Friday, March 20, 2015

One Month

One month. We have been sugar free for one month. It's hard to believe. At times it feels like we just started this a few days ago. Other times it feels like it's been forever. We are all looking forward to our Easter sugary treats. Candy for the kids, lemon meringue pie for me, and I don't think Steven has decided yet. But honestly, we're all doing so much better than I ever thought possible.

We still get cravings, especially in the evenings. It's still hard to turn down food in a social situation, especially for Luke. But one month people. It's been one month since we've had more than a tiny amount of added sugar!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sugar Rush

Today the kids and I attended an Easter Party hosted by the moms group I'm in. They served a breakfast with muffins, bagels, croissants, and fruit. I let them each have muffins and juice boxes, and then there was an Easter egg hunt. Chocolate galore. I just sat back and let them enjoy it. (I had one bagel, the lowest sugar of the three offerings, and no juice.)

Luke helped himself to about the four of the chocolate muffins. He had at least one juice box that I'm aware of. I don't think Sam actually had a juice box, he liked that they had small water bottles and he had several of those. I don't think he ever had a muffin either. He's my no sugar convert. He didn't shy away from the chocolate eggs however. He had most of his eaten by the time Luke and I had finished emptying his eggs.

Anyone who has ever claimed that there's no correlation between children's behavior and sugar intake should have come to my house this evening. They were both out of control, loud, and basically vibrating with extra energy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fructose Free Sugar Cookies!

Today I tried a new recipe, for sugar cookies that I found on  Basic Christmas Cookie It uses Rice Malt syrup instead of sugar. I had brown rice syrup, and assumed it was the same, and gave them a try. The blog is from Australia, so if you try them out know that 110g of butter is one stick, and 170* C is about 335*F, and corn flour is corn starch.

I followed the recipe and instructions exactly. The dough was a bit crumbly, and actually seemed to roll out a bit easier after it warmed up. We cut out lots of hearts, then I just cut the remaining dough into some squares. I did have a fail moment when I told Luke to get some sprinkles out and decorate them before putting them in the oven. Sprinkles are, not surprisingly, made of sugar. So few actually ended up on each cookie that I chose not to worry about it, and just enjoy them.  I also made the frosting recipe, although I swapped out lemon juice for vanilla, and added a bit of cinnamon, just because I thought it sounded good.

 The frosting is really frothy, and very sweet.  The cookies, well I fully admit, I was scared of the first taste. Luke happily scarfed his down, so I tentatively took a bite. There was a strong flavor at first, the brown rice syrup, reminiscent of molasses. The next bite was better, and then even better. Soon I was on to my second cookie. These cookies are definitely not as sweet as the sugar cookies I normally make. I actually want to try that recipe with a dextrose sub. But right now, when its been three weeks sine we've had cookies or anything sweet at all, they are fantastic.

I am not a photographer. This is a bad pic from my cell phone, but here's proof that we really did make them.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Catching up

I haven't written in well over a week. Real life moves fast around here. Luke had an ongoing cold that finally was diagnosed as a sinus infection. Sam started flag football practice, we continue with our play dates, homework, house work and everything else. Plus we're in the thick of choosing a preschool for Luke for next fall. Serious business folks.

In the meantime, we have continued our sugar free experiment. Steven and I continue to be completely sugar free. We had to relax a little with the boys, especially Luke. He's still getting small amounts of ketchup and ranch dressing, as well as one granola bar a day. The granola bars have 7 grams of added sugar. They're not fantastic, but he was seriously going on a hunger strike. Just one bar everyday, or sometimes even every other day seems to have appeased him. Am I catering to my child's whims, probably yes. But he's at a difficult age for this. He was used to his normal eating habits. Used to getting juice and granola bars, fruit snacks and the occasional cookie or donut, lollipops at the bank, etc. Sam was used to the same, but he understands what it means when we say no sugar. In fact, he's become quite the label reader, and considers it a challenge to find a sugar free version of something. Luke however, is just now 3. That concept is way beyond him. He just wants his umms, as he calls treats. So I figure, he's getting around 10-12 grams of sugar per day. Still not ideal, but so much lower than he was eating.

