On Sunday evening when having dinner with some friends, Jordan noticed a chocolate fondue fountain in the corner of the room. When he pointed it out, our friends offered that we could borrow it sometime. Jordan responded something along the lines of, “maybe at the end of this crazy sugar free diet. At that point, I’ll probably just pour it over me like a shower!” He may or may not have been kidding.
We are now 2 weeks into our sugar free diet. You can read more about week 1 and why we’re doing this diet here. At the end of that post, I was feeling good and getting the hang of it! But this week has been harder again. I can’t tell you how mad I am at food. Mad that I need it. Mad that I can’t have the kind I want. Mad that the kind of food I can eat doesn’t taste as good. Mad that in America everything has sugar in it. Mad that what I’m eating doesn’t. Mad that food has this much of a hold on me.
As I’m writing this, I am
drooling sitting at Bruegger’s Bagels with only a diet coke. Why I put myself through this kind of torture, I have no clue. Just the smell of the warm bagels is enough to make me feel high. But I am surrounded by temptation wherever I go. Every sign for a Chick-fil-a makes me want to beat my head against the steering wheel. As a matter of fact, today I drove by a tire store that kind of looked like a fast food restaurant and found myself thinking, “Mmm, I want to eat there!” You’ve never heard of sugar-free induced hallucinations? Well, they’re real. I keep waiting to reach the point where I feel so much energy and feel great being sugar free that everyone tells me I will, but I have yet to get there. Perhaps it hasn’t been long enough? Maybe it takes a month or more of doing it to get to that point? Or maybe my body is unique and just needs sugar :). I’ll let you chose you’re theory on that one.
But I keep coming back to the thought that this is something I am doing by choice and there are so many people in the world living with food restrictions that are certainly not of their choosing. Many eat rice and/or beans for every meal, and here I am whining that I can’t have a bagel or dessert. “Western World Problems,” right? Seriously, though. If you were to ask me what has been hard in my life lately, I would say fasting from sugar and from self tanner (which I am also doing again). Can you imagine if I told that to someone living in Haiti, Uganda, the poorest parts of the US, or someone who is losing a loved one or is fighting against cancer? I hate being pale and I love eating sugar but can’t, wah wah wah, my life is so hard. Some people don’t know where their next meal will come from or if they’ll even have one, and here I am pouting because I can’t eat pizza. Next thing you know I’ll be in one of those commercials with a sad face while they explain my condition, “She has pale skin… she can’t even eat a burger! This is how she is living each day…” and people from all over the world will start donating me self tanners and sugar filled food items because they feel bad and, you know, that’s what’s important in life.
Today I was studying in Ephesians 5 and it really struck me when Paul talked about thanksgiving as the antidote of sin. I act like I deserve so many things, but if I realize what I really deserve (eternal separation from God) and think about how God through Christ took away what I deserve to give me a life and eternity that I did not and could not earn out of His abundant grace, then I would live my life full of thanksgiving. Humbled by overwhelming gratitude. And it would likely choke out all the complaining I do about things, like sugar-free eating. I have so many food choices. No one should feel bad for me for cutting out sugar. Isn’t it crazy that Americans probably have the most to be thankful for with all of our material blessings and freedom of choices, and yet we’re pretty much the biggest complainers? In the past when I spent time in orphanages and working with the poor in Mexico I was struck by how thankful and joyful they were. Yet spend a day with me, and you will surely know about all the things that bothered me that day. I’m talking really hard stuff- like the AC not cooling down fast enough, running out of creamer for my coffee, or eating another salad for dinner. Yeesh.
So in the spirit of being thankful in the midst of this diet, I am going to share with you two beautiful recipes that have helped me curb cravings and enjoy my food :):
First, a sweet friend of mine made me these Peanut butter Lara bars with peanut butter, dates, and oats and it really helped curb my cravings for sweets (and I love me some PB)! I made more on my own and they’ve been a great snack during the day.
Second, this week we did “salad week” where we’ve been making salads for dinner every night. I’ve tried to make it fun by coming up with creative salads and soliciting the help of facebook friends. One that I decided to call “Savory Southwestern Salad” ended up turning out SO DELICIOUS! We may even eat it again tomorrow night 🙂 Here’s what we put in it:
- romaine lettuce
- green onion
- diced red onion
- chopped avocado
- grilled chicken
- black beans
- pico de gallo salsa
- reduced fat cilantro dressing (from Trader Joes…and sugar free!)
- pepper jack cheese
- light sour cream
It was heavenly. My mouth is watering thinking about it.
Thanks again for trekking with me through this journey! I hope to bring you encouraging updates in the next 2 weeks. We’re halfway there!