I have struggled lately with the question “What is the lesser evil, sugar or gluten?” As a paleo mother do you sometimes feel guilty when your kids have sugar or gluten?
I do. But I came to a new realisation recently while I was talking to someone about an incident we had one afternoon after school. This is how it all went down…….
I would like to preface this by saying that the children (Mac 5, and Rae 7) involved in this “incident” have totally different health issues. We believe that Miss Mac is at the least severely gluten intolerant, if not coeliac. Other health issues have meant that she also has issues with lack of quality sleep which sometimes makes life difficult for all of us.
Even though I don’t like to have the kids have either sugar or gluten in any situation, sometimes I do have to decide between the “lesser evil.”
This ‘incident’ happened at the end of last year. One of the student teachers was finishing up for the year, and had made some wonderfully coloured cupcakes for the kids. Miss Mac walked out of the classroom asking if she was allowed to eat her cupcake. Picture a tired, hot and bothered child who isn’t a great sleeper……impending screaming!
I said “No, lets just wait and talk about it when we get to the car.”
She totally `lost it’, but, because it started pouring rain, I was able to get her to the car with not too much more of a fuss. (See, Melbourne weather can be good for something!)
What to do….
I was left with the offending cupcake, an upset child, and another child holding two chocolate Freddo’s (there’s those Freddo’s again). Lots of crying happening….what to do? So, we went with a lesser evil. I told her she could lick the icing off the top of the cupcake, but….. she wasn’t to eat the cupcake, and on the way home I would get her something else. Problem solved, right?
The problem in Miss Mac’s mind was “Who is going to eat the cupcake?” Because if she wasn’t going to eat, it then someone else was! Wrong! I got her to hand it over and it went into the bin! (Sorry to the teacher who spent all that time cooking, but I wasn’t going to be able to survive my child’s tantrums.)
Next problem: What to buy? What to BUY!
At this point I am still left with one child holding….. nothing (icing all licked), and one having downed her chocolates. Miss Mac lost it again and was only pacified with the promise of having some chocolate of her own. Now those that know Mac know that she was NOT going to let this go….EVER. I couldn’t get away with just driving by the shop. So off to Coles we went. It’s still bucketing down at this point, but I wasn’t able to use that as an excuse.
What I was left with…..guilt!
I was left with that horrible feeling that I had stuffed things up when it comes to the “no processed sugar” rule. The usual mother’s guilt!
Then during a conversation with my chiropractor about the incident, he reminded me that at least the sugar is out of your system quicker than the gluten. That you can flush sugar out of the system in around 24 hours, but it takes up to 6 weeks for the gluten to get out of your system.
Of course both sugar and gluten have an inflammatory response, so sugar is still not a good option.
What I came away with was that even though sugar is well and truly far from the best, at least its a little better in the system than gluten.
Now I have said that, I have to be careful NOT to abuse this realisation. I don’t want to find that sugar has crept back into our diet again. At the moment it’s pretty much gone, so I want to keep it that way. I still have raw sugar and rapadura sugar in the house for my water kefir, but beyond that we might use the alternatives to sugar (eg. honey) once a week or so….maybe. It really does depend on birthdays and the like.
Hopefully this next thing will remind me NOT to eat refined sugars…… As I am writing this I am actually nursing a headache from eating a chocolate bar. In a weak moment yesterday I had one, and I have suffered since. It was silly as I don’t crave it or even miss it anymore.
Anyone else have this problem with sugar now they don’t have it anymore? Or, do you still crave sugar?