Anyone who knows me at all knows that I’m a sugar-holic. Like, if there was rehab for sugar, I would be in denial that I needed to go there, but friends and family would be urging me to check in. I eat a ton of sugar. It wouldn’t be unusual for me to go get donuts (2) and a sugary coffee for breakfast, then eat a somewhat sensible lunch (but followed by cookies, then chocolate chips for snack) and then to eat a normal dinner, followed by ice cream and wine. In a day, I would consume a week’s worth of sugar, easily. Maybe more. But after reading Eve Schaub’s A Year Without Sugar, I have tried limiting my own sugar.
I’m not going to any extremes or anything, like Eve and her family did (did you know there is added sugar in condiments, salad dressing, bread, lunch meat, pasta and pasta sauce…just about everything? She cuts out basically all added sugar by making even crazy things like chicken broth from scratch). I’m just trying not to overload on sweets and things with a lot of unnecessary added sugars. So when I started paying attention, I noticed even my seemingly healthy foods were laden with extra sugar. In my breakfast of granola and coffee with vanilla creamer, I was already consuming over half of my daily suggested sugar.
Drink a soda or a glass of wine, that alone is your suggested added sugar for the day. This is why I was so large before. Sugar. This extra fat around my middle is a telltale sign of my love affair with sugar. So for a little over a week now, I’ve been paying attention to it. I’ve replaced a meal a day with juicing, because it is an easy way for me to get my produce in. Yes, fruit has sugar, but the sugar that occurs naturally in fruit is balanced out with enough corresponding fiber that it doesn’t throw your body out of whack. Fruit is nature’s dessert, and also, now my breakfast.
I didn’t really think these ten days would do much, but I swear to you I have already noticed such a difference in my energy level. I was so lethargic and tired all the time before, and now I’m able to keep up with my kids without lying down telling them, “I just need a minute.” Also, although I’m no longer in a state of trying to lose weight, I still monitor it. I have lost three pounds in these past ten days. Keep in mind – I spent the last year working out hardcore to lose baby weight. In the past six months or so, I haven’t lost any additional weight, yet in these past ten days, I worked out much less than usual and I was down three pounds. Our bodies react so quickly to what we do and don’t eat. Maybe reducing my added sugar will finally deflate this spare tire of mine. Here’s hoping.
Here’s what else I’ve noticed: sugar is everywhere. Fucking everywhere! And not only is it at every supermarket luring our kids in the form of free cookies and suckers, in most every meal you eat at a restaurant and in any form of a convenience food. Sugar is also a part of what we do together, how we celebrate. Think of a holiday and I guarantee you its corresponding sweets will quickly come to mind. Sugar is programmed into me – I eat it all the time, and it seems that everything is a trigger. Even running errands means a sugary coffee usually, so really nothing is safe. Limiting your sugar is inconvenient (massive understatement) and even ostracizing. So I’m not ready to go full force Eve Schaub or David Gillespie yet. Maybe one day. But for now, I’m enjoying it in moderation. I’ve already noticed sugar tastes so much sweeter as a treat, rather than as a habit.