to the American Heart Association, these food groups contribute the highest percentage of total added-sugar to diets of Americans. (Added sugar is sugar added to food during the manufacturing process or at the table, not sugars that occur naturally in foods like fruit.)
Regular soft drinks 33.0%
Sugars and candy 16.1%
Cakes, cookies, pies 12.9%
Fruit drinks (fruit-aides and fruit punch) 9.7%
Dairy desserts and milk products (ice cream, sweetened yogurt, and sweetened milk) 8.6%
Other grains (cinnamon toast and honey-nut waffles) 5.8%
For more information visit: http://www.heart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3068932
Are you suffering from the Negative affects from your Sugar consumption? Here are a “few” physical problems that you could be having right now and not realize if is it associated with the foods that you eat everyday…
• Mood swings
• Depletion of mineral levels
• Depletions the adrenal glands
• Type 2 diabetes
• Yeast overgrowth
• High cholesterol
• Decreased immune function
• Neurotransmitter deficiencies
• High blood pressure
• Heart disease
• Chronic fatigue
• Hormone imbalance
That is just to name a “few”.
I guess you are wondering, “What should I do?” “Am I a sugar addict?” If you are working crazy hours, pushing a patrol car all day long and going to court on top of it all, then I am going to say that yes you eat sugar as a source of Energy.
Here are a few simple tips to get you started right away.
• Cut back SLOWLY! No one is recommending that you quit Cold Turkey but to take one less sugar in your coffee a day
• Have your “sugary snack” only if you Must in the middle of the day when your body has more time to metabolize the sugar
• Avoid drinking sugary liquid. Now I am not saying that you have to stop drinking coffee, but soda, juice and energy drinks can be a problem. When you have your coffee look for a creamer that has the least amount of sugar. I use an Almond-Cashew base creamer called “Mimic Cream”. It is delicious.
• Be mindful of the Sugar-free products because they tend to have artificial sweeteners in the ingredients
• Don’t be hard on yourself during this transition. If you need support, reach out!
If you are an admitted “Sugar Addict” like myself and would like to start making the right choices for the long term. Please visit my Christa’s Health Coaching website to see if I can assist you with breaking your Addiction for good!
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