Operation: Cut Down Sweets

20 Mar

Years ago when I made the decision to get healthier and lose a few pounds, there was one thing I relied heavily on. Artificial sweeteners. I have always loved sweets and that was one thing that I was just not willing to cut from my life. Once I started researching different diets and recipes on the internet, I found that many of them advocated sugar free items, such as Splenda. So off to the grocery store I went in search of that big yellow bag.

I used this stuff in everything. Of course I never even gave it a second thought as to what it may be doing to my body. My daily eats included my homemade goods with splenda, along with sugar free store-bought items such as pudding cups. Thinking back, I cringe at how much of this stuff went into my body. And yet I couldn’t figure out why my cravings were so out of control or why I was moody and anxious…Until one day when I got a little older, and little wiser and looked into the matter more. The studies that I found tied to artificial sweeteners and negative side effects were something that I couldn’t just look past. I want to feel my best and put the best into this one body I have…and so that was that. I cut off all ties with my sweet friend, vowing to be ‘all natural’ from here on out. And I was. It wasn’t easy at first, but I stuck with it and allowed my taste buds to adjust. Pretty soon, I was enjoying the natural sweetness of foods and feeling satisfied and happy after meals, not always itching for something more like I had before.

It has been brought to my attention recently that I have slowly but surely let these sweeteners creep back into the food that I eat. Lately for no apparent reason, I have felt very anxious and keep finding myself in the kitchen needing ‘something’ even though I was perfectly full and satisfied hunger-wise. So I sat down and starting thinking. Then it hit me…the vision of that dreaded yellow bag popped into my head and it all suddenly made perfect sense again. After seeing items on other blogs such as Davinci’s, Torani, Walden Farms, and splenda sweetened protein powders,  I thought “Oh yum I need to try that!” Eventually my whole “no sweetener” plan went out the window.

I’m not saying that anyone should stop using these items. If you like them and feel fine having them, then great! I definitely won’t look at you any different. Every one is different and each body is going to react different to certain things. I now know from my own experience that I do not feel my best when consuming artificial sweeteners on a regular basis. So in an effort to strive for a happy, healthy body and mind, I have decided to say goodbye, once again, to the sweet stuff…for the most part.

One thing I didn’t have in the past was Stevia. Stevia is something that I feel will be fine for me to have in moderation but what I really want is to get my taste buds back to enjoying foods naturally. I don’t want to HAVE to sweeten everything I eat. This is an idea I have been toying around with and decided to go for it a few days ago. I have to say that I already feel much better. I will continue to keep tabs on how I feel and am excited to report back with the outcome! Natural sugars such as fruits are still a-okay. Any one who wants to join me on this challenge is more than welcome!

Here are some things that I have been enjoying for my ‘sweet fix.’

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peanut flour mixed with almond milk and topped with carob chips and coconut 

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April’s low carb bread (made without sweetener) with nut butter

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yogurt with granola and banana

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zucchini brownies (made with no sweetener beside sweetener in the protein powder-stevia)

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crumbled brownie on top of cottage cheese with all fruit jam

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protein pancakes

Tip: Adding cinnamon, cocoa powder, or other spices kicks up the flavor without adding any sweetener.

I am excited about this process and just know it is going to make me feel amazing! I believe our bodies want us to feed it whole, unprocessed natural sources, so I’m going to do my best to give it what it really wants! NOTE: this is not meant to be depriving in any way and I am NOT cutting out anything completely…just trying to clean things up a bit and feel my best.

What are your thoughts on artificial sweeteners?

Have a great Sunday!

kristi

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21 Responses to “Operation: Cut Down Sweets”

  1. Matt March 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    I will never eat another artificial sweetener again. Like you, I used to OD on them! I forgot what real sugar tastes like!

    I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, so it really isn’t that hard. I just prefer to eat real food. If that means real sugar, fine by me 😉

  2. Jenny March 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    I try not to use that much sweeter but I am guilty of it no doubt. I use splenda every morning in my coffee but I try not to add it to anything else. Some ppl add it to their morning oats and I find that bananas sweeten it up enough. I do have a sweet tooth but I’ll have cottage cheese snacks without splenda and it works for me 🙂

  3. Kat March 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    Im a huge believer in everything in moderation, so I do use artificial sweeteners sometimes. I mostly use stevia, but when Im at a restaurant and have forgot my stevia bottle at home (yes I tend to carry it with me!!) I have no problems grabbing a splenda from the table and stirring it into my unsweetened tea. I agree that long term and heavy use may be bad, but that goes with everything!! Im all about moderation over here :):)

  4. Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope March 20, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Awesome idea! Even if you don’t COMPLETELY cut them out, just making the effort to become more conscious of what is going in your body is worth it. I never really used artificial sweeteners and, like you, love knowing that what goes into my body is wholesome and healthy!

