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Thursday, August 14, 2014

More on My Sugar Fast

At the end of day 5 I got a message from a friend whose husband has a medical condition. She wanted to know more about my sugar fast. So, here's more info:

I try to eat food in it's most natural forms. If it's something prepackaged, I check the nutrition label to make sure it has less than 5 grams of sugar. I can eat all the fruits (which has lots of sugars) and vegetables I want. If I want something sweet, I eat protein bars (many have 1 gram of sugar), sugar free pudding, and you can buy sugar free chocolate chips at Walmart. 

I try to avoid white flour, white rice and white potatoes. Also, I don't drink: alcohol, soda, tea or coffee. I'll take a pain killer about once or twice a year. 

If this seems really overwhelming, try taking it in baby steps--find one small change and focus on it for a week or two. Don't be surprised if you get headaches in the beginning, but I promise that by the end of the first week, you'll feel so much better. 

I know this is supposed to be about your husband, but I also know husbands can be really frustratingly hard to change. From my experience, it's better to change myself and hope he jumps on my bandwagon. Sometimes he does. Here's a picture of me with my husband. I think my expression says a lot. Despite my scowl, I really do love him.

I'm throwing this picture in because I think it's funny.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sugar Fasting

Day three of my sugar fast. Already, I'm sleeping through the night. (Hooray!) And I've lost a pound. I have friends that have been wildly successful with their sugar fasts.

Nancy: age 53. Lost 15 pounds
Claudia: age 75. Lost 20 pounds
Janet: age 52. Lost 50 pounds
Skeet: age 57. Lost 120 pounds

But weight loss shouldn't be the motivating factor. Each of my friends gave up sugar as a way to combat different health issues. I think it's interesting that three different health concerns were all addressed by this one (simple/ not so simple) remedy.

 Last year I went without sugar from my birthday in January until Valentine's Day, and I learned some things.

1. Going without sugar is actually easy if you can survive the first horrendous, no-good week. Why is the first week so hard? By about day three I went through withdrawal and had a massive headache, but if you can power through until about the fifth or fourth day, you should lose your craving for sugar.

Counter Attack: Plan a reward. On day 5 I'm going to buy a gizmo that will count how many calories I burn when I walk/run.

2. When I don't eat sugar, I sleep through the night. I can't tell you why I sleep better without sugar in my diet, all I know is that I do. It might be because I don't have that afternoon sugar crash around 2 or 3 p.m. where all I want to do is nap. Maybe because I don't need to nap, I sleep better at night. And I can't even begin to tell you how much better I feel after a good nights sleep.

Action Plan: Keep a journal of your sleep patterns and see if it works for you.

3. Without sugar, fruits and vegetables taste better and sweeter, and refined sweets lose their draw.

So, why did I quit my sugar fast last February? Because it was hard. Everyday something delicious comes my way. I'm confronted with birthday cakes, morning donuts, and treats at every writers' group meeting, every church social, and every get-together.

Counter Attack: I'm going to take a picture of the treat with my phone and use it as a symbol of the temptation I was able overcome--a trophy, if you will.

Is it reasonable to give up all treats, always? Probably not. But a warm peach sprinkled with cinnamon can satisfy even a raging sweet tooth.