For the month of March, I vowed to not eat refined sugar. No ice cream (my achilles heel), no chocolate, no scones, no almond croissants, and no stuffing my face with half a box of Trader Joe Joe vanilla cream cookies. It has been surprisingly easy to succeed at this and I highly recommend joining the challenge for the rest of the month. March is a little more than half over but it’s not too late to swear off dessert for a few weeks. If you’re not quite convinced, this is what has been motivating me:
- Withdrawal symptoms indicate dependency. I experienced mild nausea, headaches and irritability for the first week. While totally manageable, this really showed me how strong my addiction was and that this detox needed to be done.
- Food cravings bring awareness to mindless eating. I have been focusing on eating lean protein and tons of veggies. I know that this is really all I need in order to be healthy and satiated, yet there is a voice in my head telling me to cap off a healthy meal with something sweet. I have been enthusiastically heeding that call for over a year and it was very difficult to quiet that internal request for dessert. We unequivocally do not need sugary foods to survive and they serve us in absolutely no positive way. It is very empowering to say NO to that voice and watch it fade more with each day.
- Food tastes better. Sugary foods are a party in our mouth. That first bite of ice cream is a little piece of heaven. So heavenly in fact that little else can compare. My mouth was so used to such intense sweetness that simpler foods didn’t pack much of a punch. After the first week of the sugar detox, my taste buds were more sensitive and basic dishes have been much more satisfying. My sense of taste had become dulled and desensitized but it doesn’t take long to bring it back alive.
- Become a creative snacker. Fruit contains fructose, a form of sugar. While fruit is higher in fiber and other nutrients which makes it worth consuming, it’s better to choose low glycemic fruits. Berries are great, especially raspberries and blackberries. Combined with things such as almond butter and coconut butter, I can now create a “dessert” that is far healthier than a pint of Ben ‘n Jerry’s but still makes me feel like I indulged. Check out all of our recipes. We post a new one every Wednesday.
- Reduce inflammation. Cutting down on sugary foods can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to a wide variety of health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and auto-immune disorders.
Hopefully this is enough to convince you to join me for the rest of “Sugar-Free March.” A friend of mine texted me the other day “I ate sugar yesterday but I still want to do the challenge.” This is the spirit in which these things need to be approached. We fall off the wagon and then we hop back on. I am hoping to ride the wagon far past these 30 days but I expect to occasionally tumble out the back! At yourBuddhi we believe that small changes over time are what really lead to profound change. Let’s start with knocking out the sweets, bring awareness to how much better we feel, and then stay on that road to see where it takes us. So far it has taken me back into my skinny jeans and that’s good enough for me.