I chose to eliminate sugar as much as possible from my diet for 2017.
It’s been a while since I updated you on how this whole no-sugar deal has been going and what I have been learning about myself in the process.
So, here goes!
First, I will confess that I have consumed some sugar since I last wrote. I had a choice to make when staying with friends recently. I could spit the spoonful of home-made spaghetti sauce out of my mouth upon learning that my friend had added a dash of sugar to her recipe, or eat it.
I ate it.
Since I do not add sugar to my spaghetti sauce, I hadn’t anticipated that my friend used sugar to enhance the flavor of her yummy sauce. I decided that honoring my friend was more important to me than holding fast to my no-sugar promise. It would have been rude.
Second, after passing the six month point of living without refined sugar, I began experimenting with coconut sugar. I chose it due to its lower fructose levels, low glycemic index and nutrient content. It’s not something I use all the time – in fact, hardly much at all. However, there have been a few things I would like to eat that need a bit of a sweetener. Thus, I am adding coconut sugar to my granola recipe instead of including brown sugar. The granola is not as sweet, but John and I like it nonetheless. I stirred up some scones yesterday and substituted coconut sugar for the refined sugar. Again, the scones were not as sweet, but the taste and texture were just as delightful. Coconut sugar isn’t cheap, though. It’s not something I can use that much. When I bake for my family, I continue to use refined sugar or brown sugar. Thus, I don’t partake.
Has been living sugar-free for the majority of 2017 been difficult?
Not really, actually.
Since I make the majority of our family meals from scratch, I determine what ingredients I will use and why. Second, we don’t eat out much as a family. We just don’t. I believe these two factors play a significant role in helping me remain sugar-free.
The most challenging aspect of this sugar-free life is when I am with friends who have baked something absolutely divine and would LOVE for me to indulge. As you know, there is nothing like a lovingly-produced, home-made dish presented with the direct intent to honor and satisfy.
“Come on, Heather,” my friends have admonished. “Won’t you take just one bite?”
It’s times like these that are the most difficult and invoke the most internal pressure. However, I have held firm. I respectfully decline. I show my sincere appreciation for their loving care and dedicated efforts.
Throughout the past 203 days of this journey, I have been seeking my God to sustain me. This no-sugar trek has interplayed well with my hope quest – a determination to rest in the hope I find in Jesus Christ. I have been harmed in the past when I have used food, particularly chocolate, to meet some unmet emotional or spiritual need. When I have trusted in something like food, something totally irrelevant and ineffective to address what is actually happening inside of me, I have suffered and ultimately starved myself of what I most need – the hope and help of Jesus.
I have discovered some things about hope in this no-sugar journey, too.
The hope of Christ has strengthened my resolve and my will.
The hope of Christ has encouraged me to be strong in the face of loving, well-intentioned sugar opposition.
The hope of Christ helps me fight on when a chocolate scent temptingly wafts through the air.
The hope of Christ is my companion and friend in my journey towards a no-sugar lifestyle.
Because in truth, I believe this is where I am heading. I feel a greater level of peace and contentment as I refrain from sugar. Physically, I feel strong. My mind is more focused. I definitely feel less lethargic and weighty. Spiritually, I am seeking my God for what I most need – especially when I feel stressed and overwhelmed.
I will confess, though, that I don’t know if I will be completely sugar-free the rest of my life. However, what this journey is proving to me is that I can definitely limit my sugar intake and not miss it and be the better for it.
So, there you go! These are just a few of my reflections after 203 days of living a purpose-driven-no-sugar life. It’s been a good run so far.
Some of you have joined me in this effort. How are you doing? Drop me an email or note! I’d love to hear! And if anyone wants to try a day, a week or month without sugar, I’d be happy to journey with you! There is still a ton of 2017 left to make some healthy life choices!