Month-Long No-Sugar Challenge: WEEK TWO!

TAMMY’S NOTE: This No-Sugar challenge documents Ashley’s 30-day attempt to remove PROCESSED SUGAR from their diet.  This challenge allows her to use natural sugars such as honey or true maple syrup, therefore it’s not meant for a diabetic alternative, simply a personal-health challenge. 

by Ashley  Ashley

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I did it!  I’ve made it all the way through week two and I’ve only gone through twelve breakdowns!  Ok, so maybe it really hasn’t been as bad as I thought it might be.  I will admit that this has been, by far, one of the most difficult challenges that I have ever decided to take on.  It was mildly easier than week one, but it was still rough on the sugar cravings.  I’ve also become painfully aware of how much and how often we are surrounded by food.  Every day is someone’s birthday or a celebration of some sort where someone will bring donuts in the morning, a cake in the afternoon, or suggest going out for a nice dinner at a favorite restaurant.  Saying no almost feels like an insult on some occasions, but say no I did! If you haven’t already done so, check out how we fared on Week 1.  Then read below to see how my second week of absolutely no sugar went.

NO-SUGAR CHALLENGE - WEEK 2!! Embarking on a month-long no-sugar challenge, Ashley shares how they fared WEEK 2 and also shares a fun recipe! #TaylorMadeRanch

My biggest issue so far has been at work.  I’ve been bringing my lunch with me every day, which usually consists of a lean meat and three or four different types of vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, slices of bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, a legume of any kind, and a small portion of baked chicken or turkey. However, everyone else at the office is accustomed to grabbing fast food with each other and eating together.  I have endured sitting with them and eating my healthy but delicious meal while they chow down on their burgers and fries, cakes, pies, chips, and cookies.  I smell the grease and my mouth waters while I sit there and say “no way!”  What I didn’t expect though was the teasing and added temptation. For the first few days they paid no attention to my meals, but after a while they asked why I would always decline going out and eating with them.  Once they learned what I was doing, the teasing came on and it came on strong.  Words full of “Wouldn’t it be nice if you could eat this cookie?” and “That’s a silly diet, you don’t need to be on that.” and there were food offerings All. The. Time.  I knew they were just playing around and didn’t mean for any of it to be malicious at all, but it certainly made it more difficult for me.  However I still pushed through and kept my resolve.  Hey,  I never said this was going to be easy!

NO-SUGAR CHALLENGE - WEEK 2!! Embarking on a month-long no-sugar challenge, Ashley shares how they fared WEEK 2 and also shares a fun recipe! lunch salad #TaylorMadeHomestead
On the bright side I have discovered more tips that I am more than happy to share with you.  Here they are:

1.  Always have a snack with you no matter where you go.  My favorites were dried fruit, a handful of nuts, or baby carrots.
2.  Don’t let yourself get hungry!  When your energy starts leaning toward the low side your body craves a quick energy source and that is usually sugar.  Find fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber to keep full after meals.
3.  Prepare enough food to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three or four days.  You will end up having to prepare most of the things you eat from scratch.  So having backup meals in the fridge or freezer really helps.
4.  Prepare a whole chicken to eat and then use the bones to make healthy chicken stock.
5.  Make your own dressings and spreads like this stupid-easy hummus to dip veggies like celery and carrots in.  It’s so good you’ll feel like you’re cheating.

I know one of my concerns was the possibility that my food budget was going to skyrocket with this challenge.  But I found I’m actually paying less!  After I factored in eating out at work every day for both me and my husband and going out to eat together on occasion, it was so much cheaper to eat mainly what I made from home.

With this challenge, the five days a week we were working we would pick up food for lunch, additional groceries of mostly snacks and quick-to-grab foods for on the go I kept at home and added in the restaurant trips we would take on weekends.  I rounded everything up to keep math simple.

Weekly cost of eating before:
Groceries for a week: $60
Lunches for work: $50 (about $5 per day for five days for each of us)
Going out together: $40-$80 (depending on the restaurant and if we went once or twice a week)
Weekly grand total: $150-$190 (ouch)

Weekly cost of eating now:
Groceries for a week: $100 (um…wow)

It helps that at this time of year produce is cheaper, especially fruit.  Those prices will fluctuate week to week depending on if we grab breakfast somewhere to save time but overall I feel those prices are fairly accurate.  My grocery bill included everything from breakfast to dinner and had fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, meats, and raw ingredients to make snacks instead of buying them.  Even when the prices go back up in the winter it will be cheaper than going out to eat, and still be more healthy.  It’s truly opened my eyes to exactly how much I was spending on food.  It just seems like more to me now because I’m buying everything at once instead of one meal here and one meal there.  Now if I can just get the sugar cravings to go away…

Bonus…we now eat dessert!  This “ice cream” is surprisingly delicious and is as smooth and creamy as your store bought, sugar-filled ice cream at the store.  Ah-Maze-Ing!

