Hi world! This is a trial run of a mini "club" for those amongst us who have or are in the process of eliminating refined (or all) sugar from their gorgeous bods! Just wonderin' who might be interested in, say, postin' regularly on how they're doing in their sugar-free quest and exchanging support and ideas.
Personally, I'm on Day 13 of my mission to eat "NO REFINED SUGAR/NO WHITE FLOUR" ... I'm also aiming for a generally low glycemic diet and roughly using the Sugar Busters diet books as a guideline ... I say roughly because I don't agree with everything in the books and believe in doing my own thing. Note: I don't follow a "low carb" diet, just a "good carb" one.
My testimonial: Elimination of the refined sugar/white flour has made me shout: "Blessed Be!!!!" (Not bee, because I don't eat honey either, even if it's not a refined sugar). It has made me feel that "eureka" feeling that I've found IT ... it being the key to stabilizing blood sugar, losing weight and for the first time in years being free of the constant food cravings torturing me.
So anyhow, I'm just posting this to see if there's any interest ... I'll delete it if nobody posts or if people post but never come back so's not to clog up the bandwith here!
OK.........define the sugars for me A....I think I've been doing this now for a couple weeks (17 days) without really realizing it. I have had white flour in my sourdough biscuits, but other than that...no cookies, no candy, no desert other than fruit....am I qualifiying? If so, Geez I didn't even know! I do know that I'm not craving things as much but I'd attributed that to the no booze rule. And the no eating after 7 rule. Those things work for me!
Yo, welcome Ceara! That's great that you're on the 17th day ... re the definition as the sugars, I think that's up to the individual. It's almost impossible to find food with no sugar, so I'm using the no "refined" sugar mantra ... inspired by Eydie, who as you know has racked up more than 100 days.
The no white flour thingie is just a guideline from Sugar Busters that I've added to my personal plan ... with these two things gone, my cravings have just disappeared ... hmmm, if I didn't have a sinus infection, I'd feel wonderful, I think.
Today, I went to work and did feel rocky with this head thing, so came back early and thought how a few weeks ago I'd have tried making myself feel better with cupcakes as I drove home ... it was wonderful not to have the desire to do so ... but I did want a treat, so I stopped at the health food store and ground myself some of the fresh peanut butter ... calmly brought it home and shared a few tablespoons with Old Dog ... that would not have satisfied me if I were still eating sugar.
Ack! Dont leave, I just found you! And you know, this is the thing I can talk about ad nauseum. Yep, Blessed be and eureka indeed. I think for us sugar addicts, this is the key--to just say no.
Speaking of just say no, when you think about it, there's a lot of "drug talk" connected with eating sugar. We call ourselves 'chocoholics', we talk about getting our 'sugar fix', and admit it, most of us have our 'stash'. We talk about detoxing from sugar occasionally, we talk about how we can't resist it, it always pulls us back in. I know that I never wanted anyone to know how much sugar I ate, and would eat it in secret [of course it showed up as extra weight!], and I was in denial telling myself that I could have all the sugar I wanted as long as it was in low-fat things.
I truly hope that I'm not offending anyone by comparing sugar to a drug, but biochemically speaking, for some of us it just is.
I hope to cut back more and more on ALL sugars eventually. At this point, I avoid anything made with sugar cane. White, brown, turbinado, evaporated cane juice, sucanat, all that. At this point I'm allowing myself dried fruit, fruit juice concentrate, date sugar, maple syrup [just a bit!], honey occasionally, rice srup, barley malt, carob. They're all sweet, but they don't trigger me to want more and more like regular sugar.
The plan I'm on now is from Kathleen DesMaison's book "The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program" and it's changed my life totally. I've become a different person, nothing really shakes me up anymore. I could go on and on about how I've changed on so many levels. Now that I'm not living in a sugar fog with constant cravings I can be totally myself. That sounds like such a sweeping statement but it's true!
I'm on Day 134 and can't imagine going back to the way I was before. I'm freeeee!
