Is it really that bad?

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

At the beginning of The 21-Day Sugar Detox, Daily Guide by Diane Sanfilippo declares herself a self-proclaimed sugarholic while she was growing up and maturing into adulthood. I resemble this remark.

One day at a time

As I mentioned in my post introducing this month, my memory of the last time I attempted this challenge not having sugar was difficult. Honestly, when I imagined this week especially, I imagined a struggle, thanks to those memories.

My motto for the week has been day-by-day.

That said, my husband is attempting to join me in this challenge. I think I have said this more to him than to myself. It is nice to have a buddy this month, though.

Establishing better habits with food

Photo of overnight/ refrigerator oats, by me

When I began re-examining what I eat at the beginning of 2020, I learned to excellently plan and prep my meals for the week, keeping me on a healthier track like gangbusters. I began prepping dry refrigerator oats, two weeks at a time. I add our various milk the night before and pop them into the fridge. This way, I pull them out in the morning, they are ready to eat; Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Then, I usually make lunch right after breakfast. Oddly, this is usually the best time for me to make lunch before I have to work. While our family attempts to eat lunch at the same time, it isn’t always possible. Having lunch ready when we find ourselves hungry and with limited time or energy for cooking, this option seems to work best. Last year my husband and I also started making our largest meal at midday. Therefore, at dinner, we usually eat a modified carpaccio salad with a side of fruit and cut vegetables. My husband and I started this in the spring and just carried it through the summer through today.

It is just easier for us. Perhaps made easier still by the fact that neither of us is currently commuting. We both figured, come winter, our desire for a feastful size of fruits and vegetables and cold salads would go out the window. Our backup plan was to have soup to hand, to fill that potential void. Yet, it never came to pass. This is our life roughly six nights a week.

Our family’s version of Carpaccio Salad.

Oh, the weekend

Surprisingly, at first, this week, I mainly had mild cravings in the afternoon between one and four o’clock. Then, the weekend arrived oh boy. I have a love-hate relationship with the weekend, not to be confused with the Weeknd, who I wouldn’t mind having any relationship with. I am sure my husband would mind, however.

At the weekend though, all this planning seems, in part, to get thrown out the window. We usually have bread, eggs, cheese, and meat, with various spreadable items for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and homemade pizza on Saturday evenings. It is on the weekends that I also desire something sweet in the evenings.

Both Friday and Saturday evening I strongly desired chocolate, not wine, but chocolate. Before breaking my early streak of days without sugar, I quickly turned on our kettle and made myself unsweetened, non-caffeinated, chocolate chai tea.

Photo by ME.

Saturday, when I was nearly falling asleep as I was attempting to finish an online course, I made myself a caffeinated coffee. I rarely have caffeinated coffee these days. Even though I worried I would not sleep as well because of it, I did it anyway. In the future, I should attempt to nap when it is feasible rather than having a coffee. If we are going to spend much of 2021, or at least the first quarter, at home maintaining social distancing until we are mostly vaccinated napping shouldn’t be a problem.

The first time around I remember meticulously reading ingredients lists for hidden sugars. I have learned a lot since then. I remember baking a lot of bread because I couldn’t tell if the bread we were buying had sugar to help support the growth of the yeast or added sugar to help the general taste.

I honestly don’t want to bake bread this time around. I also live in Germany, who adore their bread, and whose quality and diverse quantity of grains. The various breads are protected by UNESCO as a cultural heritage.


So, I will leave this to the Germans.

As it is, outside of the American peanut butter and jelly sandwich I may have as a mid-morning snack, I only have bread on the weekend.

I have learned to keep my bread consumption to a minimum, focusing more on the protein in the breakfast first, which has helped me from eating all the bread available at breakfast. These days I would honestly prefer a third egg to another roll. The rolls are all delicious, though. However, I don’t want to ruin the rest of the day’s meals by eating my entire caloric allowance first thing in the morning.

For the love of yoga

This week a number of my yoga sessions were over forty-five minutes long. With my Saturday practice lasting an hour and a half. It has felt phenomenal and contributed to keeping my sugar cravings in check. For the record, I have been warming up with a slow yoga flow, then transitioning to a Yoga with Adriene ‘Bridge‘ video.

While this week hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be, parts of it have been challenging. I haven’t wanted to murder anyone for a sweet, though. While the pandemic may be a larger factor in the general success of my first week than I may be giving it credit for, the bottom line is that I am a different person than I was the first time I attempted this challenge in 2015.

Is there a method to the madness?

While I did mention the 21-Day Sugar Detox, Daily Guide by Diane Sanfilippo, I have only just purchased it and of course, it is a little too late to really follow the program outlined in the her book so strictly. Therefore, I found this video on YouTube, by The Whole Happy Life, that really helps lay out the best tips in video form to help you reduce the amount of sugar you ingest. Her tips are logical and don’t seem overwhelming. I like that she clarifies from the beginning that this is about added sugar reduction, not natural sugar abatement, which is my overall goal. Ultimately, though, there is no method to this madness, not yet.

I know, I should have figured out a plan before I was knee-deep and a week into this ‘challenge’.

I know. Yet, here we are now.


What I hope to do with this month’s results remains to be seen. I also have to be careful not to put the cart before the horse here. I do have a bad habit of doing that. It has only been a week, yet a generally successful one in terms of my goal for the month.

What goal or goals are you trying to reach this month? Are you also abstaining from sugar or alcohol? What do you feel is working for you to quell your desires? What is helping you to modify your habits to be a better version of yourself?

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