Break the Sugar Habit Challenge: Sugar Check-in {Week 3}

Meleah making biscuits.

We have reached the end of Week 3 of the Break the Sugar Habit Challenge. We are almost to the finish line!

This week has been much better than last week, although my poor husband has had a hard time finding something edible while he is away. He told me on the phone last night that he had eaten everything in his healthy stash that morning, and was forced to choose between the “grill” and the cafeteria food that was provided. I reminded him that he needed to eat before he worried about the sugar challenge, but he said he would not have wanted to choose between either of those options, sugar challenge or not!

Meals

We have eaten fried eggs (at the girls’ request) several times, as well as, bacon, pancakes, sausage, and fruit for breakfast. Actually, we slept in a lot this week, so it was more like brunch.

I finally tried the strawberry syrup that Mandi mentioned in one of her posts, and oh my. It is To. Die. For. I may never eat regular syrup again!

Staci, a commenter, suggested shredded apples and walnuts as a topping for oatmeal or pancakes. That is on my list of syrup alternatives to try, as well. (Thanks, Staci!)

In that same comment thread, Jennifer mentioned a maple-agave mix found at Trader Joe’s that might interest those of you near one, and who have an aversion to straight maple syrup. (Thanks, Jennifer!)

As for meals, I haven’t cooked as much this week, with it being just the girls and me, but we have enjoyed homemade mac & cheese, biscuits, bacon/egg/cheese tortillas (I found a sugar-free brand!!!), chicken, hamburger patties, new potatoes with green beans, and more.

While making these meals, I thought of last June, when Shane was on a mission trip. I do not recall exactly how many times we ate out that week, but I’m guessing it was quite a lot. The ease of heading to the nearest drive-thru, rather than standing on my pregnancy-swollen ankles to cook, crossed my mind more than once. In fact, that mean little voice in the back of my head reminded me of it quite a few times! I managed to ignore it and instead, cook what the girls asked for, which happened to be healthy, sugar-free foods.

Challenges

While this week has been easier, it has not been without challenges. On Sunday night, we had an ice cream social after our VBS program. The girls each got a {small} scoop of ice cream (I knew this was coming, and counted it in with the “VBS snacks”). When they asked for another scoop, their momma (who was dishing it out!) sweetly reminded them of the answer. Telling the girls no  – who, by the way, were fine with only one scoop and did not complain when I mentioned they had had enough sugar – wasn’t the issue.

My willpower was the issue!

I have two big weaknesses, and ice cream is one of them. (Wedding cake is the other, in case you were wondering). Since I don’t buy ice cream, and weddings don’t come around very often, avoiding both of these is pretty much, well… a piece of cake. Except this month, apparently. A few weeks ago, we attended a wedding, and I barely glanced at the cake. I knew if I looked at it very long I would begin drooling.

Okay, back to the ice cream. So I scooped and scooped like the good little girl I am, and I think that is the most tempted I have been to break the challenge on myself. I don’t really think I was craving sugar, but I definitely wanted some ice cream. Because it is so cold and creamy, ya know? I think I read the label on the ice cream I was scooping 100 times, just to remind myself of all of the bad stuff it contained (to make myself feel better!). In the end, I won. I didn’t eat ice cream, and I felt really good about it.

I may or may not have patted myself on the back after I got home.

Growing

The girls continue to learn a lot about sugar and why we are avoiding it. In fact, they could probably tell you everything in the grocery store that contains sugar; mainly because my Reesey names each item we come across and asks if it is sugary. She then proclaims, “Oh darn! Silly sugar!” after I tell her that it does, indeed, contain sugar. We tend to stick to the perimeter of the store, only veering to the center when we need coffee, laundry products, etc. While walking down an aisle to get coffee, Abby Grace looks around and says, “Why are we on this aisle? It’s nothing but sugar!” Ahem. Oh yes, our grocery shopping trips have been very interesting lately.

In fact, my in-laws got to experience that first-hand when we pulled into the grocery store at the very same time on Monday. They were lucky enough to have the help of Reese and Meleah as they did their shopping!

Speaking of in-laws, it helps when the grandparents are on board with their crazy kid’s ideas. Both of our parents have been nice enough not to pressure us to eat sugary foods, and have even gone out of their way to find sugar-free options.

And while our shopping trips have been interesting, they have also been very productive. The girls have decided that they really want to help me shop. Reese bags the produce, while Abby Grace pushes the cart (and bags some produce too.. we have to be fair, now). Meleah does her own thing, but contributes when she feels like it.

The End Game

What the next few weeks and months will entail, I do not know. I honestly think my girls will accept every treat offered them, at least in the beginning. It takes more than a month to change a way of thinking, even though I know I will not be able to completely return to my previous way of eating. Knowing what I know about how sugar effects our bodies (and one little member of our family in particular!), has led me to make several permanent changes in our family’s eating habits. And while I will, for the most part, allow them treats outside of the home, I won’t make them as readily available inside the home as they were before.

A treat should be just that – a treat. Something special. An indulgence.

You know… like wedding cake.

How have you done this week? Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

And if you are just now jumping on board, you can check out the other posts in this series, plus see how Mandi and her family are breaking their sugar habit.

Written by: Amy Norton
Amy is a youth pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom to three girls, ages 8, 6, and 3, and has a baby boy on the way. When she’s not writing at Kingdom First Mom, you can find her cooking, getting crunchier by the day, and trying to stay on top of the laundry. She enjoys writing about her homelife adventures at Amy Loves It.

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