Just for fun, I decided to go off added sugar, flour, alcohol and highly processed foods for a month (I started one week ago). I’m also reducing afternoon coffee, as I was kind of on autopilot heading to Starbucks after lunch or on an afternoon break.
Why did I do this? Why not? Actually, I did it partly because I have some patients who decide to take a break from added sugar or alcohol in order to help them “reset” to a more moderate level. Generally speaking, I don’t ask my patients to do anything I wouldn’t be willing to do myself. I decided to throw in flour just for “fun,” and honestly I include highly processed foods (which I don’t eat much of anyway), because I’ve grossed myself out reading Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal, which a patient recommended I read. Good stuff!
Week one has been pretty easy. I did have a teeny bit of a cookie bar thing that my husband bought when we were at the brand-spanking new PCC Natural Market outpost in Columbia City on Sunday. And a sip of his glass of red wine. There was also a bit of sugar in some cocktail sauce I had, but it was 4 grams per serving rather than the 12+ you usually see (we found it at Whole Foods).
I admit I miss wine, but I also feel more energetic when I go without alcohol altogether, so overall I totally do not feel deprived. I’ve been fine having fruit but no toast with my egg-veggie-ground turkey scramble in the morning, or I have plain Greek yogurt with berries and walnuts.
I don’t recommend totally “going off” a food or ingredient for all patients, especially if there’s no obvious health need (no known allergies or intolerances) and the patient struggles with feelings of deprivation (because that could trigger a rebound effect, possibly with binging). I personally do not feel deprived, and I’m enjoying this little prod to get off of autopilot in a few nutritional areas (the evening glass of wine, the morning slice of sprouted grain toast).
I last took a break from sugar in 2011. Here are some posts from the archives:
- Sugar Shock: Part 1
- Sugar Shock: Part 2
- The Sugar-Free Diaries
- Muffin Madness
- Sugar: How Low Do I Go?