Just Harried

Little Harrys on the Prairie

What the Heck Did I Eat in January? Part V

Here it is, January 29.  29 days of no sugar added eating down, 2 to go.  Then, first thing on Wednesday, February 1, I am running to the nearest convenience store for a Diet Coke, an ice cream sandwich, and a bag of Skittles.

Nah, just kidding.  I do not find myself counting down the days of this challenge at all.  I’ve been working on my weekly meal plan and shopping list, and nothing on the list has added sugar in it.  There is nothing with sugar added that I am dying so bad to have that I must have it right away.  There are recipes that call for ingredients like honey or agave that I would like to try, but nothing urgent.  My priority is to use up some reserves I have in the pantry and fridge, like gnocchi, butternut squash, and mozzarella cheese, and my recipes of choice for these guys are all no sugar added.  There’s no point in seeking out a recipe or item with added sugar after Feb. 1 just because the eating challenge is over.  I think, my friends, I’ve developed a good habit.

Here is how I know I will be different from now on:

  • No more soft drinks.
  • No more sweetener in my morning coffee. (I might even ditch the almond milk!)
  • No more processed lunch meats.
  • If a nutrition label reads more like a lab assignment in high school chemistry than a recipe, I’m not eating it.
  • I will bake my own bread.
  • No more artificial sweeteners – only the real thing.
  • If I am at a restaurant or a work event with food, I will be extra careful about what I put on my plate.  (This includes never eating another Olive Garden breadstick again!)
  • Desserts will be whole, decadent, and special.
  • Dried fruit for fuel during long runs; no more gummies.
  • No more protein powder in my smoothies – tofu all the way.
  • No more store-bought salad dressings.
  • No more using the scale to determine how healthy I am.
  • I have a wish list of really cool/helpful kitchen gadgets to help me prepare food more quickly and with more ease.  The first thing I bought was an oil sprayer so I no longer need to use cooking sprays to lube up my pans and skillets.

Here is what I will do without any guilt:

  • Enjoy alcoholic drinks in moderation.
  • Have TWO slices of birthday cake on my birthday.
  • Eat out at restaurant or a party and not care about the ingredient list every now and then.
  • Enjoy sushi – none off-limits.
  • Make truly decadent desserts and savor every bite.

To learn more about eating clean and expand my recipe box, I have subscribed to Eating Clean Magazine, and I have found a bunch of blogs related to eating clean and/or sugar-free that I hope will keep my taste buds entertained and education fueled, and I’m looking for more.

Final thought:  I started what seemed to be an impossible challenge, and it quickly morphed into a fun, educational, tasty adventure that has forever changed the way I eat.  The challenge might be almost over, but the never-ending journey to a healthier me is still going strong!  I encourage others to think more about what makes a good food choice and consider the principles behind clean eating.  I know I’m sold.

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