5 things I learned during the #FedUpChallenge.
Inspired by the team at Mom.me, I decided to take on the #FedUpChallenge, and
be attempt to be sugar-free for 10 days. Today is my last day.
Here’s what I learned:
1. Coffee without sugar is still coffee. (and it’s still amazingly good.) The first thing that surprised me is that what I thought was going to be hard (no sugar in my coffee) was actually not that bad.
2. Sugar is everywhere. Going into the challenge, I thought that the point would be to realize how hard it was to go sugar-free, in other words, how hard it is to avoid sugar. But I realized, it’s also meant to be an eye-opener—so many things have added sugar that I’m not going to lie: my 10 days were not 100 percent sugar-free.
It wasn’t because I willingly broke the no-sugar rule—I actually did really well saying no to things I knew had sugar, like ketchup, and funnel cakes at Coney Island. (I know, great time to go to Coney Island, right? During my no-sugar week!) I steered clear of yogurt, for example… I also discovered that even “plain” yogurt has some sugar.
No, what tripped me up were the everyday things in which I didn’t even think to look for added sugar. For example, tomato paste concentrate I used while cooking ground meat for dinner. I mean, I thought tomato concentrate was tomatoes, concentrated– I guess not.
Another one was bread. When I started the challenge I had purchased bread from Trader Joes, the bread had three ingredients, none of which were sugar. When that bread finished I bought regular bread and didn’t even think to read the label. It wasn’t until a light bulb went off (can’t remember why) that I turned the package over and read the label…. at least it was sugar and not high fructose corn syrup.
3. I don’t need chocolate as much as I thought I did. A great thing about the challenge was that it taught me to satisfy my sweet tooth with fruit. I ate a lot more bananas, apples and grapes than I normally would. Normally, I would go for a candy bar at the vending machine. But these 10 days showed me I could have the healthier option. The hardest part came when I had to reject a cupcake from Molly’s Cupcakes yesterday…. Truthfully I might have one tomorrow (the mini size, not the big size.)
4. When you can’t have chocolate… you eat more cheese. I couldn’t have chocolate… so I had to find something else that I found as delicious… so, I ate more cheese– because cheese has no added sugar! (Thank goodness, I’m a cheese fiend.)
5. I have more will power that I thought! All in all, I think I did well despite of the hurdles: Molly’s Cupcakes temptation, a trip to Coney Island, and that little thing called PMS time—during which I really, really do crave chocolate… but I managed to not have any! Two thumbs up for me…
So in a nutshell? Fruits as snacks are delicious, I don’t need sugar in my coffee…and sugar is EVERYWHERE.
If you’re thinking of doing the #FedUpChallenge and go sugar-free for 10 days, check out the Fed Up website, you can sign up and they offer tips during your challenge! If you’re doing the challenge, let me know and I will send you supportive tweets along the way! Just tweet me, @dianalimongi…. I had helpful friends who helped me not fall off the bandwagon! You can do it!