Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sugar Break Results

Yep, I failed at totally avoiding sugar. But not too badly, and I still achieved my goals for the week.

What was my downfall? Well, turkey bacon, ketchup at a restaurant, and the sauce on Friday's pizza was from a can and contained sugar (we did have homemade sauce on Saturday on the spaghetti). I knew these items contained a little sugar but didn't have the time/willpower to dig up replacements. Lest you think I have no will-power, I did turn down several tasty treats over the course of the week such as chocolate chip cookies at the bank.

We ate all-fruit jelly instead of sugared jelly on our bread and yogurt, drank apple cider (or warm milk with vanilla stevia drops once) instead of hot chocolate, and made cinnamon raisin bread in the bread machine to eat with cream cheese or butter instead of store-bought bagels. I baked a batch of banana bread without sugar that was edible but not worth repeating.

Today when my break was officially over I did eat 3 cookies at church (not a binge, because that's my normal amount of cookies), and had ketchup, salad dressing, and apple crisp as parts of my Sunday dinner.

Mini goals and ideas for the future:

  • keep breakfast without sugar 5-6 days a week
  • try making homemade ketchup with less or "better" sugar (or lacto-fermented ketchup)
  • find a homemade french dressing recipe that has less sugar than store-bought
  • find a better banana bread or banana muffin recipe than the one I tried this week
  • can or freeze some of my own spaghetti/pizza sauce with produce from the garden this summer
Let me know if you have any recipe ideas for the things I mentioned!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sugar Break

We don't drink a lot of pop or other typical sugary junk foods, but there is plenty of added sugar in things like cereal, jelly, ketchup, lunch meat, spaghetti sauce, salad dressing and bread. I believe all foods can be healthy in moderation, but the more I learn about processed sugars (white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) I am beginning to think of it more as a chemical than a food. Or somewhere in between.
Sometimes referred to as "empty calories", sugar is more of a negative calorie because it uses up real nutrients (particularly B vitamins, magnesium, chromium, calcium, and zinc) to digest it, but it leaves no nutrients in return. According to one story I read, marooned sailors discovered you can live longer eating nothing than eating sugar.

Regardless of whether sugar is a food and what "moderation" might be with it, I'm sure we consumed a bit much over our holiday travels due to eating out and Christmas treats. So I'm going without it for a week as an experiment.

  • Read food labels better to become aware of the hidden sugar
  • Break the habit of buying the cheaper product with more sugar rather than something healthier
  • Stay in the habit of making things like dressing and bread from scratch and try a few new recipes too
  • Give our bodies a chance to recharge
  • I think we were designed to enjoy our food and also to enjoy sweet tastes. I hope by taking a break from sugar we will have more enjoyment in the occasional sweet treat.
  • Noon on Sunday until after-church cookies the next Sunday
  • I won't be replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners
  • Honey and molasses do provide some nutrients and health benefits, but for this week I will not be using them except perhaps a tablespoon or two to make bread. Less processed sugars such as rapadura still have nutrients left so I don't consider them "as bad", but again I will not be cooking or baking with them this week.
  • Nate is on his own, and I'm not going to worry about what the kids eat if they are away from me or offered foods outside our home
  • Kids gummy vitamins and a few ounces of water kefir for the kids (to prevent eczema in Malachi and to prevent jealousy in Tobias) will continue
We're already well into our week of doing this, so come back soon to see how we succeeded in our goals!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Oliebollen (yes, that means "oil balls")

We tripled this recipe (don't worry, it was pretty small to begin with) and fried up some traditional Dutch New Year's treats. It was fun to see the shapes they turned into as they dropped in the oil; some looked like monsters, others like little mutant turkeys. Happy New Year!