But I know a sugar habit isn't good for my body or my running (except at certain very specific times). Because habits are hard to break, I joined Amanda's Sugar Free Challenge. I wasn't sure I could do it. I've tried this kind of cold turkey approach before, only to fall off the wagon and go back to my old ways many many times.
This time, it's actually working. We're on Day 8 (it's officially ten days long, and started on June 1, though I may attempt to make it for the 21 days that are supposed to be the adequate period needed to change a habit).
What's been the difference for me?
Getting sick last month with a horrible stomach bug, which kept me from wanting sugar or anything else rich for several days ahead of the Challenge, certainly gave me a leg up. The first few days of June soared by with nary an itch for a Hershey kiss. The last few days have been a bit harder. I definitely have a time of the month when the sugar monster roars louder (and yeah, TMI, but that time is now).
Nonetheless, barring a few sugar-free popsicles, one Diet Mountain Dew and some wine on Sunday night (yeah, artificial sweeteners and alcohol are also off-limits), I've been a very good girl. A big part of this has been the idea that I'm not alone. Reading Amanda's own posts about her effort, as well as the comments on those posts, has really buoyed my spirits, made me feel like less of a freak. Wow! There really are other runners, healthy spirits, smart people who know they don't need that Reeses Peanut Butter Cup from the office trough...but who (just like me!) somehow--quite often--can't help themselves. Over-indulging in sweets doesn't make us bad athletes or bad people.
Living in Boulder (of course) helps. I'm not big on promoting products in this blog, but working across the street from a posh organic market really helps with healthy eating. Here are a few things that I've been eating almost daily because they are sugar free and easily available here in the People's Republic.
Justin's Nut Butter (the classic varieties are sugar-free):
|Nut butters are NOT low-cal, but they have a natural sweetness, so a little bit of this goodness can take the edge off a sweet craving.|
Fruit, Fruit, Fruit!
|I've been eating bananas, apples and especially raspberries like, well, candy!|
Lara Bars (all the sweetness comes from fruit):
|The "jocalat" ones are my favorites. They won't compete with Snickers any time soon, but the chocolate flavor is REAL.|
Ezekiel 4:9 Cereal (my friend Josie at work called this "the Bible cereal"):
|Not all of their cereals are sugar-free, but Golden Flax and some others are.|
V8 Low-Sodium Vegetable Juice (not everything has to come from an organic grocery store):
|I checked the label! No sugar! And a good way to get a veggie hit. I'm not as good about veggies as I am fruit.|
Plain Greek Yogurt:
|I like it plain, but also mixed with fruit, Ezekiel 4:9 and cinnamon.|
I think I can keep it going for another eleven days (and beyond?). It seems to fit in with marathon training. Perhaps this will help me get to my racing weight of 120.
What do you think?! Are you doing the Challenge (or do you eat sugar-free naturally)? What are you eating that has helped?