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I'm [Quitting] Sugar......

Normally, I use this blog as a place for my design musings, beautiful photos, projects, etc., but I thought I'd depart from that for a moment and talk about a new (hairbrained) thing that's going on in my life right now.  A while ago, my co-worker and friend invited me to check out an online e-book that talks about quitting sugar.  I thought fleetingly about it for a moment, and then dismissed the idea as something I'd never be able to do.  Overall, I'm a pretty healthy eater, very conscious about fat and calories, and dedicated to regular exercise.  Additionally, as of today, I've lost all but 1 pound of the 50 (!) I put on during my pregnancy.  This is all fine and good, and keeps me relatively slim, but I have to admit that I do love me some sugar.  After my friend told me about the concept of quitting the stuff, even though I wasn't sold on the idea, I started to take notice of how much of the sweet stuff I was taking in on a daily basis (without even really realizing it).  I was crunching on random handfuls of these:

( I twelve?)

Chased by an occasional "school" of these:

I always had random stores of chocolate in the house for little "tastes" when the cravings hit:.

And although this little treat is intended to be spread on toast, I'm defenseless against its powers when I have it in the house and can shovel it in by the tablespoonful:


Of course the occasional treat is fine (and necessary), but as I looked at my daily intake of sugar, which includes the natural sugars found in fruit and some vegetables, I was waaaaaaaay over any moderate to normal limit.  My desire for the sweet stuff was verging on addiction, and I was swapping high-sugar snacks and meal replacement bars/shakes for healthy, nourishing, more natural and sugar-free foods.  So I decided that I would entertain the idea of this "no-sugar" lifestyle, and perhaps even succeed at breaking the habit.

The concept is simple, and comes from the I Quit Sugar e-book by Sara Wilson.  In the book, she talks about her own journey in giving up sweets, and does it in a lighthearted, "you can do it" approach, which makes it seem doable for a sweet tooth like me.  The book talks about the basics of how the body processes sugar, and discusses the fact that there is no difference between refined sugar, corn syrup, or natural sugars found in fruit when it comes to the way our bodies recognize and metabolize it.  It also talks about our unhealthy approach to artificial sweeteners, and how "diet" food is actually contributing to weight gain.  The book offers an 8 week plan that is designed to gradually ease us out of our dependence on a daily sugar fix (Week 1 & 2), to quitting all sugars altogether (Weeks 3-7), to gradually re-introducing certain nourishing sugary foods like fruit (Week 8).

All in all, the approach is simple, non-threatening, and manageable.  Or at least I'm saying that now.....ask me when I'm in week 4 & 5 :).  There is a stretch of time where even fruit is a no-go, and while I'm a firm believer that every food that God created is good and wonderful and meant to be enjoyed, I understand that eliminating this sweetness (for a time) is key in breaking the habit.  I'm actually looking forward to the freedom I think I'll have when its all over with--freedom to take it or leave it when it comes to sweets, and to make healthier choices when the cravings strike.

So that's where I'm at, and I hope to be checking in on here from time to time to report my progress (or my frustrations, which I'm sure will be many).  In starting the program this week, I'm already astonished at how many foods contain a ton of sugar, but all my label reading has caused me to appreciate the flavors found in unprocessed, natural foods.

There will be cravings chocolate-dipped strawberries:

Red and black Twizzlers:

And raspberry sorbet:

Maybe even a handful of Good n' Plenty here and there:

I'm determined to go at this with the idea that I can succeed though, and having a "buddy" who's participating in the program with me is key for accountability, encouragement and support.  Check back for updates, and have a great weekend!


Laura@Elegant Nest said...

Hi Kristen...stopping over from West Pear Ave. This post is so timely...I just decided to "try" and cut sugar for the month of May for myself. I am just going with the artificial sweets and treats, not quite ready to give up fruit just yet!
Love the candy themed inspiration photos you found...I would quit sugar forever to have a room that sweet!!
Have a great day ~ Laura@ElegantNest

Elissa said...

Kristen! Just saw your comment over on my blog-- you guessed it-- I'm from Canada. And, I am originally from Saskatchewan too-- but I currently live on the west coast. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and say hi! And, I've been poking around your blog-- your home is lovely! Gorgeous kitchen!

Anonymous said...

Good luck on your Sugar detox! I went sugar-free back in March and the first week was not pretty. How are you doing?

If you need another sugar-free buddy find me on twitter: Pickynikki_

I love the last kitchen you designed! It is gorgeous, I hope you are enjoying motherhood, I do however miss your beautiful posts! All the best! Nikki

Sarah said...

I have looked at this too and realized that there is sugar in everything we eat from ketchup to milk - its tough and I would like to quit as well because I have a fierce sweet tooth. Good luck and keep us informed!! ;-))