This post is a continuation of my sugar free post, I got a request to detail my journey to being mostly sugar free and to address if I used any sugar substitutes, etc.
In the last post I talked about my starting point ten years ago when I quit drinking soda cold turkey. It was miserable to say the least for the first week as I dealt with headaches and intense cravings for the sugary beverage. As a substitute for soda, I allowed myself a cup of koolaid every other day…koolaid was one step up in my opinion because I directly controlled the amount of sugar in it and I tended to put a bunch of ice-cubes in my glass to water it down and make it last longer.
Right after that…I did nothing. Seriously, at that point I was in High school and was not a very conscious eater about what I was putting into my body. I actually quit pop on a dare and to prove to my mother that it could be done. 🙂
About 5 years later I started thinking about what I was eating, and I became increasingly frustrated by the ingredients lists on the back of processed foods. I mean really, can you pronounce half of the ingredients in a box of ding dongs? I can’t.
So I thought about it, and started SLOWLY incorporating more vegetables and fruits into my diet. Skip forward another year and I decided to do an experiment because I was pretty sure that I was suffering from food intolerances. So I cut dairy completely from my diet and started feeling a bit better…then I cut gluten and eventually all grains from my diet.
Again at this point it wasn’t so much my goal to be “healthier” so much so as it was just to eliminate the symptoms I was having from the intolerances. A few months after eliminating those food items, I was feeling a thousand times better. All of the bloating, cramps, skin irritations, constipation, and general lethargies was evaporating as though it had never been there.
I no longer felt that heavy feeling after I ate, I could eat a huge meal and get right up and go without having to unbutton my pants (you know what I’m talking about lol). It was great. I started making more things from scratch since there weren’t as many options at the stores in packages.
I rode on that train for another few years and then a little over a year ago I started becoming interested in minimalism and Zero-waste, as well as watching documentaries on what is actually in our food and researching the effects of food dyes and preservatives on our bodies.
At that point I had easily cut out over 50% of the packaged foods I had been eating because I was no longer consuming grains or dairy. But I still was consuming more sugar than I should have. As I started incorporating Zero-waste principles into my daily living I realized that packaged foods are a modern invention that aren’t really healthy for us at all, and then there is that pesky problem of all the garbage they produce.
Anywho, over the coarse of the last year I have cut out 95% of packaged foods out of my diet and now am eating fresh foods like fruits and vegetables for most of my meals.
My taste buds have definitely changed over the past decade, and for me it was a very slow process. I did not do this overnight by any means, and I didn’t go cold turkey on sugar except for the soda, I slowly weaned myself off of the rest of it. There are some who can go completely cold turkey without any relapses, but I am not one of those people (except for the soda, but that was sheer stubbornness to win a dare). It takes time to incorporate any serious change into your lifestyle…baby steps in the right direction.
I hope this covered all of the questions I received, if you have any others please leave them in the comments.