by Emma Thake

Our Sweet Escape: Part 3

We’ve made it pretty far, half way to be exact! We’re all getting used to our sugar free lives, the food options out there for us, and so on. However, some of us are definitely finding it a little harder than others…


I have to be honest: this whole ‘no sugar thing’ is really hard & it sucks. I’m terrible at it. I’m weirdly always thinking about it, like an ex-boyfriend that I’m so totally over, but not really. If sugar had a Facebook page I would be stalking it right now. I’m like a prisoner daydreaming of my furlough… what’s the first thing I’m gonna do when this is over?

Despite how much I miss my old friend Sugar, I’ve been doing a pretty good job staying away! My issue is the need for sweet, so I’ve been finding little loop holes: fruit, honey, so on. Week three I am going to try and cut that out too. 


Week two without sugar has been a struggle. The polar bear is getting bigger and harder to ignore. I thought I would stop craving sugar as much, but that hasn’t happened. I think I’m eating too much fruit. Dried fruit can be deceiving. With out the water you can eat quite a bit of it, and then before you realize it you’ve eaten the equivalent of 7 apricots and 2 mangos worth of sugar, and that was just a snack! So I’m cutting back on fruit. Which is hard. I really like sweet food! 

I am getting used to my new breakfast of peanut butter on rye bread toast. It’s keeping me focused and full until lunch time. And we have so many snacks around the office and other people avoiding sugar that I’ve been good until I get home. Then temptation sneaks into my thoughts. “No one will know if I eat that ice cream” But I will know. I really should throw that pint away.


All has been going well in week two of avoiding sugar. Things like alcohol (sugar) and carbs (sugar) are still in the picture but avoiding the white stuff and the ‘fake’ stuff has been pretty easy going. However, there was a minor glitch in the system when I realized that the dried cranberries I put in my favorite salad recipe are (of course) filled with sugar. I will admit at first I mostly turned a blind eye to this but decided to read the ingredients and well: there it was! Cranberries are a beautiful and sour food (great for the liver-ey Spring time in Chinese medicine) but just as Cranberry juice (often a go-to for UTI’s) often has sugar added… so do the dried ones! So, there you have it: a lesson, yet again, on reading the label! I’ll be doing some travel in the next two weeks including a bike ride to honor a friend of mine that passed two years ago and then off to the land of sausages (Vienna!). While away, it will probably be a bit of a challenge to be super strict and frankly, I probably won’t be! Pastries in Budapest? Yes! I’ll share my journey once back!


For me this second week has actually been going well – surprisingly so, given what a sugar fiend I am. I have been making conscious choices and keeping 95% of the sugar that I would typically and mindlessly inhale out of my diet. In all honesty, I have definitely stepped up my fruit intake because I do get cravings. However, those cravings aren’t as bad and aren’t accompanied by crashing fatigue that I am trying to claw my way out of. I am more focused on what I am doing, and I am less distracted by where my next fix is coming from. All in all things are more even-keeled across the board. 

Last night I ordered food for dinner that wound up having a discernible amount of sugar in the seasoning. It felt like a bit of a booby trap and, a little bit like I let myself down. But after a moment of thinking about how things could have gone so so terribly awry, I made my peace with it and enjoyed the meal. Oddly though, It didn’t feel satisfying – like I was getting a free pass on the sugar. It was just a thing that happened and the food really wasn’t any better for it. I guess the process of reducing the load of sugar in my diet is working. It’s just feeling right. 


This week of the sugar elimination was much easier, but I still have to check myself a lot. Since most of my day to day routine meals are without sugar, I haven’t had to think about it much, but now I’ve hit my PMS week and my brain always tends to want more sugar and “treats” around this time. I find myself considering the sweet treats someone brought in to work or wondering what’s for dessert, but then I have to remind myself that I’m off the sauce, so It’s not an option. Since there’s no debate, and I’m not physically craving it, I think it’s easier. Thank goodness I got off sugar last week before the hormones came into play!  Progesterone naturally increases our appetites after ovulation, so I find I have to plan good solid meals with plenty of fiber and protein to fill me up. Otherwise the caged animal feeling can creep in and all I can think about is chocolate. I find that when I cut sugar out of my diet it actually helps ease a lot of PMS symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, irritability, and constipation.  All in all, this week was much easier! YinOvaSugarFree30

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