  5. movesnmunchies March 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    AMEN GIRL!! artificual sweeteners are nasty!! i used to be into suga fre syrup but now im just trying to use up my bottle and never get again- the thought of all those chemicals freaks me out!

    • Sweet Cheeks March 20, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

      See thats my thing: I still have a few things in my kitchen that have artificial sweeteners in it, so I’m planning on using them verrrry sparingly, and then once they’re gone, NO MORE!

  6. spoonfulofsugarfree March 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Oh yes….the horror of artificial sweeteners….they are so, well, ARTIFICIAL! Fake. UNnatural…

    Good luck on the lower sugar diet!! If you need any help/support-fell free to shoot me an email! I have loads of experience on not eating sugar 😉

  7. Katie March 20, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    I do use Walden Farms Products , so I do have Splenda : p But anything else its stevia all the way!!!!!! Hope you are great beautiful! Yes the coldstone cupcakes are amazing!!!!! love ya!

  8. Jess March 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    The only artificial sweeteners I use is stevia..and I’ve also had truvia. I will eat splenda every once in a blue moon, but we have none in the house. My confession is I’m a serious diet soda drinker. Aspartame..oopsie 😀

  9. katshealthcorner March 20, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    I used to use those “artificial sweeteners.” Now that I have cut them all out of my life, everything tastes better! It’s like my taste buds have come alive! 🙂

    Way to go girl!!! I know you will feel better — you probably already do! 🙂

    xoxo
    Kathleen

  10. Meg March 20, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    I can definitely relate to this! Cutting out a lot of artificial sweeteners has made me really appreciate the taste of food – especially Greek yogurt ( I LOVE it plain now! ) and fruit!

  11. ilovefetacheese March 20, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    This is a great goal missy….soon enough you won’t need sugar/sweetener at all!!

  12. julie March 21, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    girl you are one brave soul! haha i can’t deny my love for artificial sweeteners and i have to admit that i’m never giving them up! haha i just love them too much and if thats the worst thing i do then i’m totes cool with it 😉

  13. Flo (Coconut Chronicles) March 21, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    Loving the look of all your ‘sweet treats’! I, too, used to rely heavily on Isweeteners (when I thought I was being healthy! In hindsight, really NOT)! Now, my philosophy is that its ok occasionally, as in I do enjoy the off diet coke of sf syrup in my starbucks latte, but I much prefer to use REAL sweeteners or even brown sugar in my baking and oatmeal etc!

  14. Flo (Coconut Chronicles) March 21, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Loving the look of all your ‘sweet treats’! I, too, used to rely heavily on Isweeteners (when I thought I was being healthy! In hindsight, really NOT)! Now, my philosophy is that its ok occasionally, as in I do enjoy the odd diet coke of sf syrup in my starbucks latte, but I much prefer to use REAL sweeteners or even brown sugar in my baking and oatmeal etc!

  15. Katie March 21, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    I wish I could cut it out. I feel like you…I started eating those things because others were. I don’t know if I can give up my Walden Farms syrup. I use stevia in all baking recipes. Maybe one of these days I will give it all up. Almost $4 for the syrup is outrageous. But, if I give it all up I also won’t be using maple syrup, agave, honey, molasses, etc. I have already cut that out. I feel better with less added sugar. I feel fine with fresh fruits like bananas, berries, and oranges. That’s sweet enough for me. 🙂

    Good luck! I may jump on the no sugar train with you someday!

  16. Heather Eats Almond Butter March 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Count me in! I am the same way – the more zero calorie sweetener (stevia included) I use, the more sweets I want, even if I’m not hungry. So, I’m trying to use less, and whenever I do, my cravings subside and baked goods start to taste good without all that sweet stuff. I know some people think I’m crazy for loving unsweetened chocolate, but like you, I think unsweetened cocoa and cinnamon add enough flavor all on their own. Your taste buds really do change once you stop sweetening everything, and I’m not sure why I keep letting artificial sweeteners creep back into my food. Thanks for the post and for all the yummy unsweetened recipe ideas. 🙂

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