Life,Living Well on Less

Our Lower Sugar Diet

Notice I said LOWER sugar. Not even necessarily LOW sugar for some people, but definitely LOWER sugar than what we had been eating/drinking. =)

Last October I showed you what four weeks of groceries looked like for our family of six. The focus was on how I kept our grocery bill as low as possible. In that series I mentioned that my grocery budget sweet spot was around $150/wk, but at that time I was keeping it around $120/wk.

I also wrote a few posts about how my mentality toward food has changed over the years. Well, the journey continues.

Back in early February I really began desiring to change our diet some again. Financially we are back in a place where I can stay at my grocery budget sweet spot. We have made small changes over the years to eat better, and I was ready for another change. This one felt a little bigger, though. One Sunday evening I decided to watch the documentary FED UP on Netflix. I had heard about FED UP a while ago, but was hesitant to watch it because I didn’t want to get caught up in what the world thinks is healthy or important or bad. This time, however, as I turned to the Lord, I sensed His Life in watching it. I asked Him to help me see what He wanted me to see in it and to discard anything that didn’t line up with Him.

I watched it by myself and then cleaned out our cabinets. I didn’t throw anything away, because I wanted to talk things over with RC once he got home, so I sat everything that I wanted to throw out on the dining table. I was very pleased to discover that I still had enough food for a few days worth of meals. Because of the small changes we had made over the years we were closer to this change than I thought. Yet we were still so far away.

Once RC got home I shared with Him what I had learned from FED UP and how I wanted to take another step in our dietary changes. I asked him if he felt the Lord’s Life in this change and if he was willing to go for it with me. RC was in total agreement and so I threw away some of the food and bagged up the rest to give to one of the many panhandlers in our area.

Later that evening I watched FED UP again with the kids. I knew that it was important for both RC and the kids to be on board with these changes or it would never get off the ground. If I met resistance, frustration, and fussing at every meal I knew this wouldn’t last long. I wanted the kids to understand the importance of making these changes and for them to want to make them as well. As we watched the documentary, we would pause it and talk about what we were learning. I pointed out to them the parts that I felt the Lord pointed out to me, and I expressed a different opinion when I didn’t agree with the show. I asked the kids questions to see if they were understanding and how they were responding to the information. At the end of it they were all on board.

I took away 2 main things from FED UP. First was the fact that the sugar industry has literally sold us lies for their own profit – this didn’t anger or upset me because that is simply what the world (under the dominion of the enemy) does; it knows no different. I was vaguely aware of this reality, but watching FED UP made it very clear.

Another was how our body processes sugar. Sugar is not an enemy. It is created by God, Himself, as a beautiful testimony to His own sweetness. Israel was given a physical land flowing with milk and honey that was just a picture of the True Promised Land, Christ, who is a land flowing with true milk and honey. Again, sugar is not an enemy. However, what man has done to sugar has made it unsafe except in small quantities. My father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a couple of years ago and is now diabetes free by changing his diet and getting in better shape. The information in FED UP about the diabetic epidemic in our country was eye opening and touched close to home.

A few days later I also watched the documentary Sugar Coated (also on Netflix at the time, not sure if it still is) which had some new information and also reinforced what FED UP had shared.

So, the changes we have made are to reduce the amount of processed sugar in our diets. The only form of sweetener we have in our home now is honey and fruit. We aren’t yet to the point of cutting out all white flour and simple carbs, but we are eating much more whole wheat, including only buying whole wheat flour now. We are also still eating processed sugar for special occasions. I bought a bag of mini kit-kats and we only ate one serving each on Friday evening. It was our treat for the end of the week. We had Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream when RC’s parents were here. We had donuts for breakfast yesterday because our T-Mobile Tuesday gift was $2 each to Dunkin Donuts. Side note: we were not impressed by their donuts. Anyone else feel like Dunkin doesn’t put enough frosting/sugar on their donuts??? =)

My goal is that we are taking steps to putting sugar back in its proper place. Something that is eaten only occasionally for special occasions. We’ve been eating this way for 6 weeks now and it has been much easier than expected.

I’m not going to do another 4 week grocery series, as I just don’t have the time, but I am going to share with you my weekly menus starting tomorrow. I’ll tell you how much I spent total on the groceries and I’ll also post some of my recipes, like the one I posted on Friday. Please share any recipes in the comments that you use and love. We can all learn from each other.

Bon apetit!


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  • BevK
    April 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I have been virtually sugar free for over 25 years. It wasn’t a personal choice at the time, but was required, as it was giving me severe heart palpitations. Up to that point I was what I would consider a sugar-aholic — cookies, cake, pie, candy. Loved it all and ate plenty of it. Fortunately, at that time, I was still young enough and exercised enough that I wasn’t packing on the pounds. I think it was God’s mercy that brought on the physical reaction that forced me to drop sugar (and at the time, caffeine, too) cold-turkey. I’m at a point now where I have to decide if I want a little sugar or my coffee. I usually stick with the coffee. ?
    We transitioned to nearly all whole wheat years ago, too. When I try something made of white flour only, it is just so flavorless. I love baking bread — whole-wheat as well as multi-grain.
    My favorite “sweet” now is a frozen yogurt I make using yogurt, banana, orange, frozen strawberries, and frozen peaches. I also usually throw in some golden flax seeds, just for good measure. No exact measurements. I just throw in about equal amounts, or whatever I feel like. To make it a smoothie, just blend longer or use fresh instead of frozen fruit. Can leave out the yogurt, too, if desired.

    • Bridget
      April 7, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      BevK, this is so encouraging! I actually have very similar reactions to sugar and caffeine as well. I drink only one cup of coffee a day with just a little half & half now. I still crave sugar, but I’m getting better at recognizing the true desire and meeting that instead of just turning to sugar.
      I’ve been eating frozen fruit smoothies lately and just the other day thought of adding some yogurt to it. I’ll definitely do it now! Thanks so much!

      • BevK
        April 7, 2017 at 1:37 pm

        At first, I had to leave the kitchen when my daughter was making chocolate chip cookies. Eventually, though, the continual craving went away. Without it being a medical issue, I’m not sure I would have been able to remove sugar from my diet. I can make desserts for others and be around sugared things and I am fine with it. If I do taste something, now, it just seems way too sweet, and pictures of gooey sweet desserts have no appeal at all.
        Am trying your Alfredo Sauce for lunch.

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