Sugar Break: Step Down Foods

I swear I do more in my real life than think about or attempt to get off the Sugar Train, but here I am, attempting to take a break from sugar yet again. At this point I’ve learned to be gentle with myself and know that I am not a “bad eater” due to my complete dependence on sugar. I really do think there are elements of sugar that are like a drug and that certain people can be addicted in a way. I hate to make that comparison because I do not think a sugar addiction is anywhere near like an addiction to alcohol or drugs.

I’m also trying to get more of the sweets out of my daily routine again because my Mini Me is beginning to be influenced by how I eat and so far he eats a wonderful balance of foods. He shows no signs of being a sugar monster like I am.

I’m starting on April 1st, not for any particular reason other than that’s the day I grocery shop so I can stock up on my “step down” foods (which I swear I’ve posted about before during another one of my Sugar Breaks).  And also, it feels like a cruel April Fool’s joke to imagine an entire lifetime without sugar.

I have some basic rules for my Sugar Break, different than other people’s and that’s OK. I allow small amounts of honey, as much fruit as I want, dates, and a small amount of fruit juice sweetened treats. I know which foods feel like triggers those things are not in that list. (chocolate chip cookies for example, whether or not they are sugar-free, are my biggest weakness)

The first week is misery, the 2nd week is acceptance, the 3rd and 4th weeks will be not as big a deal. In order to get TO weeks 3 and 4, I use my favorite Step Down Foods.

Some Step Down foods I enjoy:

  • ZFruit ropes, Now friends these are a true “emergency” type treat. They are practically candy and ONLY to be used when you’re daydreaming about the cookies in the kitchen, or your coworker brings in a box of donuts and you start to sweat
  • Dates. Sweet, satisfying, but unlikely to be abused by me
  • Fruit, especially berries because they are small and sweet and “candy like”
  • Lily’s Chocolate Bars, similar to ZFruit ropes, these are more in the “emergency” category but I don’t tend to abuse these as much. They are sweetened with stevia
  • Unsweetened dried fruit, you have to be careful because a lot of dried fruit is sweetened with sugar. And my nutritionist loves to remind me that a serving of dried fruit is actually quite small. They’re a good Step Down food though
  • Coconut milk, used primarily in coffee and as a smoothie mix-in, it’s very sweet and satisfying
  • Banana “ice cream”, blend a couple frozen bananas and a Tbl of peanut butter in the blender or food processor until smooth. I can almost trick my brain into thinking this is ice cream.

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