How do you do it? Eliminating sugars - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 03-23-2010, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a crunchy mama in most ways - cloth diapers, breastfeeding, AP, etc... But the one thing I seem to struggle with is my own eating habits. I enjoy good, healthy food and eat things that feed my body well, but I also REALLY REALLY enjoy junk and seem to be drawn to it daily. The more I fight it, the more I crave it.

I am not overweight, but I am not as thin as I once was, either. I exercise fairly regularly (really trying to) and am 35 years old. I am exhausted every minute of my day and I am sure it is because of the excess sugar and refined carbs in my diet.

So to mamas on a no simple sugars eating plan, how on earth did you cut out all those delicious foods? Where did you find the will power? I know I will feel better if I do, I just can't seem to motivate myself to take the plunge. Any tips?!!

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#2 of 28 Old 03-23-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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This is what has worked for me:
Find a diet buddy - someone you will hold yourself responsible to. Whether that's your DH or your BFF or someone online, doesn't matter. They don't have to be doing what you are, they just have to be someone you are responsible to.
Commit to doing it cheat-free for 3 weeks. It takes 3 weeks to form a habit, so if you can do it for that long, it will become much easier. But you have to be really strict with it for those 3 weeks.
Empty the kitchen of anything you can't have. Put the rest of the family on the diet with you. If your OH wants to eat it, make him do it out of the house.
Meal plan. Be sure to include snacks and "treats". Allow for the fact that the first week your food intake will increase as you detox. For many people it's a constant hunger, so you need plenty of snack foods. Fat and protein are your friends.
If you have to eat outside the house, pack your meals whenever possible, or opt for ethnic cuisine over American. Most ethnic cuisines are easy to get without the refined carbs.

That's what's worked for me.

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#3 of 28 Old 03-23-2010, 07:03 PM
 
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Do you have a candida issue? I ask because, for me, my body screams "SUGAR!!!". I have a candida issue, and I've read that when you have yeast, your body craves the sugars to feed the yeast. If someone could elaborate more on this that would be great

I personally, because of this, have a hard time kicking the sugars.

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#4 of 28 Old 03-23-2010, 07:15 PM
 
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My tips are this:

DO NOT bring any junk into your house. Only shop when you are satiated (not hungry or craving anything!) and this shouldn't be too hard. Unless you eat out a lot, this should take care of most of the time.

When you are craving and going nuts, have something a little sweet, like a handful of raisins or a few ounces of orange juice or a small square of dark chocolate. Might seem like a sad substitute at first, but your body will learn!

When you are really going nuts, allow yourself to bake something (sometimes the effort stops you and you get over your craving!) DO NOT KEEP WHITE SUGAR! Keep molassas and Rapadura and collect a few good recipes using whole wheat flour (whole 'white' wheat is not noticeable in cakes).

I just started making a "cake" which was shared with me by a friend. It is only sweetened with molassas and not very much--it barely tastes sweet. BUT when you can acclimate your taste buds to less sweetness, you don't need much sweet to taste sweet--make any sense?

So now, every 2 weeks or so when I am really craving something sweet, I make this molassas spice cake and even drizzle a smidge of raw honey on it. It totally satisfies my craving!


If soda is an issue, try flavored kombucha (I like GT's Synergy).

Good luck! You can do it!
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#5 of 28 Old 03-23-2010, 07:40 PM
 
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as pp mentioned gts kombucha is a good sub for soda, though if you are so inclined as to drink the whole bottle like yours truly, there are 16-18 grams carbs/sugar (which is how i count sugars, though some people do net carbs which is whats left over after fiber is subtracted...) in one bottle. still, compared to a coke, which has about 40 grams carbs/sugar, 16 is much better!

