May 04, 2012

Giving up more.

This has been an interesting week. It took until about Sunday for my tension headaches to finally go away and I am now enjoying caffeine-free living at its finest. Less caffeine and more yoga have definitely been making life more enjoyable.  The next step is to try giving up refined sugar for two weeks and seeing where that takes us.

I've been reading a bit about giving up sugar, though, and apparently our bodies can go through sugar withdrawal when we cut it out. Do I really need to say how excited I am for that? I didn't think so.

I've spent some time today looking up recipes to go with the sugar free lifestyle and I'm surprised at how varied peoples' approaches are to it. Some recipes seem to try to make up for lack of refined sugar with maple syrup which seems a little fishy to me. I'm no top chef but while I can see the reasoning behind substituting it in, say, baking, I don't see why I'd need to put it on my oatmeal. I love sugar but I'm pretty sure berries will spice up my oatmeal, too.

I know the big issue is going to be granola bars and bread so I've found some recipes to make them at home without sugar. I'm also steering away from this like Splenda because a) it tastes disgusting and b) my body probably doesn't need more weird chemicals in it. I'm trying to plan ahead here, too, because I know if I'm not ready for going sugar free I'll fail on the first day. I'm thinking I'll use my mom's bread maker to make a couple loaves (fingers crossed it's not an epic fail) and then freeze some. I have two recipes right now and hopefully one is good. If they don't turn out I'll just buy some.

I also have several gluten and sugar free granola bar recipes. I feel like they're going to make or break the whole ordeal. Karl and I both enjoy our granola bars (his covered in chocolate) and without them work day food just won't be the same. And yes, Karl's going to give it a go too.

That's the other big challenge here: my husband. I love sugar and junk food but I manage to avoid buying chocolate bars and chocolate milk and pop and juice and little packs of chips during my work day. Karl is weak. The challenge is going to be making enough food with enough variety to keep him happy at work. As a mechanic he works hard and he needs his lunch to fill him up and give him enough energy to make it through the day. My biggest fear is that he won't like whatever I make and decide to give up before we really get started. Doing this together will definitely make it easier. I'm hoping we hardly even notice a difference in our daily eating but I'm sure that's delusional. Part of my thinks this will be the hardest thing ever to do, but another part of me thinks that it won't be that challenging.

It's funny, I used to think that giving up sugar was beyond impossible but now that I've cut out caffeine (the other impossibility) I really feel like this might work. I'm going to have to be more diligent at reading labels but I think that dinner will provide the smallest challenge, breakfast will come second, followed by lunch as the most difficult. And snacks. Oh, snacks.

So the plan is to do a bunch of baking and sauce making before we begin so that when the time comes I'll be ready and have no excuse. My love affair with the deep freeze is about to get a little more loving, I think.

This weekend is kind of full so next weekend I'll probably lay the groundwork and, hopefully, in a week or two I'll be have symptom-free sugar-free living. Standby for updates as we go.

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