Friday, April 4, 2008

No Sugar "Win"

I'm so lucky that I have a job I'm so passionate about.

Last month, in support of a friend, Jessica, I gave up alcohol, and granola. When we decided to "give up" these things a, sort of, releif came over me. Wow! I don't have that option of alcohol or granola anymore, it's not a choice to make anymore, because I made a commitment to a friend. Why is it easier to do it for a friend than ourselves? It doesn't matter, lol, it's not the point. Because of the releif I felt of not having the option, not having the choice, for a months time, I started thinking that this might be a good idea. Choosing to "give up" something once a month. That lead to thinking about other things that could be beneficial to give up.

I suggested this could become a regular exercise of a "monthly win". Exercising our ability to have "wins". Working up to bigger and bigger "wins". Eventually something big like giving up sugar! Jessica and I joked about when that would be a good time to try....maybe the summer when fruit was at it's peak...maybe a month that only had 30 days, (instead of 31!), definitely a month with no birthdays, lol (cake), etc....

So when Jess called me, about 5 days before April 1st, and told me that she wanted to give up sugar sooner than the next only a few days.....after about 5 seconds, I was totally "down" for the possibility! Woo hoo, this could be fun! But it was going to take some planning.

I wasn't worried, for me, I already make most of my own fact I make all of my own "non-sugar" foods, the food that I don't make myself are usually, always, sweets! But Jessica, on the other hand has a situation that most people have, which is that she's not in the habit of making, and preparing all of her own foods. Because of her schedule, her lifestyle, she has to rely on foods available to purchase that are healthy, nutritious and don't contain sugar. She can make some of her meals, but more importantly, planning is key!

So what do we mean when we say "no sugar"? Well, no processed sugar is obvious. No candy, cookies, ice cream, cake, white table sugar, etc. But it also includes every sugar, processed or not, including fake sugars like equal and nutrasweet and splenda, etc. We have agreed to make two acceptions, if we choose to exercise these options, we can have,

1 single serving of fruit per day, with the ability to "bank" our fruit servings to allow more or less. One serving of fruit means about 4oz.. NO BANANAS

1 tablespoon of honey per week. That can be split into teaspoons (3) for tea, salad dressings, yogurt, etc.

That's it.

I will be posting the details of this "monthly win", on my blog, Food and Thought, throughout this next month. It's so much more than just giving up sugar! And I'm excited to find out, all of health benefits, body compositon changes, disipline opportunities, strength and feelings of victory, that can come from this experience.

Life is good.


Kori Bliffert, NASM-CPT said...

If you don't mind I would like to join you in the "No Sugar Month". I am starting late in the month so I will go till May 4th. Sugar is my biggest issue. I could eat ice cream all day and not get sick of it. I think this will be a great way for me to kick the habit!

Christine said...

what are your thoughts on agave nectar? I've been using it in my coffee (the one area I have a hard time NOT using sweetener!)

Tracy Reifkind said...


Of course you can join....I just ask to join us on Food and Thought. I would like you, or anyone else interested in joining, to, basically, share your plan on how you are going to do this. I will outline my plan, and Jessica, will also contribute along the way.

Make a plan! It's about more than just sugar!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I don't have any thoughts about substitutes, except to call them what they are...substitutes!

I do believe in "weaning". So if it helps you to wean yourself, then cool. But what are you going for? Eventually no sweetener in you coffee, ever? Or does agave nectar help make you feel better about the sweeteners you choose?

Whatever you choose...feel good about it!

Christine said...

My overall plan is to just not feel exhausted all the time! It's not good when you wake up in the morning already tired! My meals have always been good, but when I sit and look at the rest of my diet, the snacking, the rampant consumption of coffee and sugar, it makes me cringe. In the end, I want to not 'need' (or think I need) coffee at all. But I figure the sugar is a good place to start, and then move on from there. None of these things that are supposed to give me a burst of energy are doing that!

So to answer your question - I don't want either one!

Anonymous said...

Tracy, I have the same problem as Christine.....I wake up tired and need my coffee (Peets of course!) and fake sugar. I can't drink it w/o some sweetener, so I figure the fake is better than the real, but when I've tried to kick the fake I can't take the coffee and then I feel miserable all day. I guess I need to give them both up and figure something else out. I've been thinking a lot about it, and your post makes me want to just give it up for a month and then see how I feel....what is it 21 days to change a habit?

Mark Reifkind said...


have you ever used whipping cream( heavy) in your coffee instead of sugar?You might find it cuts the craving for the sugar and keep blood sugar levels more stable longer.

Anonymous said...

Mark---I have not, but I noticed Tracy does!! I should try that. I also bought some different types of tea today, maybe a different "experience" will also cut the craving, if that make sense, since I associate coffee with sweet flavor.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Christine, it the coffee and sugar, or the kids, house, husband, business, etc....LOL?

I'm still a fan of weaning, but cold turkey works for me too!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Yes, I just heard that "21 days" thing....but you inspired my next blog post (F&T), about coffee, and drinking it!

cathy b said...

I like the idea of no sugar but I must admit the coffee thing is troubling but I will try Mark's suggestion. What about hidden sugar in milk? We talked about the kids but do you think cold turkey with the kids would work too? So let me get this straight sugar begets sugar cravings?


Mark Reifkind said...


don't worry about the sugars in milk, they don't raise insulin much at all, which is the real key to 'good' or 'bad' sugars.I will write a more complete post on this later on Tracy's Food and Thought.