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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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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!

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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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I Quit Sugar: Week 4

Week four is over. This is basically how I feel:

Preach it, Harry.

Preach it, Harry. P.S. Let’s be no-sugar buddies.

Life without sugar is making me vocally grumpy, and even though I know what I’m doing is for the best, I just want some ice cream, man! And that doughnut on the office table. And the whole bag of brown sugar I hid in the back of my pantry. Sarah Wilson, author of “I Quit Sugar,” said this would happen. It may be the hardest part of all this.

Explaining why I’m doing this is getting easier. Those closest to me are beginning to understand this is not just breaking the physical addiction to sugar (grab and eat whatever is in sight) but also the mental dependence (see above thoughts on ice cream, doughnut, brown sugar).

The best new snack I made this week is homemade peanut butter. Here’s how it works:

  • Dump a bunch o’ unsalted roasted peanuts in your food processor.
  • Grind ’em up until smooth. Or chunky. I don’t like chunky PB.

That’s it. You don’t even have to add oil because the peanut oil seeps out of the nuts when ground. Amazing. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Next time I make it I’m going to add some cinnamon to make it more dessert-like!

What's a pea nut? These gents at the1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, held in Seattle, Wash., were trying to sell them.

What’s a pea nut? These gents at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, held in Seattle, Wash., were trying to sell them.

I’m back on yoga track. I forgot how calming it is. I practice my breathing technique while lying in bed at night. It helps me fall asleep.

I certainly had food trials in week four:

  • Each day is still a test. When I’m not thinking of other things, I’m thinking of sugar. I forget how it tastes, but my brain thinks I need it. No, brain, you’re wrong.
  • Eating out. Lucky for me I can’t afford to eat out but maybe once a month, and I much prefer learning a new recipe and having lots of leftovers. But the roommate and I had a tea party at The Crumpet in Rogers, thanks to the awesome J who passed along her soon-to-expire Living Social daily deal. We had a lovely pot of Londonderry tea, and I resisted the amazing orange rolls. I opted for a turkey and Swiss sandwich on rye (there were a few slices of tomato … and I ate them), which came with a good, dark green salad. I didn’t know the sugar content of the dressing, but it was a feta vinaigrette. It was good, but I’m going to take a gander and say it was sugar-filled. Ah well, I can’t do anything about it now.

No new side-effects have appeared this week. I actually feel pretty good, considering I’m detoxing. I have been taking baths each weekend in my small apartment tub.

The New York Tribune page from Dec. 17, 1905 advertises the benefits of a public bath. It does not look like fun to me. I'll take my tiny tub any day.

This New York Tribune page from Dec. 17, 1905 advertises the benefits of a public bath. It does not look like fun to me. I’ll take my tiny tub any day.

I haven’t noticed any new positive changes, but I am still impressed that I eat less and feel more full. My wallet thanks me.

Week five! Hooray, I made it past the halfway point! I’m thinking a giveaway should be in the near future. Vote below and let me know what you think!

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