What was the easiest to cut out? What has been the hardest?
Melissa: Easiest for me is the hidden sugars like in bread, pasta sauce and peanut butter. It seems like we are able to find non-sugar versions of all these products and you cannot even tell the difference. I have been buying the natural peanut butter that only has peanuts as an ingredient for years. When I taste Jif, it tastes like dessert to me with the added oil and sugar. We buy Ezekiel 4:9 bread and I think it tastes great. We found a no sugar pasta sauce and honestly couldn’t tell the difference at all.
Hardest is no Starbucks. Kyle and I usually go together at least once a weekend or meet his mom and stepdad there for coffee after church. I miss it and it has been a routine for many years. I don’t think I will think of it the same after this challenge though. No wonder I loved the coffee from there….it’s loaded with so much sugary goodness, how can you not? I haven’t even looked up the sugar in a frappucino which I have been known to get on occasion. I am not sure I want to know. I still intend to go to Starbucks just a hell of a lot less often.
Kyle: Soda because I wanted to before this challenge. It’s horrible for my teeth. Bad for the environment. But another thing that was easy to ditch was candy. The sugar I consume at work mindlessly stuffing my mouth with skittles, cookies, chocolate is insane. I knew it was bad for my weight and teeth. I really enjoy eating my sugarless snacks: carrots and hummus, nut mixes, and Larabars.
Hardest for me has been giving up donuts. I love, love, love donuts! I know I talked about it before. I love the smell of a bakery and the fun of looking through the display case.
Melissa: We are already halfway through the challenge. Easter is right around the corner (3 weeks from this Sunday).
Yesterday was meal planning day. For the past couple years, I sit down every week or so and plan out our meals for the week. I’ve refined my methods over time and our current process works pretty well for us. I really wanted to cut down on wasted food and though it still does happen, it’s pretty rare we have to throw much away. So basically, I pull out a couple cookbooks and a piece of paper. I divide the paper into 4 sections, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks/dessert. I write down a couple of things in each sections, add the needed items to the shopping list we keep on a clipboard and bam ready to shop.
Well menu planning has gotten a little bit more difficult with the sugar free challenge. The snacks/desserts section is seriously lacking. The first couple weeks we were content with banana ice cream or just skipping dessert most nights but we wanted to try a couple sugar-free desserts this time.
I checked out a book from the library and made a couple things from it last week. An apple crisp- it was okay but really needs that brown sugary goodness, coconut truffles (a little too much coconut if you ask me) and cookie dough dip which I gave a 2 out of 10.
Kyle: I liked the cookie dough dip. Could have used chocolate chips but a 6/10 for me. I have plans to make a sugar free Oreo Cake. It uses a plantain which I’ve never ate. So we will see how that goes!
I am in a groove. I am used to my unsweetened almond milk latte. Not saying I don’t miss Starbucks but I’m happy with what I’m able to make. I’m used to my snacks and turning down candies at work. I’m glad not to be drinking soda and energy drinks.
Last week I ate at Cracker Barrel with some friends. I had a medley of potatoe sides and veggies. But in the shop, my friend bought me a million dollars. A chocolate bar she was keeping till after Easter. But it was too tempting for her not to eat so it sits on my desk!