Let’s check in on week seven of refined sugar & me in 2017! This week I’m down two more pounds, making it eight pounds total in seven weeks. (That extra pound loss this week is likely entirely due to being sick for several days with no appetite, so we’ll see if that sticks…)
So this week, let’s talk about how the path to less refined sugar is fraught with danger for the frugal-minded. 🙂
Coffee Coffee Joy Joy
The other day I stopped by Starbucks to redeem a free drink reward. I usually visit Starbucks about once a week, where I get: Black coffee. Especially under their new rewards system, it takes forever and a day to earn a free drink that way, even when combined with the star codes from the bags we use at home — and I’ve always felt compelled to maximize these rewards by using them to get a giant free (as MashupDad likes to say) “frou-frou” drink. That’s how they got me with the chile mocha last fall. Dang are those good, so it’s lucky they’re seasonal…
This weekend, though, I stopped and thought, well, that’s silly — I actually am really tired and just want: Black coffee. So, I used my free drink reward on: Black coffee. (But I did get a Venti, because I’m not totally crazy…)
Way back in December a friend and I got a gift certificate to Cheesecake Factory that came with free complimentary slices of cheesecake. (This offer is long over, so don’t try to do it now, guys…) This week, we’re meeting for lunch. I’ve gone seven weeks now with no desserts at all, so my plan is to splurge on a good one by eating half a slice and taking the other half home to the boys. We’ll see if I’m at the point now where an occasional splurge won’t mess me up — but my long-term goal here is to be able to enjoy a smaller good dessert maybe once a month, rather than to fill up regularly on the empty and less splurge-worthy sugary calories of things like drugstore candy bars or ice cream.
Saturday freebies, fraught with danger
Along similar lines, let’s talk about Jewel’s weekly MyMixx freebies. (Not to pick on Jewel in particular, but just as an example.) These last few weeks have featured:
- Noosa Yoghurt. This is delicious, don’t get me wrong — but just for instance: The 8 oz blueberry tub pictured contains… 31g of sugar, which is almost 8 tsp.
- Maltesers Bar. Well, this is candy, so let’s not bother dissecting it.
- Very Berry Cheerios. Click on “nutrition information” to find that Very Berry Cheerios have 9g sugar in a 3/4 cup serving (who eats a 3/4 cup serving?), and contain sugar, corn syrup, and cane sugar.
- Evolution Fresh Green Juice. This contains only juice and no added sugar, so that’s something. But I think I’d rather eat the spinach & apples and get the benefits of the filling fiber as well.
- Health Warrior Chia Bar. The chocolate peanut butter one I got (and High School Guy ate in about one bite) contained 5g sugar — probably because it was incredibly tiny, lol. Although this nicely contains Chia seeds and organic ingredients, it also contains four different added sugars: Brown rice syrup, organic cane sugar, organic agave syrup, and organic brown rice syrup.
- 10 oz Chobani drink. I got mixed berry — Mr. 9 drank about a third of it and decided he didn’t like it, so we tossed the rest. One 10 oz container contains: 22g sugar.
- Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch Bar. More candy.
- Annie’s Organic whole milk yogurt. Organic, yay! But one tiny four oz container of strawberry yogurt has 11g sugar, boo.
Of these freebies I only bothered to pick up the Chia bar, Chobani drink, and Annie’s yogurt because I was already planning on stopping into Jewel anyway — it’s not worth the gas and time to me when I’m not. But at Jewel or anywhere else, as a couponer, it’s really hard not to bring free products into your house — and once they’re there, it’s more difficult not to, well, eat them. 🙂
If it’s free, it’s not necessarily for me
Although you can coupon and comparison shop to save on whole foods, it’s more difficult to do so — especially when compared to the easy frees. So one of the lessons I’ve been trying to get through my own head is: Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it’s for me.
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?
- Week One: The Experiment Begins
- Week Two: Let’s Check In, And Questions Answered
- Week Three: By Any Other Name (+ a printable list of common names for sugar on ingredient lists)
- Week Four: The Pitfalls of Dining Out
- Week Five: Getting Moving
- Week Six: On Sugar and Calories
Or, you can follow the whole Refined Sugar and Me series here.