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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:32 pm 
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Chard Martyr
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cosmiclettuce wrote:
watch that video I linked to earlier, it pretty much explains everything you need to know. but generally, yes, once you stop having sugar regularly you stop craving it (or craving it as much...), and fruit's okay as long as you eat it whole because of the fiber content.

As for oatmeal, I usually add bananas and pears to mine, as well as spices (cinnamon, ginger and a pinch of nutmeg, lately). Coffee I have with a splash of soya milk (or rice/ oat/ almond), but I suppose you have to learn to like it black, at least a little bit?


I can do all of those things if it means getting the sugar monkey off my back. And I would love to watch that video but 1.5 hrs is a lot for my short attention span (I don't even watch movies for fun because they're too long).... but I will forge ahead later and watch it, even if I have to do it piece by piece. Thank you, cosmiclettuce.


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:26 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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There's a short version on youtube, it should show up under 'related videos'. it doesn't explain *everything* but you get the basics.


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:33 pm 
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cosmiclettuce wrote:
morecuminthancumin wrote:
cosmiclettuce, thanks for linking to that video! I'm going to watch it soon.


It's a great talk. It's a bit long, if you want there's a short version that some guy made but I'd still recommend watching the full video if you can.

Regarding yoghurt, sojasun/sojade has plain yoghurt with zero added sugars! it's yummy :)


I'm pretty sure we don't get that where I live. Bummer. I wonder if they ship to the US at all?


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:47 pm 
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Chard Martyr
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cosmiclettuce wrote:
There's a short version on youtube, it should show up under 'related videos'. it doesn't explain *everything* but you get the basics.


Thank you! I can do this one... you know, until I can make it up to the whole 90 minute thing...

eta: (re: HFCS and sugar) "...saying, they're pretty much the same, they're not lying to you... they're both bad." hahaha


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:30 pm 
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I'm watching the Sugar video now. Yikes. My YouTube keeps stopping so I don't think I can finish it, but I get the idea.

What do y'all plan on doing to get through the holidays? I suppose it's easier for us since office treats and other seasonal sweets tend to not be vegan, but I feel like there's enough temptation to be concerned. I learned my lesson after VeganMania- one day of indulgence is enough to screw my body up. I think I'm going to start collecting low sugar versions of recipes for the holiday treats I love most, so I can still do some baking.


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:54 pm 
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Oh gosh, I hadn't even thought that far ahead! My family has come to expect cookies because of my massive baking extravaganza last year with the VCIYCJ book. Everyone loved them, and I'm not going to not bake vegan cookies for people! Spread the vegan cookie love!

Will power....?? I actually didn't eat too many because I was so sick of even looking at them. I must have baked at least 12+ dozen.

Going to focus on today. Er, tomorrow. Already had my sugar extravaganza for today. Last hurrah. I need to go to the grocery and purchase more fruits now.


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:22 pm 
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cosmiclettuce wrote:
morecuminthancumin wrote:
cosmiclettuce, thanks for linking to that video! I'm going to watch it soon.


It's a great talk.


It is, everyone should watch it.

Meggs wrote:
I love this thread. I need super support. Sugar is my go-to thing for all emotion-related issues.
Please help me understand how to best break this habit-- I know I feel better with less sugar, I know that once I "detox" from it, I will crave it less (correct?), but I'm full of misinformation, I'm sure. Fruit ok? More information, please!!

What will I put on my oatmeal? In my coffee? Sugar is my nemesis, it must go (but oh, how I love sweet things)! Maybe with support I can finally do this!


You can do it! I have such a sweet tooth and was able to cut out sugar, but I never added it to tea and that seems to be one of the hardest thing for people to stop doing. I add banana to my cereal which helps to sweeten it. And you could try cutting down the amount of sugar in your coffee gradually.

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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:40 pm 
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Kitteh wrote:
You can do it! I have such a sweet tooth and was able to cut out sugar, but I never added it to tea and that seems to be one of the hardest thing for people to stop doing. I add banana to my cereal which helps to sweeten it. And you could try cutting down the amount of sugar in your coffee gradually.


Thanks, Kitteh! I just got back from the grocery and loaded up on bananas and apples. I will switch off adding those to my oatmeal. I used to do that and don't know why I ever stopped- it will be a nice change of pace, and tasty, too.

