I bought some protein shakes and powders during the last NSC, only to get them home and find they had stevia in them. Today, I broke down and figured the bit of stevia in a shake would be okay, even worth the other added benefits. Gross. It tasted horrible. I even felt gross after I finished (most of) it. I just don't like stevia. During the last NSC I happened upon a little trick--Tree of Life's Cherry Concentrate. I bought a bottle, thinking it was cherry juice. But when I opened it, I discovered it is a concentrate, so its consistency is more like maple syrup or agave. I really like a lot of the recipes from the web site Oh She Glows, but sweet Angela loves her some maple syrup. I have found the cherry juice concentrate to be the perfect "no sugar" substitute to use in her dressings and in other recipes I need to tinker with to make them free of sugar.
Sugar : Stevia in a shake (blehck)
Gluten : None
Exercise : Yoga 10 minutes, walk 60 minutes
Today I waited to walk until supper time, so I had to endure a crying child for the duration of the walk. Lesson learned.
This morning the three and I picked up our favorite preacher and headed about an hour away to pick vegetables. Tomatoes and peppers, mostly. They were out of onions and the squash and zucchini were either miniscule or humongous. But, I got some good tomatoes and peppers and plan to can some salsa in a few days.
Sugar : none
Gluten : none
Exercise : walk 20 minutes (+picking vegetables, but i won't count those minutes)
I like to think in chunks. Our first SFC was nestled between Karen's trip to NYC and my week with friends at the beach. We are now on the other side of a wedding we took part in and five weeks out from a visit by Karen and her family. . So, I thought another s̶e̶l̶f̶-̶i̶m̶p̶o̶s̶e̶d̶ self-suggested SFC would be nice to fit in.
I do feel a lot of the sugar-free habits are sticking. I am better used to looking at labels. I rarely think of how I will get my next sugar fix. I've learned that a label can list "Sugars = 0" and then list sugar as an ingredient. Good Lord. It isn't any wonder people are confused and overwhelmed.
So, for this segment:
For the next 37 days (June 25 through August 1)
Walk/Exercise 3+ hours a week (Monday through Sunday)
That's it. I'm keeping it simple. No sugar. No gluten. More walking.
I was with friends after our NSC and someone asked me what the hardest part of the no sugar challenge was for me, and I said all the hidden sugars. So many, many things have sugar in them. As I dive back in to another self-suggested NSC, it is the thought of having to be militant about hidden sugars that exhausts me the most.
Sugars that tripped us on our 34 day NSC:
Starbucks Passion ice tea, unsweet (BS it's unsweet)
Crunchmaster, gluten free crackers
Cape Cod, Salt and Vinegar potato chips
Other places we found hidden sugars:
All kinds of soups, even those "healthy-looking" cartons of soup
Vigo Yellow rice
Tostito's restaurant-style salsa
Udi's millet and chia glutten-free bread
Lipton Onion soup mix
Also, there is stevia in the protein powders I bought from the Health Food Store.
Today had a rough patch. NanaLin made her famous and delicious carrot cake with praline aside and cream cheese icing. It was gorgeous. It smelled divine. Everyone said it was out of this world.
Alcohol: 2 glasses red
Coffee: one cup (what can I say? We are on our second Full day of rain, pouring rain. As in a foot of rain yesterday.)
Fruit: 1/2 banana, 3 strawberries, 2 smackaroons
Salad: green salad with tomato feta dressing
Wow, this thing really went by fast. Hard to believe it's "over". Although not really over. I feel detoxified but I still crave ice cream on a hot day or a chai tea latte on a cold day. I struggle with what this all means for my life. Do I have ice cream once a week? Do I allow myself crackers that have maltodextrin? Do I bake with honey?
I still feel like an addict, I guess. I am afraid that I won't be able to control myself if I loosen the reins even a little bit. I won't know if I don't try. I am just not sure how or when to try. For now I think it is easier to just keep at it until I have more clarity. I have learned so much during this challenge, about food, the food industry, processed foods, my body, my cravings, my emotions surrounding food. I have not really ever been one to eat solely for sustenance, I eat for pleasure, for those pleasure centers in my brain that delight in sugar. That is a little better now I am sure, but I know I can easily slip back and I don't want to. I feel better not going through the sugar highs and lows of each day.
I also overall exercised more regularly this past month than I had during the previous couple of years. I am sure this contributed to me feeling better too. I too am so glad to have done this with my sister, who would let me talk endlessly about sugar and it's many facets. Love you sweet sister. I will keep blogging with you too.
Today was A's preschool graduation. Time flies as we all know. No time like the present to make positive change in my life.
One of the greatest things about this challenge is how many more vegetables I have been eating.
I will take this opportunity to post about "Farm Fresh to You" which is an organic, local produce home-delivery company that I signed up for at the memorial day arts/crafts festival in our town. Our first box arrived Tuesday. The kids devoured the blueberries & watermelon. There were plums to add to our current collection of plums from the farmer's market. I made a salad with the romaine, carrots and avocado. I also make a ginger/garlic bok choy stirfry. I am enjoying trying vegetables that I wouldn't normally buy. I have a pound of sweet potatoes to make some sweet potato baked chips. Not sure what to do with the radishes in my fridge, but otherwise very happy with all of it. For now we are getting one box every two weeks. The only sort of bummer is it comes on Tuesdays, and I work all Tuesdays and lots of Wednesdays, so I have to get the kids to bed, clean all the vegetables and store them before I too can go to bed!
