One week down

I survived! I made it a whole week with no processed foods and no added sugars! Well, that’s not entirely true…

On Sunday I went to lunch with a friend after church. It was my first attempt at eating out since starting this challenge. I ordered a salad without dressing, thinking that it would be perfectly safe. It was delicious! Arugula, walnuts, bleu cheese, apples, pears, fennel, and my ultimate downfall – dried cranberries. I didn’t think anything of it while I was eating – it was all fruit and veggies with a little bit of cheese – but when I got home it hit me: dried cranberries are almost always sweetened. So much for good intentions! Because of this, I am adding an extra day to the no sugar challenge.

Despite that little flub, I am feeling quite good about things. My skin has cleared up completely (I had a huge break-out across my forehead post-Christmas that refused to dry out despite the copious amounts of exfoliant and salicylic acid I layered on it). I’ve been sleeping better and my energy levels have been more consistent. I’ve never been one for exercising and normally I have to guilt myself into getting on the treadmill, but lately I’ve found myself wanting to run and actually enjoying it!

In the past eight days, I have observed a small, but significant change in my taste buds. Regular foods that I never would have labeled as “sweet” have started to taste sweeter. Milk, green beans and squash have a subtle hint of natural sugar that I’d never noticed before. Sweet potatoes now taste like they should be reserved for dessert! Flavors in general are…more flavorful. To top it all off, my sweet tooth cravings have all but disappeared. In my office’s reception area, there is a large dish filled with Dove Promises which used to torment me every time I walked by it. Now I hardly notice it. Best of all, I don’t find myself craving sugary baked goods as a consolation prize at the end of a stressful day (never a good thing when your walk to the subway takes you past Starbucks, Au Bon Pain, Mrs. Fields, and Dunkin Donuts).

That’s not to say I’m completely cured of my sugar addiction. On Saturday night, I went to a friend’s to celebrate her birthday. There was lemon meringue pie and it looked sooooo good. I didn’t have a piece, but it set the gears in my head a-turning and I needed something sweet. I came home and thawed a batch of the banana pancakes I’d made earlier that day, seriously doubting it would do anything about the craving. Before giving up sugar, nothing but a legitimate dessert would have satiated this longing. Unsweetened, whole wheat banana pancakes certainly would not have done the trick. But you know what? They did. The craving went away and I went to sleep with a clear conscious.

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9 January 2012. Just Enough.

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