I’ve been reading over on Clover Lane about going sugar-free and that got me thinking. Should I go sugar-free? What would that look like in my day-to-day life? What would need to change? I’m not an expert on which sugars are bad for you, and which ones are okay. Can I still eat my Stonyfield Yogurt with fruit on the bottom? Sugar is the second ingredient and it’s got 22 grams in that small cup to boot! Do I have to throw out the cookies I bought last week? What about sugar in my coffee? As I sat in Starbucks today consuming a caramel latte laden with sugar, I found myself tempted to put it off until I knew more about it. However, I knew that if I put it off, I might never start, and so I sat down to make my grocery list and decided to jump right in. Having discovered over the past couple of years that I am mostly an abstainer who benefits from dabbling in moderation, I set off to create some rules for myself.
Rule #1: When it comes to daily life, I am sugar-free. This means no sugar in my coffee, no ginger-snaps or thin mints in my lunch, no sherbert after dinner, no little bites of chocolate or caramel lattes to help me make it through the day.
Rule #2: I can have ONE sugar related treat per week. Making this rule was helpful in that I didn’t have to feel deprived, it wasn’t that I couldn’t EVER have sugar, it’s just that my treat had better be GOOD. What was interesting was how that immediately clarified for me how much I like my thin mints and ginger snaps. They are not likely to be my treat anytime soon. The Peanut Butter Thing from Not Your Average Joe’s though? Now there’s a treat, albeit not one to be consumed alone!
I went ahead and purchased plain yogurt in place of my regular fruit flavored cups from Stonyfield Farm. I bought three, because I hear it takes multiple tries before you can decide you really don’t like something. This is one area where I am willing to be flexible though. I don’t get much calcium from my diet since I’m not a regular milk drinker and cheese is too high in fat to be consumed in large enough quantities. My daily cup of yogurt is pretty key in keeping my bones strong. I am going to try to like the plain variety, but if I need to move back to the flavored variety, I’m going to be okay with that.
I also found myself buying significantly more fruit. I splurged on a container of blackberries and a couple of peaches. This made my weekly grocery bill a bit more expensive ($50 compared to my usual $30-$40), but it seemed like a worthy trade off if it will help me to get a bit healthier and make my first sugar free week a bit easier. I’ll be sure to report on my progress later this week!