I read so many helpful comments after my last post on sugar binges. You guys are the best – did you know that? I hope so, because these comments helped convert powerlessness into motivation to do something about it. A few blogger friends said they had been thinking about making a change too, so I googled and found a great post on 3 Whole Plates on how to do 30 days Sugar Free. What appealed most was her sensible, common-sense approach to kicking the sugar habit, so I borrowed heavily and did some minor tweaking to suit my own needs.
Following the same simple 3-rule format, this is what I will shoot for from January 1-31:
1) No refined sugar. No white or brown sugar. This means no desserts or donuts or candy. Because I also hope to recalibrate my taste buds, I’m also going to cut out natural sugar products like honey and blue agave nectar, which I will miss dearly in my morning coffee.
2) No artificial Sweeteners. I’ve heard that artificial sweeteners try to trick the brain into thinking it’s had something sweet, only to find out the brain is smarter than it looks and it looks pretty smart because it’s, uh, a brain. I don’t know if artificial sweeteners satiate my need for something sweet or not, but I do know most are made from hard-to-pronounce chemicals and they don’t taste very good anyway.
3) N0 more than 10g sugar per serving in processed foods. This is any food that comes with one of those little black and white nutritional labels, which is mostly what I’ll be eating unless I get a tiny farm (complete with tiny farmhands) under the tree Christmas morning. I chose 10g because the plain greek yogurt I eat every morning has 9g sugar per serving and I like even numbers.
That’s it. I’ll still have fresh fruit because last spring I tried a low-carb diet with no fruit or grains for 2 weeks and I got a terrible chest cold and a case of the sads, so nuts to that. With processed grains, I’ll stick to the ‘no more than 10g of sugar per serving’ rule.
My main goal here is to reduce cravings and stabilize my mood and energy levels. Sugar used to be a wonderful high, but lately I’ve noticed how run down I feel, especially when I exercise. I believe I can do this for 30 days and hope it will motivate long-term, sustainable changes in what I eat and why. Food is a huge source of pleasure, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I just hope to change the pleasure from cheap thrills to something ultimately more enjoyable.
I don’t plan to change the focus of this blog to nutrition, but I will check in and report how it’s going. If you want to join in the
torture FUN by going sugar-free in January or by following your own plan, yes, yes! As someone wisely said, Power in numbers!