Ok, so it really wasn’t all that dramatic…and it was just a week. But I did learn a few things from avoiding added sugar over the past week.
Although I have quite a sweet tooth, I usually don’t go too overboard with dessert. But lately, after Christmas and my birthday, I found that I was eating dessert and sweets like a daily habit.
I had thrown around the idea of giving it up for quite awhile, so I decided to give it a go (this also fulfilling one of my food resolutions).
Here’s what I learned and how I survived:
Sugar is in everything
Ok, not everything, but even these new wheat crackers I bought had added sugar. I also still ate my Siggi’s plain yogurt that had a tiny bit of sugar because I wasn’t that strict.
When you start reading labels, you realize a lot of unexpected things have added sugar so it’s good to be aware. Also, whenever I buy packaged cookies or sweets, we usually don’t even eat them all (because my fresh baked goods are much better) and thus get wasted anyway.
Lesson learned: The fewer packaged foods I buy, the better for my sugar intake.
Meal planning helps
It really helped me avoid sugar to have my meal plan set and have easy breakfasts on hand. Last week during the snow, I whipped up some homemade mini quiche and froze them, and those were a great pop in the microwave breakfast.
Lesson learned: Have non-sugar options for each meal.
Fruit is a good go-to
I made a decision early on that I was not giving up the natural sugar in fruit, and fruit was very important in me staying on track. After each meal, I would look to a banana, apple or orange to satisfy my sweet tooth (and it didn’t leave me feeling draggy the afterward).
Lesson learned: Always keep fruit on hand!
Natural peanut butter FTW
Natural peanut butter was also very critical to my sugar-free week. I had it with apple slices and on toast with banana, and it was filling and exciting. And who really needs sugar in their PB?
Lesson learned: Lean more on natural peanut butter!
More alert, more balanced
Even though I only gave up added sugar for a week (6.5 days technically), I do feel like I noticed a slight difference. Funny enough, I didn’t have issues with my stomach until I had a beer to break my fast.
When I wasn’t eating sugar, I didn’t have some of those slight sugar highs and lows. I felt it was easier to get up in the morning and wake up positive. It was also nice not to depend on anything. Oh and I definitely have crazier dreams when I’ve had sugar a few hours before bed.
Overall, I will still keep eating sugar in moderation, but I want to be more mindful about it.
I want to save it for special occasions or really good things I bake at home and make sure it isn’t a habit in my mind. I’m also open to exploring how I can use honey more. I’m already a fan of buying organic cane sugar.