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Refined Sugar and Me Week 13 — Plan to Succeed

Let’s check in on week thirteen of refined sugar & me in 2017! We’re now three months into this experiment in avoiding refined sugar, and this week I’m holding steady at a total ten pound weight loss.

Over the course of these past few months I’ve learned that I get into the most trouble when I fail to plan ahead and end up hungry enough to grab whatever is on hand — and, often too much of it. This is one of the things I can’t figure out about, say, celebrities who have personal chefs on their payroll but still struggle with eating and weight issues. Is it just me? If I had someone cooking healthy meals and snacks who just had them available for me at all times, I’d be all in! (Although I think I’d miss cooking, lol…)

Since I’m unlikely to reach “celebrity with a personal chef” status in this lifetime, here’s what I’ve been working on lately to plan ahead:

Keep healthy snacks front and center

Not worrying about natural fruit sugar — Real Foods ftw!

I’ve started keeping a bowl of fruit on the table and snacks like baby carrots & hummus at eye level in the fridge. If healthier foods are in front of my eyes and easy to grab on the go, I’m more likely to choose them first. I know, this seems so basic, but it’s really been helping me — and I’ve also told the kids that they are welcome to grab these fruits and veggies any time they are hungry for a snack, without needing to ask.

Plan Meals

Not worrying about portion controlled potatoes — Real Foods ftw!

I’m also working on meal planning lunches for myself. Last week, for instance, I cooked up half a batch of sheet pan chicken thighs with green beans & red potatoes, then immediately portioned it out into four separate lunches in reusable meal prep containers (similar here). This way I have real food lunches ready to go after just a quick re-heating. It’s like having frozen meals handy, but much better — Not just taste-wise, but because I know exactly what’s in them and know that they’ll fill me up for lunch.

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?

Earlier installments in this series

Here are a few highlights:

And you can catch up on the whole Refined Sugar and Me series here.


Thursday 30th of March 2017

I thought it was real milk.


Thursday 30th of March 2017

I will have to do more research I guess


Wednesday 29th of March 2017

Have you tried Fairlife milk? I ha fat free and it is richer than regular 2% milk. Way less sugar and lots more protein. its on sale this week at jewel for $2.99 and there is a $1 my mix coupon.


Wednesday 29th of March 2017

No -- I can't bring myself to pay double the price for a filtered not-real-milk product. Plus, I'm OK with naturally occurring sugars in food and not concerned about the lactose in milk, because it's natural and part of the whole food. From what I've read about Fairlife, although the total sugars are less, the filtering & enzymes process converts the naturally occurring lactose into simple sugars:

Unless you're lactose intolerant, I don't see that as a positive. And their chocolate milk (although not the white lowfat) has lower sugars partially because it contains Ace-K and sucralose (Splenda). -- which is misleading and disturbing.


Tuesday 28th of March 2017

I love your pre-made lunches! I think that may be a good idea for my husband, who works from home. I already bring a reasonably healthy packed lunch to work each day, but being home all day, he is more prone to grazing on whatever's in the fridge vs. sticking with a meal plan. I know if I were home all day, it would definitely be tough for me to avoid constant snacking! These pre-made lunches might help him get on a better, more portion-controlled regimen.

One thing that helps both of us control our sugar consumption is that most nights we have a "fruit treat" that we look forward to. It's basically any kind of berries and other cut up fruit we have on hand, mixed with some Greek yogurt and sprinkled with a good amount of cinnamon. I also add ground flax seed, wheat germ, and sprinkle with oats. I sometimes add a bit of shredded coconut or a few chocolate chips just to make it more exciting. I think this helps both of us get through the day with eating less candy/cookies, etc, as we know we have a treat to look forward to at night.

Keep up the great work! And, I am totally with you on the celebrities with personal chefs who still have trouble eating healthy foods. I've said the exact same thing many times! Though I suppose, if I were in a position to have a personal chef, I might be just as tempted to ask them to whip me up a chocolate cake as anything else, LOL.


Tuesday 28th of March 2017

That's part of my problem in working from home, too -- the fridge is just there all day! Sometimes I've been having a cut up apple with cinnamon at night, but I like your Greek yogurt idea, too.


Tuesday 28th of March 2017

When my kids are at home ( during the day this week while they are on break or after school ) I always have something to eat on the kitchen island. They are basically lazy so I know they'll grab whatever is sitting out before they start looking for junk. Usually its cut up apples , grapes in a bowl, carrots and cukes, or sometimes cheese and crackers. At least I know they ate something good for them before they look for chips. I am more likely to snack on it too if its sitting out while I'm planning dinner.


Monday 27th of March 2017

Wow, you're doing great! It really helps to figure out you're downfalls and make it hard to not make the right choice. Hopefully BKL won't decide to take possession of your goodies! My family is crazy about the Mandarin oranges and really don't mind them for multiple snacks. Thanks to Jewel's great sales on them this year! I just need to work out the lunch thing like you did and stick to it.

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