Just pm'd thee, E!!! Well, I can talk about this all day, too. I'm like a starving woman in the desert who just found dietary nirvana (or something). I personally do think, as I've shared with you, that there's a connection between overcomsumption of refined sugar and the factors that go into chemical dependency ... not meaning to say that refined sugar users are drug addicts or alcoholics and also hoping I'm not offending because that's the last thing I want to do (since I'd be offending myself, being that a mere two weeks ago I was the worst "user" of refined sugar/white flour (e.g. CUPCAKES) on the planet ... I just think there's a similar dynamic going on ... blessed be (not bee ) it's easier to kick the sugar habit than some other things.
As I said, I'm loosely on Sugar Busters, although every single aspect of it does not fit my reality, it's still the closest thing to my ideal.
As I mentioned in my pm to thee, I started wondering today if really I lost the 3 pounds because I've been sick and it'll come right back. I don't think so, but if it does, I really don't care as I feel so much in control of food and life because of eating this way. Not bingeing is a wonderful release ... I can now get on with other things.
Re the sugars, I'm trying to eliminate all that are refined and some that aren't ... my brother who is really into low glycemic eating (he's a diabetic) says I should not even ever eat anything that tastes sweet other than whole fruit (in order to train the taste buds to prefer nonsweet) ... I see the point but have decided to use a bit of Splenda, say in oatmeal and I like a tiny bit in milk ... I aspire not to ever eat sweets with sugar alcohols (long story that I typed but deleted, again, not wanting to offend anyone). I want to start baking again and make some healthy nonsweet muffins or something to carry around but for now am using sprouted whole grain bread and 100-percent whole wheat mini pitas for bread ... Sugar Busters says don't eat a lot of bread, but I don't agree ... and it is NOT a low carb diet plan similar to Atkins (as someone in the gym informed me incorrectly) ... it calls for 40-50 percent of the diet to be in "good" carbs (e.g., no refined sugar, no white flour, low glycemic).
The book also gives some real life compromises that can be made when situation arise ... I really like it, but again, I don't follow it slavishly. It's just a general guideline I adapt to my purposes.
Hmmm. Re dried fruit ... I see that although raisins are the same GI as table sugar (64), dried apricots are far less and SB says these are acceptable. Still don't think I'll go there.
The biggest revelation is how freshly ground peanut butter has become my dessert of choice now ... or sometimes a meal. I get it at the health food store ... they use dry roasted nuts with no sugar added ... I buy a tablespoon or so and sometimes an apple and take it on the road ... completely annihilates any thoughts of bingeing ... I've never had this fresh peanut butter ... always bought in a jar ... I am now in peanut butter heaven ... a woman at the store today was tutting when I bought some ... mentioning the high cal count ... then she told me she had diabetes and couldn't eat it ... well, that is EXACTLY what she should be eating! There was a cookie in her basket!
Thanks for the great post, Amarantha. Lots to digest there! I'll have to read the "Sugar Busters" books. Oddly enough, I listened to the abridged version on tape a few weeks ago--it's easier with that kind of thing to see the printed page though. It was read by the doctors and they have charming old-school southern drawls!
You know, I don't think that those 3 pounds will come back. I've always wondered if one can 'heal' their metabolism and I believe it now. This way of eating obviously resonates so strongly with you and it's going to deposit you squarely at your goal!
It sounds like your brother is going to be a valuable ally in all this too.
Have you tried the cinnamon-raisin Ezikiel bread? It's really good with a little cream cheese and all-fruit jam; similar to a danish or something if you think you'll "need" it, if you foresee a tough day ahead. Just remembered you're avoiding raisins--regular Ezikial is good too.
And Ceara! Wow! 19 days, that's fabulous! I know what you mean about it being 'different this time'. I read another of K. DesMaison's books a few years ago: "Potatoes Not Prozac" and I totally dismissed it, because a life without sugar was unthinkable and unrealistic. Now I think it's do-able. I really don't know what shifted, but I'm glad it did.
Do you know what made you decide to cut back on sugar? Or have you eliminated it entirely?
I'd love to share sometime how we deal with those certain situations. Like going out to eat, people who want to push sugar on you, holidays, etc.
Hey, Ceara, thanks!!! I weighed in yesterday instead of today.
