No sugar tonight in my coffee, no sugar tonight in my tea.Sunday, January 11, 2015
I decided to give up sugar for the month of January, which means I'm currently on day 11 of no sweet things. When I say "give up sugar", let's be clear: I mean added sugar. I'm not cutting out all the foods that have sugar hidden in them, like ketchup, peanut butter, soy sauce and whatever else sugar is sneakily lurking within. I'm also not opposed to more 'natural' forms of sugar like organic honey or maple syrup. By "giving up sugar", I mean I'm not dumping sweetener in my coffee, indulging in cookies and donuts, starting my day with a bowl of cereal, or enjoying a mug of hot chocolate in the afternoon. I'm steering clear of chocolates and candies and sweets of all types. If you'd look at a food and go, yes, that definitely has sugar in it, then I'm not eating it this month.
"Why would you do something so ridiculous?" you may be asking. "Why would you punish yourself that way?" I just feel like I overdid it over the holidays, much like everyone's probably feeling to some extent. Christmastime brought a lot of cookies and chocolates and booze, which is all well and good and to be expected for a day or two, but after the festivities wrapped up I felt really sluggish and heavy and wanted to do something to get back on track.
Cutting out the sweet stuff for a month seemed like a challenging yet actually doable thing for me. I'd really like to try something like Whole 30, but I've thought about it and (brace yourself, here come the excuses) I feel like having a little kid who is hard enough to feed at the best of times would be too much work and, realistically, I wouldn't stick with it. I don't want to be cooking two or three different dishes for different family members at every meal, and I don't think that little kids necessarily benefit from cutting out certain food groups - Eli needs his grains and dairy to grow! But we can all do with a bit less sugary stuff in our diets, considering that it has zero nutritional value and a ton of empty calories.
So far, giving up sugar hasn't been as hard as I'd anticipated. I don't miss having dessert at the end of the meal but I do miss baking cookies. There are two dark chocolate sea salt bars from my Christms stocking staring me in the face every time I open the cupboard, but I just whisper to them, "February is coming soon, my loves" and close the door. They aren't going anywhere. I've been choosing different snacks, like nuts and raisins, cheese and crackers, or fruit with peanut butter instead of cookies or granola bars with chocolatey chunks, and sticking with tea in the afternoons rather than hot chocolate. For a treat at Starbucks, I ordered a plain nonfat latte instead of a flavoured drink. There's always a substitute that can be made. Eli and I baked peanut butter banana muffins last weekend that didn't require any sugar or flour. Surprisingly, I haven't really missed the sweet stuff.
I can't say whether I'm feeling better yet. I had a bout of insomnia to kick off the new year which kicked my ass, so I wasn't feeling so great last week, but it seems to be resolving itself now so hopefully I'll actually feel some positive effects from my month with no sugar. I definitely feel better than I did over the holidays during peak gluttony.
Are you cutting anything out for January? How are the New Year's Resolutions going?