Sunday, April 17, 2011

Is Sugar Toxic? an article in the New York Times Magazine

This article was tweeted by Gale Compton, so I guess you could say that I am re-tweeting it via my blog! It's rather lengthy but does make you contemplate if the SSSS is more than just a weight gainer....researchers are looking for its link to cancers and heart disease via metabolic syndrome. I think the evidence presented is rather compelling. The two researchers who are doing the study about sugar and how it relates to cancers avoid eating the SSSS as much as possible because, well, they don't want to get cancer! Here is the article and it is from April 13th's NYT's magazine....

New York Times' Article

So... how's Week #2 gone so far? It has had its ups and downs. I am and always have been one who eats several meals a day via snacks. In the past, however, my snacks were less than nutritious. It's still hard not to think of those SSSS snacks when I feel the urge. It is like a whole new thought process to think of fruit and vegeys and whole grains to snack on! Not only that, but I'm trying to be conscious about whether or not I am truly hungry or is the snacking just pure habit? The good thing is, though, that if you eat clean snacks you will not be putting junk in your body! Win-Win if you ask me!

Some good and interesting news... Friday night no one wanted to cook so Korey and Griffin headed off to HyVee to get something from the deli. They picked up for me my usual cashew chicken from the Chinese counter. I took a couple of bites and thought it tasted ummm... not so good. I don't know if it was the fat, the MSG, or what but in the less-than-two weeks of eating clean, my taste buds definitely didn't like the taste or the "feel" of whatever it was that the Chinese stuff was cooked in! I'd say this is amazing progress!!

Here's to nearing the end of week 2 and moving on to week 3!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Week One OVER - now on to Week Two!

Dear Sugar,

It is hard to believe that it has already been one week of purging you from my life and I'm beginning Week 2! I know, I know...I've missed you, too, but I must say, eating clean has tasted good, and I feel SO MUCH BETTER and .... DrUmRoLL ..... I have lost EIGHT pounds in ONE WEEK! I must remind you that 5 of those 8 were the most recent act of gluttony hence the reason for the fast weight loss this week. I'm sure next week there won't be such a number. I have also been faithful working out and after Thursday, I will be losing my biggest loser trainer, Bentley, who makes me jog faster than I feel like jogging and pulls my arse up hills as my lungs and legs protest. :-(

After one week...

I feel better.

I have more energy. Heck just the night before I was doing dishes at 8 p.m., packing my lunch, and laying out my clothes for the next day! Usually I'm a sloth on the couch!

I also didn't feel like I needed a nap this weekend. This hasn't been the case for the last several years. I would actually use YOU (sugar) to try to have energy but then take a nap. It was this roller coaster love affair. Eat sugar, Dive, Eat sugar, Dive... take a nap... feel like $hit ..... eat more sugar ..... You get the picture.

I don't feel guilty when I eat anymore because I know I am putting good stuff in my body. How many times did I feel like a piglet after eating McDonald's, downing a vanilla shake, eating the whole batch of regular no-bake cookies? A LOT.

Sugar, I love you the natural way!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 6 - I made it!!

Dear Sugar,

I made it through the weekend!!! Woot! Woot! I must admit, however, that the no bake clean eating cookies saved it! I still can't get over how yummy and good for you they are! I also experimented a bit with a couple of other recipes. My favorite pancake recipe I adapted to the clean eating way and tried to lower fat and cholesterol. They turned out very dense, so I will have to adjust and add more milk. Here is what I did:

1 1/4 cup flour ==  1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tblsp sugar == 1 tsp agave
1 tblsp baking power == 1 tblsp baking powder
1 tsp salt == 1 tsp salt
1 egg == 2 egg whites
2 tblsp oil = 1 tblsp oil
1 cup milk == 1 cup milk

Wasn't bad but definitely dense. I will say that I wasn't hungry for a long while after I ate breakfast! Syrup is on my list of foods to avoid for IC unless it is pure maple syrup which I find too sweet. For the past several months, I have been using a clean eating pancake topping. I boil frozen blueberries with a tablespoon or two of butter and take a fork and smash the blueberries while they are boiling.... YUMMMY!

