Sugar is Back in My Life

IMG_4280Well everyone, I completed 7 full days with no added or artificial sugars, and I think that is a big accomplishment! I am very proud of myself, and I learned a lot through the process. I am determined to take what I learned and change my eating habits. You may be wondering why I only finished 7 days, and did not do the whole 10. After 7 days, I decided that I felt really good, and I had even lost 2 pounds. I did not want to stress myself out for the next few days, as I decided to travel with Brent for work. It would have been possible to continue sugar-free on my trip with Brent, but I really felt satisfied with my week completed and felt that it would be easier to transition to low-sugar at this time. I am proud to say that I think I stayed within the recommended daily value of sugar consumption for the last two days.

Some of the small steps that I made in the past two days to keep my sugar consumption down included only eating half of the bread with my sandwich at a restaurant, ordering a low sugar drink at Starbucks (skinny peppermint mocha or skinny caramel macchiato), using ketchup sparingly, no soda at all, no processed snacks, staying with eating fruit and nuts for breakfast, and no dessert. These small changes allow you to still eat what you want and be happy, but you cut out unnecessary sugar.

Now that I’ve completed my challenge, I want to share a few shocking sugar facts with you. I’ve learned a lot about good sugars and bad sugars, and have learned to look at labels and be able to identify hidden sugars. Take a look at my previous posts (day 5) for a link to the list of 50 words for hidden sugars.

  • Preferred sugars that you should use if using added sweeteners include cane sugar, honey, and maple syrup.
  • Bad sugars that you should try to avoid are white sugar, brown sugar, agave (some people do not agree), and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Women should only have 24 grams of sugar per day (6 teaspoons).
  • Men should only have 36 grams of sugar per day (9 teaspoons).
  • A tall Starbucks Peppermint Mocha contains 42 grams of sugar! Twice a woman’s daily value in one small drink!
  • A tall Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte contains 38 grams of sugar! This is more than a dessert drink.
  • Most ketchup that is served at restaurants is basically all high fructose corn syrup, light on the tomatoes.
  • There are usually added sugars in things like spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, BBQ sauce, soup, and even coffee creamers and other products that say they are ‘sugar free’. Make sure you know the hidden words for sugar and can find them hidden on labels.
  • Avoid processed food as much as possible because ‘reduced fat’ snacks often just replace the fat with artificial sugars, which your body will respond to by storing the food as fat.
  • If you drink coffee, try to pick cream OR sugar instead of both to easily cut out some sugar.
  • Just because fruit is natural sugar, try not to over do it because you can have too much. Stick to about 2 servings of fruit a day.
  • Any type of fruit juice is loaded with sugar. Your body can process actual fruit well because the fiber is included, which helps your body process the sugar. When you drink fruit juices, the fiber is taken out and your body does not respond to it as well and is triggered to store the nutrients as fat. Juice cleanses are bad!
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Sugar Detox- Day 6

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Alright folks, I’m more than halfway in! I am pretty proud of myself for still staying strong, but I am looking forward to expanding my palette. Since I don’t want to be researching recipes and grocery shopping all day, I have been eating some of the same stuff. It’s getting a little boring. I’m looking forward to my Starbucks treat at the end of the tunnel!

Today I made the homemade granola that I talked about in the post yesterday. After just trying a piece right out of the oven, it tastes slightly bland. It shouldn’t be a surprise to me since it’s sugar free! It will probably taste delicious though with some vanilla almond milk and some fruit to sweeten it up. It was a very easy recipe that took about 5 minutes to prep. I could see myself continuing to make it in the future since it’s so easy.

Overall, I’m feeling good about this challenge and am looking forward to saying I’ve done it. Here’s a summary of today.

Day 6 Meals:

Breakfast- apple and mixed nuts

Lunch- salami, cheese, rice crackers, leftover pasta fagioli, peanut butter for dessert

Dinner- taco salad including corn chips, lettuce, cheese, guacamole, and beef. (Unfortunately the taco seasoning had some dextrose in it, which is a hidden word for sugar. I did not have time to make an alternative spice so I allowed myself this tiny cheat.)

No Sugar- Halfway Through!

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Day five complete! There’s no turning back now that we’re halfway through! Today was the first day doing the challenge while being at school all day. It got a little difficult when I was starving around dinnertime and didn’t have any food packed. I ended up going to Five Guys and getting a burger wrapped in lettuce and some fries. For those of you who are gluten free or want to eliminate some carbs and calories, Five Guys and Red Robin both do burgers wrapped in lettuce regularly. It cuts out like 300 calories and a bunch of sugar without the bun!

I have to tell you though, I was really wanting ketchup with my burger and fries today. I went to Whole Foods this afternoon looking around for no added sugar ketchup that I could bring with me. I had one in my hand and was walking up to the register when I took a second look at the label. I saw “maltodextrin”, and wasn’t sure if that was another secret word for sugar. I looked on the Fed Up documentary website at their list of 56 hidden words for sugar. Sure enough, there it was. Sadly, I have not found any ketchup with no added sugars, but I plan to stick with a low sugar ketchup after the challenge.

50 Hidden Words for Sugar: http://fedup.s3.amazonaws.com/2014/09/Hidden-Sugar-.jpg

I also really wanted some coffee today, but normally I’m a cream and sugar girl. I got it black today at Starbucks because they did not have any unsweetened milk. I’m sorry but I just can’t do coffee without some added sugar! Whether it be cream or sugar, I gotta have it! I even went to Whole Foods yet a second time today after I ordered it to get some unsweetened almond milk to add, but it really did not help the flavor. Now I know what my treat will be once this challenge is over! I’ll be heading out to get the coveted Starbucks peppermint mocha in the red cup next Sunday.

