Chloe M. O'Connor | Layout, Illustration, and Freelance Design

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I Quit Sugar: Week 8

Eight weeks! It has come and gone in a flash. I have to remember the things I’ve learned and not slip out of my new ways. I have come too far to relapse.

And just in time for a big trial — traveling and eating. It’s hard to eat well when eating out and not cooking for oneself. I have promised myself I will make a conscious effort to look for the best choice on a menu, and to ask questions so I know what I’m putting in my mouth. No hidden sugars for me!

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I expect I will be dining like this every night, bib and hat included. Senator Owen Brewster (left) and Ann (Mrs. Oscar) Chapman chow down on seafood at the Maine State Society lobster dinner in the Department of the Interior cafeteria in 1951.

I expect I will be dining like this every night, bib and hat included. Senator Owen Brewster (left) and Ann (Mrs. Oscar) Chapman chow down on seafood at the Maine State Society lobster dinner in the Department of the Interior cafeteria in 1951.

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Now time for the giveaway! Selected randomly from the tons of comments, the winner is … Myra Ann! Congrats! I’ll be emailing your copy of Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar” very soon. I hope you find it as helpful as I did.

 

Thanks for following me on this journey. The encouragement, the questions, all of you, have helped make these last eight weeks an education!

 

 

Filed under: Books, Colorado, Health, News, Products, , , , , , , , ,

Picks Of The Week

Obsession of the week: Colorado

How much do I love this 39th Telluride Film Festival poster by Dave Eggers? Oh so much.

How much do I love this 39th Telluride Film Festival poster by Dave Eggers? Oh so much.

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How could I not be obsessed? I head to the beautiful mountain state in just about a week for the first time since I moved to Arkansas in October 2010. Also, it’s my first vacation longer than four days since then, so needless to say, I am ready for a temporary change of pace.

The whole trip was planned around attending the Telluride Film Festival during Labor Day weekend. I had a taste of the event a few years back but didn’t get to attend any movies. After my parents sat in front of director Michael Hazanavicius at the Telluride screening of his film, “The Artist,” I knew I couldn’t miss 2012’s fest. My mom also waved at George Clooney — who she says waved back — and she and my dad ate dinner in the same room as Tilda Swinton.

Neither the attendees nor films are announced until days before, so I’m looking forward to being surprised, rubbing elbows with industry greats (if I’m so lucky) and seeing what I expect will be fabulous cinematic gems.

Don’t even think about robbing my apartment while I’m away, folks. The roommate is still around and she’s good at beating off intruders (by sleep-talking them away). She’s fierce. Like the University of Colorado fight song, which I grew up singing at women’s basketball games (because I didn’t attend the school in the end).

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Viral video of the week: “Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra”

Wally, aka Gotye, emailed to his fans this video compilation he put together. It mixes some of the best YouTube covers of his smash hit, “Somebody That I Used To Know.” I was very happy to see Pentatonix, an absolutely amazing a capella group, get some generous screen time. There’s also a smooth sax, Ingrid Michaelson and a choir in formalwear.

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Note to my dear readers: It is time I took a little hiatus, what with vacation and my twice-a-year teaching gig fast approaching. I will not post Picks of the Week for the next four weeks. I’ll miss all y’all’s comments!

There will be one final I Quit Sugar post Sunday. Don’t forget, it’s a giveaway. Bust over to last week’s post and comment for a chance to win Sarah Wilson’s e-book. You can read it on your computer, e-reader, tablet, laptop hooked to your TV, whatever!

Filed under: Academy Awards, Colorado, Design, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies, Music, News, Oscars, Products, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Quit Sugar: Week 7

My experiment is winding down. But I’ve learned so much! I haven’t had the time lately to try the recipes Sarah Wilson has in her book, but that’s OK. I have the rest of my life.

I fell off the wagon one day this week. It was a bad day and I was weak. I put chocolate creamer in my coffee at work, then ate a salad with a sugar-filled dressing. The good news is I didn’t get down on myself but realized how what I did affected my body. If I feel like crap after eating sugar, what’s the point in eating it?

I fell off a wagon similar to this one from Aug. 1909. I feel bad for that wee littl' piggy. But those dogs are lucky to hitch a ride to wherever they're going.

I fell off a wagon similar to this one from August 1909. I feel bad for that wee lil’ piggy. But those dogs are lucky to hitch a ride to wherever they’re going.

My mom (who is also working to cut sugar from her diet) commented to me about how treats don’t tempt her anymore. I’ve noticed the same thing. I look at the sweets, and think, “Mmm, yum, that looks delicious!” But I don’t need nor want to eat it. I think I’ll make it to the winter holidays without falling too far away from where I’ve come. Christmastime is expected to be difficult, but I’ll deal with that come December.

Giveaway time! While one reader suggested I give away the bag of brown sugar in the back of my pantry, and another (who voted twice … can’t imagine who it is) said “A magical unicorn” and “I already told you I want a magical unicorn,” I am giving away …

A copy of Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar” e-book! Here’s how it’s going to work:

  • Comment below about your favorite no-sugar snack. What is it and why do you love it? I want to hear your suggestions!
  • I will randomly choose a name from those who comment (I will email the winner their gift, so use a valid email when you log in!).
  • Deadline to comment is Saturday, Aug. 18 at 11:59 p.m. Central. So get to commenting!

