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Not eating sugar is … sweet!

Sugar

At the start of January, I gave up sugar cold turkey.  Processed sugar – not fruit (although I am careful to eat low glycemic fruit).  I won’t lie … the first few days were very painful.  But a week later, I no longer craved the sweet stuff, not even my beloved chocolate.  A month later,  I feel like a whole new person (in a good way).

Avoiding sugar in American culture is NOT easy!  You have to become adept at reading labels and you’re better off eating whole foods that you cook yourself. Let’s face it:  fast food is overflowing with sugar (and salt and fat and Lord knows what else).

That said, it can be done, because if I can give up sugar, anyone can do so.

Now I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed sugar-free treats, like Breyer’s vanilla sugar free ice cream (but with sliced fresh strawberries on top) and the occasional sugar free chocolate.  I got through my first few days by dipping a spoon of natural, crunchy peanut butter into mini semi sweet chocolate chips (so yummy).

So is it paying off?  YES.  Blood sugar levels have decreased significantly.  I feel more alert, clearer headed, less foggy, more energetic.  I’ve lost nearly one size and my shoes are a bit loose.  I’m adding years back to my life, versus subtracting years.

And as a true test?  I’m watching a cooking network show about chocolate … and am not even tempted (though I am hungrily thinking about the brown rice that’s steaming for the dinner I’m going to make tonight).

Are you sugar-free or a sweets lover like I was?

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Cat Ivins February 6, 2011, 11:14 AM

    You have inspired me Brenda- I really want to quit or at least cut way back on sugar- I feel like since quitting diet pepsi my cravings for sweets have decreased and now might be the time to take this next step- are the mini sugar free choc chips any good? They might be a good thing for me to have around.

    xo

  • brenda February 6, 2011, 11:44 AM

    Thanks, Cat! WOW that you gave up the diet pepsi (which I’m still addicted to) – good for you! 🙂

    The semisweet mini chips do have sugar, but the peanut butter/mini chip trick is one I learned from The South Beach Diet – just a quick fix for chocolate junkies that uses tiny amounts of sugar (how much sugar can there be in 10 or 15 mini chips?). Better than a reeses peanut butter cup (yum … reeses …)! I also sprinkle a few, sometimes, on a small bowl of ricotta cheese that I whip up with lemon or orange zest and the teensiest bit of artificial sweetener (I don’t really like it very sweet). 🙂

  • Sharon Hanson February 7, 2011, 8:21 AM

    Gosh, Brenda, I would miss having fruit juice once in a while. Are there any you can have in small amounts? I’m also curious about this: Other than water, for cold beverages do you pretty much stick to iced teas?

    Glad you’ve doing well. A low or no-sugar diet would probably help us all. I’m coming into a really busy season and may try cutting back on sugar to see how good some increased alertness would be.

  • brenda February 7, 2011, 9:10 AM

    Hi Sharon!

    No fruit juice for me! It’s VERY concentrated sugar and in liquid form goes straight to my bloodstream. I would keep it around for hypoglycemic (blood sugar crash) episodes, but it doesn’t keep that well! I can probably add a little juice to a glass of mineral water. 🙂

    I drink a lot of water, and a couple of diet pepsis in the earlier day (I’ve never liked coffee and tea, even iced tea).

    A no sugar life has done wonders for me!

    Enjoy your week,

    Brenda

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