Life without sugar, A.k.a. as little sugar as possible

The title might be a bit misleading…my lifestyle and dietary restrictions have really opened my eyes to the amount of sugar that is in everyday food items. Now do I live without consuming sugar at all? Hell no. I do enjoy my 85% dark chocolate bars, and there is sugar in BBQ sauce, as well as the occasional bit of dairy free ice cream….but for the most part I have been avoiding it.

This change hasn’t necessarily been intentional, more a by-product of my minimalist and zero-waste lifestyle and my dietary restrictions.

It has been one of the best things I could have done for myself though…let me explain why. 🙂

It started over a decade ago when I made the very brave decision to quit drinking soda. It was pure torture for almost two weeks, I had withdrawal headaches and cravings like you wouldn’t believe…I felt like a drug addict that was going through detox. Which was pretty much what I was, a sugar addict going through detox.

A month later though…I was feeling a million times better. I suddenly had more energy, and my cravings for the soda were slowly but surely disappearing. A year later I took one sip of a soda and found that it was so sickeningly sweet that I spit it out. I haven’t consumed any since then.

When I was drinking it all the time I didn’t realize how sweet it was, my taste buds were used to it. Now a decade later and my taste buds have been on the detox of a lifetime.

Where before, dark chocolate was repulsive and bitter, I now can’t eat any less than 85% dark chocolate because I find it TOO SWEET. I can taste everything in it’s pure form and it is delicious. I find that fruits can satisfy my sweet tooth amply, with the occasional chocolate bar as a treat.

I’ve gone from eating tons of processed foods with hidden sugar disguised as corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, etc…to now eating 95% whole foods (a.k.a. ones without an ingredients list) and only perhaps 5% of my food is packaged or has a bit of sugar in it.

I’ve never felt better! I haven’t been sick or ill in over two years and I find that I have tons of extra energy. I’m no longer lethargic or lagging in the middle of the day, and I don’t have sugar highs or lows.

Now does this mean that I am recommending a lifestyle sans sugar or for you to nix goodies and treats all together…absolutely not. I just think that we need to be more aware of the sheer amount of sugar we are consuming. Anything in excess can be harmful to your health, especially sugar and really less is more. Now that my taste buds have adjusted to my healthier diet, I can actually taste when anything is amiss with my food or if there is an ingredient in it that I am not used to.

Bonus points, when you cleanse your palette of the excess sugar it also means you don’t have to use as much salt and other spices in your food to actually taste it. 🙂

I mean really, everyone complains that it takes too much time to make things from scratch…but it doesn’t. Did you know it takes exactly the same amount to make Mac N’ Cheese from scratch with dry pasta and fresh cheese as it does to make the artificial one from the box? The EXACT same amount of time, but the results are sooo much better both in taste and in health.

Even if you think I’m taking things to the extreme, I dare you to take one thing out of your diet (whichever bit contains the most amount of sugar) and stop eating it for one month. Just one. At the end of that month, try eating or drinking it again…I’ll bet it doesn’t taste the same as it did before…and you might even  a bit of extra energy you didn’t have before, or your skin might get clearer, or you may even lose a few pounds, who knows? The positive possibilities are endless 😉

Have you gone on a sugar detox? Let me know in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Life without sugar, A.k.a. as little sugar as possible

  1. I did indeed try a sugar detox, but that was for only one week and reminded me that it’s probably my only (but worst) vice. No problems with soda, coffee, never drink alcohol and hate shopping. But ask me about chocolate, and I get sensitive. Needless to say, during that one week I went without I felt cravings every evening, like the impuse to check Facebook when you have just done it one hour ago. I think I’m slowly reducing it, bit by bit, and some things are already too sweet for me. One day… on another note, I’ve heard a huge amount of zero wasters who found it beneficial for their health to only eat ‘real’ food. I don’t know if it’s the bad weather here (rain every day) or if the sugar really plays a more important role than I thought, but I still get ill as much as before, and no amount of fruit, grains or greens seems to be able to change that. Hm. I blame the weather.

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  2. I went a week just eating protein and vegetables and lost 7 pounds. It was so hard, especially the first 3 days. I had headaches, felt week, shaky. I thought of giving up but I’m glad I stuck it out be cause the difference in how I felt was amazing! However… holidays came along and have now passed… so I wanted to slowly start eliminating it from my diet again. Since January 17th, I haven’t had soda. My cravings were so bad the first 2 weeks, that I dreamt my mom (of all people) made me drink soda and I woke up all freaked out. Even in my dream, I didn’t have it though! 🙂

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    1. The dream part is funny! same thing happened when I went vegan, after a couple of weeks, I had a dream that my husband tricked me into eating a cheeseburger!! lol I woke up so mad at him!

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  3. So good to read this! I quit sugar last year (except for fruit and suuuuuper dark chocolate, over 85% like you!), and it’s amazing how much my tastes have changed. Morning oatmeal without sweetener used to be unthinkable…now eating it with sugar would be unbearably sweet! Best of all, going cold turkey has made resisting sugar so easy – no fuss, no qualms, no guilt. I’ll never go back. Xo.

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