I also made a pasta salad using whole wheat pasta, sauteed onions, peppers, and garlic with parmesan shredded cheese. It was good, as well, but a tad dry. I either had too much pasta or not enough juice from the stir-fried vegeys. Still, it was good and I will make it again only with fresh vegeys (I used a frozen stir fry bag).

I do know that planning meals and having something to cook that is fast and easy will help make this lifestyle change a lot easier. Friday night neither Korey or I felt like cooking. We ended up getting a pasta meal from HyVee made with regular pasta noodles which I know elevates blood sugars. My goal someday is to make meals and freeze them for nights that we don't have time or feel like cooking.

SUPER GOOD NEWS: I already feel like I have more energy!! I love you, Sugar, but you know what?? I'm doing okay without you!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 5 - It's the Weekend! Give me willpower!

Dear Sugar,

I kept busy this morning so was not thinking of you. Yay for me!!! When I got home from working out, however, I sooooo sooo wanted to snack on something with you in it!!! Ugh. This is hard.

I went to the health food store down the road and purchased good-for-you ingredients like agave nectar, rolled oats, oat bran, whole wheat pastry flower, chia seeds, Ezekiel bread, my fake coffee Pero, and a few other things to make some recipes to keep my sweet tooth under wraps.

So today's sweet treat: no bake cookies from the Gracious Pantry website! They are amazing! Check it out at:

I made the peanut butter and chocolate ones (go figure) using carob instead of chocolate because of my dietary restrictions. The main ingredients are quick oats, oat bran, agave, vanilla, peanut butter, chia seeds*, and carob (or unsweetened cocoa for those of you that can eat chocolate). You mix all the ingredients together, roll into balls, and freeze. No cooking whatsoever. I whipped them up in less than 10 minutes! Talking about a good-for-you, easy-to-make, sweet treat!

*Chia Seeds: I have never heard of Chia seeds before (well except for the Chia pets--ha ha ha), but they are an uber antioxidant. Actually, they have higher disease-fighting properties than blueberries! You can get these at HyVee in their health market section. Knowing this, I'm going to try to incorporate them in whatever I can!

I've got a good-for-you supper recipe to make this evening and am going to try my hand at adapting my favorite pancake recipe to a clean-eating recipe for tomorrow's breakfast! I'll keep everyone posted on how it goes!

Stay tuned......


Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 4 - Knowledge is Power

Dear Sugar,

This "kick the sugar thing" is really called eating clean (or Clean Eating). I should have realized this because I started to eat clean back in January until my IC flared. Feeling sorry for myself, I indulged in everything I could tolerate which meant your sweet sugary self! Shame on me! no wait... Shame on you! You lured me with your sweetness and stuck to my hips and waist via 5.5 pounds! (On a 5'4" frame, that's A LOT!). Okay, okay, I can't blame you totally.... shame on both of us!

Basically, Clean Eating means that you do not consume foods that have refined sugar in them. Look at the food labels. Sugar is in pretty much everything that is pre-packaged! As I stated, I started to do this back in January when I signed up for Live Healthy Iowa and became a member of Sole Satisfaction (a group of women who I work with trying to make healthy lifestyle changes). One of our school district's physical education teachers spoke to us about eating clean and pointed us to several websites. They are:

and recommended cookbooks by Tosca Reno 

I've also done a little research and came across Gale Compton's Fit Fabulous Forever website:

All have recipes that look yummy and are healthy, good-for-you foods without the ill effects of sugar and how it messes with our human cellular structure.

You really need to check out Gale. She's 54 and started clean eating, exercising, etc.  Look at her before and after photos. Read about the added benefits of kicking the SSSS...more energy, less fatigue, better sleep, nicer skin, and slowing the aging process! I think I should post her before and after pics at work and at home for motivation! (Hmmmm... maybe I should take my own pics for added motivation? Don't worry I will NOT share them!)

