Sugar Free – Why, What and HOW? ~Day 1~

So I have been thinking a lot about writing this post. Every time I want to start doing  something, I do quite a bit of research. I immerse myself in the topic day after day night after night until I feel like I have somewhat of an understanding of what it is. Books? yep! Podcasts? Sure! TedTalks? Those are pretty good! I also read some HBR papers and journals to get an understanding of the statistics behind all the data presented. There is plenty of information out there on this topic.

WHY go Sugar Free, you ask?

There are lots of reasons people go sugar free. Some do it for weight loss, some for health conditions or allergies and the list goes on. For me, I go through the seasonal blues, get really bad cramps once a month and have been experiencing poor sleep quality. I realize there are a lot of contributing factors to those things. The common denomination I found contributing to the three things I mentioned was added sugar in everyday foods. If cutting out sugar would help me on all three of those counts, then that’s what I am going to do!

WHAT does Sugar Free even mean?

Defining what ‘Cutting out Sugar’ meant for me was my first step. As an engineer, I need to clearly define my parameters and decide what I will and won’t eat! You can decide what you want this to be. For me, I was not going to have any processed foods that have added sugar in them for 3 DAYS! I am not just talking about the sugar you add in your coffee every morning. It’s in the cream you add. Things that you don’t even think about like bread, pasta, flour (is basically sugar technically – crazy I know!), even “health drinks” like vitamin water. Started reading the labels on ALL packages and then started realizing how everything has ADDED sugar in it. Also, there are lots of synonyms for sugar.

I will still be eating foods that have naturally occurring sugar in them like fruits, grains and vegetables. I know it is not possible for everyone and It IS frustrating because foods containing sugar are so much more accessible than whole foods and grains, specially here in North America. But, if cutting out these processed foods was going to make my cramps feel a little less like death (yah, that’s how i feel even after 3 painkillers), make me sleep a little better and help me with the seasonal blues I will absolutely give it a try!! What’s the worse thing that can happen? I start eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, almonds, and berries! It is NOT the worst thing in the world now, is it?:)

I picked a 3 DAY time period because I wanted to set an achievable and realistic goal. I realize that this IS a very hard thing to do and 3 days is completely realistic. If I still feel okay with this, I will add 2 more days. My long term goal is to make this a lifestyle but one small step at a time. In my previous posts I talked about The Power of ~ ‘I CAN!’ ~ so, yes I CAN and ~Why NOT?~

Alright, HOW did I do this?

Very painfully, carefully and intentionally.

Here’s how I went about it:

9 AM Breakfast:   Smoothie – Strawberries, banana, blueberry, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, sugar free almond butter, and unsweetened almond milk.

Tea – English breakfast tea

  • Thoughts:  This is my go-to breakfast so no change here. I also have green tea mostly throughout the day.

Noon Lunch: Rice, yellow lentils, spinach and chicken.

  • Thoughts: Focused a little more on the portion of rice today.

2 PM Snack: Sliced cucumbers with a little salt and red chilli powder, a small bowl of almonds (10-12 pcs)

  • Thoughts: Ok, so this is NOT what I do everyday. This was a change for me. I usually go for a piece of chocolate or something sweet to keep awake. 

Also had some diluted coffee, splash of organic milk and a stick of cinnamon.

  • ThoughtsI really wanted something sweet so the cinnammon stick in my coffee did the trick.

5 pm Snack:  1/2 Avocado with chopped onions, tomatoes, little salt and cumin, 1 egg and a tiny bit of oats.

  • Thoughts: Also normal for me, no change here.

8 pm dinner: Two tablespoons of rice, yellow lentils and a tiny bit of chicken.

  • Thoughts: I usually eat more than 2 tablespoons of rice so this was intentional, mostly had lentils and a small portion of chicken.

Day 1 Final ThoughtsThe 2 pm lull was a little hard to get through but not as bad as I thought. Also, not having my hazelnut cream with English breakfast tea was …different. Cinnamon goes really well with coffee!It does take some determination but as long as you have a clear understanding of why you are doing it and you have defined what exactly you won’t eat and stick to it. It is possible to do!  All in all, so far so good. I am ready for DAY 2!

Hope you found this post helpful! If you have done something similar or have some tips and recommendations would love to hear from you. Like, comment or follow if you would like to get notifications for my next post!

Have a peaceful day!

PS: Day 2 and Day 3 can be found here.

39 thoughts on “Sugar Free – Why, What and HOW? ~Day 1~

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  1. Your meals are so healthy! I want the chicken and lentil recipes:) I also love adding a cinnamon stick to my coffee and tea when I brew those at home. My favorite tea that I drink at work everyday is the Sweet & Spicy black tea from Good Earth. Naturally sweetened by cinnamon and lemon peels.
    Yes I agree that removing added sugar in daily meals will improve health. However, I can’t give up on chocolates and occasional Haagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream. After years of trying different “diets” and trying to eliminate certain food groups all together (very bad idea!), I have found comfort and peace with the simplest, best food advice from Michael Pollan: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants’. I think healthy starches (i.e. rice, sweet potatoes) could provide the important and nutritious carbohydrates that we need. Everything in moderation right?
    Looking forward to reading about Day 2 and Day 3!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and being so supportive of all my posts Carmen! I will absolutely give you the recipe for lentils and chicken soon!:) Cinnamon stick is such a good idea for tea and coffee, it acts like a sweetner but it isn’t. I also put a bit of nutmeg sometimes and it tastes pretty good! By cutting out all these added sugars, I am trying to see if it makes a difference with my seasonal blues, sleep quality and cramps. I like Michael Pollan’s food advice. I feel like doing this is making me so much more aware of what is in the foods we eat on a daily basis.
      PS: I actually was thinking about having you write a guest post about the minimal and organization concepts you are learning about. I know you have it in you!!:)

