Mamavation Monday: Week 12

Last week, I wrote about how Jason and I had decid­ed to give up sug­ar for Lent.  I got tons of encour­age­ment, and a few great tips.  Thanks, Every­one!  I also real­ized some­thing inter­est­ing this past week.

We don’t eat much sug­ar any­more.

Giv­ing up sug­ar has­n’t been very dif­fi­cult.  It has­n’t changed most of our eat­ing pat­terns.  It has­n’t felt like a sac­ri­fice.  There are times when it has been frus­trat­ing or annoy­ing, but it has­n’t been hard or sac­ri­fi­cial.  When I say it’s been frus­trat­ing or annoy­ing, I am think­ing about try­ing to cook black bean enchi­ladas.  Did you know that most sal­sas have sug­ar in them?  Did you know that toma­to sauce has sug­ar in it?  Some store bought bread­crumbs have HCFS in them.  (I’ve been mak­ing my own since I read this blog post just after it was first writ­ten.)  So, most of the time this week the choice for us to elim­i­nate sug­ar from our diets has been about “catch­ing” it in foods here and there.

Hon­est­ly, I was pret­ty sur­prised how lit­tle added sug­ar we eat.  When I hear about all the sug­ar that is in our diets these days, I thought elim­i­nat­ing sug­ar would be a no brain­er.  I’m still glad that we gave up some­thing for Lent.  I still think that sug­ar is some­thing that we can do with­out in our diets.  I did think though that I would be doing more giv­ing up vs. sub­sti­tut­ing.  Right now, I’m just look­ing for a sal­sa with­out sug­ar or using toma­to paste and water instead of toma­to sauce.  It’s not what I expect­ed.

Last week, some­one had asked for tips or sug­ges­tions.  I’m not sure I have many since the low amount of sug­ar in my diet has come as a sur­prise to me instead of a con­scious choice, but here’s what I have so far.

1.  Use fruit to sweet­en things you would oth­er­wise sweet­en with sug­ar.  If you are hav­ing oat­meal, throw a banana in with the oats while they are cook­ing.  It will break down and sweet­en every bite.  If you are eat­ing plain yogurt, try peach­es, pineap­ple, or banana slices.

2.  Use nat­ur­al sweet­en­ers in mod­er­a­tion.  Hon­ey is great for sweet­en­ing up a smooth­ie.  Mix­ing in 1/2 tsp. of maple syrup with some plain yogurt will take the sour bite out of it.

3.  Not every­thing needs to be sweet.  Try eat­ing savory oat­meal.  Add cucum­bers to cot­tage cheese.

4.  Make sure you’re get­ting enough sleep and enough liq­uids.  A book I read a few years ago talked about peo­ple who are chron­i­cal­ly tired mis­tak­ing the feel­ing of tired­ness (or thirst) for hunger.  I know that sounds a lit­tle insult­ing.  I know what hunger feels like, right?  Yes and no.  I do know what it feels like to be hun­gry, but when I’m tired or thirsty, I will some­times choose to eat to try to sati­ate that feel­ing instead of doing what my body is real­ly ask­ing me to do either by drink­ing some water or going to bed.

5.  Stock your fridge with fruit and veg­eta­bles.  Make fruits and veg­eta­bles your snacks, side dish­es, and impulse eats.  If those are your choic­es, you’ll be doing far less mind­less eat­ing with a bag of broc­coli than you will with a box of cook­ies.

Have a great week, Every­one!


  1. Even if it does­n’t feel like much of a sac­ri­fice, you are con­scious­ly exam­in­ing your choic­es. That is a good thing, in the spir­i­tu­al sense as well as the phys­i­cal. Love your tip about adding bananas to oat­meal. Oat­meal does­n’t have to be drip­ping in sug­ar to be deli­cious!

    You’re doing great, Casey! So proud of you!

  2. good for you for keep­ing your promise to cut back on sug­ar, i tried to give up sweets for lent and lost after a week

    have an awe­some week

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