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Refined Sugar and Me Week 11 — Dessert Bad, Sushi Good

Let’s check in on week eleven of refined sugar & me in 2017! This week I’m holding steady weight-wise, so still down a total of 9 pounds in eleven weeks. Thanks for coming along on my (slow) journey, and I’d love to hear about what you’ve been doing this year as well. I keep trying to remind myself that you don’t overturn a lifetime of eating habits in just a few short months — be gentle with yourself on the days when you’re not where you’d like to be.

My own personal science experiment

This week… Well, do you ever feel like your body is kind of like your own personal science experiment? After so many years of poor eating habits, I’m still gauging where I can push it and where I need to leave things be on this year’s new eating plan. So, here’s what I’ve learned this week about myself and where I’m at right now.

Ice cream, bad

It’s been a month since my ill-fated cheesecake experiment, so I thought I’d test out the “dessert once a month” idea with ice cream. Well… that was a bad idea. Not only was it not as good as I remembered, an hour later I was suffering through the worst headache I’ve had in months, was suddenly exhausted, and felt kind of sick to my stomach. (And no, I didn’t have one of those 27 scoop monster sundaes, if that’s what you all are thinking… 😉 ) To top it all off, I was also hungrier than usual and ate more junk than usual the whole next day.

So, I’m taking the once-a-month dessert idea off the table for the foreseeable future. For me, it’s a bad plan; I just had to figure that out through experience. After being off sugar for a while, either I’ve forgotten how I felt before or it’s too much of a shock to my system: It wasn’t worth it, and I didn’t actually enjoy it that much.

Sushi, good

Moving on… I’ve largely avoided foods like sushi for a while because of the added sugar in the rice, but this week we ended up out for a special celebration dinner. (And yes, I can’t use chopsticks to save my life, but Mr. 10 had it down like a pro after about 20 minutes.) Let me tell you: Sushi, good. And luckily I didn’t end up with any of the same physical side effects, whether because of the lower amount of sugar or because it was balanced out by the other ingredients — because at this point it’s much more difficult to contemplate never enjoying sushi than never having ice cream.

So: Ice cream, no. Sushi, only occasionally! But if you asked me back in December to choose between giving up sushi or giving up ice cream, I likely would have had a different answer. If you haven’t gotten on board with the limiting refined sugar experiment yet, give it a try and see if your taste buds and cravings also change.


Sunday 26th of March 2017

Caught this interesting little snippet off AARP just recently:

White rice: Use oil, then chill Steamed white rice is full of starch that the body quickly converts to sugar, causing blood sugar levels to spike. It’s why eating too much is linked to a higher risk of diabetes. But if you tweak the way you cook it, white rice can be much healthier. Sri Lankan researchers in 2015 found that adding just two teaspoons of oil (they used coconut oil) to the water in which you cook a cup of rice, and then immediately chilling the cooked rice for 12 hours before reheating, converts the quick-digesting starch to a slow-digesting type called resistant starch, which the body doesn’t turn into sugar. Bonus: The oil and chilling also lower the rice’s calories.

You can google it... here's one article that references it:

Pretty cool if it's for real... :)


Sunday 26th of March 2017

I hadn't heard of this before so looked it up and found this article discussing the results:

So it sounds interesting but not necessarily as dramatic as the CBS report suggests?


Tuesday 14th of March 2017

Good job Rachel! Did you know for every 12 lbs. you loose you also go down one dress size? I myself have been doing weight watchers since June 1st and am down about 60lbs. I still have a little way to go but I am enjoying my journey. It is amazing how many items on the grocery shelves have added sugar. I have learned to read food labels carefully before I purchase.


Tuesday 14th of March 2017

60 lbs is amazing -- congratulations! It's very disturbing how much added sugar is in everything, and it will be interesting to see what will happen once they're forced to label that separately.

Katie Marie

Tuesday 14th of March 2017

Rachel, can I just tell you how much you've motivated me! After reading your posts about healthier eating I decided to give Whole 30 a try. I actually did the plan for 36 days and wish I had gone longer. I indulged in a few treats the day before lent and have been off the plan ever since. While following the food plan, I felt better, was less moody and increased my confidence. Many people apparently stop craving sweets after a few days or a week but I never got to that point. It took a lot of will power for me to stay out of the candy, cereal and chips. Even though they recommend not weighing yourself, I did and lost 6 pounds. I gained a few back since I've been eating everything again. I am back on the plan today. Since I'm a stay at mom I am around food constantly and lots of the food I make for my family is restricted on whole 30. I have always loved veggies and salads though and have been a vegetarian for years. I actually started eating some lean meats while on the plan. Sugar seems to be the root cause for many health issues and I know for myself that I feel much better when I don't have anything with added sugar. Once I do, I'm a goner and it just leads to more unhealthy eating. So, thank you for sharing your own personal journey with all of us! Thank you for motivating me to make some life changing choices and I am so proud of you for sticking with it!


Tuesday 14th of March 2017

Thanks for sharing! That is fantastic -- and I know what you mean about being around food constantly at home, it makes things tougher.


Tuesday 14th of March 2017

Both good points -- thanks, guys! :)


Tuesday 14th of March 2017

From my experience, once you go off sugar, it's extremely hard to digest it anymore. That probably explains your reaction to the cheesecake and ice cream.

But, that's actually a GOOD thing because it shows that your habits have stuck and your body is satisfied by a significantly lower level of sugar. When you think about it, it is real progress.

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