Week 3 of the "Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge"
Saturday, March 21, 2015
So, I am well into week 3 of the challenge now and the further I proceed the more I am convinced that this challenge was created mostly for people with a more serious sugar addiction than mine, but I'm still sticking to it. Here's what my agenda said for this week:
"1. Fine-tune your pantry. Stock up on foods (sugar-free and no-sugar-added items) that reflect your low-sugar goals."
2. Make sensible sugar swaps. Learn how to make healthy swaps while still satisfying your sweet tooth. Come up with a list (and a snack stash) you can turn to when your cravings strike. Get more sugar-free ideas to quell your cravings here!"
I didn't actually need to replace stuff in my pantry, since I'm not using that much sugary or instant stuff. In the past I have given some thought to replacing sugar when baking (I do like to make cakes or cookies occasionally) but I have discovered that in some recipes, sugar isn't easily replaced. I don't do artificial sweeteners at all, and raw honey, when heated, just turns into sugar, so there's no actual benefit. I bought a container of stevia sweetener that goes well with some of my recipes, but in other recipes I am a bit unhappy with the liquorice-y aftertaste of the stevia (it's the same reason I dislike liquorice root in herbal teas, while I rather like liquorice sweets – especially the strong, salty, dutch kind – I don't enjoy the taste of the liquorice root itself). The solution for me was to reduce sugar as much as possible in those recipes instead of replacing it - you'd be surprised how much sugar you can cut out of some recipes. Also, cakes, cookies, desserts and sweets are strictly foods for special occasions, not a daily occurrence. One thing I am really proud of is my home-made jam – I use about half the amount of sugar of store-bought equivalents, and my jams and jellies are delicious and fruity. I also got the boyfriend to contribute some creations of his own, like the wonderful kiwi-ginger-jam I am into right now.
"3. Focus on fruit. Instead of simply subtracting sugar from your diet, why not add in another healthy habit to replace it? This week, concentrate on grabbing fruit in place of your regular sweet treats."
I didn't really implement this either. I usually have three servings of fruit with my breakfast already, so I don't want to have much more during the day. I did, however, have a cup of fruit-flavored green tea a couple of times (a friend gave me a sample of sencha with cranberries and rose hips and it's lovely) and I found it helps me wait out a craving for something sweet-tasting in the afternoons.
"4. Continue to be mindful. Keep tracking your food and blogging to measure your progress throughout the week."
I am doing well on this one! I have been tracking consistently and so far I have managed to walk away from chocolate twice and say no to dessert twice this week (and that does NOT mean that I had some on the other days, just that those were the days I was tempted by my boyfriend to have some). And I am feeling good and not craving any sweets at all!