Saturday, February 20, 2016

10 Days Off Sugar

Ten days off sugar and the cravings are calming down.  I am no longer unable to sit still while thinking about cookies or cupcakes.  I was never moody, but was clearly going through some withdrawals over the lack of sweets and white flour carbs in my diet.

I have lost 6 pounds, and I am not hungry all the time (usually I am always wanting to snack).  The weight has clearly just gone away mainly from my middle.  My pants are loser, but mainly I can tell in my profile that my gut is not sticking out quite as much.

While not much of an athlete, I have decided to take up running, and went for a mile run with a 2 mile walk, and at end was not starving and seemed to have more energy when out for the exercise.  My attention to detail seems higher, however  that might just be psychological as I seek for evidence that giving up sugar was the right call.

There might be something to this "sugar is evil" thing.  I am not "fat" but clearly have carried 15+ extra pounds around for some time.  It is interesting that I may hit idea weight simply from this Lent exercise.

My wife is being great about serving double vegetables instead of starch at meals, and as we seek places to eat out we are making sure there are good options for me with lots of protein and veggies.

I am wondering if this has to go far beyond Lent.  Maybe I have to make these types of eating decisions for the rest of my life.  This makes me happy and sad, as I like the idea of being healthier, but I love me some desserts and wonderful breads.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Withdrawal from Sugar. My symptoms from quitting sugar

So Far I am eight Days off sugar, pasta and bread and I am feeling a combination of both good and crappy.  All at the same time my Lent commitment is bringing me better health and making me wither in hunger for sugary foods.

I am having wild cravings.  Everything I see looks like a giant cupcake.  I want to scarf a whole loaf of French Bread.  I want spaghetti.  Waffles? Did I mention how good a waffle with tons of syrup would taste right now?  And cookies... oh yes, I cannot stop thinking about cookies.

The weight is coming off my midsection, as my pants are lose.  I have not stepped on a scale, but I would bet I have lost three or four pounds.  I am eating a lot all day, but it is healthy and has no sugar or white flour.  Also minimizing things that are considered healthy but are known to have lots of sugar in the mix.

My energy is seems high, except when the food cravings take over.  At that point I just want to go and hide.  I am clearly in some sort of withdrawal.

This is a more difficult Lent experiencet than past years.  Even harder than going vegan.  I have cut out all the things that have sugar or useless carbs that convert to sugar.  I am not being as strict as in past years of going vegan, giving up caffeine, bread, etc... but there is nothing really satisfying to cheat with when I am craving food.  A bowl of berries, while delicious, is not the same a piece of cake. This time by making a lifestyle choice to not eat crap, and to decide on what I consume like a committed athlete would choose, I am stuck with nothing bad for me on my approved food list.

I feel like I am going a little crazy over the sugar and white flour foods being eliminated from my diet.  I have been reading a lot of information online and the key is to get through the first two weeks.  I am half the distance.  My body can tell this is good for me... but at the same time it wants to eat all the old stuff that is bad for me.

Going to they gym might be a good idea, I am going to add a hard workout today and see what happens.

Anyone else ever do this?  How did you feel?  It is awkward.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Giving Up Sugar For Lent

Five years ago for Lent I went Vegan.  It was a long and hard journey that turned out to be a great experience.  After lent I remained "Vegan Leaning" for the rest of 2011 (enjoying vegan meals Mon-Friday, and meat and dairy on the weekends).  

I fell off the vegan wagon completely by 2012, but each Lent I continue to choose something that takes a lot of self-control and effort.

This year I have decided to make Lent about positive choices.  My goal is to "make food decisions like a high performance athlete".  While vague, it basically means cutting out most sugar, booze and white flour, and processed foods.  

The plan leaves lots of room for interpretation, and even high performance athletes have a few cheats now and then.  But one week into Lent, the key has been no sugar (mostly), no alcohol, and no breads/pastas.  I try to make what I do eat as natural and healthy as I can based on the circumstances.

It is hard. I did have a drink on Valentine's day.  But now I am starting to see the withdrawal symptoms of the huge abandonment of sugar and carbs.  While not at zero, I regularly eat a lot of bread and my sweet tooth is epic, so cutting way back is leaving my body questioning what is happening.

I wish I could say I feel great.  I do mostly, but I also feel weird.  Something is happening and the overall assumption is that it is all good.  My body does not need the sugar levels I consume most of the time, but it is a craving sugar fix.

Caffeine was not included in what I gave up, but going to black coffee after a lifetime of adding sugar or syrup is a big switch, too.

I am hoping to feel more energetic soon.  I have read that after a week or two of eliminating sugar the body and mind re-tool and you get a boost.   It seems I am thinking more clearly, but that could just be wishful thinking.

The commitment to Lent is always something positive for me, and this time I think it is a good idea to cut back on the crap I usually eat.  I have no idea how the next 5+ weeks will go, but I am hoping it creates a permanent change in what I consume and how I snack.

It is funny to look back on this old blog on how I chronicled the vegan experiment in 2011.  I am starting to realize that no snacking on chips, breads, processed foods, cookies, etc... may just be the hardest think I have ever done.

Ate an apple as I typed this.  It was good, but it is not as good as a chocolate brownie.