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!

 

 

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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!

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Picks Of The Week: Olympics Edition, Part 2

Obsession of the week: Closing Ceremonies

Spice Girls

At my sixth-grade birthday party, a bunch o’ girls and I dressed up as the Spice Girls and danced around in my basement. The carpet was blue and made a great stage to showcase our incomparable talent.

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Boy, am I glad I created my British music playlist earlier in the week; the title of Sunday’s show is “A Symphony of British Music.” I had no idea, I promise!

Entertainment Weekly reports the Spice Girls will reunite! The magazine also says Muse will be on hand to perform their gosh-darn-awful Olympics theme song. I’ll be sad to see the Summer Games go, but it sure has been fun, London.

The best part of the Closing Ceremonies? I get to watch them with Dad and the littlest sister, who will be arriving for a short visit after a road trip to Indy.

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Music stream of the week: Olympics Training Playlist

Speaking of playlists, the roomie created an excellent one to pump you up as you train for the Olympics (or, you know, workout). Included in the list is a Carly Rae song, so this is obviously a Chloe-approved mix.

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Inspiring female athletes of the week: Aly Raisman, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings.

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  • Raisman, 18, shocked us all by beating out Jordyn Wieber in the women’s gymnastics all-around qualifiers. We probably shouldn’t have been surprised, though. Raisman captained the team at the Summer Games. She helped the Fab Five win gold. And this week she competed individually in the balance beam and the floor — on the same day! — taking home the bronze and the gold, respectfully. It took a last-second petition to convince the judges she deserved a medal on beam, but her floor routine was so perfect, I was moved to tears. It also helps Raisman never has a sour look on her face like a certain team member of hers. You better click that link. It’s hilarious!
  • The beach volleyball duo that was May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings ended on a super high note Wednesday night. The ladies won their third consecutive Olympic gold, dropping only one set in the last three Games. If that’s not amazing, tell me what is. I’ll be sad at their absence come Rio, as they are retiring from playing the sport together, but as my mom put it, “They were a great team who really put beach volleyball on the map.”

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Picks Of The Week: Olympics Edition

Obsession of the week: Daytime, nighttime, all the time Olympics madness!

Hanging out with Ryan Lochte late at night. Scandalous.

Hanging out with Ryan Lochte late at night. Scandalous.

No surprise, the Olympic Games have taken over many people’s lives. I am in full obsession mode, staying up late to watch NBC’s encore (and hour shorter) presentation of prime time since I work nights, and waking early to do everything I need to do before work in the afternoon/evening, all while avoiding spoilers.

Need convincing of my London 2012 addiction? Wednesday morning I watched Team USA win gold in women’s gymnastics and saw Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympian while anchoring the men in the 4×200-meter free relay, which the USA won for the third time in a row. I skipped out on the medal ceremonies (sorry America!) and rolled into bed around 3:15 a.m., at which point I took what can only be classified as a long nap, then made it to a last-minute 8 a.m. dentist’s appointment. This is what I get for being frugal. But it was absolutely worth it!

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Music stream of the week: “London 2012” AOL radio station

Craving your favorite British hits? Looking to discover new songs by artists from the Olympic host country? AOL Radio has you covered with this awesome station, playing tunes from The Beatles, Oasis, Kate Bush, ELO, Florence + The Machine, Coldplay, Radiohead and more. Oh, and one of my favorites — Spice Girls. I’m holding out hope for a reunion performance at the closing ceremonies.

Muse’s “Starlight” just came on the station. I love that song. The band wrote this completely lame and uninspiring anthem for the London 2012 Games:

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Good tip of the week: Olympics workout game

As someone who likes to play bingo during the Oscar telecast, I was glad to find this Olympic-themed workout game from SparkPeople! I commented to the roomie on Sunday that I would be fat by the end of the Games, what with all the sitting around I did watching sports on the weekend. But with this fun set of I-Spy exercises, I’ll probably become as buff as the athletes for whom I’m cheering. Who am I kidding? I’ll definitely be as ripped as them!

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Inspiring female athletes of the week: Jordyn Wieber, Missy Franklin, and Helen Glover and Heather Stanning

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  • Wieber, a 17-year-old gymnast and World Champion, came off a heartbreaking miss at competing in the women’s all-around and helped her teammates triumph over Russia and Romania. Team USA took the gold for the first time since this.
  • Also just 17 years old, swimmer Franklin is racking up the medals, including her first individual gold in the 100-meter backstroke.
  • Great Britain’s 2,000-meter rowers Glover and Stanning shot from the starting line and didn’t let up, winning the race by a boat-length, securing their country’s first gold of the Games and the first ever for British female rowers.

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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!

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