I like to think that I am a pretty healthy eater. I stopped eating red meat 11 years ago. When I was nursing Curls and Red, I stopped drinking soda (for the most part). I have tried to cut out dairy over the past couple of years but I do love me some cheese. And now I am trying to tackle my biggest hurdle yet: SUGAR.
If you are a hippie like me, you are aware of the benefits of coconut oil, that extra virgin olive oil is better than plain old olive oil, and that even though it tastes like mush, quinoa is what you should be eating rather than brown rice. I incorporate all three into my lifestyle, some more than others (I’m looking at you quinoa). I drink LOTS of water. But I am still exhausted all the time. And I am tired (<<see what I did there??) of it.
Since I am a social media whore, I know the trend right now is doing a sugar detox. One of my fav lady bloggers, Meg Duerksen, is a big supporter of the sugar detox. She did it in May of this year and she reacted like a normal person would: She grumbled. She craved. She trolled Pinterest for sugary delights. But she did what I probably wouldn’t have done: She didn’t cave. And as I scroll through the pictures she posts of herself and her family, I see the results. She looks AMAZING. Meg and I are the same age but yet she looks at least 10 years younger. Not only has she lost weight but her skin looks great. And that was all I needed to push me to finally start saying no to sugar.
I love sugar. I haven’t ever met a fair food dessert that I didn’t love. Dark chocolate, red vines, and toffee are some of my loves. I don’t just have a sweet tooth, I have a whole set of sweet teeth. So I knew that cutting out sugar right from the start was not going to work. I don’t quit anything cold turkey because I feel like I am setting myself up to fail if I try. I have also had a couple of friends try a sugar detox and they weren’t able to stick to it. If I am honestly going to try and cut this stuff out, I have to take baby steps and lead up to big girl steps.
My first order of business was to log what I ate everyday for a week. This is what it looked like:
Breakfast: Peanut butter whole wheat toast, green apple, ice water with lemon
Lunch: 1 wheat thin, Turkey burger stuffed potato dinner leftovers, grapes, apple juice with 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
Dinner: Whole wheat spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed red peppers, slice of garlic whole wheat bread with Parmesan cheese, banana, pineapple and orange juice
Evening snack: 5 Trader Joes power berries, 3 dark chocolate covered fruits, 2 red vines, Sees Root Beer sucker, cheese nips (HANGS HEAD, SLINKS OFF TO CORNER OF SHAME)
Breakfast: Peanut butter with honey whole wheat toast, green apple, ice water with lemon, walnuts
Lunch: Turkey pepperoni, slice of cheddar cheese, 5 wheat thins, 5 grapes, a handful of Cheezits, ice water
Snack: Peanut butter granola bar
Dinner:Chicken avocado burger with honey mustard on whole wheat bun, corn on the cob, fries
Evening snack: Grande iced coffee with white mocha syrup from Starbucks and large chocolate chip cookie
Breakfast: Green apple, peanut butter whole wheat toast with honey, water
Lunch: Turkey pepperoni, slice of cheddar cheese, Cheezits, grapes, carrots, apple juice with apple cider vinegar
Dinner: Avocado, tomato, cheese, bacon, olive omelet with banana, pineapple and orange juice
Evening snack: Junior mints with ice water and lemon
Breakfast: Peanut butter and honey whole wheat toast, green apple, ice water with lemon
Lunch: Chicken avocado burger with tomato and honey mustard on WW bun, Cheezits, carrots, and apple juice with ACV
Dinner: Turkey taco lettuce wrap, Turkey taco with ½ flour tortilla, brown rice, asparagus, BPOJ
Evening snack: Watermelon Jolly Rancher popsicle, 2 Oreos, 4 TJ Powerberries, ice water with lemon
Breakfast: Green apple, peanut butter whole wheat toast with honey, water with lemon, plain bagel with honey walnut cream cheese, iced caramel latte
Lunch: Chicken avocado burger on WW burger with light mayo, carrots, Cheezits, Apple juice with ACV, ice water with lemon
Dinner: 2 Greek chicken pita tacos (pita bread with sauce, feta, tomato, cucumbers, chicken), fries, passion fruit tea
NO EVENING SNACK! Key to success: Watch super enjoyable flick with my family
Breakfast: Green apple, peanut butter whole wheat toast with honey, water with lemon
Lunch: Turkey taco lettuce wraps, tortilla chips, apple juice with ACV, ½ of dark chocolate bar (had no added sugars but sugar alcohols instead-YUCK!)
Dinner: 2 chicken taquitos, black beans, BPOJ
Evening snack: Venti iced coffee with white mocha and toffee nut (too sweet), ice water with lemon, 3 Mike’s black cherry lemonades
Breakfast: Green apple, peanut butter whole wheat toast with honey, ice water with lemon
Lunch: Chicken taquito, tortilla chips, carrots, apple juice with ACV
Dinner: Chicken tacos, spanish rice, refried beans, tortilla chips
Evening treat: Blueberry butterscotch milkshake with whip cream and mini donut that came on the straw-Go big or go home, AM I RIGHT?
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that my biggest problem is the minute my butt hits the couch as soon as the kiddos are in bed. Hubby and I take this time to catch up on shows and/or read. These activities are not enough to keep me from going straight to the cupboards and figure out what I can stuff my face with. I do good all day, trying to drink as much water as I can. I definitely have felt a difference since I increased my water intake.
When I printed out a list of what I could eat on a 14 day sugar detox, I noticed that a variety of nuts made the cut. I am lucky enough to have a bulk section at my grocery store so I have now started buying walnuts, macademias, almonds, etc. I have added them to my meals and will try and have a handful for a small snack. I am also going to stop buying so many treats. With two little ones, treats are always on hand for rewards/bribery. I am realistic enough to know I will always be surrounded by sugar so saying no will eventually have to be a part of my language also.
The seven day food diary did the one thing I wanted it to: it made me aware of my eating habits. So when I now go for that snack at night, I will think twice. So maybe when I buy a dark chocolate bar, I will eat one square instead of six. I will make the effort to have fruit in the house that I will eat. I know special occasion treats (Hi OC Fair!) will forever have a place in my heart and I can accept that. But by taking away a little bit of sugar each day in my normal routine, I know I will get the energy back and make myself that much healthier.