Question: are "no sugar" products off limits? I just watched the shortened version of the sugar video. The longer one probably explained more about fake sugars and such... are there any good sugar substitutes or am I best off just going off sugary products completely? I heard once that your body confuses fake sugar with real sugar (acts the same) so it would probably not be a good idea to even use "fake" sugar like stevia, right?

Black coffee (well, with unsweetened almond milk) begins tomorrow. This is an exciting new adventure that will only have a positive outcome.


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:50 am 
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Meggs wrote:
Kitteh wrote:
You can do it! I have such a sweet tooth and was able to cut out sugar, but I never added it to tea and that seems to be one of the hardest thing for people to stop doing. I add banana to my cereal which helps to sweeten it. And you could try cutting down the amount of sugar in your coffee gradually.


Thanks, Kitteh! I just got back from the grocery and loaded up on bananas and apples. I will switch off adding those to my oatmeal. I used to do that and don't know why I ever stopped- it will be a nice change of pace, and tasty, too.

Question: are "no sugar" products off limits? I just watched the shortened version of the sugar video. The longer one probably explained more about fake sugars and such... are there any good sugar substitutes or am I best off just going off sugary products completely? I heard once that your body confuses fake sugar with real sugar (acts the same) so it would probably not be a good idea to even use "fake" sugar like stevia, right?

Black coffee (well, with unsweetened almond milk) begins tomorrow. This is an exciting new adventure that will only have a positive outcome.

That's great! In the old thread we all shared suggestions for food to snack on when you get sugar cravings. Bananas are one of my faves. I also like tahini or hummus on rice thins or with carrot sticks.

Some people cut out all sweeteners but others continued to use dates, stevia, xylitol and maple, rice, agave syrups.

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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:08 am 
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Hey, I was watching the video at the same time (the whole 90 minutes)! Unfortunately he doesn't say much about 'fake' sugars in the longer version. That was, I think, the kick in the butt I needed to get back on the wagon for serious.

My biggest trouble with cutting out the sugar is that my grad school program is pretty intense and I'm an anxious person to boot, so I often get stressed out/tired and always seem to go back to sugar to keep myself pumped. Usually I try to cut out sugar and coffee at the same time, and I'll feel good for a few weeks but can't seem to get super-motivated to work my butt off, so then I fall back into it. It seems I can't seem to work hard at school without sugar and coffee. So. This time I think I'll keep drinking coffee (either black or with soy milk) and see if I can have success for the long-term with that. Not ideal, but better than being dependent on both sugar and coffee.

When I eat oatmeal, I'll usually add dates and some nut butter and cardamom - it tastes like dessert - but I'd also like to do a savoury version sometime, with green onion and tamari and sesame seeds. Actually, I enjoy sweeter breakfasts because I'm a sugar fiend at heart, but I FEEL better when I stick to savoury breakfasts. Lately I've been sort of copying ctate's breakfast suggestion from another thread and having a green smoothie (a handful of leafy greens, two bananas and a sprinkle of hempseeds) first thing, followed by crackers/bread with hummus. Satisfying and filling!

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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:12 am 
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Oh yeah and about the holidays - I'm a little worried! It's hard enough to be vegan during the holidays, let alone a sugar-free vegan! I might make some macrobiotic desserts like the ones in Healing With Whole Foods, using seasonal fruit as the focus and maybe a little bit of brown rice syrup. But I'm actually really curious about what advice ctate might have, since she doesn't use any sweeteners at all - ctate, do you have any advice for us for dealing with the holidays?

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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:34 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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I don't know if they ship to the US, cumin. Maybe e-mail them and ask, or perhaps someone in the states can recommend another good brand for no-sugar yoghurt?

Meggs, I avoid fake sugars too, perhaps even more diligently than the real stuff. I don't like chemicals (plus, yes your body reacts the same). Things that are naturally sweet, like dates, I still have but in moderation.

Regarding holidays... I plan to have cake on Christmas, and perhaps another dessert too. I love baking but pretty much only do it when I'm at my parents' (so, holidays) or for big family gatherings, as I think it's important to show relatives that vegans can eat good things too (I'm also trying to persuade my brother and cousins to become vegans, and desserts play a big part unfortunately).

