For the past 30+ days I’ve been sugar free… well I should clarify. I gave up refined/ processed sugars and only had naturally sugars or naturally flavored foods. Which meant I mostly ate fruits and vegetables! Shocking I know as I am anti green food. I found many ways to make sure my diet was supplemented thoroughly with a balance that wouldn’t leave me hungry or cranky due to sugar withdrawal. I must say that it was easier than I thought it would, be as I am a GIANT sugar fanatic. Of course I had cravings from time to time for my standard favorites like pizza, ice cream, chocolate (staring at all this Valentines day candy was torturous) and most certainly WINE!
For the most part I had a green smoothie for breakfast with some sort of other fruit that was easy to grab and go as I commuted to work. With the purchase of mason jars I was able to pack up some grab and go fruit snacks to eat at work instead of my usual sugar filled choices. I supplemented my need to constantly be snacking with healthier options such as raw unsalted almonds, white cheddar popcorn, or black bean quinoa chips all from Trader Joes (my savior during this 40 day process). For lunch I alternated between fruit salads, Grilled chicken ceaser salads (without dressing) or varying whole grain pastas. The pasta route was a bit difficult as I had to make sure the sauces I used were either completely natural (made at home) or sugar free. Dinner was a bit more difficult, as was going out for dinner with friends. At home I tried switching between brown rice meals, or quinoa but often went to bed with just a snack instead of a full healthy meal.
Reading the ingredient label became my best friend. I thought that everything whole grain was acceptable however I found out really quickly that even whole grain bread had sugars in it therefore I went without it (after I bought all natural sugar free peanut butter). With about two weeks left in this process I must say that I am considering maintaining this lifestyle in a smaller yet effective scale. I managed to lose 8lbs and 2 inches off of my waist over these thirty days. It wasn’t my plan to lose any weight but with the stringent diet and my exercise schedule it just sort of happened… and I for one can not complain about that. I can’t say that I will give up all processed sugars forever because a nice glass of wine with a cheesy slice of pizza is hard to turn away forever. However I will keep my sugar intake to a minimum as I’ve seen many positive outcomes in doing such for simply thirty days.
With all of that detail I had a recent conversation with a few friends who asked if my religion forced me to make my dietary limitations. Though I did choose to give up sugar for Lent which is a religious time period I consider myself more spiritual then religious. Instead I take the time during Lent to detox from something I feel that I can do without and would be better off without overall. In previous years I’ve given up shopping, meat, profane language…etc. However this was the first year that I didn’t feel that it was a huge inconvenience or an annoyance. So I started thinking about other things I can do without that are clouding my clarity for one reason or another. That led me directly to my innate obsession with social media that has drastically increased over the past three years.
I find it more difficult to focus on conversation, and stay on task therefore clouding my time management skills. With spring break on the near horizon I’ve decided to create a secondary detox for that time period. I’ve decided to remove myself from the social media frenzy that I’ve implanted in my life for the full 11 days I have off for spring break. For eleven days (starting Friday April 11th at 2:00pm) I will sign out of all of social media forums and just live life with the people around me that take the time to be apart of my life. I will not be constantly checking my phone for status updates, picture uploads…etc.
Every now and then we just need a break from things that make us less human or disconnect us from the world. I need to stop thinking in witty status update format or 160 character thoughts and delve further into what makes me who I am and enjoyable to be around. I’ve taken large dramatic breaks from Facebook in previous years but this will be the first time that I truly detach not for emotional break down reasons but for a healthier means of living to rejuvenate my connection with those around me. Taking this time away when I’ve been so plugged into every aspect of the “social” world will be an eye opening experience. If not it will test my levels of creativity and management during down times when I would usually turn to my Tumblr feed. And with that being said… I’ll see you guys after spring break!