Last day of challenge.
First day of the rest of my life.
Salad : green salad with Blue cheese.
Alcohol : 2 glasses white
Coffee : none
Fruit: 1 peach, small; 2 smackaroons
Exercise : none, rainy day at beach
The last official day of our initial challenge.
I've enjoyed each and every day and I'm so thankful to have my sweet, sweet sister to do it with.
If anyone would like to join us for the next go-round, let us know.
My plan is to continue posting. I am working off my phone for another ten days so posts will be short, but my plan is to continue full steam ahead. Maybe a little more fruit and the occasional bit of honey.
Sweet kisses to all.
Sugar/sweeteners : none
Fruit: 1/2 cup grapes, banana in 2 smackaroons, 1/4 cup of mango
Alcohol: 5 oz red
Exercise: 40 minute walk with children to boat launch in the heat of the day
Salad: green salad with blue cheese, cucumber and mango with mint
Had a good day today. Tomorrow is the last official day of this challenge. I have enjoyed every day of it.
Alcohol: 2 glasses red
Exercise: ten minute walk
Fruit: few grapes, little mango
Salad: cucumber, mango, mint
The cucumber salad was so cooling which was great since at one point today the car thermostat read 97•. we are down at the beach. I got a hankering for smackaroons so I went to the health food store and bought the ingredients I needed. I am going to try a batch with cacao nibs and a batch with dates.
I also bought the stuff to make some delicious gluten free crackers. They are so good and easy to make. I'll post the recipe tomorrow.
Friday is the last day of our challenge. I'm a little bit nervous about that. I have decided to continue posting here. At the health store yesterday I did buy an almond coconut Kind bar to enjoy Saturday.
Really, the only thing I am looking forward to about the end of this challenge is not limiting my fruit intake quite as much. And, maybe having a little honey or stevia. I can't believe we are on the downhill slide.
Sugar/Sweeteners : None
Fruit : enjoyed a cup of cool, delicious watermelon by the pond
Coffee : None
Alcohol : 7 oz of red
Exercise : 30 minutes of swimming
Tonight after work I made more oatmeal/date/almond muffins for the fam and for a co-worker whose son has mitochondrial disorder. We were talking about how hard it is to feed our families nutritious, whole foods at every meal. So I shared this recipe with her and decided to make some so she could see if her son will eat them.
Improved Oatmeal Loaf, aka oat/date/almond muffins
4 cups oatmeal
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 block silken tofu blended with 1-2 ripe bananas
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Sprinkle of salt
3/4 cup almonds, chopped
3/4 cup dates, chopped
Can be a loaf but I have become partial to the muffins. Must grease muffin tins or spray muffin liners because it Will stick to plain paper liner. Bake 350 degrees x30 min. Super yummy.
If you haven't read the NYT's article "Is Sugar Toxic?" I think it is worth 20 minutes of your time.
We had another good time blueberry picking today, although we only got 20 cups today. Last night I told Lucia that we would have had to spend nearly $100 at the grocer to get the blueberries we picked for free yesterday.
For my salad today I ate more of oh she glow's quinoa berry salad, plus I made foods for long life's raw vegan cole slaw. It was pretty good.
Exercise : none
Alcohol : none
Coffee : none
Sugar/Sweeteners : none
Fruit : cherries in a Smoothie and berries in quinoa salad.
Work. Busy. L is transitioning next week to the toddler room at school so I met with his new teacher today, the same one Avery had at this age. Avery has her little graduation from preschool party next Friday. They are growing up. For the party the school is asking parents to bring a favorite dessert, not sure what I want to do, an actual dessert or some fruit or naturally sweetened treat...
We have floors! Yay, so excited to have our house start to feel like home again after the flood, floors being ripped out, walls opened up, new dry wall placed, floors being replaced. Funny how this all coincided with this challenge. All we need is a fresh coat of paint and things will be back to normal, actually better than normal. We got rid of mold, scratches on the floor, and shoddy moulding work.
Uh-oh, falling behind again. All I know is that I didn't have added sugar, yay.
Oh I remember, it was the second cupcake wars at work. I was going to compete, but once I decided to do this challenge I decided it would be too hard to make a cupcake worthy of a competition without tasting it. I did go into the lounge to inspect the goods. I appreciated looking at the cupcakes. Each month there are 4 entries, everyone tries 1/4 of each and decides upon a winner who is announced when all the cupcakes are gone. The winner last month was a strawberry lemonade cupcake. This month was a lemon with cream cheese frosting. I would not have won anyway because I for sure would have made something chocolate, which apparently people don't love. Maybe it's the season and people want fruity things. I don't know. I always choose chocolate.
Added sugar: none
Fruit: 3/4 cup vitamix fruit sorbet