Filed under: Books, Health, News, Products, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Quit Sugar: Week 6

Week six! Two more weeks and I’ll have completed the experiment. I’m looking forward to continuing this new lifestyle, though, because I feel pretty amazing.

It takes an army to pick a berry. Actually, these folks admire Stanley Boyer, kneeling, as he picks strawberries in 1946. Boyer was one of the best strawberry pickers in the Portland area. His record was 21 crates of strawberries in a six-hour day, which I suppose is quite a lot.

It takes an army to pick a berry. Actually, these folks admire Stanley Boyer, kneeling, as he gathers strawberries in 1946. Boyer was one of the best strawberry pickers in the Portland area. His record was 21 crates of strawberries in a six-hour day, which I suppose is quite a lot.

Sarah Wilson, author of “I Quit Sugar,” gives some good tips about adding some sweetness back in during week six, specifically what you can get to eatin’.

  • Fruit! I was so, so, so excited to get back to fruit! Blueberries, kiwi and strawberries are all low in fructose, so I gobbled them up.
  • Stevia. This is a natural sugar that comes from the stevia leaf. It’s super sweet in small amounts, but is kind of expensive. I bought the Truvia brand and don’t expect to be using it all that often, so the initial cost will even out over the months.
  • Coconut water. I didn’t like this stuff at first, but I have tried several different kinds. I love the bottles with coconut pulp in them!

Wilson’s book has a recipe for coconut “granola,” which includes coconut flakes, ground almonds and cashews/peanuts/walnuts, but I haven’t gotten to try it yet.

I really don’t have many more updates this week because I have gotten to a state of balance. So exciting! I even comfortably wore a swimsuit today, which I haven’t done in a long, long time.

Anyway … give-a-way! Give-a-way! Look for this on my week eight post. In the meantime, let me know what you want to see me give away!

Filed under: Books, Health, News, Products, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Quit Sugar: Week 5

In week 5 of this experiment, Sarah Wilson, author of “I Quit Sugar,” suggests ways to detox. I have been doing many of the things (activate nuts, make kale chips, drink tea) since the earlier weeks, so I’m taking this post to talk to you about some good things to have come from quitting fructose.

These are in no particular order because everything that is good is equally so!

Good thing No. 1: Weight loss

I weight a little bit more than this baby being weighed during a college homemaking class (year unknown). Side note: My, how the times have changed!

I weigh a little bit more than this baby being weighed during a college homemaking class (year unknown). Side note: My, how the times have changed!

When I started all this, I was hoping to lose a few pounds and get back to a healthy weight. I don’t need a scale to tell me my clothes fit differently. I used to put my belt on the first notch, but now I’m comfortably at the second. Woot!

Good thing No. 2: Saving money on food

This 1954 family shops at their local grocery stor--wait a minute ... is that kid sampling the cat food??

This 1954 family shops at their local grocery stor–wait a minute … is that kid standing sampling the cat food??

In week one I said I spend way too much money on food, and I don’t even eat out often. This week I compared last month’s food spending with my costs pre-quit. I’m proud to say I have cut my grocery bill by 25 percent. This is awesome. I’m eating less, which lets me enjoy good foods that used to be luxury items because of their prices: avocado, quality tea, coconut/almond milk, a coffeehouse latte, just to name a few.

Good thing No. 3: Balanced state

I have been sleeping well, like these sailors taking a nap on the flight deck of the USS Lexington in 1943. This photo is precious, by the way. Oh, you know you were thinking it!

I have been sleeping well, like these sailors taking a nap on the flight deck of the USS Lexington in 1943. This photo is precious, by the way. Oh, you know you were thinking it!

I am beginning to feel like my body is happy with me. My digestive issues are essentially gone. I sleep through the night, can focus during the day, and have no problems falling asleep.

Good thing No. 4: Increased willpower, motivation to try new things

This kid in Amsterdam in 1987 is too cool for the first day of school. He needs a little motivation to get his booty in line.

This kid in Amsterdam in 1987 is too cool for the first day of school. He needs a little motivation to get his booty in line.

There were a carrot cake and some books in the break room at work this week. I hovered over the cake for a minute, then looked at the book next to it, which was something about spiritual health. I laughed at the thought of someone reading that book and eating cake at the same time. Most people wouldn’t even think about how the book and the cake are connected.

This journey, this lifestyle change, is as much physical and mental as it is spiritual. I have pushed myself to break routines — even if it’s just taking a different route to work or visiting a store I’ve never been to before. I have become more motivated to live positively and look toward and plan for the future. My hope is to keep growing my spiritual, physical, and mental health for long as God gives me.

I did not eat the carrot cake, but I did eat an Olympic cupcake yesterday. Just one. An amazing test of willpower when there are a dozen staring me down, and considering a month ago I would have eaten four without batting an eyelash.

OK, y’all. I’m moving on to week six, which is when I get to start adding some sweetness back into my life, such as a low-sugar fruit each day!

Also, a giveaway is coming. Thanks to those who have already voted in the poll below; for those who haven’t, now is your chance!

Filed under: Books, Health, News, Products, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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