cravings for sugar are an addictive feeling and behavior. i eat lower carb and still havent totally gotten over it. but my taste for sweets, even sweet fruit, has gone waaaay down. now if i bake, which is more rare, i bake with nut flours rather then wheat or rice flour (non- nut flours are all pretty high in easily digestable carbs which turns into sugar very quickly in your bloodstream). also when i bake using a recipe such as one here www.elanaspantry.com, i cut the amount of sweetener called for by 3/4. meaning for every cup of sugar, honey, agave whathaveyou, i use .25 cup. no one here comlains, the treats still taste yummy. nuts and other good fats impart a sweet and fatty flavor that can take the place of sugar.

there are some good suggestions in the following article too, though my own beliefs on carbohydrates are not in line with the authors (i believe most folks would be quite healthy and happy on less carbs):
http://www.thegardenofeatingdiet.com/Articles/sugar.pdf

really, honey, sucanat, white sugar, palm sugar, maple syrup, etc. are all sugar, they all have 4 grams sugar per tsp and they all turn to sugar in our bodies and delete us of minerals and vitamins and make us crave more sugar. i try and remind myself of this.
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#6 of 28 Old 03-23-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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Stay away from sodas, sweets, chocolates and pastries. Its a simple way of eliminating sugar.

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#7 of 28 Old 03-23-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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as a pp said, you have to get through 2-3 weeks without ANY refined sugar, at all. Cold turkey. It is the only way to do it.

To get through this:
-get rid of all sugar in your house. candy from under the kid's beds from halloween/easter etc, ice cream in the fridge, if you bake, a bag of sugar. (If you don't bake, you can keep the sugar, ime. we only use it for kombucha, and because I only bake for birthdays, I was not inclined to bake with it during withdrawl periods). brownie mix, crackers with corn syrup, soda, etc. Everything with sugar, corn syrup, or other refined sweetners. even a little bit.

-Get some fruit, honey, maple syrup, lots of healthy fats (butter and coconut oil are great) and some nut butter. Fruit, nut butter (pb, coconut oil and raisins was my go to withdrawl dessert.)

-eat a lot of healthy fats. Sugar cravings are sometimes just the physical addiction, sometimes the mental addiction, and sometimes, needing protein and fat. After about a year of healthy fats, not eating sugar was completely a non issue. It was challenging at times, but totally possible before then. It was a matter of catching up on my fat, which I was severely deprived of.

-nuts are slightly sweet, dried fruit, fresh fruit, are your best friends for detoxing (nuts/nut butter is best, or fruit with coconut oil/butter, because the fat will help with the craving a lot.)

re: candida, I don't know that much about it.

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#8 of 28 Old 03-24-2010, 03:29 AM
 
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I have actually been sugar free (99%) for maybe a little over a month. I can't believe it really. I am an A#1 sugar addict and would never ever dream of going completely sugar free.... until I did. I am having some digestive issues and have been in awareness of my addiction to sugar for some time so I decided to bite the bullet and do it.

It is surprising how completely EASY eating no sugar is right now. My body does not crave it anymore... except occaisionally I get a bad craving but it isn't anything like it was at the first.

Like the PP's said. I went shopping and got myself lots of nuts, dates, raisins, fruit, coconut oil, etc.... and I read all the labels. I say 99% sugar free because I know there is sugar in ketchup and I have had ketchup this month. There is some sugar in mayo and dressing and BBQ sauce. I have cut out much of this too, but it takes time to be 100%. I went to the farmers market and got local honey... a large amount. I eat a spoonful of honey and peanut butter when I need a sweet lift. I put honey in my coffee now (no cream, another thing I never thought I would do.... drink black coffee).

I must say it is difficult to see the remainder of my family still go for the sugar all the time. I get a little sad seeing it and wish I could influence them enough to stop eating soo much of it. I do my best to guide them but even I fall short of providing a perfect diet for my 5 year old. There are so many cookies and jello and such in our house that it just aint happening right now.

I have chosen to lead by example.

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#9 of 28 Old 03-24-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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The two things that helped me the most were:
1. starting by cutting out the sugary beverages. Most people get WAY too much sugar from what they drink, and you can cut an enormous amount of sugar out by just stopping drinking it. You can substitute fruity herbal teas-- I make a selection of them in pitchers and put them in the fridge to chill.