CONGRATULATIONS, Sword Bearer, I didn't realize you were on Day 19!!!! Guess you said that before but I was brainfogged! Huzzah!!!! That's fantastic. Isn't it wonderful to be free of the cravings? A whole new world of intriguing possibilities opens up, methinks, when cravings are gone.
Re sharing going out to eat, etc., I know that Sugar Busters does have one last-ditch suggestion for when you are lunching with a client who will think you're surly if you don't join 'em in dessert ... I don't advocate this as it involves eating sugar and I won't do that ... but it suggests asking the restaurant for premium vanilla ice cream ... it says that very expensive vanilla ice cream usually has little sugar in it ... I don't agree with that either ... anyhow, it says that if the restaurant doesn't have vanilla ice cream, then at least the client will think you're trying to be a regular person and trying to join her in dessert, etc. ... seem to me it'd be better to ask for sugar free ice cream if you had to (that's allowed on SB) and if they don't have it, so be it. Unfortunately, I can't find sugar-free ice cream that does not have maltodextrin or some other hidden form of sugar and until I do, I'm passing ...
Another odd thing in SBs is that it says that chocolate is healthy (it is) and it's ok now and then to have dark chocolate with less than 60 percent sugar content or a small amount of sugar alcohols ... I can go along with a little sugar alcohol but not the refined sugar ... I won't go back to eating that ...
That said, the sugar content on the nutritional label of a product does not have to be zero, I find. You have to look for added sugars in the ingredients list ... if it doesn't have any, but has fruit or milk, that's where the sugar comes from ... conversely I find that the U.S. government does not require dextrose (sugar), maltodextrin (sugar), maltose (sugar) and a bunch of other things to be listed as sugar on the nutritional label. A diabetic coworker is helping me work some of this out as well.
E, my brother had a fit when I told him I ate raisins!
I like one of the sprouted grain Ezekiels ... can't remember the "number" ... it's really good toasted in the oven ... crunchy. I've been eating a lot of eggs and sprouted toast ... seems to work perfectly for my blood sugar ...
Re the chocolate thing, I did find some truly sugar free chocolate pudding, with no sugar alcohols, no maltodextrin, etc. I took a few bites and that satisfied my feeling that I might want chocolate. I have one more little cup of this and will use when appropriate.
Hmmm ... guess I'll add another post! I'm on Day 17 of no refined sugar/no white flour and basically Sugar Busters. Going to mountains to work and since I'm now in love with fresh nut butters but ate too much of what I was grinding from the health food store, I decided to make my own in the Magic Bullet. Put in three servings/ounces/23 nuts (510 cals) of low salt cashews ... not the dry roasted kind because the only kind I could find of those had maltodextrin (grrr) added ... just cashews, which have heart healthy oil, are satisfying and delicious in small amounts and also have both carbs and protein in a good ratio (who knew? I thought they were carbless). Whirred and pulsed the MB a bit and came up with about four tablespoons of extremely warm and good cashew butter, ate a tablespoon of it and packed the rest in a small container to take to the mountains to work. I will buy lf milk up there and maybe fruit and this will be my lunch and dinner ... if I stay later than I intend.
Amarantha, I love cashew butter. I've noticed that it's not as expensive as it used to be in the stores--or maybe I'm just willing to pay for it now!
I made some great pancakes Sunday. I used a whole grain pancake mix, added some chopped pecans, and one more secret ingredient: corn! I had some exceptionally sweet leftover corn, so I pureed it in the food processor and used that in place of some of the liquid, and I added a scoop of vanilla protein powder and they were the best pancakes I'd ever made. The corn and vanilla made them sweet without a bit of sugar. I did drizzle on some real maple syrup and I was in Sunday breakfast heaven! I'll definitely do that again.
I would very much like to cut out all refined sugar, I just do not know if I am "there" yet, if you know what I mean. However, today I had a very proud moment: I was at the store picking up lunch (daal, yummy) and I thought about getting a cream cheese brownie and instead I got an orange. It then occured to me how this whole process is not about one decisions ("I am on a diet") but about making the same decision every day many times. I then conquered the desire to buy a cany bar when I stopped at the gas station.
So maybe instead of saying that I have made the decision to cut out refined sugar, I will say that I will try and consistently make the decision to not eat refined sugar.