A Few Days In

Well, I’ve survived the first few days of this sugar-free thing. Honestly, it’s not that bad. The key is moderation and being realistic. Realistically, I’m not going to give up pineapple or bananas — fruits that have higher sugar content — but I always try to fit healthy greens into my meals. I feel like that’s a good compromise. Another thing I’ve realized is that without some meats, I’d probably starve. As a former vegetarian, I can tell you that this is kind of difficult to do if you don’t eat meat. Without meat, you definitely need to stock up on beans and a ton of quinoa so you don’t pass out. That being said, vegetarians can definitely handle this; just use caution. Just replace the meat in the salad below with beans, beans, beans!

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Moving on to some exciting news. Morgantown is getting (or has?) a juice bar! I read about it online a few days ago and just drove by today to confirm it’s existence! If you live in the area, it’s actually right across from Black Bear Burritos. Seems like the perfect spot! If you aren’t familiar with Black Bear, they are famous for using locally grown produce and resources. Plus, their food rocks. A juice bar is the perfect neighbor for Black Bear! I haven’t been to this new juice bar yet, but my lady Candace Lately is already on it! Anyway, I’ll update when I’ve stopped in for a taste. (Check them out on Facebook.)

Tonight’s dinner: Paleo Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake!

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Sugar-Free Fresh Start

Today, I started my sugar-free adventure. In honor of Lent, I decided that I would give up more than just candy and ice cream this time. I am walking away from all things “added sugar.” My particular list includes:

  • White bread (includes any bread with white flour in it)
  • Pasta, unless whole grain
  • White rice
  • White flour, and products made with it such as cake, cookies, crackers, pretzels, doughnuts, bagels, and muffins
  • Corn and corn chips
  • Sugar and products with added sugar, e.g. canned fruits in syrup
  • Jams and jellies containing added sugars
  • Salad dressings and sauces with added sugar, such as Teriyaki sauce
  • Fruit drinks containing added sugar
  • Sugar-sweetened soft drinks
  • Sugar-cured meats (e.g. ham is often cured with salt and sugar)

I’ve seen a lot of different lists, so far, and I have to say, I do have a few things I’m NOT cutting out.

  • Chewing gum
  • Honey
  • Wine
  • Bananas, pineapple, beets, corn, etc. (This is beyond silly to me.)

Basically, I’m just trying to eliminate sugar that doesn’t occur naturally. This weekend, I’m hoping to get some serious baking done so that I have a variety to live on for the next 40 days. (I actually started this a day after Ash Wednesday.) So here are a few examples of what I will be eating.

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Oatmeal: 1/2 old fashioned oats, 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 2 tbs of unsweetened applesauce, handful of raisins, a handful of almonds and a splash of honey. Perfect flavor combination! I think I’ll throw apples in tomorrow.

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Caprese Spinach Salad: bed of spinach with freshly chopped basil, sliced cherry tomatoes, a little fresh mozzarella and a homemade dressing with olive oil, white vinegar and stone ground mustard.

My goal is to keep the ingredients as basic as possible. So here’s to going sugar-free!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Read your food labels! It’s truly amazing how much junk gets put into our processed foods. For instance, did you know that the following are all fancy terms for sugar?

  • Brown sugar
  • Cane crystals
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Malt syrup
  • Molasses
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Syrup

Shocking! So just be aware and try to look for things with less than 3 grams of sugar. Your waistline will thank you later!

Snow Day Number…I’ve Lost Count

Fancy meeting you here. I know I certainly haven’t been around in a while! Well, as you’ve probably already guessed, I’m snowed in for the millionth time this winter. Hey, I’m not complaining, because it saves me a drive, but I am a little tired of the bitter cold. Snow is very pretty, though. 

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Honestly though, I don’t mind another day at the house, as my weekend was pretty jam packed with fun outings. On Saturday, I drove to Fairmont to my co-worker’s baby “sprinkle.” In case you’ve never heard of this, I’ll explain. A “baby sprinkle” is a smaller party to celebrate second, third or fourth pregnancies and is usually more common when the mother is having a child of the opposite sex of the first. In my co-worker’s case, she didn’t want her little girl to be stuck with a bunch of blue hand-me-downs! The whole thing was filled with great company, delicious snacks and of course, the entertainment of her first born running around with an adorable “I heart my sister” tee shirt. So cute.

After the sprinkle, I hurried back to Morgantown to meet Alex, my friend Mandy and her mom for the WVU United Way benefit dinner at the Alumni Center. The whole evening was a blast and the food was very good. We honestly couldn’t even touch our dessert! After we finished up the dinner, we headed over to Mario’s Fishbowl for a nightcap. 

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Oh, before I forget, let me share a photo of my happy veggie omelet!

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Yum! 

Ok, I’m off to entertain Grace and make my usual attempts to log into my work computer remotely. 

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