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.

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