Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January: Abstain From Sweets

When I originally set my goal/resolution/project for January, it was simply to abstain from dessert-type things (e.g. cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy, hot cocoa, etc), and to refrain from adding sugar to things myself (e.g. sugar or honey to coffee or tea, honey on cheese, etc.). When January arrived, I was actually much more strict than that--I didn't eat anything that had any added sugar at all. I had bought some non-fat vanilla yogurt from Trader Joe's because I was on antibiotics, but when I noticed it had sugar in the ingredients list, I let it go bad. After two days of nearly starving myself on this madness*, I reconsidered.

*Allow me to clarify: NO added sugar is a great thing to try, but because I was staying with my parents for a while (i.e. I was NOT in charge of grocery decisions), and because my work requires me to do a good deal of restaurant dining, it did not work out for me to be quite that strict this month. I wasn't going to starve myself at my mom's house just because much of her otherwise healthy food had something like 1 gram of sugar per serving, and I'm not going to interrogate waiters for hours trying to figure out exactly what I'm allowed to order, because I don't have a deathly allergy or a medical or dietary restriction.

I've pretty much stuck with my original plan, although I did have a mixed drink that I later realized probably had a good amount of simple syrup in it, and I did order a few pancakes sans-syrup that they put the syrup on anyway, but I figured I already paid for it, I was hungry, I did my best to get them without syrup, I might as well eat them rather than throw them away. I also had a teaspoon of honey the other night to fight off a cough and sore throat I was dealing with, but I had allowed for that use when I originally wrote the rules of my challenge.

Here on day 13 it's pretty easy to avoid temptation. I remember the first three or four days were awful--I had one constant, dull headache for at least 3 days straight, and for the most part I would just not eat. Both my parents' houses were in Holiday mode (especially Mom's), so they were full of homemade cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, and candies, and frankly not much else ready-to-eat (even the cereal selection was FULL of added sugar), and my low blood sugar made me super tired so I never felt like preparing anything. This meant that I pretty much skipped breakfast and lunch for the first two or three days--not something I would recommend or repeat. If you're thinking of severely cutting down on the sugar in your life, I recommend you go pre-purchase some ready-made, no-sugar-added food beforehand, enough to last you two or three days (think prepared salads, etc.), because if you're anything like me you will NOT want to cook anything, and you probably won't want to drive anywhere either. Good luck if you want to start this on a workday.

Around the middle of day 4, my headache just went away and never came back. I wasn't so tired anymore, and making gyoza for lunch sounded doable, so I did. I still would occasionally open a box of See's Chocolates and just smell it, so I will say it's easier now that I'm home at my apartment, largely removed from temptation.

I've also been juicing a bunch, since it's a way for me to get sugar from fruit and a whole bunch of nutrients from fruits and vegetables at the same time. I'm making a sweetener-free dessert today, too, since my bananas finally ripened. Expect a few recipe posts from me soon.

All the best,
Lovely Wednesday


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