Today is the last day of the challenge. I’m really glad I did this challenge. It was hard, but made me realize something once and for all: a little bit of sugar IS OKAY.
Now, I understand some people can’t have sugar because it will make them sick (sorry, Alex!) just like some foods make me sick. But, because it doesn’t have that effect on me, it’s okay that I enjoy it in moderation. That goes for the real stuff and the fake stuff. Seeing as I’ve already eliminated most of the truly unnecessary added sugar in my life (aka hidden sugar in foods), switched to stevia to sweeten drinks and smoothies and agave for everything else – I think I’m ahead of the game when it comes to watching my sugar consumption.
It’s still important to know what type of sugar you’re consuming, particularly whether it’s glucose, fructose or fructose in processed foods. Fructose gets a bad wrap, but that’s mainly because when consumed in processed foods, such as regular cola, it’s stripped of the fiber that it normally travels with in foods such as fruit. When fructose is consumed with fiber, your body still gets the ‘I’m full’ signal, similar to what happens with glucose. However, when consumed all on its own, that feeling and signal is gone, letting you consume tons of empty calories without even feeling like you ate anything. Keep in mind, this is extremely simplified though, and just my general understanding with NO medical training what-so-ever…
Sure, I got used to the black coffee (around day 6) and didn’t mind a date sweetened smoothie, but there were times at work where I didn’t have the time to find a healthy sugar-free snack and a granola bar would have easily done the trick. I have become even more aware of how sugar is present in almost every healthy convenience food I eat – just aware, not alarmed. The reason being is that the sugar, while present, is relatively low and not refined sugar or corn syrup, it’s usually agave or brown rice syrup. I’m not reaching for jumbo box of Mike n Ike’s or anything (as much as I may want to sometimes).
Yes, I did slip up a few times – gum, a diet coke and a snack here and there, but they were all conscience decisions after a convo in my head going something like this: ‘It’s going to be a couple of hours to my next meal and my blood sugar is in the floor. Eat this or pass out in front of boss/client/friends/strangers who may or may not help me.’ In the end, I think I made the right decision.
Sorry for the ramble, but I really felt like I learned something doing this – be it once and for all. Interestingly enough, I’m not running back to putting stevia in my coffee – I really did get used to it and consider it a testament to how much I truly love the stuff (I now have a mix of pride and shame for the roughly 7 weeks I went without it earlier this year). The french press I ordered arrived during the challenge and I began to see what all the fuss is about.
Only one problem. I guess I didn’t realize that a 12oz french press, once filled with coffee grinds, barely gives you an 8oz cup of coffee. To me, whether influenced by Starbucks or not, I now consider a small cup of coffee to be 12oz.
I was beginning to feel that my old coffee maker, now banished to the top of my fridge (well, until I need to make more than one cup of coffee at a time) was getting sort of grimy and that no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the inside of it truly clean.
My french press is easy to disassemble, clean thoroughly, and put back together. Love it! And of course, the coffee tastes wonderful, too.
I know I’ve been slacking on the actual cooking/baking going on here, but I promise I’ve got some good posts and recipes coming at you next week! Have a great weekend