Healthy Eating/ Healthy Living

Sweet Dreams of a Sugar Addict

I had another dream that I’d eaten a whole bunch of sugar-laden foods — cupcakes, pastries, candy, cookies. I felt anguished that I could not manage this sugar addiction of mine until I woke up and was relieved to find out it had all been a dream.

But it might not have been. Daily, I think of quitting my quest to eat a refined-sugar-free diet. Why not quit this battle to kick sugar out of my diet? It would be such a relief to eat sugar-laden sweets again. Sugary foods are all around me, even in my own home. Fantastic desserts drip from the grocery store shelves and are on the menu at all my favorite restaurants. Why must these sweets be off limits to me?

I hate not eating all the sweet desserts that I used to look forward to eating. My husband and I had dinner recently at one of our favorite restaurants, where we often end a meal with one of their fabulous gluten-free chocolate chip peanut butter cookies! Those rich, sweet buttery cookies are great! But I walked out of the restaurant looking wistfully at the glass case where the cookies were on display. I felt disappointed, even though the rest of the meal was delightful.

And my plan to create delicious no-sugar desserts that are just as delectable as the sweets I’ve foregone has derailed (for the moment). None of the substitutes I’ve created competes with the originals, another disappointment. They’ll do, but that’s not good enough!

My doctor claimed that “once you stop eating sugar, it gets easier to avoid sweets.” Ha. Says the very trim doctor who probably wears a size 0, runs five miles a day and eats only salads. She went to medical school, but she has absolutely no idea what it means to be addicted to sugar.

I’d like to point out that I’m overweight, but not horribly so. I wear a size 14, which seems huge to me, but in the weighty American landscape, my size is only a bit above average. ┬áMy wedding dress, 30 years ago, was a size 6. Yeah, I’ve put on a few pounds since then.

And as for my pre-diabetes diagnosis… I did some research, and it’s not good to be pre-diabetic. It can and often does lead to type 2 diabetes, which is very bad. So, I need to add more exercise to my diet and lose some poundage if I’m to avoid the progression to Type 2.

Easier said than done. But I remain optimistic. One. Day. At. A. Time.

I’ve been in my sugar-free sobriety for 48 days. That may be the longest time I’ve gone without eating loads of refined sugar in decades, if not my entire life.

To be honest, I’m still eating some refined sugar. I eat one Kind Bar per day, so that means I consume about 4-8 grams of refined sugar daily. And of course, there’s sugar packed into sauces and foods I eat, particularly in restaurant meals. I eat Thai food on occasion, but many of Thai sauces are quite sweet. I don’t count that sugar because I couldn’t if I tried.

But I’m not eating the sugary chocolates I ate every day 49 days ago: cookies, cupcakes, brownies, ice cream and other sweets and delectable desserts. Eating all that sugar every day made me feel awful: achy, tired, bloated all the time, even though the first few bites of it tasted great! I don’t want to go back there, but I do want to eat sweet-tasting desserts and other delectable, sweet treats!

To help me sideline my sweet cravings, I eat a lot more fruit. At least it’s sweet, and it’s healthy. I also drink eat stevia-sweetened coffee almost every day. I make it with unsweetened oat milk, which makes it a satisfying morning beverage.

When I’m feeling hungry and tired, I reach for a bag of salted cashews. They are sweet-ish, and they are full of (good) fat, and they make me feel less hungry. I used to eat almonds, but those almond farms are killing our precious bees and using up too much of our precious water, so I’m trying to eat other nuts, like cashews, pistachios, walnuts and macadamia nuts. I haven’t researched whether these nuts are better for the environment, but I will do so when I’m ready.

My family is having a barbecue next week. This is a problem for me. Barbecue sauce is about 50 percent added sugar. If you don’t believe me, read the label. Ketchup is about 30% sugar, and it’s a major ingredient in barbecue sauce, as is molasses, which is mostly sugar.

Here’s a recipe for ribs with stevia sweetened barbecue sauce. The recipe calls for a tablespoon of coconut sugar, but you can substitute xylitol or monkfruit or add more stevia. Or leave the sweetener out. Either way, these ribs are delicious.

Springhouse Turtle

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