The Sugar-Free Chronicles Part 3: Damn it, I feel good.

The worst part about this challenge, my March no-added-sugar challenge, isn’t that I have to avoid all sugary foods in my life right now, it’s that I feel good. Hence, Part 3 of my Sugar Free Chronicles, Damn it, I feel good. If you missed them -> Part 1: Day 1 and Part 2: One week down.

I ultimately decided to not drink during this challenge as well. I started justifying alcohol in my mind as something that doesn’t technically contain added sugar, it’s really more fermented wheat and grapes and is basically an old salad that gives you a buzz, but then I figured if I’m going all in with this sugar thing, I might as well not drink either. The fun police have arrived.

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When I joined friends for drinks on Saturday and they asked why I was sipping club soda with lime instead of being a beer snob who asks the waitress about the various ambers she has on tap, I had to confess I was trying not to drink this month. I told them that the worst part was, I FELT BETTER. I don’t drink a lot, but I enjoy beer and the occasional glass of red sangria so it wasn’t a huge deal to stop drinking, but it’s instances where it would be habitual to drink that you notice the conscious choice. Not drinking leaves me first of all, less dehydrated on Saturday mornings, less bloated, and less “full of beer” feeling. It’s quite lovely. Imagine that.

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I did a similar challenge with my mom last spring, where we removed added sugar from our diet in April and I had completely forgotten about one AMAZING result from this challenge – BETTER SLEEP. My sleep pattern seems to better regulate itself. I am waking up before my alarm now and feeling like I can just get up and take on my day instead of needing a solid hour or two to even feel awake. Don’t get me wrong, I know it could be a result of a lot of different factors like my conscious effort to read instead of scroll Instagram before bed or a coincidentally more consistent time I crawl into bed, but it has been significantly noticeable in the last week how much better my sleep pattern is.

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It sucks really, how great this challenge is making my body feel because then that means I should probably try to continue a slightly less strict version of this after the official challenge is over. I think the hardest part is that our environment is not set up for this. As a society, we add sugar to SO MUCH and unless you are making all meals at home or really selecting carefully where you eat out, it’s hard. All I know, is I’ve been doing this challenge for two weeks now and my sleep/hair/workouts/life feel pretty damn good.

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Have you ever tried something that had a weird consequence on your health/sleep/energy?

What was the best workout you did this past week?

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14 Comments

  1. I feel like I could do this, except for coffee. I just cannot give up my little bit of sugar I need in it! I put very little in now (half a sugar if I’m “ordering” one), but I was just reminiscing to Jim about how in my college days, I used to order “quadruple, quadruple” coffees from Timmies! Ewwww! Then I decreased to triple/triple, then double/double and no I do one cream and half sugar (except at McDonald’s cause they have way better coffee!). Ok, not sure why I shared all that, haha!! 😉

    1. I think a lot of people start drinking coffee like that. It’s funny, I started by drinking coffee black because I lied in my Starbucks interview and said I enjoyed the taste of coffee when we did a coffee press and tasting, and just ran with it until I did. HAHAH!

  2. Isn’t it sad that our society has become one dependent on processed foods? How is it that it’s easier to obtain processed foods than whole foods? How can we change this?

    I’m glad that you’re feeling so great!

  3. I like what you said about our society not being set up to eat whole foods all the time. It’s “normal” to eat mix of highly processed/whole foods. Plus, so much of our social interactions are centered on food/drinks. As a society, I feel like we make way too much of a big deal of food in general and on both sides of the spectrum – healthy & “unhealthy”.

    I definitely feel WAY better not eating any processed foods, but it’s not sustainable in the long term.

    1. Totally. I think it’s great to be mindful, but the stress that is caused by restriction is far worse for your health (in my opinion) than the “clean eating” itself!

      1. I feel so often these types of things (sugar-free challenges, whole 30 etc) are so hyped up – but it’s often less about what you are eliminating and more about what you are adding. Eating more fruits, vegetables, making healthier choices, drinking more water, etc. Of course you’re going to feel better!! Will having a processed treat a few times a week undo that? No. Not likely for most. Not if you focus on ADDING in the good stuff, versus looking at it in a taking away something…that makes people anxious and less likely to do it. The fact of the matter is that making healthier choices will make you feel better in the long run. Not rocket science 🙂

        1. I completely agree! I am really only calling this a “sugar free challenge” instead of “an attempt to incorporate more wholesome fruits and vegetables and less processed foods while consequently removing foods that have white sugar added to them” because it’s catchier. 😉 Thanks for commenting Jenni! 🙂

  4. Haha! This is hilarious. I so feel this; it’s so hard when you make hard changes and really see great results.

    My best workout was a blogilates leg workout–those glutes!

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