      Like

        1. Yes, writing about it definitely will help because the time you spent writing you would be constantly thinking about it or doing research! 🙂
          I am soo excited to feature you in a guest post! Let’s discuss the details and I will schedule your post for sometime in March?:)

          Like

  2. Looks like you are doing pretty well! For me, I started cutting out sugar from the usual suspects: coffee, tea, cookies, ice cream etc. Then worked my way to foods. The big debate my friends had was about fruits so we invented a term of good sugar and bad. With that said, I believe in moderation and completely eliminating might be tough so a balance is probably the best bet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading. I absolutely agree moderation is definitely the key! I just completed the three days of being completely added/hidden sugar free yesterday. This meant eliminating a lot of the everyday foods that we are used to like pasta, bread and such which was really tough. I just did my 3 Day update post and decided to extend it for two more days.

      Curious to know what you found decided were the good vs. bad sugar within fruits.

      Like

  3. Moderation is key. Having a reward system has made me consistent. You will notice the difference in a month or two. However, there are times where you may need sugar to uplift your mood. During such times I rely on the quality 🍊🍋🍯

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, agree with moderation. Reward system is great I feel and the key is, the reward does not have to be food. Going sugar free for undetermined amount of time does not seem practical or realistic, but definitely plan on avoiding foods with added/hidden sugar as much as possible with awareness.

      Like

    1. Thank you, I am glad you are able to get some ideas out of this post. It IS hard but absolutely possible!! I am thinking after my 5 days of completely cutting off sugar, I am planning on using either cinnamon, nutmeg and if I really wanted to sweeten it using a bit of raw honey. I would to know how it goes for you! 🙂

      Like

  4. Good for you on trying to be healthier and thinking of your overall health.
    I think you already eat pretty healthy. It made me think of how much sugar I eat everyday which is a lot and in the form of breads and candy.
    I also suffer from mood swings and cramps once month for days at a time and that is when I eat sugar the most. That is also when I should stay away from sugar.
    I am confident you will get it done.
    Can’t wait to read about your progress.
    Blessings! 🙂

    Like

  5. It’s so hard to cut out sugar! A few years ago I was having massive issues with my skin so I too, cut out processed sugar and junk food. For me, thus included crisps, candy (duh!), chocolate, fizzy drinks… I’m sure there are more that I left off that list…. But anyway, I committed to this for several months and I didn’t start seeing improvements until about the third month. I’ll continue reading part 2 and 3 of your story now 🙂

    Like

    1. It IS hard. I didn’t do it for more than 5 days as that was realistic for me. I did however start becoming aware of foods with hidden and added sugars and avoid them to my best ability. I am glad to hear you are starting to see some results. Are you eliminating ALL processed sugar? or just the ones you specified? How are you able to keep up with it?:)

      Like

      1. Ah this was like 3 years ago lol. I didn’t eliminate all processed sugar, mostly just the obviously unhealthy ones that I listed above (there may be more that I’ve forgotten though). Oh and I completely cut out alcohol. But the way I kept up with it at the time was sheer will power, I think it did it for about 8 months or so. But after the 8 months I didn’t go back to eating the junk food, I continued eating better and instead had those junk food as a treat. My skin’s OK now, so I don’t restrict myself as much. About a year ago I completely cut out crisps from my diet as I didn’t like how ate them pretty much everyday. The way I phased that out was to have a replacement food, which was carrot sticks. I still do occasionally eat crisps, but it’s only very rarely haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! That’s very brave of you. I have cut down on soft drinks and juices which are essentially sugar water. But I still ,over my ice cream and desserts. I guess I would save my quota to eat the good ones. 😝

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope you can reap the benefits of living sugar free sooner rather than later! I have always heard sugar is more addictive than some hard drugs and I can believe it with how much is added to foods these days. Awesome job so far!!

    I wanted you to know I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger award! I really enjoy your posts! 🙂 If you would like to participate here is the link!!
    https://witandwhimsy87508112.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/saturday-sunshine/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not easy going sugarfree but once you go through the experience of completely eliminating sugar for a few days you become aware of how much sugar we consume on a daily basis.

      Thank you for the sunshine award nomination!:)☀️☀️
      Enjoyed reading all your answers.😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sounds like a true testament to awareness and dedication! Serious kudos for being so conscious and realistic as well as driven!

        You are welcome and I’m glad you enjoyed!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This seems like such an amazing idea! I will definitely try this mainly because I have quiet acne prone skin, and I feel like it might help a lot ❤ xx Also that cake looks amazing it's honestly making my mouth water – ha ha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Karen! I thought it was going to be really hard, and it was, but once you get used to the prep time it takes, it is totally worth it.

      Yes, cake is what I was craving the first day I went sugar-free, obviously ; )

      I did this for 3 days and I posted Day 2 and Day 3 as well. You can find them here:

      https://passionforlotion.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/sugar-free-how-i-did-day-2/

      https://passionforlotion.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/sugar-free-i-did-it-day-3/

      Liked by 1 person

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