How did February go for everyone? A month ago I announced our intentions to do a sugar-free February. (And I should probably clarify that we’re not talking about fake sugar here! I hold the opinion that the stuff in low-carb chocolate and Diet Coke is honestly a whole lot worse than just plain sugar.)
Truth is, I don’t think sugar is evil. It’s just there’s so much of it all around us, and it’s completely empty calories, devoid of any nutrients. Josh and I already don’t buy white sugar or sweets other than the healthy homemade kind, but I wanted to take it a step further. I wanted to lower my sweetness threshold and reduce cravings, because they were starting to come back after various treats. The easiest way for me to do this is by periodically cutting myself off.
For this challenge Josh and I gave up sweets and natural sweeteners that we use at home like maple syrup and honey. We were still allowed fruit of course – I think the benefits of fruit far outweigh the fructose content! In addition I gave up alcohol, which I thought would be easy enough until I forgot I gave it up!
Resisted in February:
Cheesecake stuffed French toast – on the first day, too!
Corn muffins and jam
Chocolate cheesecake – froze for later!
Lots of donuts – including my favorite kind!
Dark chocolate Powerberries
85% dark chocolate – the only candy we buy on a regular basis
Ice cream sundaes with mini PB cups and brownie bits
Girl Scout cookies – remind me why we chose February, again??
(This is a partial list but you get the idea…)
Oops in February:
One beer – I honestly forgot I included alcohol in this monthly challenge until afterward. That’s the problem with doing too many challenges at once, I guess! It was delicious though.
There were also a couple non-dessert things at potlucks that probably contained sugar. When in doubt I usually didn’t worry about it.
I think quitting sugar for a month taught me some discipline and left room for more healthy, nourishing foods. I honestly didn’t miss white sugar or go through any withdrawal symptoms. It helped that I got out and ran on multiple occasions this month, as I’m always motivated to eat healthy when I workout. It’s also easier to eat healthy when the weather is warm and sunny like it was here in St. Louis.
I’m reminded again why we did this. When I started I had major sugar cravings that were hard to say no to. Now at the end of it, I no longer have those strong dessert cravings. It’s awesome how they really do go away!
What I really did miss was the maple syrup on my green pancakes and the honey in my daily oatmeal. I made some polenta one night and really wanted to sweeten it. I was ready to have honey back about one week in! Some things are just so much better with a touch of sweetness!
I’d gladly do this challenge again with white sugar and sweets. I’d be more hesitant to give up my natural sweeteners and tiny amounts of sugar that are in things that aren’t even sweet like sriracha. That was really what made it challenging. I do love a good challenge though!
I’m amazed at how simple and uncomplicated some goals can be. And how rewarding. Many of my personal goals this year involve giving up things – doing less, not doing more. Isn’t that incredible and freeing? Like a deep cleansing breath of fresh air.
Now can I eat that frozen piece of chocolate cheesecake….?