Okay so I haven’t updated you all on my quest to be free of High Fructose Corn Syrup in a while, so here I am to give a state of the union as it were. It has been 12 days and I have to admit that I have cheated a couple times (way less than I thought I would, to be honest). My biggest vice is Ginger Ale and I have such a whiny baby for a stomach that I just need to drink some sometimes. Other than that, I have been 100% strict with this whole HFCS thing.
Now for the weird stuff. Starting at around day 5 and continuing up until probably day 10 (and a little yesterday as well), I have had a series of migraines like no others I have ever experienced. Apparently, I am in the middle of a migraine cluster; migraines are very predictable when they come in a cluster and they generally begin at the same time every day and that is exactly what I have been experiencing. Now, I can’t say for certain whether or not this migraine cluster is related to giving up HFCS, but I will say that I find the timing and the severity of these migraines to be extremely suspicious. In addition to that, my stomach was feeling pretty weird for the same amount of time as well. The Man and my mama suggested that I might actually be detoxing from the high fructose corn syrup, which is seeming more and more likely to me considering that as I get farther into this little experiment, the better I feel.
Now for the part that I was the most curious about: weight loss. In 12 days, I have lost 2 pounds. I made no other changes to my diet or exercise other than cutting out HFCS, so I can only assume that the change there was from that. Yay for my pants fitting better!!
Also, if you’re thinking about doing this yourself, the only advice I can give you so far is read labels like a crazy person. Watch out for words like “maltodextrin (corn)” or “dextrose” which is another label given to sugar made from corn. Now, I know I’ve seen commercials from the Corn Refiners Association and I’m sure you have too (if you haven’t, YouTube is a lovely thing and I’m sure you could find them there if you wanted to see them). It’s not that I disagree with them saying that biochemically, table sugar and corn sugar are the same – because I don’t disagree with that. Most of the research that I have read on the topic says the same thing. My issue is that corn sugar in this country, nine times out of ten and probably more so, is made from genetically modified corn crops. THAT is what I take issue with. I do not take lightly to large agricultural companies biologically altering the food I eat and I would imagine that much of the disease in this country (cancer especially) comes from so many genetically modified foods being consumed. As unfortunate as it is, eating fruits and vegetables doesn’t guarantee that you are eating healthy due to GMO’s and pesticides and all the other things that we cannot control when buying fresh produce from the grocery store. It sounds like I’m being a typical germophobe when I say it, but you have no idea how many people have handled my food before it meets my mouth and that, to me, is disgusting.
Hence, the reason why I have a flat of seeds sprouting in my house right now – peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Not to mention the lettuce, kale, spinach, herbs, cucumbers, zucchini, and beans that I haven’t started yet. I want as much control over the food that goes in my mouth as possible and the only way to be sure about it is to grow it myself. (Disclaimer: this is not a new wrinkle. I am a gardener and have been since I was little growing tomatoes on the side of my house with my daddy and my Poppy – I just feel WAY better about doing it now because of all of this nonsense that I have learned about the food I eat).
And as my grandmother says, I will get off my soap box now.
Has anybody else given up HFCS for Lent? Or for any reason, for that matter? What has your experience been?