Monday, August 11, 2014
You know how sometimes you just have to let go on a good habit and live a little? Well, I overdid it a little with sugar this past weekend.
One of the most surprising discoveries I made after I switched to a more Paleo lifestyle this past March is how much sugar affects me. Up until this year, I hadn't really thought too much about how what I ate affected me; I had just focused on the general advice to try and eat a diet with lot of fruits and vegetables and minimize intake of processed foods. I figured if I was cooking more of my food or eating freshly made food at restaurants, then I was on the right track.
Although it took me a good 6-8 weeks to give up my addiction to sugar, I did it, and I no longer eat much processed sugar. I've cut most sugar out of my daily diet. I used to have the biggest sweet tooth, and could not go an evening without a piece of dark chocolate or a dessert (think brownie, luscious slice of tiramisu, chocolate chip cookie). I now treat sweets the way I imagine they used to back before cane sugar was readily available: I'll generally have a tiny amount of dessert at a birthday or during the holidays, but even then, I really hold back compared to how I used to enjoy sweets.
There ARE days -- outside of holidays and special events -- when I make poor food choices, and when I do, I quickly remember why I no longer eat those foods. This weekend was one of those times. I wasn't paying attention to the sugar in what I was eating, and guess what, I ate too much sugar. Here are some of the sugar indulgences I partook in on Saturday -- all but one of them made me feel awful afterwards. In some cases, it was a worthwhile indulgence, but in most of the cases, I realized I am better off without processed sugar in my life!
Hot chocolate - I used to be a big mocha drinker (hello Starbucks!) but now I drink my coffee with just a splash of whole milk. I only had half of my hot chocolate during brunch and before we even left the restaurant, I had a headache from the sugar in my drink, and then an energy slump afterwards.
Pulled pork sandwich - we went to the local county fair on Saturday and the pulled pork sandwich just sounded too good to pass up. I tend to forget that most pulled pork is often cooked with or topped with barbecue sauce. Most barbecue sauces are made with sugar. The question is, how much sugar. Apparently, this sandwich had a barbecue sauce with way too much sugar, because I had another energy slump after having the sandwich.
Caramel pecan cheesecake - every once in a while, I have a hankering for cheesecake. I can make a slice of cheesecake last a surprisingly long time. I ate a third of my caramel pecan cheesecake ever so slowly. It was delicious. Every. Single. Bite. I don't know if it's the fat-sugar ratio or the fact that I ate so little of it, but I did not feel awful afterwards.
Fruit smoothie - this one I should have known better. It was late afternoon and I was thirsty. I figured I'd order the smallest size possible -- and then here was the worst part -- I poured a third of it into a separate cup for my son to have (he loves smoothies). I didn't even finish the remaining two-thirds that were mine, when I realized -- again -- the sugar was too much.
I spent the rest of Saturday drinking lots and lots of water to "flush" out my system. Then I spent Sunday making good Paleo choices and avoiding all sugar -- including fruit. By Sunday night I was feeling energetic and happy again.
Do you have a sweet tooth? What is your relationship with sugar?