Tuesday, August 4, 2015

No Added Sugar Challenge-Day # 9

Running friends got together to celebrate Marie's 40th birthday.  Peddled around downtown Indianapolis as a group and with spouses.

Two older boys spent a few days in South Bend with Grandma and Grandpa Wood.  The last day we celebrated Grandma's birthday with a delicious (or so I heard) ice cream cake.

One of my favorite parts of the summer: canoeing and hiking in Turkey Run State Park.

Hiking was great until we saw the snake.  Some (four boys) found this to be the highlight.

The suspension bridge ranked a close second in favorite parts of the day. 

Guess who wasn't feeling like canoeing?  Fortunately, his mood drastically improved once he nestled into the canoe, and he enjoyed the ride.

Cooper was stung by a bumblebee today.  He yelped and clutched his throbbing finger.  As he was sobbing, we all tried to console him.  Connor murmured, "When I've got stung by a bee, it hurts a lot at first.  I try to think of other things to distract myself.  Then, the hurt goes away."

Sage words from Connor.

These sentiments best sum up my last few days on the no added sugar challenge.  As I spilled out on the last few blogs, my first few days were ugly.  I was an angry mess ranting to anyone within earshot about my lack of Diet Cokes and sugary sweets.  (Cue the violins.)  I was hungry, bitter, and unpredictable.  (Delightful qualities for my husband!)  

I tried desperately to distract myself with yummy Ezekiel bread (I can't even type that with a straight face) and fizzy (best word I can use to describe) LaCroix.  But, they just left me wanting for more....sugar.

Over a week into the challenge and things have changed.  I've settled into a no added sugar routine.  My dietary repertoire has expanded. My palate has changed.  I munched on pineapple the other day and couldn't get over the sweetness in the flavor.  How things change in the span of a week!

Here are my general observations:

1.  Urges will go away if you hold strong.

Sunday night we celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday.  She whipped up a little slice of heaven: an ice cream cake smothered in caramel sauce and candy bites.  Believe me, I tried about a zillion different ways to justify eating that cake.  I held strong and munched on a few Costco corn chips as a consolation (My friend informed me that Costco corn chips are sugar free...or should I call her my new best friend?)  I glumly watched my family dive into the cake and squeal with delight.  

But, I discovered that 30 minutes later, I cared not one bit about the cake.  The satisfaction of holding firm, however, lingered around long after the last cake plate was cleaned.  I learned urges are not to be trusted or followed.  (My pastor said if he followed every urge he had, his life would be wrecked by dinner.  So true!)

2.  To focus on all the things I can eat, and not the limited amount I can't.

I mentioned the Costco chips, right?  As I've shared with friends what I am doing, I've received lots of different recipes and tips on no added sugar items.  Our dinners have been tasty. Tonight we munched on a sugar free (thanks to Fresh Thyme) vegetarian wrap. I've enjoyed pasta dishes, omelets, and salads too.  Anyone know Guacamole is sugar free?  Hallelujah!  These meals leave me lacking nothing.  I'm embarrassed for all the ways I complained about the "don't haves" when so many "dos" exist.

3.  What Mamma Does, the Kids Will Do.

At first the boys rallied along side me in the general disdain of the no added sugar diet.  Caleb called it the "un-fun" diet.  I realized that the boys were parroting my words.  A couple days into the challenge, when things started looking better, the boys responded differently to no added sugar menu items and  groceries.  They were more apt to try the healthy items and talk about smarter food choices.  Because I wasn't buying added sugar items, their diets improved too.  Amazingly, no one complained.

4.  I feel fuller.

I'm no dietician.  I can't tell you why.  Fiber, I suppose?  My friend Claudia could spell out all the reasons.  Whatever the case, I feel full most of the day.  Pre-diet challenge, I was famished come late afternoon.  Anything in the house was fair game. But now, I can easily wait until dinner without feeling like I could eat the leg off the kitchen table.  

I have five more days on the challenge.  I'm going to spend the next few days thinking about the changes I will keep long term (and what dessert I will eat on Monday....pineapple, perhaps?).  

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