Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 9: Sugar Free & Meat Free Challenge

We survived the first week.  As I suspected, following a strict vegetarian diet causes us to be deliberate about our food choices but it is very manageable.  We enjoy vegetables, experimenting with new recipes, and exploring new cuisines; vegetarianism fits in nicely.

Do you know what I don't like?  A sugar free life.  Well, that's not true.  Not that I have a week under my belt, I feel good.  Those first few days were pretty rough though. 

Tips I used to transition to a sugar free diet:

  • Avoid the grocery store at all cost.  One trip down those aisles (or past the bakery!) reminds you of everything that is on the "forbidden" list.  Stay out of the store until you have some strong willpower accumulated.
  • Hide the contraband.  Better yet, get rid of it completely.  When I open the pantry or refrigerator, I see wholesome foods without processed sugar.  (I also know where I can find some Girl Scout cookies on Easter Sunday!)  
  • Prepare your alternatives.  When you crave something sweet - and you will - be prepared with an alternative.  For me, dried fruit helped immensely in the first few days and it was very satisfying.  Be sure to select dried fruit that is not full of sugar; look for all natural products. Prunes, cranberries, apricots, and raisins helped me to get through some dark days  :) 
  • Move on.  Those sweet-tasting dried fruits helped my transition days, but I don't want to replace one sugar with another.  Sugar cravings are often a result of low blood sugar.  This can be corrected by adding some protein to your diet.
  • Feel the goodness. After a few days without processed sugar, you might feel a little lighter, less bloated in your tummy, and have fewer mood swings.  Enjoy that feeling of goodness and remember it!
Are you wondering why I am eliminating processed sugar?  Read about it here.

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