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Trying to Make Sugar-Free Sustainable without Caving and Eating all the Monster Cookies in Sight



Mark and I are starting month number four of no sugar – or at least very little sugar. I’ve begun to ease up a little bit. From what I’ve read, the important thing about giving up sugar for a period of time is to reset, in a way, your body’s insulin sensitivity. If your insulin isn’t freaking out multiple times a day, that gives your hormones some breathing space and they can begin to focus on some other more important bodily functions than trying to keep track of the insulin that’s acting like a teenage girl with PMS. 

I don’t know if that’s entirely true. To be honest, I don’t really understand the relationship between insulin and my hormones and PCOS. But that’s kind of what I imagine happens.

So, I’ve let up on myself a little bit in one area: I’ll allow myself to have a serving of a dessert if it’s a very special occasion, like someone’s birthday. I figure this will amount to about one or two servings of desserts per month. I think my body can probably handle that.

I would like to reinstate some fruit into my diet. I did, in a moment of weakness at the grocery store last week, buy a grapefruit. I ate it in two servings, at two different meals, and it seemed like the sweetest grapefruit I’ve ever tasted. It was delicious. Since then, I’ve had at least one dream about fruit. Apples, mainly. I love apples. I miss them.

I’ve wanted to write a post for a while on how I’m planning to make a low-sugar diet sustainable but I’ve been putting it off. Frankly, I’m afraid to bring fruit back into my diet. I’m afraid to bring much of any sugar back into my diet. So far I’ve only seen good things happen to my menstrual cycles since I gave up sugar. (Not so many good things happening to the PCOS-induced acne, but that’s a post for another time.) I kind of don’t want to shake things up.

But at the same time I kind of do want to eat a banana again, or some blueberries, and definitely an apple with peanut butter. And at some point I want to eat a monster cookie again. When is the right time to bring those things back into my diet? Ever?

And the more realistic and probably more important question, how can I make a mostly no-sugar diet sustainable for a family? (‘Family’ at this point just means me and Mark, but I’m thinking optimistically about the future here.) Right now for breakfast we generally eat sugar-free baked oatmeal, which incidentally I have come to love. I don’t miss the sugar in it at all. Or we eat sourdough English muffins, or better yet, sourdough English muffins with fried eggs and cheese in them. Mmmmm.

But is that enough variety in our breakfast diet? What about coffee cakes and scones? And are we never to have pancakes or waffles again? (We tried sugar-free pancakes without syrup. It was about as fun as eating slices of dry bread.)

I know I’m probably whining too much. I mean, realistically, if I try to keep my diet in perspective, I still eat a much wider variety of food than most of the world. And when I’m at home, I’m satisfied with my sugarless hot chocolate and my snack of raw almonds. It’s just when we’re with friends and someone squirts a big dollop of whipped cream onto their sugar-full hot chocolate or when a co-worker brings monster cookies to share at work that I begin to feel discontent.

Really, I can handle saying no to the monster cookies. It’s not easy, but I’m sure it builds character or something. And I am perfectly content to eat baked oatmeal for breakfast, most of the time. What this whole post boils down to, I guess, is my musings on when to let fruit back into my diet and how much. Monster cookies I know I can live without. But I don’t know about fruit. Fruit has a lot of health benefits giving weight to its argument to be back in my diet.

So, I don’t know. I don’t have a plan yet, and I’m not really sure what to do. It’s not life or death and it doesn’t keep me up at night, but I’m just not sure.

Any ideas?

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