Friday, September 21, 2007

Sugar ... ahhh, honey, honey!

NOTE: We are a family with food allergies, so I understand that what WE do may not even be possible for your family (we have to avoid eggs and nuts - years ago we had to avoid wheat). We can have soy. You may not. Get the idea?

I'm going on almost two full weeks of cutting out refined sugars from our home. Ya' know what? No one is any worse for the wear!

Please don't hate me. Please, please, PLEASE! I have to say something. You're gonna' hate it. You're gonna' spit at the screen. You're gonna' flip me off. Okay ... here goes:

When you cut out refined sugars, it DRASTICALLY reduces your sugar cravings. We've all heard it, but it really is true.

Take your time. Get it out. I know you're hacked off.

You're like me. You wanted to hear, "Take this new green pill you can pick up at Walgreen's and it will DRASTICALLY reduce your sugar cravings!" Yeah, well. Life sucks.

Anywho - back to the whole no-refined-sugar thing. It really has been fine. I am giving myself one treat a week (which, last week, was a big, fat funnel cake at the Fair!). Yet, since the sugar cravings started to dissolve, I'm not thinking about and craving stuff like that (and didn't finish ... my funnel cake ... CHRISTINE DIDN'T FINISH A FUNNEL CAKE! HELL IS FREEZING OVER!!)

We're also cutting out chocolate and vinegar (any "Feast Without Yeast" groupies out there?). I'm not doing die-hard Feasting Without Yeasting (heh!), but there are certainly some more major changes we are making in that direction (and I am very happy with some of the recipes in the book).

I'm not a total newbie to a whole foods diet, vegetarian/vegan cooking, etc. However, it is always a challenge to still provide your kids with some treats,while cutting out refined sugars. Yet, with substitutions, you can still treat yourself to new and old recipes, while avoiding the worst of things in your pantry and adding in some fabulous nutrition!

1. I trade out cow's milk for soy milk.

2. We use honey (3/4 cup to replace one cup of sugar) and Stevia to replace sugar.

3. When we shop, we read labels and tend to buy only in the health food sections to avoid refined sugars and fructose, schmuctose and other bluketoses!

4. I, apparently, am the last person on the earth that has a child allergic to eggs who has NOT heard of Ener-G Egg Replacer until recently. This stuff has changed my daughter's life ("I can have the waffles now????" said while jumping up and down).

5. We have cut out chocolate. It's only a special occasion type of thing now.

We have made so many gradual changes over the years. This is simply another step for us. I have only cooked with olive oil and canola oil for years. I haven't had white flour in my cabinet in who knows how long. I also do my best to substitute some milled flax seed or wheat germ for some of the flour in a lot of recipes.

I'm rambling now, but seriously - the sugar cravings are next-to-nothing now. I have not quite hit the two-week mark. Despite all the many changes I have tried in the last decade, this is my first time to ban sugar. It has also brought about the most drastic effects of any other diet changes.

Like it or not ...

(photo by Maria Kaloudi -


M&Co. said...

Oh I think my family would lynch me if we tried to take sugar out of the diet. Since we've removed wheat, dairy and corn and made it Feingold Friendly (no artificial flavors, colors preservatives or artificial or natural salicylate) sugar is about the only thing we've got anymore. We've also given up chocolate but that wasn't really a conscious decision more of the fall out of of the above diet.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Heather said...

You're my hero! I didn't say I was following suit with the sugar removal, (we try) but you are my hero! Any solutions to removing cravings for greasy food?! I'm not a sugar addict, just a pizza junky! YUMMO!It's the salty cheese that gets me everytime!! Maybe I should just salt my low fat mozzerella sticks and call 'er good! HUMMMMM.....

Christine said...

Heather, ya' know, when you cut out all of the sugar, you will find that your food cravings, in general, are curbed. We're ending our second week, and I see it in our kids - not my husband. He eats whatever he wants when he's away from home, so it hasn't had quite the same effect on him.

I'm feeling true hunger for the first time in my life. I'm not desiring to feed my emotions with food. It's good. Weird, but good.

M&Co, your family won't miss sugar! Cook their treats instead of buying them (of course, you do have to do the cooking, so that may screw you over right there! ha! ha!). Within a week, their bodies will be losing that sugar craving, and they'll be crazy about what you are making! I make a batch of cookies, or whatever, and freeze half, so I can always have some sort of afternoon treat for them, without having to cook so much everyday.

Mary Beth said...

Preach on, sister! Jay made sugar-free cupcakes for Joshua's first birthday and you would've thought the world was coming to an end. Joshua thought they were great--'cause he's never had sugar!--but family and friends thought we were nuts.

Hubby has liver disease and we followed the Specific Carbohydrate diet for a long time. No sugar, no white flour, all that stuff. It was absolutely amazing how much better we felt...totally unbelievable. We need to get back on it again now that I'm not pregnant and not making the "I'm pregnant and I can eat anything excuse!"

As serious as we are about keeping Joshua away from sugar and lots of starches, hubby and I should be doing better ourselves. But keep at it...I think you're awfully wise (and you look great!)

amy said...

any suggestions for curbing salt cravings? my problem is not sweets. i could eat pretzels, crackers, and above all CHIPS (any kind of chip really but especially potato chips) all day any day. what do ya say about that?

Stephanie said...

My boyfriend is allergic to dairy so he LOVES Soy Delicious ice cream. I don't may have sugar, though.

Christine said...

Amy, check this out:

"Did you know that excess sodium can dull your taste buds? The good news: In a few weeks or months you can curb your high-salt cravings, says Dr. Gary Beauchamp, director of Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, who discovered in the 1980s that people’s “bliss point” or the “just right” amount of salt could be lowered by following a strict low-sodium diet. In one five-month study, he found that college students’ average daily consumption of sodium dropped about 40%.

“By lowering your sodium needs, your taste buds come alive again,” says dietitian Jeff Novick. “We see it all the time at the Pritikin Center. Guests tell us that for the first time they’re ‘tasting” the natural sweetness of corn on the cob, the nuttiness of whole grain breads and pastas. It’s a whole new world of flavors once you’re rid of the salt habit.”

Amy T. S. said...

Hey, girl. Is it a big fat myth that soy products can be troublesome with hormones? I've lost my communication abilities so that may not make sense, but I've heard several people that soy's link to estrogen can be a problem. I'm not sure I buy it. Not sure. What say ye?

Casdok said...

Interesting! Thank you!!
I will remember that when i want to binge!

Christine said...


Everything in moderation. No one should make soy their main or only source of protein (even babies - and more studies are finally being done on the effects a year of soy formula may have on a child).

We Americans can be really bad about fixating on one or two foods - period. We have to retrain ourselves how to eat a variety of foods. We stink at balance.

Even the studies comparing American and China consumption of soy can be confusing and debated.

I'm still reading and waiting for more findings. However, I keep the kids in check (they don't drink any milk as a beverage, etc.).