This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Diary of a Sugar Free Life (Volume 1)

I am addicted to sugar. I have admitted it, danced around it, justified it, resisted it, accepted it, and fought against it. I am finally doing something about it. I have gone "off sugar" before but never truly cold turkey. I have resisted cookies but still eaten yogurt (my Stonyfield Farm organic yogurt has an astounding 26 grams of sugar in a 6oz. serving!). I have refused cake and candy but still put jelly on my toast. And peanut butter sandwich. And bagel. And anything else that would hold jelly. I have been diligent in refusing soda but still used maple syrup on my pancakes. And waffles. And French toast. And oatmeal. And anything else that would hold maple syrup.

In other words I wasn't really ever "off sugar" before in my life. I have changed the source of my sugar but I never really gave it up. The food log that follows is exactly what I've eaten for 2 days. It's clearly not a diet plan or even very good nutrition but it's a realistic account of how much effort it's been to avoid sugar. It's been 2 days of eating foods that contain no more sugar than 4g/serving, here's how things are going:

Day One
Time to eat breakfast and I'm not even sure what to eat. I think about not even having fruit because of the fructose but decide that since my frozen blueberries are unsweetened and my smoothie contains almost every important vitamin, mineral, roughage, and supplement I get all day that I'd better not drop it yet. I have the smoothie: 4oz. plain soy milk, 4oz water, 1/2 scoop whey protein(unflavored), 1 scoop psyllium husk, 1 Omega 3 supplement packet, 1 vitamin E capsule (broken open), 1 royal jelly capsule (broken open), 1 banana, 1/2 c. blueberries. Blend. Drink.

Lunch was very difficult. I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich almost every day because I love peanut butter and jelly and I am lazy about cooking, especially for myself. If pb&j seems like too much trouble I have cold cereal. If even that is beyond me I have yogurt. If I'm going to be running errands I have a protein bar (Balance bar, cookie dough flavor: 17 grams sugar). I stood in the kitchen for a long time contemplating eating a pb&j without j. Could it be done? Would I survive? Would it be palatable? I decided to go ahead and try it and if I simply couldn't stomach it I would heat up some tomato soup. I was extremely surprised to find that I liked it! I put natural peanut butter on both pieces of whole grain bread and amazed myself by not really missing the jelly like I thought I would.

Snack: no snack. Unable to figure out what to eat I simply gave up.

Dinner: Steve wasn't home so my daughter talked me into macaroni & cheese and carrot sticks.

Dessert: sigh. No dessert. I did have a single sip of the pomegranate martini Steve made when he got home. The sip was very small and since I don't like martinis, was not satifsying.

Day Two:
Snow day, everyone home, I made oatmeal for breakfast and nearly wept as I sprinkled 2 bowls with brown sugar and one bowl with nothing. No brown sugar for me but I surprised myself again by not missing it because I had cooked the oats with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves. The resulting spices (combined with the butter I did put on the oatmeal) made the taste really good without being sweet. I didn't know food could be good without being sweet!

Lunchtime was easy because I had planned ahead and started thinking about lunch before I was really hungry and tempted to eat 'whatever.' I reheated leftover ravioli with tomato sauce (canned sauce, Organic Arrabiata, 4g sugar).

Snacktime was easy too because I once again had a plan: I had a few carrot sticks, a few walnuts, and a piece of Cracker Barrel sharp cheddar cheese. I don't usually eat the dairy but I can't be vegan, sugar free, and sane all at the same time.

Dinner was hamburgers and french fries but I made it all myself and only the bun contained sugar (Organic whole grain bun, 3g of sugar).

So that's where I am so far. I have been inspired by Chellie who for some reason continues to believe in me despite the fact that she has seen me off the wagon more than on. I am inspired by my neighbor who is healing from breast cancer and is looking to me to support her effort to not eat sugar. Mostly I am motivated by the fact that I don't have headaches, I don't have PMS, and my eye doesn't twitch when I don't' eat sugar. Coincidence?

I'm blogging this journey to keep me motivated, keep me honest, and remind me of my victories and maybe even my defeats. I can't believe I am embarking on this journey 3 weeks before Christmas but when is there really a good time to quit an addiction? I've put it off so many times for so many good reasons that even I don't believe myself anymore.

Do or do not, there is no try - Yoda


Chellie said...

Way to go, Babe! I'm rootin' for ya!!!!!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Good luck. Personally, I don't think life is worth living without M&Ms dark chocolate.



jive white boy said...

if you're interested i did a blog where i went 30 days drinking only water. i still "ate" sugar, but the majority of it was cut out through liquids.

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Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog while looking for sugar free recipes. 3 weeks ago I completely cut out all refined or added sugar and ONLY eat naturally occurring sugar (fruits, veggies, ext.) and I feel great! I have lost 8 lbs and an inch off my waist in 3 weeks, no migraines which I usually get often and so much energy. I would suggest this lifestyle to anyone. Your body will be grateful!

Biggest tip I can give you is read labels! Google search for names of sugar that they put on labels, it's shocking there are over 50 names that they can call sugar on ingredient lists and you would never know. I printed that out and take it with me to the grocery store every time!

Good luck! Just remember it continually gets easier, food naturally tastes sweeter and you will feel so much better!

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