HEALTHY SUGAR-FREE 'ICE CREAM' RECIPE! Check out Ashley's super-easy sugar-free recipe! #TaylorMadeHomestead

This “ice cream” is surprisingly delicious and is as smooth and creamy as your store bought, sugar-filled ice cream at the store.  Ah-Maze-Ing!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

 

NOTE:  You’re encouraged to read all four weeks of her Sugar-Free Challenge Journey where she shares tips & sugar-free recipes:

Week ONE

Week THREE

Week FOUR

 

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23 thoughts on “Month-Long No-Sugar Challenge: WEEK TWO!

  1. Pingback: Easy SUGAR-FREE Oatmeal & Berry Muffins

  2. Camilia

    I just started day 1 of my No Sweets Challenge for the month of July and I did not realize what I was getting myself into! I have a major sweet tooth but after reading your experience, I believe that I can do it! Any weight loss as of now?

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Month-Long No-Sugar Challenge: Week One

  4. Pingback: No Sugar Challenge - WEEK FOUR! (2 CHOCOLATE recipes)

  5. Carolyn Allbritton

    Doing the Whole 30 plan, and loving it! Thanks for the NutriBullet tip for “ice cream!”

    Reply
    1. Ashley Ashley - Guest Poster

      It’s so good and so easy to change to fit whatever flavor you’re in the mood for! Try it out! Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  6. Pingback: No-Sugar Challenge - Week THREE (Bonus 2 recipes!)

    1. Ashley Ashley - Guest Poster

      Almost there! Every day is so different from the last. This journey has been fun adventure, albeit a difficult one.

      Reply
  7. Amanda

    Congrats on keeping with it through week 2! Hopefully it’s easy sailing from here on out 😉 Thank you for sharing your story with us at Merry Monday!

    Reply
  8. Gwen

    Well done! It is very difficult to avoid sugar if other people are bringing it to you! I am impressed with the look of your berry ice cream, and think I might try making some. Thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ashley Ashley - Guest Poster

      It has been incredibly difficult, Gwen, but they won’t get to me! You should absolutely try the ice cream! I think you will be pleasantly surprised. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Maria @ Island Living Midwest

    Excellent, excellent, excellent. This is my first time visiting your blog but will bookmark to come back. I did a sugar challenge a few years ago and I remember going through the shakes. It was terrible. Now whI use sugar very sparingly and when I have a sweet tooth I reach for fruit instead of candy. Best decision ever!

    Reply
    1. Ashley Ashley - Guest Poster

      Yes! This is my goal! I want it to change my whole relationship with food so I go to healthy stuff naturally. I applaud you for sticking to it through the shakes! Its comforting to know others have gone through the same hardships as I’m struggling through currently. Thank you for your comment.

      Reply
  10. Deborah

    Great job! You’re eating healthier and saving money to boot! I’m curious, are you keeping track of your weight too?

    Reply
    1. Ashley Ashley - Guest Poster

      I haven’t been tracking my weight because I’m already in a healthy height-to-weight ratio and didn’t want the challenge to be about weightloss for me. I did, however, weigh in at the beginning and will weigh in at the end to see how many pounds dropped off without me trying to lose them. It should be interesting to see.

      Reply
  11. Jennifer

    Boy, do I know how hard it is to go without sugar! But it’s great to figure out new foods that are just as (well, almost) as satisfying? Keep up the good work. Thanks for linking up at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home! Jennifer

    Reply
    1. Ashley Ashley - Guest Poster

      It’s getting easier, but it really is crazy how difficult it is to cut just one ingredient from your life!

      Reply
  12. Cynthia F

    Good for you! Your co-workers are just jealous, I like ColleenB’s response above “look them square in the face and tell them; I am sweet enough thank you, and I don’t need the extra sugar”. Will have to try the “HEALTHY Sugar Free “Ice Cream” sounds delicious! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ashley Ashley - Guest Poster

      Yes, I love her response too! I’m going to have to use it in the future. And you really should try the “ice cream”. It’s unreal how delicious it is. And easy too! Two of my favorite things!

      Reply
  13. ColleenB.

    I applaud you and congratulations on making it through week two. As for them rude temptations for your co-workers; look them square in the face and tell them; I am sweet enough thank you, and I don’t need the extra sugar.’

    Reply
    1. Ashley Ashley - Guest Poster

      Ha! I’m definitely going to have to use that response Colleen! I wish I could have fun, witty comments at the ready like that. Thanks for giving me ammo.

      Reply

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