End of the No Sugar Challenge

Happy Hump Day!

Today marks three days that Cody and I have been done with our no sugar challenge. Before I get to the results, I wanted to recap some more yummy recipes we had that were added-sugar free!

We have been continuing with lots of smoothies and eggs for breakfast. Leftovers have been in abundance during week 2 so lunches were never without. And we tried a lot of new recipes for dinner.

In terms of snacks, I still kept with fruit and almonds and also got some Triscuits to snack on since they have no added sugar.

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Spaghetti squash spaghetti with turkey

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Grilled chicken and asparagus

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First attempt at overnight oats (recipe called for brown sugar but I left that out and put a little vanilla extract in) topped with apple and cinnamon

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Kale, apple, chicken salad – SO refreshing!

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Chicken enchilada

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Italian Hillside Garden Soup (from Crockpot cookbook) – ALL vegetarian!!

Things that we have transitioned back into our diet:
*Quest Bars (YES PLEASE!)
*Homemade treats (I’ve made protein balls, peanut butter finger bars, and sugar free brownies all this week… can you tell I’ve missed baking?)
*Whole wheat pasta
*Cereal (on occasion)
*Flavored Greek yogurt (not in excess since it is higher in sugar)
*Protein powders (flavored) oh how we’ve missed you!

Things we will keep sugar-free:
*Peanut butter – I baked with our old naturals PB to get rid of the rest but the Jif original is WAY too sweet now. Plus, the sugar-free PB we’ve been using is pretty comparable in price.
*Bread – We actually didn’t mind the Ezekiel bread, so why change it?
*Bars – Besides Quest bars, we are trying to keep our bars we eat more naturally sweetened like some Kind bars and Larabars
*Broth – I was surprised that every broth I looked at except at Whole Foods had some sort of sugar in it. This is something I use a lot so this is a small change to make a difference.
*Baking – I’m going to try to use more natural sweeteners for most of my baking/making but there are some true desserts that just don’t taste right without classic sugars.

All in all, our diet didn’t have to see much of a change and besides a little chocolate, I didn’t feel deprived of anything. I love how my smell and taste have learned to appreciate more natural flavors!

Now, for the results! In the two weeks of the sugar challenge I lost 6.3 pounds and 1% body fat. I was excited to see the weight loss because I wasn’t expecting that. But, I was more impressed with how my body looked and felt at the end of the challenge (Below: Left = Before, Right = After). Even now, three days into our new regular diet and I weigh another 2 pounds lighter and lost another .6% body fat… say what?!

I’m still putting my food into MyFitnessPal so I can see my macros and make sure I still stay under on my sugar and am getting enough food.

As for fitness, I am now planning to up my workouts a little bit. Still doing lifting three days a week and I am starting to incorporate running again in my regimen. Thanks to a co-worker (hey Hannah!) I have an accountability partner and someone who shares my mixed feelings about running to start up again. We are doing the C25K app and it’s great because it tells you exactly when you need to run and when you can walk, no counting minutes! I’m excited for these nights to have more light for our runs! We are also going to start bringing in a little yoga biweekly too.

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So, what do you think? Could you do a no sugar challenge? What would be your downfall?

 

No Sugar Week 1

Today was officially day 7 of our no added sugar diet, halfway through! It’s felt great changing our eating for the better. I definitely went through some withdrawal earlier in the week, having a couple headaches and some changes in my mood. Yes, I’ve still craved chocolate from time to time, but not as much as I thought I would. And this change hasn’t been as hard thanks to the support of my husband and my friends, especially at work.

I’ve noticed a change in my skin and my natural energy level. My taste buds have changed too; things that I used to be deterred from I now enjoy, like salads. I hadn’t really been looking for changes in my body since I planned to not weigh or anything until the end, but I glanced in the mirror the other day and noticed a decrease in body fat in my midsection!

During the week was easy as we had planned out all of our meals and were in a routine. We tried some new recipes and have had a TON of leftovers for lunches.

For breakfast, we’ve stuck to mostly smoothies and eggs/toast (Ezekiel bread) but also tried an oatmeal recipe that was pretty good. I’m getting a little tired of eggs though so if anyone has any ideas of how to spice them up or other breakfast ideas, that would be great!!

