It’s not so sweet around here anymore because a few weeks ago, I made a decision to cut down on sugar (click here to read my original post). It seems impossible to live a normal life and not eat sugar in some form… well, maybe not impossible, but definitely challenging. I like the flexibility of eating out when I need or want to, to occasionally have a cookie or two, a piece of cake or ice cream (or both) at birthday parties, dessert when I go to a nice restaurant. So my decision was to cut down, not eliminate, added sugar.
My first step was to stop buying soda. If you have soda in the fridge, it’s easy to drink multiple glasses of the sweet stuff and forgo water. So I started there.
Step 2 was to stop buying candy. I love peanut M&Ms but I can just as easily buy unsalted peanuts without adding the chocolate and candy coating.
Step 3 was to be more aware of labels on all processed foods. There is a lot of sugar in condiments. And I am the queen of the condiments. I love buying prepared sauces to jazz up my meals. But I can achieve similar results with fresh herbs and seasonings – fresh basil, thyme, scallion, garlic, orange zest, ginger, lemongrass or just fruits – flavor without the added sugar.
Step 4 was to dilute fruit juice. Look at the label of any juice and you might be surprised to see the amount of sugar per serving. Based on information I found online, my target was to include 24 grams of sugar or less per 24 hours. Lots of fruit juices or fruit beverages that combine fruit concentrate, water and sugar (many do, so check your labels), have more than 30 grams of sugar per 8 ounce serving. Except that, most times, we don’t drink 8 ounces- at least I didn’t; instead, I would fill the glass. So in order to still drink some juice, I decided to pour a little juice and a lot of water. Tastes kinda like flavored water. After a few sips, my taste-buds adjusted and now, if I drink a sip of full-strength juice, it just tastes overly sweet.
Overall, my modus operandi was to set a limit and be aware of how much sugar i’ve eaten so I don’t go over my limit too often – yes, there are days I blow the limit but I am not doing it everyday anymore. At least now I have a limit! Before, I didn’t. Like today, I had a packaged applesauce snack so I declined the slice of cake at lunch. And I am still drinking cough syrup and it lists high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient so I have to keep that in mind.
So that’s how I’ve been tackling this sugar thing thus far.
And then today, I got a gift of The 21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook by Diane Sanfiliippo. It was a giveaway from my blog-friend, Margo through her awesome Brooklyn Fit Chick blog. I started flipping through the book immediately and it’s more than just a sugar-free plan, it’s also a plan to limit some carbs – even some vegetables – like quinoa and squash, two of my favorites. It eliminates not just sugar but also artificial sweetener, so it’s not like you can chew Trident whenever you feel a sugar craving. And it suggests better, healthier foods to eat instead.
I don’t know what I was expecting but I wasn’t expecting this. The book is really professional looking, it has a self-diagnosis of which level in the book you should do, it has a 21 day meal plan, with substitutes to keep in line with your dietary restrictions. And recipes. And I love recipes. (My first Pinterest board was a recipe collection) In my first flip-through, I found a recipe for ahi tuna poke bowl which looks absolutely tasty. It’s the kinda meal that you would give up sugar for.
Suffice it to say, the book is very interesting and I am going to give it a shot. I’m going to read it before I make a commitment but I think this is something I need to try at least.
I’m a fast reader so I’ll have a full review of the book for you in a couple days. Check in with me for it.
So, sugar-less is probably about to become sugar-free. It’t not so sweet around here anymore and that’s fine with me.
How are you doing with your resolutions and goals? Are you still keeping them? Are you finding them challenging?