2. increasing my consumption of good healthy satisfying dietary fats. Fats fill you up, make you feel satiated, so you're not craving food constantly. A diet higher in fat will mean more stable blood sugar and thus fewer cravings. And you'll probably find that without the sugar, you're really not consuming many more calories than you did before.

Brushing your teeth immediately after a meal can often help you avoid the "gotta have dessert" feeling.

Keep plenty of fresh and dried fruit in the house so you can resort to that when you have unbearable sweet cravings.

Read labels. If you're buying packaged foods, sugar sometimes hides out in some really unlikely places. Look for options that contain no sugar, corn syrup, etc.

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#10 of 28 Old 03-24-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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Everything the pps have said.

I've also found it helpful to take a probiotic. I don't know if it has anything to do with candida, or if it's purely a placebo effect, or what - but if I'm taking a probiotic regularly, my sugar cravings drop. (I discovered this while taking them post-op after my fourth c-section, which makes me think it may be a physical effect, but if it is, I don't know the biochemistry behind it.)

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#11 of 28 Old 03-24-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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Read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. It's about a lot more than sugar, but is an incredibly important, convincing book. You'll never want to eat sugar or refined carbs again after reading it.

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#12 of 28 Old 03-24-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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I found that if I eat more saturated fat, I crave sugar less. An idea I used to quit putting sugar in my oatmeal for breakfast, was to add unsweetened apple sauce to it instead. Sweetens it up a little, but without the sugar (though I guess apples have sugar).

I eat a piece of fruit with/after each meal. This helps me some, as I finish the meal with a sweet taste, so I don't crave sweets as much.

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#13 of 28 Old 03-24-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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That's interesting about the relationship between satiety, fats, and sugars. I recently cut out most of the fat from my diet, even the healthy fats, because it was triggering my IBS so badly. I cut out fried foods and trans fats years ago, but apparently even oils like coconut and olive were setting me off. And since I did that, I've been jonesing for a lot more sugar than normal. Huh.
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#14 of 28 Old 03-25-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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I tried diet soda, as I was trying the whole sugar free diet.... the taste was insipid.

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#15 of 28 Old 03-25-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiztic View Post
My tips are this:

DO NOT bring any junk into your house. Only shop when you are satiated (not hungry or craving anything!) and this shouldn't be too hard. Unless you eat out a lot, this should take care of most of the time.

When you are craving and going nuts, have something a little sweet, like a handful of raisins or a few ounces of orange juice or a small square of dark chocolate. Might seem like a sad substitute at first, but your body will learn!

When you are really going nuts, allow yourself to bake something (sometimes the effort stops you and you get over your craving!) DO NOT KEEP WHITE SUGAR! Keep molassas and Rapadura and collect a few good recipes using whole wheat flour (whole 'white' wheat is not noticeable in cakes).

I just started making a "cake" which was shared with me by a friend. It is only sweetened with molassas and not very much--
it barely tastes sweet. BUT when you can acclimate your taste buds to less sweetness, you don't need much sweet to taste sweet--make any sense?

So now, every 2 weeks or so when I am really craving something sweet, I make this molassas spice cake and even drizzle a smidge of raw honey on it. It totally satisfies my craving!


If soda is an issue, try flavored kombucha (I like GT's Synergy).

Good luck! You can do it!
Would you share the recpie, please?
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#16 of 28 Old 03-25-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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I molasses...please share the recipe

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#17 of 28 Old 03-25-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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you've gotten great advice. it wasn't too long ago that i gave up caffeine & sugar, so i relate to your post. it was really hard for the first 4 days, but after that, i honestly felt great (and continually feel great!). i drink water kefir in place of soda cravings (which is easy & cheap to make). i also LOVE lacroix water, which is carbonated and yummy. otherwise, i'll drink brita water. i also have a smoothie every morning & that is sweet & yummy! i use almond milk & mix it with loads of mixed fruit. i freeze my bananas & add them in last (it adds a milkshake kind of feel to the smoothie). you could also make popsicles with this! if i have a sweet tooth, i make a yummy breakfast bread. it has whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, 2 ripe bananas, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and molasses. it is super delicious. anyway - getting off sugar is really much easier than you would think. there are many alternative options to fill the craving. hang in there. you can do this! hugs.

