Friday, September 24, 2010

parting ways with sugar

Last Thursday night, surfing the web, I found this post at Thy Hand Hath Provided where she describes both here and through a series of posts her desire and progress to cut sugar out of her diet. (If you click on the label, "sugar fast" it will show you all the posts.)
As soon as I started reading, I knew this was a diet change I should be making, starting immediately. I should mention that I had been primed by two friends from church, Johannah and Kim who had separately and briefly on the web, referenced going without sugar for a time . Neither of them even know I read that, but I did and I thought long and hard about it. I mentioned it in passing to my husband before we went to bed already wondering what I would eat for breakfast. My typical quick breakfast is a cup of Lipton tea with about three teaspoons of raw cane sugar and milk and a bread item, sometimes a bagel, sometimes a piece of toast spread with peanut butter. If we have Tropicana orange juice(my fav and only purchased on a good sale)I'll have a small cup of that too. The bagel would be a problem because the only kind left in my freezer is a cinnamon raisin. And on top of that, they were lousy so it was easy to not see the need to finish the last two.
So for breakfast this week, I've mostly had the toast(which is my homemade bread with cane sugar to help speed the yeast which I can cut back or eliminate)spread with a thin layer of regular store bought peanut butter which does have sugar in it. But I have been using it sparingly as I think about other quick options. And I've been using honey in my tea. It's an okay option, not quite the taste I'm used to in my tea but it gets the job done.
Saturday brought an unexpected loot of candy to our house, (including a tempting Kit-Kat bar) as we attended our town's annual parade where the participants threw candy at us. Later as I stood looking at the stash piled on the kitchen counter, I convincingly told myself, "You're not interested." And for the most part, I was right with that one wafery exception which I did not eat, just for the record!
Another tricky time for me is after dinner when I usually make a cup of tea and have something sweet while I drink it. So first thing, I checked my little bag of New York Style Almond biscotti to see where the sugar faired in the list of ingredients.
First item. Nooo! I put the bag back and didn't eat anything that night.
Sunday lunch(I actually call it dinner on Sunday but let's not confuse anyone) brought my husband's brother and his wife and two store-bought desserts to my house. One, apple pie. Okay so pie isn't really a big deal for me. Move on. Two, a brownie caramel cheesecake. My heart stopped. For real? Brownie? Caramel? Cheesecake? What is this? Who does she think I am? Worst part? She actually saw my status update on Facebook on Friday talking about this plan. So cruel. But we laughed and I instantly started to rationalize about having a piece. By the time I had fixed lunch and served it, fed my girls, got them to bed for a nap, put the tea kettle on for dessert tea, cleaned up some dishes and sat down to eat my late lunch, I knew I would be having a a small slice. It was delicious and it was all I could do to not go into the kitchen and enjoy a second and third helping. But surprisingly I confined myself to one tiny wedge and enjoyed it with little or no guilt. As they prepared to leave later in the afternoon, I put the lid on the remaining cake, silently bid it farewell, and gave it to her in a bag. Yes, it was a little sad, I won't lie, but that night, the biscotti didn't tempt me at all.

But oh it was waiting for me Monday night after I put our girls to bed. The tea was hot and steaming and the biscotti dipped in the tea became a warm comforting mouthful. Three bites and it was over. I ate two, put the clothespin on the bag and shoved it back in the pantry. Wednesday night they beckoned again. Perfect nightcap. Perfect devils those crunchy cons.
But I tell myself, I did not eat the leftover apple pie in the fridge, nor any of Mrs. Dunster's whole wheat sugar donuts trucked home from New Brunswick back in August now sitting comfortably in our freezer, nor did I even have a sip of the ginger ale that I bought for my husband in case of nausea with his migraine last Thursday. And it was purchased in a two liter bottle which once opened isn't fizzy very long. But as much as I would have loved to have a small glass, I firmly closed the door and left it in the cold dark of the refrigerator waiting to drank by my fully recovered husband.
The only other sugar I've had is a natural sugar item in the form of a large jug of apple cider that I paid good money for and could not fathom pouring it down the drain. So I drank that instead of the ginger ale. It didn't have any additional sugar but like apple juice it is very sweet. But what I am aiming to eliminate is the junk sugar that comes from soda, candy, and the like. Chocolate cake included. More sorrow because cake is a dear friend.
All in all, I have avoided some major pitfalls in this first week, so the cheesecake and biscotti incidents have been a far cry from the normal amount of sugar I would have consumed in a week's time. Pat on the back. :)


  1. Anonymous9:53 PM

    Double pat on the back!! I'm so impressed with your diligence, and right pleased.
    AND thanks for your entertaining tale! your momma

  2. Heather,
    I am amazed by the head-battle that is involved with food. What a hold it has on us. That is, primarily, why I wanted to go without. I love the rewards of being self-disciplined, both inside and out.
    A valiant fight.

  3. Jo, I have felt the same and it's frustrating to consistently give in to bad food choices. I'm wanting to change that grip.

  4. Heather, I can certainly identify with your struggles. I have been trying to cut down on sugar in many areas and it takes a VERY CONSCIOUS effort. Keep up the good work.

    P.S. I've enjoyed scrolling through your blog. I noticed you had one post about your tea box. I've found that some teas (herbals especially) require a less sugar than the black teas.


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