Today I took Luke to a birthday party. While there, I will admit I had two bites of pizza, which I'm sure had sugar in both the sauce and the dough. Luke however, hit the jackpot. He had the pizza, and a piece of chocolate cake. He was in heaven. He did leave quite a bit of cake on the plate, but he was full, and threw it away when he was done. I managed to keep myself from even licking frosting off my finger. Will power people. I'm working on it.  While I did allow Luke the cake, I gave him water instead of the Hawaiian punch offered. He didn't miss it, and I felt better about avoiding the red sugar water.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Both Steven and I seem to be having some pretty fierce cravings the past two evenings. We usually allowed ourselves some sort of sweet treat after dinner, and this is proving to be the hardest habit to break. We are holding strong, but I think we're swapping out sweet treats for salty ones like potato chips. I need to curb that. I was trying to hold off a few more weeks before I attempted baking some cookies or brownies with dextrose, but I may give in this weekend and try something out.

I did finally find a breakfast that the boys both happily ate. I made homemade waffles, with dextrose instead of sugar. The recipe only called for one tablespoon, and I just swapped it out for one tablespoon of dextrose. The kids didn't seem to notice, and I had one and thought it was pretty good as well. Fresh strawberries on top definitely helped make it a yummy breakfast, albeit a bit labor intensive for a school morning. However, the recipe said I could keep the extra batter in the fridge and use it to make more, so I'm going to try that for the next few mornings. I think fresh will taste better than frozen and reheated. They always seem to get soggy that way.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Days 6 and 7 check in.

We made it a week! That feels like an achievement. The past two days Steven and I have been completely sugar free. The boys are only getting a minute amount in ketchup and ranch, Sam less than Luke. Luke has a love affair with condiments, and it's going to take more than a week to get him off of them. But honestly, if that's the only place he's getting added sugar, I'm not going to freak out too much about it.

I don't seem to be having any withdrawal issues so far. I did get a headache this evening, but I'm pretty sure it was more of a, my kids are being loud and I'm trying to cook dinner type of headache, than a withdrawal one. Tylenol and water made it go away either way. I also had some pretty strong sugar cravings this evening, but I'm positive those were hormonal cravings. I'm curious how/ if those will change as I detox off of sugar.

We made it through a tough play date with Luke's friends, the host offered juice boxes, yogurt covered raisins, mini cupcakes! And thankfully string cheese. Luke asked for a juice box, but I gave him his water and while he wasn't thrilled, he didn't throw a fit. It's going to be a long time until he stops asking for juice and ice cream and cupcakes. I need to remember that he doesn't understand what it means when I say no sugar, and even Sam doesn't quite grasp the full meaning of it. This is going to be a long, slow moving process, but I have confidence we'll get it figured out eventually.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sugar Free Smoothie

I've been having a smoothie for breakfast most days for months now. It's an easy way to get lots of fruit and veggies in, plus some protein, and they're delicious. I've played around a bit with my current method, to make it completely sugar free, and so far it's working out fantastically.

I start with frozen fruit. I just buy the big bags at my grocery store. I use mixed berries, strawberries, mango, peaches, and pineapple. My favorite mix right now is peaches, pineapple, and a small bit of mango.  We have a Magic Bullet blender system that we're loving right now. So I put the frozen fruit in the tumbler cup, then microwave it for one minute. I've found this makes it easier for the blades to break up, but it's still cold, just not rock hard. Then I add a handful of spinach or kale, about 3/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt, and about half a cup of low fat milk. Then I just turn it on and wait. Sometimes if I've been heavy handed with the fruit I'll need to add a splash more of milk. Before we started the sugar free challenge, I was using flavored Greek yogurt, and I was really worried that I would notice a change in flavor. The first day it did seem a bit more tart, but I think I've already grown used to it, and I'm really enjoying them.