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#18 of 28 Old 03-25-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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I cut out sugar and grains in late December and after the first week it was actually...EASY! I'm dealing with celiac and chronic yeast issues so it was really essential for me. I've always craved sugar badly which I now attribute to yeast overgrowth.

For me I have to cut out the starchy/sweet stuff cold turkey for at least a week and load up on more protein and some fat. I can't eat high fat because I have gallbladder and fat absorption issues but a little fat with each meal is really helpful for me. After getting rid of the sugar cravings I've allowed myself a little bit of fruit and raw honey because I'm EBFing and need to keep my milk supply up. I can still have "sweets" on occasion made with a little nut/coconut flour and honey or a fruit smoothie, but I don't really crave them like I used to. They are barely sweet compared to regular sweet stuff, but they totally do the trick for me now. I'm slowly losing weight without every feeling hungry or deprived. Food feels like fuel rather than an addiction to me now. I totally think removing sugar from my system has helped.

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#19 of 28 Old 03-25-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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I cut sugar of all kinds and even most fruit out of my diet this weekend-- cold turkey. I felt horrible on Monday and Tuesday and still feel vaguely yucky, but better every day.

Eat TONS of fat. I weaned myself off sugar and on to bacon. No, seriously- make sure you're getting enough fat that your body understands that it needs to start burning that now instead of carbs and sugar.

Exercise seems to help the withdrawal, I've noticed, but it's hard to get motivated sometimes when you feel icky. Good luck!

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#20 of 28 Old 03-25-2010, 08:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
you've gotten great advice. it wasn't too long ago that i gave up caffeine & sugar, so i relate to your post. it was really hard for the first 4 days, but after that, i honestly felt great (and continually feel great!). i drink water kefir in place of soda cravings (which is easy & cheap to make). i also LOVE lacroix water, which is carbonated and yummy. otherwise, i'll drink brita water. i also have a smoothie every morning & that is sweet & yummy! i use almond milk & mix it with loads of mixed fruit. i freeze my bananas & add them in last (it adds a milkshake kind of feel to the smoothie). you could also make popsicles with this! if i have a sweet tooth, i make a yummy breakfast bread. it has whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, 2 ripe bananas, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and molasses. it is super delicious. anyway - getting off sugar is really much easier than you would think. there are many alternative options to fill the craving. hang in there. you can do this! hugs.
Plkease people ( ) post these low sugar recipes! They sound delicious...
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#21 of 28 Old 03-25-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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Molasses Cake

2 Eggs
2 cups flour (whole wheat preferably)
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup molasses (I ran out, so used 1/4 cup molasses and 1/4 cup maple syrup--yum!)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup oil/melted butter (I used 1/4 cup butter and 1.4 cup olive oil)
1 tsp. vanilla
optional spices (I used 1 tsp. cinnamon and ginger and 1/2 t. clove, would have used nutmeg but I was out!)

Beat eggs, then add everything else, mixing as you go or all at once--hard to mess up this cake! Grease a pan and lightly flour it, bake at 350 for 45 minutes or more (depends on depth of your pan, I used a loaf pan and it took almost an hour.

If you aren't too strict about sweets, I like to drizzle a little raw honey on the top of each slice once it's plated. Yumm---and still not even close to the sweetness of a 'normal' cake.

Enjoy!

