Adventures in Sugar free living

Early this year I decided that one of the ways I wanted to improve my overall health was to reduce the amount of sugar I eat.  I know that for me the best way to stay away from any particular vice is cold turkey.  So, 2 weeks ago I removed nearly all sugar from my diet.

For the first week I consumed zero refined sugars and very little natural sugar including no fruit, dairy, or high sugar vegetables.  I have to tell you that first week was Not pretty. I didn’t realize the extent to which I would actually experience sugar “withdrawal.” My symptoms included headaches, stomach upset, and extreme fatigue.  The sugar cravings were actually mostly gone after the first 2 or 3 days.  I elected to avoid any sugar substitutes, natural or otherwise.  Kate from Modern Alternative Mom had also suggested adding fats to my diet to help curb the sugar cravings and I think that also really helped.  By day 6 I was beginning to feel a little better and I was definitely enjoying watching the number go down each day on the scale.  During the first week I also didn’t drink coffee but instead drank lots of water with lemon and herbal tea. One of my favorite new foods that I discovered during week 1 was Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal. Yummy!

Beginning on day 8 I began adding fruit and dairy back in starting with a morning smoothie.  Our local Aldi store began offering an organic line and I able to pick up 32 oz containers of organic yogurt for $2.99 and 12 oz packages of frozen organic whole strawberries for $2.39. Score!! Needless to say I stocked up.  If you have an Aldi near you, you might want to check it out.  I am really enjoying the new Simply Nature products.  Week two was much easier and I’m feeling so much better.  I added a bit of maple syrup to my morning hot cereal and some honey to my tea.  Unsweetened coffee really isn’t cutting it for me so I’m looking for some alternatives for making homemade creamer that is naturally sweetened.

I am very pleased with how the last 2 weeks have gone.  I haven’t been craving sugar and haven’t had a problem passing it up.  However, last night on day 14 I decided to have a small serving of ice cream with the family.  First let me say that it was Breyers ice cream, so not organic, but definitely much more natural than many other brands, no artificial flavors or colors but indeed full of sugar.  My body was not happy; it was not pleasant.  One of my concerns is how I can balance eating a low sugar diet, and still be able to occasionally enjoy a “normal” treat or dessert without feeling awful later. I’m not sure yet how to make that work.  Until I figure it out I will definitely be avoiding all refined sugars.

Over the next week I’ll share some of the new recipes I’ve tried over the past two weeks including GF Chicken and Rice soup with mushrooms, GF sweet potato pancakes, enchillada soup and a few others.

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