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.
- Thoughts: I 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 Thoughts: The 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!