For TFers: I am planning to soak the flour next time (with the yogurt).
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#22 of 28 Old 03-25-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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Please people ( ) post these low sugar recipes! They sound delicious...
i don't measure anything when making breakfast bread. i just eyeball it, but i'll try to give rough guesstimates

- about 3 cups of whole wheat flour
- a handful of ground flaxseed
- a tablespoon-ish of cinnamon
- a hit of baking powder & baking soda ...maybe a 1/2 teaspoon each??? i dunno, lol. (but you could use a pack of yeast & a pinch of salt)

whisk dry ingredients together

- in separate bowl, mash 2 ripe bananas.
- add about 1/2 cup of molasses (give or take).
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil (about-ish)
- teaspoon-ish vanilla
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup raisins
- walnuts to your liking ...chopped pecans are yummy too!
- add cut up apple if you're so inclined

mix all ingredients with your hands. if it's too dry, i just add almond milk to thin it. i've also used almond milk pulp & that works pretty good too. anyway, i'm pretty sure that's everything i do.

cook on 350 degrees for about 35-45 minutes. because i never use exact measurements - the time will vary. it should be firm to touch.

i hope this makes sense. it's a very dense bread. i cut it up and refrigerate it in a ziploc. my husband loves them as snack bars when he's on the go.

hth!

ETA - i made this recipe up...so feel free to add & delete items. i'm constantly doing that with it & it gets better each time!!!

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#23 of 28 Old 03-25-2010, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow!!!

So much great advice! Thank you everyone! I am going to do this and get my whole family on board. We are working our way through our current food supply and when we move on April 6th the sugar will not come with us!!

I have had so many irritating little health problems lately and I know that I can directly connect them to my sugar addiction. I think the reason I find it so hard to give up is that it is truly the last of my self-indulgent vices... its kind of like letting go of that one friend who you love dearly but who sucks the life right out of you. When I 'settled down' a while ago and became ready for motherhood, I gave up all the behaviors of my youth - smoking, drinking alcohol, etc... but could not 100% commit to a better diet. I AM READY NOW!!!! And I know I can do it.

Is there a sugar-free tribe/thread out there?

Thank you Thank you everyone for the great advice!!

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#24 of 28 Old 03-27-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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Just be aware that you may feel like death for a day or two-- don't give up. I'm just saying so that you can plan your life accordingly for those few days. It's DEFINITELY worth it.

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#25 of 28 Old 03-30-2010, 08:50 PM
 
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#26 of 28 Old 03-30-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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I'm definitely not sugar-free, but I've cut down a significant amount on the sweets. I've found that making (or buying) some healthier raw-foods desserts can be a good way to satisfy your sweet tooth but get actual nutrition and superfoods (like raw cacao, raw nuts, raw coconut oil, etc.) while you're going it. There are tons of recipes if you google, and some can be very simple, like raw truffles.

You can use dried fruits like dates for sweetness if you want them without any sweetener, or coconut palm sugar for something lower glycemic, or raw honey or maple syrup if you're comfortable with that.

Here's are some good recipes from a nutritionist's blog I love...
Raw Vegan Gluten-Free Cocoa Mint Truffles, Chocolate Truffles, Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, Healthy Super-Powered Bon Bons
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#27 of 28 Old 04-05-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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...

You can use dried fruits like dates for sweetness if you want them without any sweetener, or coconut palm sugar for something lower glycemic, or raw honey or maple syrup if you're comfortable with that.
all these natural sweeteners contain exactly as much sugar per gram as white sugar. they may be more "whole" but they still affect our bodies just like sugar and the idea of low-glycemic foods is debatable, its in vougue right now, but honey and palm sugar will still raise your blood glucose.
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#28 of 28 Old 04-05-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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I've been lurking on Traditional foods & healthy eating. I try hard but get ambushed by my serious Starbucks addiction - caffeine, chocolate, sugar & fat all rolled into a Mocha "no whip please" once or twice daily. (I often wonder what's in that mocha powder...) Too expensive but we're otherwise pretty frugal so DH doesn't complain. I've tried making something similar at home but it's not the same. We're pretty healthy overall so I must be doing something right but it's the combination of sugar, caffeine, coffee & chocolate that does me in.

It's so encouraging to hear others say you can do the sugar change in just 3 weeks! But for me it's not just the sugar. And part of it's also social -- just being able to go "out" for a few minutes. How do I overcome the *bucks addiction?
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