Friday, April 11, 2014

The Results of my "Day of No Sugar" Challenge

When I was a kid I remember my mom saying she couldn't drink caffeine except in the morning or it would keep her up all night.  She also couldn't eat a big dessert in the daytime or she'd feel tired all day.  {I wonder what would happen if she ate a big dessert in the middle of the day with a big can of soda?}  As a kid, I didn't understand.  I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and it didn't affect my energy.

Now that I'm old-er, I feel the effects of what I consume daily.  At first I thought I was tired all the time because I had little ones to care for all day and night.  My day-to-day activities as a stay at home mom are much more labor intensive than my previous desk job. While this probably does contribute to my tired state, I now realize that my eating habits, which changed after I had kids, are probably also to blame.

Before I had kids I was very conscious of what I ate.  I had a quick, healthy breakfast in the morning before I headed out to work.  I generally packed a healthy lunch that I brought to work.  And for dinner I'd either get take outs (not particularly healthy), eat cereal (not great but better than take outs), or my husband cooked a healthy meal (a BIG thank you goes out to my father-in-law for being the cook in their family and setting a good example for my husband!).  I was always aware of my calories - even if I was blowing it - and tried to make good choices when it came to meals.

Then I had kids and became a stay at home mom.  If I'm not in my car, I'm in the kitchen. That's pretty much what I do all day.  Go from my car to the kitchen over and over and over again.  You'd think that with all that time in the kitchen I'd make myself a decent meal.  But it hasn't worked like that.  I find myself eating bits of food here and there as I prepare a meal for my kids - staving off the hunger until I can find time to eat again. I've become less conscious of what I eat day-to-day. My gauge for how I'm doing is how tight jeans fit.

The truth is that my kids are healthier eaters than I am because I still control what they eat. I hold them to a higher standard of healthy eating than I hold myself.  Very hypocritical.  I always tell my husband that it would be great if one of our girls ended world hunger, but at the end of the day I just want them to be healthy.  For me, healthy = happy.

When I read about the "Day of No Sugar" challenge I knew that I needed to make changes in my eating habits and I was ready.  This was a great opportunity to say "today is the day". While I may make it sound easy, it wasn't.  I was very nervous.  No sugar?  What will I eat all day?  As I looked through my fridge and pantry, I was amazed at how much stuff (especially the pantry stuff) contained sugar.  I was not well prepared and I was being tempted everywhere I went.  I honestly saw this car on the day I couldn't eat sugar!

But I made it through the day and was very surprised to find that I was never very hungry or tired!  Here's what I ate:

- Banana
- 1/2 apple (left over from making Ava's school lunch)
Larabar (Chocolate Coconut Chew)
- water

Lunch-ish: (I ate these things over the course of a few hours)
- Bowl of Fiber One cereal (I actually like this stuff!) and skim milk
- Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits (yum! these are good!)
- Cantaloupe
- Mixed nuts
- water

- Omelette with onions, peppers, tomatoes and avocado
- Banana
- water

I normally drink coffee but I didn't have the chance to make it so I didn't have any caffeine all day and I still felt great; never tired!  It helped that the weather yesterday was BEAUTIFUL which meant I was outside with my kids most of the day (and not in the kitchen tempted by food).

While I don't plan to give up sugar entirely (I'm doing major research on how to re-create the Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie), I do plan to make some healthy changes to my diet and be more aware of the foods I eat.  I owe to myself and my family to take care of myself and I'm so thankful for the "Day of No Sugar" challenge.  It has been a great kick-start for me.

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