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Breaking UP

Updated: Jan 27, 2019

July 31, 2016 | Jen Hartnett-Orser

It’s officially been MORE than a month since I’ve removed refined sugar from my diet.  How’s it going?  Actually, pretty great!  

I’ve done diets galore in the past, some of them wildly extreme, and always ended up quitting within a few weeks at most..or at least having more than my fair share of ‘cheats’  or the dreaded ‘NOT THAT BAD’ items that quickly snuck their way back into my orbit.  So far, this has been relatively easy, and I have rarely felt ‘deprived’ or more accurately, ‘depraved’  LOL    Which has allowed me to be quite successful in this mission!   I HAVE had a few items, mostly condiments on special occasions that would likely include sugar, however, I’d say overall, I could probably measure my refined sugar intake over the past 30+ days at less than 2 tablespoons!!!!!      Even as I write those words, I am pretty amazed at this accomplishment!!     Don’t get me wrong….there was a VERY angsty first few days of this breakup...I was ornery, hungry and downright mean!!!  But once I got the ‘white stuff’ out of my system, things seemed to flow with ease, and truly without a lot of effort or thought!!!     

I’m also reducing the amount of grains/starches in my diet.  I have had a few servings of potatoes, as well as some brown rice, and brown rice pasta as a treat a handful of times.  AND have been very careful to notice if this produced a ‘trigger’ response, and led me to feel far, it has not, and I am careful to eat these starchy items along with fats and proteins.

I started this little venture after a long period of being sick, sedentary, and eating ‘whatever’.  I started feeling lethargic, puffy, well over my desired weight, and just crappy in general.    Since these changes have started, I notice I’m sleeping better (can i get a whoot whoot!?!?)   my skin is clearer, and I’m feeling less foggy in general. AND...I’m noticing a HUUUUGE shift in my ‘emotional’ eating, which includes eating when bored, anxious, angry and tired.  My inclination to ‘snack’ is simply gone.   AND...I’m not pushing into the ‘food coma’ feelings at all...just eating when I’m hungry, with whole foods!! (lots of fruit, veg, lean meats and some cheese)  My exception to ‘whole food’ is my breakfasts most days - which is a protein powder mixed with Almond milk - both of which I find to be questionable in terms of processing/ingredients, however, I will also work toward sourcing a better alternative protein powder one this one is finished.  

Yes, I have lost some weight….but honestly, that’s not even what I’m finding to be the best bit of all of this!    I truly feel, for the first time, like this is a sustainable lifestyle….AND also for the first time finding I’m more likely to try and find a ‘hack’ for a sugar laded item than try to justify eating!!

I DO have a goal with respect to weight, and so far, I’m WELL on my way to achieving it, and will be adding in a few other tools/tricks to achieve success in this realm.    But that’s another blog post….  <insert devilish grin>

Disclaimers abound:  

I’m still using sweetener when needed at this point, but am conscious of the amount I’m using.  And yes...I know i could be using stevia, or maple syrup, or honey….I have yet to find a Stevia that doesn’t taste bitter to me, and at this moment in time, am weighing the pros/cons of Splenda’s artificial/chemical profile vs the actual sugar/Glycemic Index spike/calorie count of Maple Syrup…. For me, right now, Splenda wins.  I realize it’s not the greatest option, but for this moment, it’s what i’ve chosen, AND the great news is, it’s

essentially the only chemical/processed item I’m eating at all!!  Which I count as a win!   

Aaahhhhhh alcohol!    We generally do not drink during the week, or even on weekends unless there’s a social function going on, or we are out for dinner.  The sweet summertime  seems to offer up many more of these opportunities than other seasons, so I’m finding that we are having a few more cocktails than our usual tally….. AND...I’m aware of and ok with that.

Part of this being a sustainable lifestyle means it has to work and not leave me feeling deprived.  I DO find I’m making small changes though….I’m favouring Caesars made with an incredibly delicious, and ‘better choice’ mix called Walter,  instead of sugary juice based drinks or coolers (plus, I find you really can’t drink more than 2 of those, whereas Alco-pops seem to go down like water!)  ….White wine spritzers with Perrier and Grapefruit essential oil (YUM!!)  and even a Splenda sweetened Mojito with fresh mint from my deck pots!!!     

Overall, I’m feeling like this is DIFFERENT than any previous attempt...and I’m approaching it with a sense of lightness and NO attachment to outcome (well ok, very little) on the scales.  I’ve felt little pangs of ‘oh, but I’d really like that <insert sugary deliciousness>   and I’ve been able to overcome, EVERY time!!!  I’m even gonna drop a brag in here….I was able to withstand being in striking distance of the world famous Pontiac Home Bakery Cinnamon Sugar donuts….which, as this graphic suggests, are pretty much The.  Best.  Thing.  Ever.  

So….from where I sit (on the squishy couch in my ‘Cougar Den’ in case you were wondering)  Things are going pretty well!  I’m excited to continue on this path and see where it takes me.  I don’t have any plans to make changes at this moment, just to keep going with all I am currently doing.  Oh, that’s a fib...I am pledging to drink more water….something I’m brutal at….so this shall be my what’s next now that I’m gaining ground on the no sugar front.  

Hope you are all having a great day...whether it be with, or without sugar, I know you’re pretty sweet!  




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