Friday, February 27, 2015

In Comes the Winter Breeze That Chills the Air and Drifts the Snow

I am by no means a nutritionist or a diet guru or anything like that. I am just a person who figured she would give a shot at giving up added sugar for the month of February. For more info check out this post. The key, February is a short ass month, so giving up added sugar for twenty-eight days isn't THAT hard. Right? Right?

Per my own rules, I allowed myself a few provisions. First, I had a Valentine's Dance that I went to for work and I let myself eat dessert there. And the other, if I went to a party or gathering I would not ask people what ingredients they used in dips, etc, I would just do my best to avoid foods I knew contained sugar. Basically, no sweets other than Valentine's Day.

With one more day left in February, I figured I would talk about my month with some random bullet point thoughts. I'll also throw in some tips. AGAIN, not an expert, these are just ways I handled the No Sugar Added month.

*There is added sugar in EVERYTHING! Seriously, next time you go grocery shopping or to a store that has groceries pick up a can or a package of something that you would not think would have sugar in it and read the label. Canned kidney beans...just plain old kidney beans, not baked beans, have added sugar. The spinach tortilla wraps I was using to make quesadillas in January? Added sugar. Progresso Light Santa Fe Style Chicken Soup? Added sugar. Macaroni and cheese? Added sugar. I could go on and on. It really blew my mind. And I just felt like there was no reason t here was added sugar. Why does a southwestern flavored soup need sugar?

*The only cereal I could find without added sugar was Shredded Wheat. You know what is sad and depressing? A bowl of shredded wheat with a packet of Truvia (stevia).

*I bought a big tub of quick oats and separated it into individual servings. Then used the hot water from my office's Keurig to make oatmeal in the morning. Oatmeal with Truvia is also depressing.

*To prevent Cereal Sadness I bought freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe's and started adding that to my oatmeal and cereal. Oh man, does that make a difference.

*Trader Joe's is your friend! If you don't have one by you, I am sorry. If you do and you want to go No Sugar Added then lucky you! Not that everything at Trader Joe's is automatically sugar free (even TJ's organic kidney beans had added sugar. I know, it seems like I am obsessed with that, but I wanted to make chili early on this month and had to sub the beans for white kidney beans and chick peas) but there are definitely more options.

*Oh yeah, salsa, spaghetti sauce, dried cranberries...all added sugar.

*Trader Joe's makes a quinoa and brown rice spaghetti that is awesome! It totally fills me up way more than white flour pasta. Seriously, I could barely finish my serving.

*Fruit is delicious but not as delicious as a cupcake.

*And I don't even like cupcakes that much.

*Processed food is pretty much out.

*Which means lots of yummy homemade soups and meals! I think that was and still is the best part. Hubs and I experimented with things. I tried to make homemade tortillas and they were terrible. I am not a baker. But, Hubs made a vegetable beef soup that was awesome. And I made a homemade spaghetti sauce that rocked my socks off!

*Dried fruit is awesome. But, if one only eats dried mango one will get sick of it quickly.

*Nuts are also awesome.

*Lunch meat has added sugar! So does peppe-freaking-roni!

*I play pub trivia every Thursday and plan my day around enjoying some pizza with friends. Much like my Valentine's Day allowance, I allowed for the pizza nights.I think these kept me sane. Thursday is a run day for me, so it helps to have the extra calorie burn. But, I never went crazy, one maybe two slices if I was really hungry. I enjoyed the pizza, I didn't binge on the pizza, and it fell within my calorie limits.

*I also allowed for whatever sort of fuel I needed during a long run. I didn't end up with any long runs this month that I needed to fuel on thanks to a stomach bug that derailed me for over a week and super cold temperatures. But, had I needed it, the sugar in a Honey Stinger waffle would have been allowed.
Does not include planned walks for today and tomorrow
That's it right there. In looking back, I think that's how I made it through this month without mowing down Entemann's donuts. I allowed for certain things, certain PLANNED things, and they worked for me.

I am not weighing myself until Sunday. But, even if I didn't lose a ton of weight, I am still going to keep up without the added sugar. I am really enjoying finding recipes that work with that. And I simply don't need cupcakes or brownies. But, if I were, say, celebrating my husband's birthday at the end of the month and there was cake, I might have a piece. I won't obsess over it, but if I want it, I will eat it and enjoy it. And if I don't enjoy it, I will stop eating it and let him finish it.

Now, let's hope March doesn't come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. I am ready for spring.

How was your February?


  1. Love all those bullet points! Great job this month indeed! Anxious to see how and if it made a difference! (I'm willing to bet that it did!!!) You made February your b*tch! Kudos all around!

  2. Great bullet points! I'm glad that it worked out for you, but I think allowing those exceptions is key. The added sugar in processed foods is totally unreal. I do understand it slightly in the tomato products (cuts down on the acidity), but beans? Craziness. I think a lot of it is that they formulate things to get people hooked, and sugar hooks people whether you realize it or not. We have a Trader Joe's here but going there makes me homicidal even though I love their products!

  3. hope March doesn't come in like a lion and go out like a lamb... i agree...