I'm looking forward to kicking this habit once and for all. For one thing, I want to get over this craving business and wanting that sweet treat with my morning fake coffee!!

Miss you SSSS and yet, looking forward to not wanting you,


Day 3: Tough Stuff

Dear Sugar,

Today was a tough one as I was on edge, thinking of you, wanting to taste you in any form (cookies, cakes, granola bars, doughnuts). We even had doughnuts in our break room, but I stayed away.... actually, I stayed in my office all day so I would not be tempted to sneak a bite. Nothing like forced seclusion to stay away for your SSSS (super stick sweet stuff)! Bentley had to be secluded, too, because it was kindergarten roundup today and lots of "littles" were moseying around the building and many of them are afraid of his big nose coming at them at eye level. Oh well. We have been commiserating together!

I actually finished all of my snacks by 3 p.m. and was starting to panic because I had nothing left to snack on but my stash of granola bars. My willpower hung on, however, and they are all still accounted for. Today, by far, was the toughest. I wish I could somehow indulge just a little, but like any addict, a little can turn into an all-out binge. Seriously...there has to be a 12 step program out there somewhere for sugar addicts in rehab! Hmmmm.... if not, maybe this is my million $ baby?!! America IS fat and all because of our processed foods containing your glorious white stuff! The students in K-12 education now have a shorter life span than my generation and all because of weight-related diseases. Why not set up a 12-step program for sugar addicts?? It would be cheaper than insurance covering diabetes or heart attacks! Cha-ching!

I do know that I need to research recipes that will satisfy my sweet tooth but yet stay sugar-free (no artificial sweeteners either...ewwwww). I've been researching a bit on using the glycemic index and glycemic load as guidelines. For instance, foods that have a glycemic index under 55 are considered low and good to eat. Those with a glycemic index of 70 or higher are high and should be avoided or eaten sparingly. Like french fries. Crap... I had some last night, too. Baked potatoes with the skin on are surprisingly in the low glycemic index category. (I like baked potatoes!) If you go by glycemic load, you are suppose to stay under 10. I haven't had much time to actually determine the difference between the two. I just know that the three fruits that I can eat (pears, blueberries and pink lady apples) all fall in the low glycemic category as well carry a low glycemic load. Whew!

So if anyone has any snack ideas.... like cakes and cookies (ha ha ha), please share and the sooner the better!

Sans sugar Day 3,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 2 -- It is also about the routine.

Dear Sugar,

I made it through yesterday without you!! I will admit that it was tough at times. It seems when I get home from work I want you, so I need to get a new routine instead of heading to the kitchen for some sort of super sticky sweet stuff to snack on.

Speaking of routine.... I find it interesting how my daily routine revolved around you. For instance, this morning when I got to work I wanted to have that granola bar with my fake coffee first thing. Not because I was hungry, but because that is just what I have been doing over the last several weeks. My body and tastebuds expect it!

For breakfast this morning, I dined on some sort of English muffin that is made with 7 Live grains and zero flour. I bought them last night in the frozen section at HyVee. I was expecting it to taste like tree bark and was pleasantly surprised that it was quite good! I slapped some real peanut butter on them and simply fruit jelly. Totally satisfying!

Not having my morning ritual of granola bar and fake coffee has made me take notice that I'm not really hungry this morning. I don't know if I wasn't hungry any of the other previous mornings or if the 7 Live Grain English muffin filled me up with its amazing fiber. Or could my lack of morning hungry pangs be from the lack of  sugar crash that I usually get from my white bread toasted breakfast that had been previously digested? I'm certain there is a scientific explanation but for right now, I'm going to go with it!

Mid Morning

All I can say is.... thank goodness there isn't doughnuts available in the lounge!!! The apple wasn't near as satisfying as the day before.

Before Supper

Okay this sucks. I want to snack on something sweet!!!!!! I want no bake cookies!!!!  What was I thinking???? sniff, sniff, snifffff

Withdrawals have begun....