Anyway I don't plan to have that much sugar (if any) until then so I guess one day (okay, a week) is okay as long as I don't go overboard... I know that to me it would be seriously stressful to try and avoid all desserts and sugar between 24-26 of December... And then it's my dad's birthday on the first, and usually I bake his cake. It would suck not to have a slice :(

What are some good low sugar recipes? Macrobiotic desserts sound good too! Care to share your favourites, pistachiorose?


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:45 am 
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pistachiorose wrote:
My biggest trouble with cutting out the sugar is that my grad school program is pretty intense and I'm an anxious person to boot, so I often get stressed out/tired and always seem to go back to sugar to keep myself pumped. Usually I try to cut out sugar and coffee at the same time, and I'll feel good for a few weeks but can't seem to get super-motivated to work my butt off, so then I fall back into it. It seems I can't seem to work hard at school without sugar and coffee. So. This time I think I'll keep drinking coffee (either black or with soy milk) and see if I can have success for the long-term with that. Not ideal, but better than being dependent on both sugar and coffee.


I'm in the exact same situation. I had to cut out coffee recently because I was beginning to react so badly -- headaches from hell, shaking, serious mood shifts, trouble sleeping, TMJ issues... I switched to an instant cereal drink (it's called Barleycup), which smells and tastes a bit like coffee but without caffeine, and almost tricks me into thinking it's coffee.

I also used to have a big problem with bourbon cream biscuits. I'd stay up all night working and eat two packets of those and maybe a bowl of marmite pasta... Obviously the bourbons are out (MAD CRAVINGS!) but the marmite pasta is still an impending threat, I'm afraid.

Anyway, what I'm doing now and seems to be working is to have a good schedule and make proper use of my time. I wake up really early everyday and go to bed early. Regardless of what I still need to do, I go to bed and get my 8 hours of sleep. This actually does wonders for your motivation, focus and productivity, since you know you must get it all done by 11, or whatever bedtime you impose yourself.

I try eating healthy as I find it curbs most cravings and boost my greens intake around exam/essay time. I'm also taking a cal/mag supplement, as magnesium is supposed to help against anxiety, and drink pints of camomile (or peppermint) during the day as opposed to tea or coffee. And I work out -- this helps A LOT.


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:49 am 
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cosmiclettuce, you are a godsend, as are the rest of you on this thread. Thank you so much for your information, and also for sharing your experiences.

So, first cup of coffee sans sweetener. It's ok. I can get used to it. I only drink a cup or two in the morning anyway, and not every morning.

Pistachiorose, I can completely relate to the sugar thing, but I eat sugar for a different reason: to try to sleep! I guess it's my body's way of trying to increase serotonin production so it can sleep... but it doesn't work... I have wicked insomnia-- have for years now-- and I'm sure my sugar consumption (which mostly happens at night) isn't helping things. I just finished an intense grad program, though, so hugs to you on that- I feel your pain.

Also, pistachiorose, thanks for letting me know it didn't say much about fake sugars in the longer version. I'm going to go with cosmiclettuce on this one and try to stay away from them as much as possible. A date or two if I have a horrible craving perhaps?

Thank you, Kitteh, for the snack suggestions. I bought about 10 bananas last night. Do you think peanut butter (unsweetened, organic) is a suitable substitute for tahini for a snack such as the one you described? I've been looking at sugar content on labels now (as if I didn't already read them enough, just looking at another thing now)-- how much sugar is "too" much?

In case you couldn't tell, I'm an extremely rigid person, and I'm going to do my best to get this right. I need to kick this. You all have already been incredibly helpful and amazing.


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:42 am 
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I know it's not the same for everyone, but I often find that if I give in to my sugar cravings with something sweet then it can be worse than just riding them out. Eating something like an apple, which is sweet but not intensely so, rather than a couple of dates (which give me a pretty intense sugar hit), is generally a better idea for me when I'm feeling like that. I also like to put some protein with it - tahini or peanut butter is yummy - to help balance me out. Also, vanilla essence or cinnamon added to stuff helps it to seem sweeter without actually having more sugar in it (depending on whether or not your vanilla essence has sugar in it).

