Once I decided that I was serious about no sugar, I had to decide exactly what that meant. No desserts? No sugar drinks? No candy? Some combination of those or something else?
I decided that what I meant was No Sugar of any kind, including asparteme, in anything at all. And while I was at it, no more white flour or processed foods.
Do you know how hard it is to eat like that? Hard. Because everything has sugar, or white flour, or has been processed. I almost gave up.
I thought that I would clean out my pantry and throw away everything that didn't meet my new standards. Then I started reading the labels in my pantry and food storage. Did you know that canned corn has sugar added to it? Neither did I. So do green beans and almost everything else.
There was no way I could afford to replace all that food with healthier alternatives. Time for a new plan.
New plan. Once I use something it will be replaced with a brand that has no added sweetner. It started taking me more than an hour at the grocery store because I now had to read every. single. ingredient. label. And some things I could only find at the health food store, like Agave nectare and Stevia, or Xylatol, plant based sweetners that do not act like processed white sugar. You can find honey at the store, but not raw honey. And I wanted my stuff to be as raw as I could get it.
And Agave, Xylatol, raw honey (honey in general) and Stevia are expensive. And wheat bread? I could only find one brand that had no sugar or asparteme in it. Try finding a wheat flour tortilla with no brown sugar. I haven't been able to yet.
Here are some brands that I have found to be truly sweetner free:
Some Western Family
Hunts spaghetti sauce, but only some of them
The first two weeks was really hard. I wanted something sweet. I stopped eating the dessert/treat stuff, but the kids continued to eat it. I wanted a glass of Kool Aid with dinner, or a cookie, or something. But I perservered and ate a bag of these when I was tempted. Or I made toffee or a dessert recipe from the Feel Good Cookbook, and I made it through.
And it gets easier as time goes on. We found out that Kool Aid made with Xylitol tastes better. I started adding these to my bottle or glass of water and found my desire for sweetened drinks going down. I bought a juicer and started drinking fresh juice at least once a day. (it is cheaper at Costco, fyi)
I have found that foods that I thought I didn't like, I like them now. For instance beets. I take 1 small beet, 3 apples, 2 stalks of celery, 1 lime and any other fruit or veggie that looks good that day and juice them and drink it. Yum. It sounded nasty to me when I first read the beet/apple combo because I hate beets. Or so I thought. Now I find myself looking forward to my juice.
And now, the prospect of eating a sugar snack is not even appetizing at all. We had cinnamon rolls at school yesterday. I am assigned lunch duty and my post is right next to the food and I look at those rolls and smell their yumminess and end up eating one. Yesterday I didn't even want one. And I didn't eat one.
So for me, the biggest step was identifying what I didn't want and then getting it out of my house. Then I replaced it with what I did want. I know it sounds simple enough, but it wasn't easy. But now when I can stand in the checkout lane and not even want something? That is huge.