Tomorrow I plan on making homemade no sugar granola that I can have with unsweetened almond milk and fruit in the morning. Sounds like something I would eat after the challenge too! I’m also excited about making ribs with a homemade sugar free BBQ sauce on Friday as a “we are almost done” reward. Here are some recipes below for what I plan on making. I’ll let you know how it tastes!

Recipes:

http://www.5dollardinners.com/homemade-granola-sugar-free/

http://arealfoodlover.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/the-worlds-best-barbeque-sauce-sugar-free/

Day 5 Meals:

Breakfast- apple and peanut butter

Lunch- cajun turkey, cheese, and mustard wrapped in lettuce, mixed nuts, coffee with almond milk

Dinner- Five Guys burger with onions and mustard wrapped in lettuce, fries

Snacks- pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, strawberries

Sugar Detox- Day 4

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Day four of the detox was a little harder the previous days. Today I felt a little tired and had a slight headache in the afternoon. Not sure if it was related to the sugar. I didn’t wake up in time to make a big breakfast, so I was starving after church, especially after denying free donuts. After lunch, Brent and I ended up eating dinner around 5:00 PM because we were hungry and tired of the food at home (I’m just realizing now that our bodies probably thought it was 6:00). We decided to go to Chipotle since we were too lazy to cook. It was a surprisingly lazy day considering we had an extra hour of sleep! Overall I’m glad that we did not cheat today and we completed day four. Looking forward to the week since I tend to have less time to think about how bored and hungry I am!

Day 4 Meals:

Breakfast- apple with peanut butter

Lunch- salami, cheese, rice crackers, leftover pasta fagioli, a few pieces of fruit

Dinner- Chipotle salad (lettuce, chicken, pico de gallo, cheese, guacamole, tiny bit of brown rice)

Snacks- popcorn

Sugar Detox- Day 3

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Day 3!!! This morning was great. Brent and I enjoyed cooking some omelettes and bacon together. You would not believe how hard it is to find sugar-free bacon! It’s almost impossible. To be honest, the bacon we had contained less than 1 gram of evaporated cane sugar. Cane sugar is still bad, but is much better than white sugar. It was also the last ingredient on the list. I decided to only have a few bites and then I felt too guilty. Technically I messed up, but I’m not going to let that stop me!

Last night, Brent and I had to fight the urge to go get ice cream, but after about 15 minutes we were over the craving. It’s just because of our weekend habit of going out for dessert, and a lot of activities on a Friday night involve food. We were able to stay strong, and we had some peppered popcorn while watching TV.

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Tonight, we treated ourselves by going out to get burgers at Red Robin. In order to avoid sugar, we asked for our burgers wrapped in lettuce instead of the bun, which Red Robin actually does fairly often. We also did not add seasoning to our fries because it contained a disguised sugar ingredient, and we did not have ketchup. I gotta tell you, it was harder than I expected not to have ketchup! I actually squirted some on my plate, dipped my fry in it, and had my mouth open ready to eat it before Brent stopped me. He talked me out of it, and I’m so glad he did! Although I really needed something for those plain fries and I did miss it, I’m glad I didn’t give in. Ketchup is basically all high fructose corn syrup, which is one of the worst sugars for your body. You can see the proof in my photo that I did not eat it! I should have gotten a photo when the food arrived, but I was starving and couldn’t wait a second.

To be clear, we are not completely eliminating all sugars. We are only allowing natural sugars into our diet, such as those in fruits and vegetables. We technically could have honey or maple syrup if they were raw and pure, but for this detox we decided the natural sugar content is still very high and we decided to avoid it. I also allowed myself some crackers that are made of brown rice, almonds, and other natural ingredients. No added sugars or fake ingredients involved.

I’m proud of us for getting through three days semi-easily, and I’m motivated for the next 7 days. Woohoo! Feeling good! (I also lost some more weight today, although that is not the goal of this detox.)

Day 3 Meals:

Breakfast- omelette with green pepper, onion, ham, and cheese, 1 piece of bacon

Lunch- Salami and cheese on some rice/almond crackers, mixed fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

Dinner- Red Robin burger wrapped in lettuce with red onions, mustard, and pickles, plain french fries

Snacks- spoonful of peanut butter, popcorn

Sugar Detox- Day 2

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We survived day 1, and I even lost a pound! For me, this doesn’t happen on just a normal day. I have to be eating really well and working out to lose that much in a day. This proves that the sugar free diet is the way to go! I woke up this morning feeling shaky and weak. I probably really needed to eat since the snack department yesterday was slim to none, which left me low on calories for the day. I did some research to get some ideas for more mid-day and after dinner snacks that aren’t just fruit. Fruit doesn’t cut it all the time when you need a filling snack. Here is what I came up with. These snacks will give me the calorie boost I need, and something not too fruity when I’m looking for that taste. I’m glad I did my research because I would not have come up with some of these ideas! I made a mid morning grocery run to get some of these so I wouldn’t cave today, especially since it’s Halloween!

Sugar Free Snacks:

Apples or celery and all natural peanut butter

Veggies and Hummus

Salami and cheese (later on I could add brown rice snap crackers for low sugar)

A salad

Leftover dinner

Nuts

Smoothies

Omelette

Boom Chicka Pop

Paleo bread with all natural peanut butter and no sugar added jam (that’s the way to do PB&J!)

(recipe here http://elanaspantry.com/paleo-bread/)

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Day 2 Meals:

I avoided the Halloween candy temptations at the grocery store!

Breakfast- fruit smoothie (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, mangos, half a banana, spinach, and water)

Lunch- Lettuce with turkey and mustard, celery and peanut butter, and popcorn

Dinner- Pasta Fagioli minus the noodles (a copycat for Olive Garden’s recipe that I found on Pinterest)

Snacks- A couple mixed nuts and some fruit