Of course, I sometimes find it hard to stick to that sort of thing, but I know that actually, the best times for me to eat sweet things are when I'm not seriously craving them. I still eat a little bit of agave, for example, but I try to limit that to times when I'm not jonesing for it, but feel like I can handle it without immediately wanting more afterwards.

I'm struggling cos it was my anniversary yesterday and my partner made cupcakes. Sweetened with agave, sure, but they're still cupcakes..... oh well! Back on the bandwagon tomorrow! I've been doing this for a while now, so I know I'll get back on it ok.

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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:20 am 
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gunk wrote:
I know it's not the same for everyone, but I often find that if I give in to my sugar cravings with something sweet then it can be worse than just riding them out. Eating something like an apple, which is sweet but not intensely so, rather than a couple of dates (which give me a pretty intense sugar hit), is generally a better idea for me when I'm feeling like that. I also like to put some protein with it - tahini or peanut butter is yummy - to help balance me out.

That's a good idea. Beat the emotional attachment.

Guys, I have completed day 1 with no sugar whatsoever - not even in my coffee! But I have eaten 4 bananas, which is my record - in my own defense, it's pretty much the only fruit I can afford here. Two bananas in my breakfast smoothie, two as snacks later in the day. But now it's 11pm and I still have some schoolwork to do and I want something sweet soooo bad! But I will not give in. I will not!

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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:23 am 
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You can do it pistachiorose! You've come so far!
I have to say, I'm not loving my sugar-free oatmeal at the moment. I have banana in it, and some cinnamon, but it's... meh. I just keep thinking long-term, though, about how awesome this will be for my body. It will thank me.

Those are some really good ideas, gunk, thank you. Everyone is so helpful. I'm going to be here a LOT. Especially today. Day one of no sugar.


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:35 am 
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Meggs wrote:
You can do it pistachiorose! You've come so far!
I have to say, I'm not loving my sugar-free oatmeal at the moment. I have banana in it, and some cinnamon, but it's... meh. I just keep thinking long-term, though, about how awesome this will be for my body. It will thank me.

Those are some really good ideas, gunk, thank you. Everyone is so helpful. I'm going to be here a LOT. Especially today. Day one of no sugar.

I swear, it gets better with time. I have managed this before, and the first time I got a (decaf) soy latte after not having any coffee for weeks (because I thought it would taste nasty without sugar) I was surprised at how nice it tasted. Your taste buds will strengthen and you'll be able to taste the natural sweetness in things.

We're in it together! I will be spending a lot of time in this thread in the coming days as well.

About the oatmeal though - maybe you should try a more savoury breakfast option next time so you're not missing the sweetness. That's what I'm trying to do - focus more on yummy savoury options. A burrito and some fruit maybe, or tofu scramble?

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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:40 am 
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pistachiorose wrote:
About the oatmeal though - maybe you should try a more savoury breakfast option next time so you're not missing the sweetness. That's what I'm trying to do - focus more on yummy savoury options. A burrito and some fruit maybe, or tofu scramble?


Greatest idea ever. I can't even make it through this bowl. It's just sitting here, staring at me, mockingly.

pistachiorose wrote:
I swear, it gets better with time. I have managed this before, and the first time I got a (decaf) soy latte after not having any coffee for weeks (because I thought it would taste nasty without sugar) I was surprised at how nice it tasted. Your taste buds will strengthen and you'll be able to taste the natural sweetness in things.

We're in it together! I will be spending a lot of time in this thread in the coming days as well.


I absolutely believe you. Probably something akin to eliminating dairy and all of that from my diet- the taste of things changed dramatically for me.

Solidarity! Onward, sans sugar!


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:57 am 
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pistachiorose wrote:
I swear, it gets better with time. I have managed this before, and the first time I got a (decaf) soy latte after not having any coffee for weeks (because I thought it would taste nasty without sugar) I was surprised at how nice it tasted. Your taste buds will strengthen and you'll be able to taste the natural sweetness in things.



Like I mentioned, I used to eat a yogurt every day until I realized that most have more than a tablespoon of sugar per serving. I hated the plain yogurt. If I had to eat plain for some reason (usually leftover from baking), I would sometimes add sugar to it. That's embarrassing.

