Sunday, July 6, 2014

On and off the wagon

Hi. It's been awhile. Sorry about that. I'm not sure where all of my time goes, but it obviously hasn't gone towards blogging. 
Right now my time is spent at the crib side of an overtired, fretful baby. She should have gone to sleep over an hour ago. But she's too cranky to let herself do it. So here I blog, trying to keep her from freaking out because she's fretful and alone. 

I've been asked a lot lately about how the No Sugar diet is going. As I mentioned about 3 months ago, I've cut out added sugar from my diet. Well, I've almost cut out added sugar. The problem is that it's in almost every packaged food you get at the store:  bread, tortillas, hamburger buns, chips, crackers, cereal, etc. if you notice, those are not food items known for being sweet. Those are the "bland" and sometimes "salty " items. And they all have sugar in them. Pasta sauce does, as does ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, salad dressing, and most other sauces and condiments. It's everywhere. And it's scary. 

So, unlike a friend of mine who gets joint pain when consuming sugar, I haven't managed to cut it all out. Because I don't suffer when I eat takeout pizza. And many of the store-bought staples I listed above. Because I haven't committed yet to making my own mayo and ketchup. But maybe I should...

Occasionally I'll let myself have sugar. Because occasionally I crave something desperately. Like a Klondike bar. Or a brownie. So I let myself break my sugar fast. And it tastes so good. And then I want more sugar. So I have it. And I want more and more. Some of it tastes good. Some of it's pretty awful. And I feel nauseous. And my head feels a bit funny. And the first day of re-detox is tough again. And after all of that I'm glad to return to my new lower-sugar lifestyle. I've plateaued after losing 8 lbs. I haven't counted a calorie or cut back on anything other than the sugar. I've actually piled on the fat - butter, creamy cheeses, etc. It was the sugar that kept the baby weight on.

Here's the problem with a low-sugar life. It's really hard to do. Even just logistically hard. Want a summer cookout with burgers and fries? You have to make your own buns, ketchup, mustard, mayo, fries, and dressing for the pasta salad or potato salad. Let's not even get started on no-sugar snacks or desserts. 

Do you have time to make everything for every meal? Can you afford a chef to do it for you? 
What, no? Hmmm, what to do?

I've adjusted my habits and expectations quite a bit. The girls wanted cereal bars for a snack the other day. I ate matzo crackers with parsley pesto. And it was good. I don't have jelly on my toast any more. And I don't miss it. But filling convenience foods are hard to find. And pricey. And let's face it - most of us need convenience foods and snacks from time to time. Especially if you're trying to run multiple errands with small children.

I believe that I can continue with this lifestyle, especially if I allow myself occasional lapses. I just know that I'll suffer for them later, and I'll need to make sure the sugared food is worth it. I'm trying to figure out how to wean my children off of sugar. One of my girls can take-it-or-leave-it. One of the others demonstrates addictive tendencies, like me. How do I remove more from their diet without making them aware and reacting by eating more of it when they can? This is my challenge. 

1 comment:

  1. It is scary how sugar has sneaked into virtually everything that's sold for us to eat these days. And scary how bad it seems to be for you. Have you seen the Time magazine special on how the "low fat" diet promoted for so many years seems to have been terrible for us - partly because we just replaced the fat with sugar and other carbs? I feel sorry for all those people eating low-fat stuff they didn't like as much, and margarine instead of butter, and really that stuff was worse for them than what they wanted to eat. I'm glad my parents didn't really get the low-fat memo... and they flatly refused to eat margarine. The fact that they didn't seem to be aware that vegetables were available in other forms than canned wasn't so great, but I survived...
    Around here we just pick the lowest sugar options - mustard and mayo aren't so bad, but ketchup and BBQ sauce are out. Buns every once in a while are okay, but most sandwiches are made from homemade bread. It seems to be low enough sugar to keep his joints from aching. I just hope he never gets tired of oatmeal for breakfast - there aren't many no-sugar or low sugar cereal options.
    I will say that a significant part of my time has to be spent cooking. Since I have other food allergies, almost all convenience food is out of the equation. It's better for us, I suppose, but how am I ever supposed to go back to work? It's a little bit here and a little bit there, but making our own jams, salad dressings, condiments, bread, granola, spaghetti sauce, etc. adds up - and that's not even counting making each meal. I'm glad we both like to cook, so he can give me a weekend break from the daily grind of feeding five people every day. But not everyone is so lucky.
    By the way, a great convenience snack is nuts (as long as you're not in a nut-sensitive area). No sugar, tasty, and the protein/fat in them really sticks with you. And you can eat chips - plain potato chips just have potato, oil, and salt.
    Sometimes when I'm in the grocery store I wonder what it would look like if all the food with added sugar or ingredients I'm allergic to glowed red, and the rest was green. I think most of the store would be red...