Sugar Free-dom

I opened the refrigerator door. I closed the refrigerator door. 
I opened the cabinet above the sink. I closed the cabinet above the sink.
I opened the cabinet above the stove. I closed the cabinet above the stove.
I walked away disappointed, with nothing but a pathetic frown.
I did this multiple times a day, everyday for 30 days.
And that's almost true!

One month ago, I decided to veer off the fast and luring road to diabetes to see what other directions life had to offer.   It has been awhile in the making-- that is, my love affair with sweet, sweet foods: cake, cookies, cupcakes, donuts, brownies, candy, chocolate, muffins, pie, and ice cream, for example.  Before saying goodbye, I made it clear to all of Candyland that a bond like ours runs deep, best friends for life, no matter the distance between us.  

I am that person who lectures everyone about their health: "Quit eating all that crap and get exercising before the only way for you to leave the house is by forklift." Of course, I say all of this with a chocolate chip cookie in my hand. In both hands.  Or maybe the other hand has a slice of red velvet cake. So, yeah, I figured it was time to confront my own health demons.

The 30 days has come and gone, leaving me to wonder if sugar is really my problem or if my body is just irreparably exhausted.  They say that eliminating sugar from your diet helps restore energy and balance mood, bringing about a sustained sense of wellness.  Ah, that sounds fantastic! I am often always very tired and usually typically unpredictably moody.  That is not to say I am lazy or mean;  I am slow and cranky.  I traded in my sweet stash for the bitter taste of unsatisfied cravings only to discover that I am slow and cranky when I eat a lot of sugar and I am slow and cranky when I don't.

I gave up foods with added sugar but allowed myself to continue eating fruit, both fresh and dried [no fruit juice].  I also gave up coffee.  Reading ingredients at the grocery store was alarming. I could not believe how many foods that I eat regularly, not even counting the obvious decadent indulgences,  have [a lot of] added sugar: french fries, pickles, pasta sauce, tortillas, ketchup, salsa, hot sauce, soy milk, yogurt, cereal, soy sauce, hummus, bread.  For some foods, I managed to find a single brand that didn't use sugar when all others did [soy milk], some foods I had to eliminate completely [ketchup], and other foods I found a work around [soy sauce Braggs]. 

Some excerpts:
4.15.11 Day 1
I wonder if I'll replace one addiction for another. Hello, chips!
No cookies after dinner makes my skin crawl. Want. Now.

4.17.11 Day 3
Daytime tires me. Nighttime gives me cookies hungry.
The nights are definitely the worst. Mornings second worst.
Tim taunted me by mentioning "Whole Foods cookies." Now, I want two German chocolate cookies, one chocolate chip, a blueberry muffin, a banana muffin, a zucchini muffin, a chocolate muffin, and an apple pie. With ice cream. I would also really like a vegan pizza and a soft pretzel. 

4.18.11 Day 4
Vanilla rooibos tea is a life saver.  Mmmm Life Savers ...
It was as if I have never worked out. My energy was crappy. All day. Limbs heavy. 

4.21.11 Day 7 
Nothing much changes. 
Didn't realize I condemned us to not eating out ever ...

4.22.11 Day 8
Can't eat figs anymore because they are too expensive. 

4.23.11 Day 9
Same same. Same.
Body hurts.
Went to New World by myself at 11pm.  I saw a no sugar added chocolate bar and bought it.  Should I eat it? Nooooo, fine.

4.26.11 Day 12
It's incredible how much I talk about food. No. It's incredible how much I think about food. I always want cake in my face. 
I think I'm compensating by eating more food in general, specifically more salt.  It appears I'll be trading in early diabetes for a fresh case of high blood pressure.

4.28.11 Day 14

5.3.11 Day 19
Grouchy day. 

5.11.11 Day 27
I don't care about the sugar diet anymore. 

With all of my might, I did it. I made it 30 days without sugar.  In fact, in the five days since my diet ended, I have only had one sugary treat -- a Luna Bar.  And I sat and stared at it for a long while ... But then I ate it.

Rangitoto Island, where volcanic monsters live.

WWII military barracks.

Lava caves. Good thing I brought a flashlight. Yes, it was creepy.

Lava field. 

Ooooh, I've been making succulent terrariums! I made about
30 of them in glass vessels of all different shapes and sizes.

I really hope that someone buys them ... please ...