What I Learned from Kicking Sugar to the Curb


After my second diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma, I felt I needed to change something. On top of that, my insides were not feeling the greatest. I had spent four months in Asia; my diet consisting mainly of restaurant meals. It was a tasty diet, but not the most healthy one and not suitable for four months.

In the midst of upheaval and my inability to feel in control of what was going on in my life, I decided I needed to take back control in whatever way I could. My friend and I decided to do a month long cleanse together. With that decision I decided to completely cut out refined sugar for thirty days. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be, but I also didn’t realize how amazing I would feel.

I created an open invitation to my friends and fans on my Facebook fan page. And was delighted to have so many join me on the challenge of their choice for 30 days. Many stuck out to the “bitter” end and came out as champions. One person quit their “undercover” smoking habit, one stopped using chewing tobacco, others resolved to exercise more. It was all very inspiring.

I’ve included my meals/snacks from 30 Day Challenge, minus a couple days (they were probably meals that looked too boring to photograph). *yawn

Now here are the top ten things I learned from my 30 Day No Refined Sugar Challenge:

1) Make a good change, reframe your thinking. I would catch myself victimizing myself especially when I was around food that I could not eat or food fairs that I could not partake of. Then something clicked and I said to myself, “You don’t need to eat this stuff. You made this decision. It’s a healthy decision and you feel good.” I DID feel good.

2) You cannot force anyone else to change. Change starts with you. I know it sounds so cliche, but it’s true! I found myself “forcing” my family members to eat healthier and try some of the things I was making. The moment of truth came when I was trying to get my dad to eat beets.

Dad: “I don’t want to eat them, I don’t like the taste of beets.”

Me: “But they’re healthy for you!”

Dad: “I’ve lived until I’m 60, I’m doing just fine.”

Me: “Yeah and I’ll probably live till I’m 40!” (very angry Sylvia)

Touche dad.

I realized I can’t force others to change, but I can change myself.

3) Some friends will not support your decision. I was surprised that some of my friends did not really support my decision. It’s something you realize, be a little sad about and then continue doing what is best for you.

4) Some friends will support your decision. Sometimes your newest friends or acquaintances will be your strongest supporters. Surround yourself with this good energy. I had a friend who supported me 100% with my decision. We spent a lot of time and good fun together creating meals and supporting each other. He taught me so much. Thank you my friend!

5) Change can be expensive. Organic produce is sooo expensive! That’s all. :-(

6) You must commit time to change. It takes lots of time when you’re cooking all your meals from scratch. It’s best to meal plan ahead of time and store “batches” of food to save on time.

7) Do not leave the house hungry. As point six states, it takes a lot of time to cook your meals from your scratch… which you basically do because everything has sugar in it! You don’t want to go out hungry and have nothing to eat or cave by eating something that would ruin your challenge. Natural coconut water and a banana are  great for a quick fix if you find yourself dashing out of the house without time.

8) Read your labels. Everything in your average grocery store has sugar in it. EVERYTHING. It’s actually alarming and scary.

9) Educate yourself. You need to educate yourself on why you are doing something. Make note of your physical changes and how you are feeling. If you’re feeling good and your body isn’t sending out alarm signals, it’s usually a good thing.

10) Sugar is not evil. I find balance is key. I realize I don’t need to be adding sugar in things like tea or coffee. And there are tons of alternatives for non-processed, natural sweeteners like honey, etc.

I completed my 30 Day Sugar Free Challenge feeling pretty darn good. And I left with a lot of information pertinent to my situation. I carry many useful habits that I continue to incorporate into my life today.

Régal pour vos Yeux

Most of these were created with no sugar at all, or natural sweeteners such as honey or dates.

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