Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Sweet Farewell

It's official. No sugar.

Or something pretty darn close.

After paying attention to everything in our pantry over the past two weeks, I realize that completely cutting sugar will be next to impossible. Luckily, it will be easier since Mingus has decided to take on this Lenten goal with me. (Meaning he won't be tempting me with sweet treats and stuffing the cabinets full of things I can't touch.)

I admit, we've kind of gone overboard on sugar the last couple of weeks, knowing we were going this direction. We used the excuse of giving it up to kind of overdose lately. (I was also using the excuse that I needed to eat up anything in the house that would be tempting me later!)

So, I won't be eating anything that is outright sugary. However, I'm giving myself a couple of rules of allowance since this is a bit extreme.
(1.) If I make it from scratch, we can eat it. (With a 4 month old, a part time job and plenty of house work, it's not like I have time to bake cookies and cakes on a daily basis or anything.) I usually try to use at least partial honey as my sweetener anyway.
(2.) I'll give a once a week exception to a sweet treat.

Having mentioned honey already, I should note that we are OK with natural sweeteners like this.

Here are a few things that are going to be hard to work with:
  • Pasta Sauce: Mingus tried to find one without sugar over the weekend at our regular grocery with no such luck. Pasta is an easy staple, so we will probably still make it with our current sauce, but we are on the look out for something better at a health food store. (We also have a couple of jars of our homemade, but we're saving that for a rainy day.)
  • Teriyaki Sauce and Soy Sauce: Another go-to staple in our house is stir-fr. We always have veggies and rice in the house and usually some chicken breast or tofu. Again, though, these sauces have sugar/high fructose corn syrup. We will be using Tamari in place of the Soy (Tamari is REAL soy sauce... as in ONLY soy... Why it isn't called 'soy' sauce, I cannot tell you...) We'll have to keep looking for a healthy teriyaki option
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing: Probably our most usual salad dressing for our quick salads we eat with a lot of meals. We have made our own dressings in the past and it looks like we might need to get back to that.
  • Crackers: A lot of crackers have some sugar in them, so it's just something else we'll have to pay attention to when shopping. Also, I've taken to liking Wheat Thins as a snack, but they will definitely be out during this process. (Graham crackers will too obviously.)
  • Peanut Butter: We're actually OK with this one. We currently have a jar of Earth Balance peanut butter and its only sweetener is agave nectar. However, I know a lot of PB has plenty of sugar in it. 
Since I can't give up sugar completely at this point, I am going to do my best to track how much sugar I do have in a day's time. I'll write down the amount in anything that has a food label. Now, things like fruits and veggies all have an amount of natural occurring sugars in them I'm sure and I won't know how much I'm getting from these, so I'll just note if I ate certain fruits on a given day. I'm very curious to see how much sugar my body is still getting when I'm cutting out the obvious sugars.

Wish me luck and good luck to you and your Lenten sacrifices and penances. May it be a blessed season of reflection for us all. 

Now back to my last pint of ice cream I'll be enjoying for awhile...


Elaine Factor said...

Hi there, Rita! I think giving up sugar this Lent is a big sacrifice. I looove sweets too! However, I'm inspired by your post and I think I'll be "cutting down" my sugar intake too as a form of my abstinence. :)
Note: By the way, we need to take some precautions here because our brain's food is glucose - a simple sugar. Getting inadequate glucose for our brain can be really dangerous.
Have a nice day! :)

Rita Harris said...

Hey Elaine! I hope you are finding ways to cut down on your sugar intake too--glad I could be an inspiration of sorts... After 1 week of it, I've found getting my necessary glucose is no problem at all--If anything, it's STILL hard not to get too much sugar even when you're cutting out what seems like everything!

Here's how I'm doing so far: http://ritapeat.blogspot.com/2014/03/sugar-dump-week-1-9gday-fail.html

I'm hoping it gets easier and not harder!