Monday, October 31, 2011

Sugar Report

Okay - here is a summary of my two weeks without sugar, and then I promise I'll get off the sugar soapbox. For awhile.

I didn't go 2 weeks without eating refined sugar.

You know, of course, that I was allowing myself 1 meal each week to eat whatever I liked. I did that on Friday night for both weeks. I had pizza and ice cream, and one week I had a sip of Joe Beans' Iced Mocha as well. Mmmm!

Those were my permissible flumps. (Don't you like that word? I just made it up!)

I had a few other Cheat Moments.

#1 - The homemade chocolate cheesecake at a friend's party last Saturday. I held out through the cookies. And the chocolate raspberry truffles. And the pizza sauce for dipping the Stromboli. But when they sliced the cheesecake....I said "who cares?" and ate a small (very rich!) piece. Oh, It. Was. That. Good.

#2 - I ate a few dried dates that had sugar on them. (Honestly - who in the world thinks they need to sweeten dried dates, of all things? As if they weren't sweet enough?)

#3 - I almost gave in yesterday when Mom served fudge pie for Sunday dinner dessert. The only thing that kept me strong was knowing I'd have to blog about my naughtiness. (I knew there was something to the accountability theory!)

So, what did I observe, and what did I learn?

Well, I'm not sure which was hardest to abstain from; the known sweets (chocolate, ice cream, etc.) or the "hidden sugar" (bread, cereal, crackers, mayo, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, etc.) I certainly craved the desserts more, but the "regular food" was hardest to avoid. I was hard pressed to find food that I could eat.

And that surprised me a little bit.

For example, let's say you, like me, are "good about sugar." You don't drink soda, you don't munch candy bars, you dislike Pop Tarts, and love most any veggie. Great. Let's create a example menu and see what the sugar content is.

Breakfast: Granola
Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Supper: Lasagna, Salad, and Rolls (let's say you're good and you skip dessert)

Sounds okay, right?

That's what I thought before these past two weeks. But I can't argue with the math.

The math says that (depending on what brands and how many helpings you have), this menu supplies you with - are you ready? - 52 grams of refined sugar.

100 grams sugar = 20 tsp. sugar

So, 52 grams is about 10 tsp. .....

That's almost 1/4 cup of sugar.

Picture a quarter cup of sugar dumped onto the table. Now pick that up and ingest it.

And we thought we were "good with sugar"?

Enough with the depressing news.

Anyway - so my eyes were opened to the way sugar has invaded my diet. But I also learned that skipping dessert is possible.

And I learned all sorts of ways to sweeten food naturally. ...But I'm kinda sick of raisins. :) :) :)

All in all, I'm glad I did these two weeks. I feel good about it.

How will I eat tomorrow?

Well, my tongue craves some old-fashioned granola and chocolate, but my mind feels a little sick at the thought of what that means for my body. One TBS of sugar sounds like a TON. I think I view sugar in a whole different light now. Hopefully that lasts for awhile. I will definitely be looking into ways to limit my sugar, but I don't think I'll go cold-turkey. At least not yet.

How do you think a sugar fast would affect you if you did one?


julia said...

I think a sugar-free fast would be good for me to do in the history. Meaning I've already done it. I went for 2 weeks without sugar.... the only difference for me was that I was on an elimination diet so couldn't eat wheat, corn, dairy, eggs, coffee, chocolate and a long list of other foods either! The main two that were the hardest for me were coffee and chocolate, of course :) Thanks for sharing, I enjoy reading your blog!

Amber said...

You just made my evening, Julia! Thanks for the comment! :)

...And I can imagine that doing a two-week fast with that many ingredients cut out would be extremely difficult. Good for you for sticking it out! What benefits/side affects did you find when limiting your diet those two weeks?

Chocolate was hardest for me, too. :)