I am nearing my 3rd full week of no sugar. How am I doing? Some days great. Some days bad. I knew my weakness was soda and true to form, I'm not craving chocolate cake and candy. I, from time to time, crave soda. Especially when I'm out running errands or cleaning house. It must be my body needing fast fuel and I'm having to learn to take simple breaks, eat something high in fiber and get back out there. The energy those healthy snacks give me outlasts what I used to get from soda and I don't feel bloated and yucky at the end of the day. Yay! One for Amanda. Zero for soda. :-)
Something else I'm learning about myself is to stay motivated. Maybe you face this problem too. I start something, do my research and I'm all zealous; rearing to go. After a while, I forget what I've read and start to let my guard down. I've caught myself several times trying to justify why I wouldn't be that bad to get one soda or eat just a piece of dessert. Ummm...excuse me? Little voice in my head? Leave me alone! I don't need the extra temptation.
But what I find even more interesting that my justifying is how others, by some association, feel the need to justify to me (of all people) why they eat sugar. You, if you're reading this...you really don't have to do that. I'm not secretly judging you for what you chose to eat or not eat. That is everyone's own personal choice and we just happen to try and not eat sugar. We're not perfect even in our aspirations. I do happen to think more people would feel better if they avoided refined sugar like the plague but trust me, that's not what's going through my mind when I see you eat chocolate. I'm just hoping you'll sneak me a bite :-) Told you I'm not perfect!
I know some of you have asked me what types of sugar we do consume and that's a fair question. It's not enough to say what we avoid. It's literally impossible to avoid any kind of sugar. So what kind do we eat at our house?
Raw Honey - Honey is a great all-natural way to sweeten foods and drinks. But when I say honey, I'm not exactly talking about those cute little bears on the grocery store shelf. While that may taste good, it does not contain all the awesome nutrients that you can find in pure raw honey. Some of the best honey I've tasted still had pieces of honeycomb in the jar. What do we use honey for? Teas mostly...especially hot teas during winter. Raw honey has natural antibiotic qualities so it's great for the occasional cough or sore throat (although I wouldn't recommend eating it all day, everyday...it still contains sugar after all). We also use honey on sandwiches instead of jelly. Yummm!
Remember this picture from last year?
Stevia - From what I can find, Stevia is a plant from the chrysanthemum family. It's leaves are dried and ground into tiny particles. This produces a sweetener that has can't even compare to sugar. We have a liquid bottle and it literally takes a few drops to sweeten my drink. Use too much and you can easily ruin your beverage and give it a bitter taste. With this awesome no-cal sweetener...a little goes a long way.
Organic Cane Sugar - This is probably the worst of the sugars we use and we don't use it often. I save this for recipes that call for sugar. I know that most recipes would allow for a better alternative than this, but I just haven't reached that place yet. I need to do more digging on what sweeteners to use in cooking/baking, etc.
Fruit - My kids love fruit. Isaac can eat 4-5 apples a day if I let him. Caleb can do the same with bananas (well...maybe not 5!). And who doesn't love biting into a piece of watermelon? Fruit is just good. And although I personally think it's best to eat more veggies than fruit, fruit is still full of necessary vitamins and nutrients that we need. And the best part is all that fiber fruit contains to help out bodies process it's fructose without killing our blood sugar levels. Isn't God smart? :-)
Some sugars I haven't tried: Agave and Sucanat. Although I'd like to try Sucanat. I've heard good things about it from women I trust. Agave...well, I've heard mixed reviews so I've just skipped trying it. I have other means of sweetener anyway so I'm not concerned with using it at this time. Maybe you've tried it and swear by it? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
What types of 'sugars' do your family use? How much do you think is too much?