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Refined Sugar and Me — Let’s Check in on Week 2

It’s Monday, so let’s check in for week two of the limiting refined sugar challenge of 2017! How’s everyone doing so far?

Here: I’m down 5 lbs (!) from where I started doing this on December 30, but that has kind of stalled out. This was pretty much what I expected, though, after my last abortive try at this — after everything settled out I was losing more like a pound every week or two. But aside from that, I feel good. The stabbing withdrawal headaches and hunger pangs of week one are gone, I have more energy and fewer headaches overall, my digestion is better, and I’m no longer getting that exhausted mid-afternoon slump.

Your questions, answered

Here’s what you’ve been wondering so far — and if you have more questions, please do ask them here as we continue to figure this out together. 🙂

Is the whole family doing this?

A couple of you asked if the kids and MashupDad are also avoiding refined sugar in the New Year. The short answer is: No. The longer answer is: MashupDad is figuring out what it is he wants to do. The kids will naturally eat less added sugar as time goes on because: I do most of the cooking around here, and as they eat down what’s already in the pantry I’ll be paying more attention to food labels when buying replacements. But I’m just starting with myself, here. One thing at a time.

Why not just give up carbs in general?

I am aware that sugar and carbs tend to go hand-in-hand, but: First off, it makes more sense to me, both from my own experience and from the reading I’ve done, to worry about added and hidden sugars than it does to worry about natural sugars. I’ve watched MashupDad go on and off low carb diets that don’t let you eat an apple, a carrot, or beans, and there is no way in the world that is ever going to work for me or seem like a natural way of eating.

Secondly, I know myself. If I try to give up all carbs, I’m setting myself up to fail — as much as I love sugar itself, I love bread and potatoes more. But one thing? One thing, I can do. I gave up a three-cans-a-day diet Coke habit over three years ago, so already know that I can handle one thing.

Lastly, avoiding refined sugars in itself means avoiding a lot of processed and packaged foods. Even if I never lose another pound doing this, I feel better eating mostly real foods — and will avoid all of the other stuff hiding in processed foods, to boot.

Have you watched Fed Up?

I have indeed watched Fed Up, and highly recommend it. The documentary is currently available on Netflix, or you can probably pick it up at your local library.

What do you do when you get cravings for chocolate or {insert your favorite sugary food here}?

As I type this, I’m eating blueberries ($.99 a pint at Caputo’s!) and sea salt popcorn (which I’ve been buying in big bags at Costco). Yes, I’m buying popcorn in bags — as long as it’s minimally processed and contains just popcorn, sea salt, and oil. Here’s what I have found: Every 2-3 hours I try to snack on something with protein, good fats, and/or fiber, such as nuts, cheese, popcorn, apples, avocado, or hummus. When I fill up on healthier snacks, I’m much less likely to overeat at meals — and am more successful at staving off cravings for the things I don’t necessarily want to be eating.

When I start craving a certain food, it also helps to try to step back and try to figure out why I want that food in particular. I don’t miss chocolate as much as I miss ice cream — but when I really started thinking about it, it wasn’t the sweetness of ice cream I was craving so much as the creaminess and the mouthfeel — so I had some avocado, and it actually helped. If I realize I really just want something sweet, I’ll have something like a cut up apple and a little cheddar cheese, or some blueberries and popcorn.

Ten days in, I’m also noticing that fruits and veggies are just beginning to taste naturally sweeter when they’re no longer in competition with sugary desserts and the HFCS and its equivalents that hide out in a lot of processed foods.

So, that’s me this week

How are you doing on your own healthier eating plan so far — and what have you found that helps you stay on track? Follow the whole Refined Sugar and Me series here.


Sunday 17th of January 2021

I am so excited!!! I have just found you thanks to Pinterest! I am so thrilled about the weekly plans and I am excited to cut our sugars as well!! Starting with that next week!


Friday 23rd of February 2018

Thank you for the inspiration. I know I should cut out sugars, but those extra ones. I am with you that carbs will always be a part of what I eat, I just need to make better choices and stick with whole foods. I did it years ago for my fertility. I feel like I am addicted to chocolate and crave those sweets. I need to make a plan and work towards changing how I eat.

Linda Pettigrew

Wednesday 30th of August 2017

Ahhh im 87 when i checked my blood sugar this morning? What is the hemoglobin number? Im sorry...? would anyone know? Im linda hi....


Monday 9th of January 2017

Great job sticking to it!!! Giving up refined sugar is so hard!!!! Have you ever looked at trim healthy mama? I follow their lifestyle of eating and it works amazingly for weight loss! They eliminate sugars to stabilize your Blood sugar, but they also separate carbs and fats to only feed your body one fuel type at a time! Can't wait to see what next week is like for you :)


Monday 9th of January 2017

I have not -- I'm not sure what the rationale would be behind the one fuel type at a time thing? (I tried looking at their site but didn't see an explanation.)


Monday 9th of January 2017

May 5th 2015 I started reading It Starts with Food by the Hartwigs. By the end of May I finished the book and was prepping for my first Whole30. 30 days of eliminating pretty much everything except clean meat, clean certain veggies, fruits and certain type of nuts (in short, more to it but that is basic). Water and black coffee is all I drank and for me the hardest was eliminating the half and half from my coffee. I totally agree food just taste more flavorful and fruits sweeter. It is a great book, changed my life in the way I view food. Another good documentary is Sugar Coated.

I live a modified whole30 life now. If you read the book and follow a full 30 days of whole30 you reintroduce, so that is what I did and discovered when I reintroduced corn back into my diet I got a migraine, I went clean again for 2 weeks and then reintroduced corn, another migraine. Anything with corn (which is almost everything processed) was triggering my migraines that I started getting after I turned 40 (46 now) a handful of times a month. I can eat a handful of popcorn (which I love) without getting one the next day but if I eat more than that I will wake up the next day feeling like a cat slept on my face (allergic to cats), if I eat popcorn from the show I will get a migraine the next day. It's just a very eye opening experience for me.

Anyway, very long story short food is linked to wellness I think more than we realize. My kids eat the dinners I make which these days are clean or mostly for them and I eliminate sauces etc (love coconut aminos as a replacement for soy sauce in recipes), I will make pasta once in a while for them and I will just eat without, and when I did the whole30 I lost 8lbs in 30 days and it took me 2 weeks to like black coffee drinking a little bit each day :-)

My most favorite snack which I have almost every day, sliced apples and almond, sun or peanut butter (whatever I have). Yum. For sweet dessert I have a bunch of frozen bananas in the freezer and I will take one and put in bullet with about cup of water and almond, peanut or sun butter and blend it up (that is my ice cream). GOOD LUCK!


Monday 9th of January 2017

PS. I love black coffee now and never going back to creamer! So much more flavor! I will get the naturally flavored coffees (pumpkin spice recently on clearance etc.) <3

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