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How to meet the challenge of a sugar-free life: a daily diary of pitfalls, overcoming obstacles, psychological skirmishes, and tips for us all. This is a diary of “going sugar-free” for the next two years (730 days).

Day 11: O Marzipan, o Marzipan

Some chocolate-covered marzipan showed up at lunch today. There’s an example of chocolate and sugar ruining a perfectly good almond treat. (Did I really say that? Chocolate used to be my main squeeze!)

 
Food Log
Lunch
Lentils, quinoa, banana, walnuts, hummus, avocado
Dinner
Kale, black-eyed peas, walnuts, red onions, red cabbage, yellow squash
 
Tip: A healthy food with sugar added is not a healthy food.

Day 10: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

No birthday parties or celebrations today = glad to have a bit of distance between myself and the sweets. I’m having more trouble staying away from the cheese than the cookies, actually – but the triple threat (sugar, dairy, bread) remains at bay.
 
Food Log
Lunch
Lentils, quinoa, grape tomatoes, cucumber, cashews, banana
Dinner
Blackberries, watermelon, kale, black-eyed peas, walnuts, onion hummus
 
Tip: If it’s a choice between cheese and cookies, go for “just” cheese without crackers. Hopefully it is low-fat and organic. Then, make a plan to eliminate dairy forever.

Day 9: Oh, Crumbs* (Don’t Lick the Dessert Plates)

A family get-together prompted this thought while cleaning up after dinner. “For a sugar addict like myself, eating crumbs off used dessert plates is like a tobacco addict picking up cigarette butts from the ground and smoking them.”
 
Food Log
Lunch
Lentils, quinoa, grape tomatoes, cucumber, cashews
Dinner
Baby greens (red and green swiss chard, tat soi, arugula, spinach ), red pearl onions, black-eyed peas, cashews, banana
 
Tip: When cleaning up after a dinner party, don’t lick the dessert plates.
 
*Editor’s Note: “Oh, crumbs” is an expression of surprise or dismay (old-fashioned, British English, slang).

Day 8: Cashew Paradise

I am trying an experiment. Can I buy a container of cashews and only eat a few? In recent months, cashews became a “sugar substitute” for me and were creating such an over-eating problem, I banned them from my diet. Nuts are calorie-dense and fat-dense, best limited to a handful per day.
 
Food Log
Lunch
Quinoa, farro, avocado, pistachios, kale
Dinner
Cashews
Watermelon
Blue Print cold-pressed juice (various greens)
Kiwi
Baby greens (red and green swiss chard, tat soi, arugula, spinach ), red pearl onions, squash
 
Tip: If you buy a container of cashews, eat a few and put the container high on a shelf out of reach (or have someone hide it).

Day 7: Carrot Cake is Sugar Cake

A visitor arrives, presenting us with another excuse for another birthday cake – this time, carrot cake. Carrot cake sounds healthier but in fact there are more than 30 grams of sugar in a slice. That’s more sugar in one slice of carrot cake than the daily “added sugar” maximum for an adult woman (25 grams) and nearly the daily max for an adult man (37.5 grams).
 
Food Log
Lunch
Chard, green onions, quinoa, kidney beans, walnuts
Watermelon
Dinner
Bok choy, red cabbage, flaxseed meal, apples, walnuts
Blueberries
Prunes
 
Tip: Just because it has the word “carrot” in its name doesn’t mean it’s not loaded with added sugar.

Day 6: Errands and Temptations Abound

While out running a million errands today, I detoured back home for lunch (dinner leftovers) to steel myself from the sweets and smells of the bake shops and fast food restaurants. It worked!
 
Food Log
Lunch
Quinoa, kidney beans, bananas, grape tomatoes, walnuts, green onions
Dinner
Chard, green onions, blueberries
2nd Dinner
Red cabbage, shallots, garnet yams, bok choy, walnuts
 
Tip: Be nimble, be fast. Take the time to return home for sustenance if you’re being chased by temptation.