Day 1 ~ FAIL
My body seems to be triggered to crave sugar at exactly 3:00pm. Every day. I lose the fight against it every day too. Why is it that I can eat a delicious, healthy breakfast and a yummy salad with chicken and olive oil for lunch, but then plow through M&Ms, chocolate covered strawberries, and whatever else I was able to salvage from the kids' Valentine bags at 3:00pm???? Now I feel all bloated and crappy and on edge. I must kick this.
You didn't fail Jaygee, you may have many false starts, but you aren't failing. What strikes me is that a salad with chicken and olive oil is just not enough fat or protein (at least for me), when trying to kick a sugar craving. Perhaps a salad that was mostly chicken, and then a chaser of cream, or bread with a LOT of butter ("toothmarks" worth), but in that first week in particular, you really have to amp up the fat and protein significantly. And also, it's pretty much impossible to quit sugar with sugar in the house.
I'm actually almost crying reading this thread. It's nice to see people talk about sugar addiction as something other than a big laugh (think a pp said that, too). I have major issues with this, rooted in some psychological stuff, but the physical side definitely kicks in, too. I buy bulk candy and then eat it all in the car, so that my kids don't know about it. In the past (has been while), while I haven't made frosting, I have blended butter and sugar, as in the early stages of cookie dough, and then eaten it straight out of the bowl. Lots of sugary things that I do make me wince to admit them (and I do have a couple of people irl that I've talked about this with - dh, my bff, and a mom from dd1's ballet...who astonished me when she very seriously said, "oh, yes - I've done that, too"). And, I'm obese, so I feel as though the sugar addiction is plastered out there for everyone to see...even if they all think butter is the problem. *sigh*
So - I have kicked it in the past (as others have done, I fall back into it over Halloween/Christmas/Valentines/Easter - we have too many junk food holidays in this culture!). I also made sure to eat a fair bit of fat - butter, coconut oil, nuts, and I also took a fish oil supplement since we don't eat much fatty fish (I love salmon, but it's expensive and dh doesn't like it, so i don't eat it that often). I've found cream to be a lifesaver, because I can often "trick" myself by indulging in a large splash of cream...just in a glass, sometimes! And, I also find that it helps if I eat a fair bit of plain yogurt, and take probiotics. I'm sure that's yeast-related, although I don't know the mechanism, but it does seem to help lessen the sugar cravings.
Lately, I'm so scatter-brained and overwhelmed that it's a good day if I remember to take one of each supplement (my fish oil recommends 3X a day, and the probiotic is a twice daily), and I'm eating too much sugar and too many refined carbs. And, now it's hot cross bun season! Ugh.
It also helps a little if I can make myself think of all the awful things sugar is doing to my body while I'm eating it. I've actually thrown away half a bag of candy by doing that. But, it's hard to maintain...and sometimes it backfires by making me feel even weaker and less in control, while I keep eating it!
A splash of cream? When I first started, I drank a small glass of cream most nights. It tasted sweet, and satisfied my sweet tooth and fat tooth. (and my emotional needs since as a teenager, fat was taboo, even though I craved it and so I let myself eat the fat I wanted). yumm, cream.
Starting tomorrow I'm doing this! I'm giving up refined sugar! I read somewhere today that your brain reacts to sugar like it does to heroin (something about the same hormones being released) Uh, really? That's insane! I can't have that going on in my body.
And to a PP that mentioned yeast: Yep, me too! I've always had a yeast imbalance. Those "yeast free" diets are too strict for me right now (I barely get 5min intervals to eat with a newborn and toddler) and I don't like nuts...which are apparently a huge part of the diet. I'm going with no processed sugar. Natural sweeteners are okay.
Question: What do you do about baking? Like breads and stuff that *need* sugar to make the yeast work? Does maple syrup and honey work the same way or do you go with sugar because it's not going to be "sweet" in the end?
For bread, we use either honey or palm sugar. You can get unrefined palm sugar (at least here you can, probably online as well), which works pretty much just like white sugar. well, it works more like brown sugar, but I use it instead of white as well. Some bread recipes I use honey instead though (like my challah), and lots of breads don't any sugar at all. Yeast will work just fine with just flour.