A few weeks after I started the low-sugar thing, I was running late for work and I forgot to bring food from home, so I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up a snack. I was frustrated because I didn't have time to read labels, so I grabbed a plain yogurt, thinking it would taste terrible but would meet my need for a low-sugar, filling snack. I was surprised to find that the plain tasted great to me! I even double-checked the label to make sure I hadn't accidently grabbed a vanilla-flavored one. Like you said, pistachiorose, my taste buds had adjusted after just a week or two of cutting out sugar. It was the first time that I really felt confident that I could give it up!

Anyways, now I even avoid the plain, because all of the varieties here still have added sugar. I might seriously check into that brand that cosmiclettuce mentioned, although I really like saving $1/day. Also, a yogurt a day = a lot of plastic.


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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:07 pm 
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DAMMIT!!!

I bought 3 HUUUGE bottles of a new brand of Kombucha yesterday. I went to a store that I go to once a year, bc it's a trek, and the woman who makes it was there giving samples, and I liked it, so I bought a lot. I just now looked at the nutrition facts area, and the ingredient list says the cultures/whatever and 'organic sugar.' fork! I can't return it, I don't know anyone I could give it to. I really wanted to go full-force ahead, especially since I did sugar-free all summer and didn't really have any trouble.

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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:19 pm 
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I'm interested in reducing my sugar intake too. One question: does no sugar = no baking? I love baking things like pumpkin and zucchini bread. Is there a way to sub the sugar and still have these things turn out? Or does no sugar = no baked goods at all?

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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:27 pm 
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molasses jane wrote:
I'm interested in reducing my sugar intake too. One question: does no sugar = no baking? I love baking things like pumpkin and zucchini bread. Is there a way to sub the sugar and still have these things turn out? Or does no sugar = no baked goods at all?


Those two items would lend themselves well to using banana as a sub!

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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:58 pm 
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happyfaced wrote:
ctate wrote:
Progress report: I started sugar free in January and since then I've lost 50 lbs. I feel like sugarfree has kicked my metabolism into gear. Ever since I hit my goal (which was to lose 30 lbs) I cut my gym time (only going 1 or 2 times a week instead of 6) and focused more on building music and not cardio. I introduced more healthy fat into my meals and I still kept losing. I've stopped at my current weight so I think I can finally give an accurate final progress report.


that's so awesome, ctate! congrats on getting to a healthy weight and kicking booty with building more muscle. i am not sugar free and i do a lot of cardio (running, cycling, swimming) and some weights and yoga 2-3 times a week. i am thinking i need to try and cut out sugar and see if it helps me out. i ignore the fact that i feel like junk after i consume it and i know it's not the best for me either. i feel like the cardio doesn't get me anywhere anymore and maybe cutting out sugar and working with weights more might help. thanks for your report! :)


I just realized I typed "building music" instead of "building muscle". I must have music on the mind!
Thanks so much. I think you should try it for a bit and see how you feel :)

Re: sugar free products
I never ate sugar free and other "diet" products because they usually contain chemical sweeteners. I avoided them because they sound scary and I didn't want to trigger my cycle with sweets and cravings. This is also why I avoided stevia, agave, pure maple syrup, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: The no-sugar support thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:04 pm 
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RandiJM wrote:
DAMMIT!!!

I bought 3 HUUUGE bottles of a new brand of Kombucha yesterday. I went to a store that I go to once a year, bc it's a trek, and the woman who makes it was there giving samples, and I liked it, so I bought a lot. I just now looked at the nutrition facts area, and the ingredient list says the cultures/whatever and 'organic sugar.' fork!


Wow, G.T.'s has 4g per serving. That sounds like a lot, but it's not added sugar, I don't think...?? I'm guessing it's coming from the fruit juices?

ctate wrote:
Re: sugar free products
I never ate sugar free and other "diet" products because they usually contain chemical sweeteners. I avoided them because they sound scary and I didn't want to trigger my cycle with sweets and cravings. This is also why I avoided stevia, agave, pure maple syrup, etc.


Thank you for sharing your experience. This seems to be a good idea, especially given all you've accomplished!!


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