Monday, June 17, 2013

clean up series: the pantry part 1

i'm starting here because this is where i started when i began. everyone is going to go about this a little different. mine was a bit drastic but results followed quickly. when cleaning up my kitchen i first focused getting rid of white sugar. sorry folks, but this also means brown sugar. both, for me, had to go.

this all began with a bet that my little brother and i had. i told him if he gave up call of duty and other violent video games for a year, i would give up something extremely hard as well.... sugar. well.... white sugar. this is why i had to drastically and abruptly cut it out, but honestly, i think thats the only way you can cut out white sugar. 

ok so lets say you don't have a bet with you little brother? what would cause someone to give up refined sugar?

there are lots of articles you can read this is a short little into to the side effects of sugar. if you want to do more research, Dr. Oz has a lot of info on his website. 

do i still get sugar? of course. sugar is in basically everything. salad dressings, ketchup, cereal, bread, you name it. we are a society basically addicted to the stuff. and thats all fine and dandy, i myself love how the stuff tastes. i was sugars biggest supporter until we had our abrupt break up. and like any bad relationship, sometimes it takes cutting yourself off to realize how much better your life can be without it ; ) 

do we still indulge? oh yes! do we still have cookies like twice a week? you bet. do we still have treats? uh huh. do i feel like i don't eat sugar? not at all. do we sometimes still eat white sugar filled products? (not me as much) but yeah, it still happens from time to time. i gotta let my kid enjoy life! i'm all about not giving up things. i am however, all about replacing things. but if she wants a bowl of lucky charms here and there, heck, give the kid some lucky charms. 

sure, it takes a little extra time to make your own peanut butter cups, and sure you really do cook more when you eat clean, but i actually kinda enjoy it. if i plan ahead i really don't feel like a slave to the kitchen. it has also become a fun hobby that i actually enjoy. i guess i decided that if i am going to be cooking 3 meals a day (roughly) for the rest of my life, i might as well enjoy it! and if i'm spending money on groceries, my food just as well taste good, right? once brett and i started leaving resturants disappointed, and once brett started saying "lets not go out, i like your food more" i knew that things were really paying off. i mean seriously. if you're going to eat it, it better taste good. and more importantly it better make you feel good.  


back to the sugar:

if you are going to be cutting this out of your diet, you are going to need some safety nets. the first week is the hardest, the second week is a little tricky, and the third week makes it all worth it. 

(please remember i'm not a doctor, and please know i'm just writing this for friends who asked how i did it, nothing more)

to begin:

-i stocked my fridge with fruits

- i got sugar replacements like honey (quality honey from farmers who don't feed their bees corn syrup -the costco brand is great-), maple syrup, coconut sugar

-i cleaned out my pantry of anything that had sugar in it that i could potentially snack on threw it in a bag. 

-i made some snacks that were sweetened with honey and real maple syrup. 

-i bought tons of veggies

-for two weeks i avoided ALL carbs (they made my cravings worse)

and i began. seriously. i about died the first week. i had headaches. i was shaky, i was cranky, i was tired, i was starving, and just when i was about to give up, it magically got better. all of a sudden i could go like 5 hours without getting majorly hungry. i could eat a salad full of rich leafy greens (not ice burg or romaine) and feel satisfied. before meals i wasn't irritable, and i honestly had more energy. and seriously eliminating sugar did all that. 

as i began to eat bread, i realized my sugar cravings came back. i realized in order for me to make this work, i would needed to go gluten free. now if i ever cheat and have some wheat, i seriously pay for it the next day. i simply cannot get full so i feel like i need to eat and eat and i am so fatigued the next day. 

cutting out sugar saved us lots of money, sweet treats aren't cheap. i ate less because the nutrient dense food made me feel full faster. i also noticed that olive had less tantrums, and was a different person without sweets. 

so.... this is where i started. it maybe wasn't the easiest, but after i did it, more things followed naturally and the pantry slowly began to change without me really realizing it. 

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