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Smoothie: 2 big handfuls spinach, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, unflavored protein powder, It Works Greens on the Go (berry), unsweetened almond milk – Serves 2

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I’ve been looking forward to the dinners we had planned. A lot of them required more prep than I was used to but it was worth it for the added veggies and flavor!

1 – Blue Apron Vegetable Farro Salad // 2 – Chicken Fajitas // 3 – Steak & Sweet Potato Bowl (without avocado-cilanto drizzle – didn’t turn out good) // 4 – Turkey Taco Salad // 5 – Chicken Caulifredo Bake with Sun-Dried Tomatoes (make cauliflower alfredo instead of using the jar stuff) // 6 – Slow Cooker Beef & Beans Chili

My biggest struggle was my snacks. I would forget to eat something small between breakfast and lunch and I’ve had to change my choice of snacks a little. We’ve been sticking to veggies and hummus, fruit, Larabars, popcorn, and cheese.

The weekend was also tough because it was our first time eating away from home. We were much more conscience about what contained sugar and made better choices. I even turned down dessert (and a delicious looking one too) for the first time probably in my entire life!

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Early on I realized I would be hungry not long after I would eat a meal. I decided to start tracking my food in MyFitnessPal to make sure I was eating enough and meeting my macros. The first day I tracked I was 350 calories short, not including my workout that burned some of what I already ate. My protein was also lower than desired. From that point on I made sure to eat my snacks and try to make them protein-packed. I was also checking my sugar intake since we were still incorporating sugars from nuts, fruits, and veggies. I was happy to see how significantly lower it was! MyFitnessPal had my sugar goal to be below 62 grams (that’s 15 1/2 teaspoons of sugar!!) and sad to say, there were a lot of times that I would go over that goal.

We are finding out so many new things about what sugar can do to your body and I am telling myself now and here on the blog for accountability that I will never let myself intake as much sugar as I used to. I won’t deprive myself of the occasional treat but I won’t go overboard like I used to. I will watch how much sugar is in foods and limit my intake, continuing to be conscience of the effects it has on our bodies.

God gave us one body and I want to start REALLY protecting and preserving it! I’m excited to see what week 2 has in store!

No Sugar Challenge

Hey y’all, it’s been a while!

I’ve been spending some time trying to decide the future of this blog, what it’s purpose is and my passion for it. I came to the conclusion that I still have a desire to post here but more as a journal and a place to help others instead of becoming a business, which is what I was striving towards when my passion for it diminished. I’ve also realized that I need to give myself specific days/times to blog otherwise I feel I can push it off and then it never happens. I have several things I want to talk about on here but I also know that my schedule doesn’t allow me to post all of the time and that’s okay!

Now, moving on to what this post is all about… our no sugar challenge! Cody brought up the idea last week and it sparked my interest right away. I know that I’ve had somewhat of a sugar addiction ever since I was younger. I’ve always chalked it up to having a sweet tooth, but I think that is just an excuse I’ve used to eat more sugar that appropriate. My addiction is also higher after big holidays like Christmas when I allow myself more flexibility with the amount of sugar I consume. Once we discussed this, I was all in. I wanted this to be a lifestyle change. We have become MUCH healthier in the past few years but this would take it to the next level.

Our no sugar challenge is for two weeks and eliminates all added sugar, including natural sugars like honey and maple syrup. It was crazy to see what all had sugar in it, like bread!!

First, we went through what was already in our cabinets and fridge and made note of things we used on a regular basis to find in without sugar. We threw away some things but put others away at the top of our kitchen closet in opaque bags so they were not in our visual.

Next, we made a list of what we would eat throughout the day, including our three main meals and snacks.

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**I will include or link to original recipes as I make these meals

Does anyone have any sugar free recipes they enjoy??

After we meal planned, we spent two hours doing grocery shopping, using our list and reading every label (both the nutrition label and ingredients list). It’s amazing how sneaky food labels can be!

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Day 1 has definitely been a challenge but it’s felt good and I love that I have Cody to do it with! Has anyone else done something like this before? Any advice?

Breakfast: High Protein Egg White Oatmeal with a scoop of peanut butter and half an apple

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Lunch: Romaine lettuce salad with sugar-free tomato basil dressing, rotisserie chicken, and colby jack cheese

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Snack: Almonds and Larabar

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Dinner: Vegetable Farro Salad from Blue Apron (modified to make it sugar free)

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Snack: Popcorn

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