I love sugar. So much that Halloween was my favorite holiday as a kid. I love baking. I love pie, and cupcakes, and there will always be a special place in my heart for cookie dough. And don’t get me started on ice cream. It’s an abiding, lifelong passion of mine.
I also hate sugar. I hate that it’s addictive, suppresses the immune system, is in all of our food (read the sides of processed food containers sometime. It’s wild!). It leads to diabetes, excess weight, and is linked with autoimmune problems, and this is in large part because as a society, we can’t stop eating it.
We gave up sugar at Casa Minify two whole weeks ago. This choice, like several we’ve made along the way, was inspired by Tammy at RowdyKittens doing the same thing, and writing about it. After reading her posts, I joined her bandwagon, and J along with me (we tend to do these things as a pair – although this was the inverse of going vegetarian, which was, counter to the fixed idea every last one of our friends seems to hold, his idea first. I swear).
We’ve been faithful, for the most part (there was one wonderful, decadent weekend long beach trip where we enjoyed both doughnuts and ice cream…small servings, though!) While we gave up refined sugar, we haven’t gone off the carb-avoidance deep end, and we’re still eating breads and drinking beer (within moderation of course), and small servings of fruit. But for the most part, our days are sugar free. Here’s what they look like:
- Breakfast: eggs and toast. plain yogurt. black coffee.
- Lunch: hummus on crackers (or on veggies, if I’m being good). banana. cheese.
- Snack: popcorn, or guacamole and chips.
- Dinner: quinoa and veggies.
(or occasionally, for dinner, pizza and beer. Don’t get the idea that we’ve transformed completely!) For lots of sugar free recipe ideas, there’s Sarah Wilson’s cookbook and handy recipe page.
I will confess that early on, I dumped the last of our chocolate chips into the one remaining container of vanilla yogurt and pretty much inhaled it. I’ve also added honey to my tea when I was craving a bit of a sweet fix. But this has been, to my pleasant surprise, one of the easiest habit changes to make. It turns out that once muffins and cookies and candy are gone from the diet, it only takes a few days to stop aimlessly trolling the kitchen, considering whether sugar-in-the-raw on a bagel would taste like dessert (I resisted). I don’t think we’ll be keeping cookie dough in the house anytime soon, but for the most part, we don’t miss the sweet stuff. I was hoping I’d feel radically different. Energetic! Healthy! Less moody! But that’s all false marketing from the anti-sugar propagandists, so far as I can tell. I feel pretty much like myself, except I’m not hungry all the time. I think I’m even starting to see some sign of a waist again. So while this is about health and not weight…there is some consolation in finding my waist :) I’m sticking with it, except for Sunday brunch. Life always needs room for pancakes and maple syrup, if only on Sundays!