Sugar and spice and everything nice—That's what my diet consists of.
Welcome to "Two Weeks Without," where Yours Truly goes without an item for a certain amount of time and reports back with the possible benefits (or disadvantages) of that particular item. This time, I went without eating sugar.
All right, ladies and gentleman, these last two weeks I went without sugar. I was determined to make it through the whole two weeks. This means I had to drink my coffee black or with milk (like the movie stars of the '90s), I used honey in my tea, and I did not eat one crumb of the two boxes of Oreos in my house. Thankfully, I had friends and family to support me.
The first couple of days, all I wanted was sweets: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ice cream, and Hershey's kisses. So I purged my pantry of all the sweets that I knew I would enjoy. For the first week, all I did was avoid sugar, which makes sense, right? What doesn't make sense was the second week, where I went a little squirrelly and started buying sweets like I was stocking up for winter.
What had happened was this: I went grocery shopping and ended up walking down the Easter candy aisle. BAD IDEA! The candy spoke to me. So I bought some Peeps -- one of the new flavors: Party Cake. I know, I know, I am terrible.
The next day, I made chocolate chip cookies. But at this point in the second week, I wasn't craving sugar. At this point, I remembered that I had the stuff to make homemade popcorn, and that saved me. It did not help that my social media feeds decided that these last two weeks they would show me all of the greatest baked goods recipes and how I could make them, too!
I did have a few weak moments, but my husband was a great help keeping me motivated. After the chicken nugget fiasco a few weeks ago, he kept me honest. Every time I reached for a cookie or wanted a sweet drink from Starbucks, he would say, "No, you don't need that. You can do this." So I made it two weeks without sugar, and here's what I noticed.
How will no sugar feel?
I felt pretty hungry most of the time. This made me realize that most of the snacks I eat on a regular basis are full of sugar.
Like I said earlier, homemade popcorn has no sugar, and it is a lot easier than you might think to make. Here is my favorite recipe for popcorn. This recipe suggests coconut or peanut oil; I use extra virgin olive oil, but it's good no matter which oil you decide to use. Homemade popcorn is actually cheaper in the long run than microwavable popcorn.
After the cravings for sugar wore off, I noticed that I started to feel better. I did not feel as sleepy as I usually did. I didn't get the springtime cold that I usually suffer through around this time. I felt more positive about things I usually do not like, such as going to the gym. These are the pros of a no-sugar diet.
But here are the cons: Everything has sugar in it, even things that do not seem like they have sugar -- most cereals, barbecue sauce, and ice cream. Just kidding, I know there's sugar in ice cream. Pretty much the only cereal that doesn't have sugar in it is Cheerios. Bless you, Cheerios!
The funniest and most awkward part about going without sugar was the conversations I got into. All of my coworkers thought I swore off sugar for Lent; I did not have the heart to tell them that it was for an article and not for religious purposes. One girl in my college class asked how it was going, and as a joke, I said, "I'm basically living off potato chips." Her jaw nearly dropped open and I realized that was probably the wrong thing to say. Now excuse me, while I have a proper cup of coffee with milk and sugar.
Are you a sweets person or a savory person? Have you ever gone without sugar? If so, for how long? How did it make you feel? What else should I try in this new OCN series? Tell me in the comments!
Check back in two weeks to see how I handle going without makeup!