Week One of the "Sweet Free" Challenge
It’s been a week (8 days, to be precise) since the first day of my challenge of avoiding all sweets, including items sweetened with stevia and xylitol. I hope to share everything that I have experienced thus far. But before I do, let me divulge more into how I came about participating in this health challenge.
For the past few months, I found myself consuming many sweets in the form of stevia. I didn’t ever go out of my calorie range, but I did overdo my limits on sweets. In the morning, I would usually have my green smoothie (which I still recommend for people, especially after a workout–however I’m abstaining from the smoothie for now), which used various vegetables, some fruit and stevia, to sweeten. I then might have some tea with stevia during mid-morning.
After lunch, I would have a healthy dessert made with stevia/xylitol and maybe a little honey. Dinner was the same. I would have herbal teas throughout the day sweetened with stevia, as well. I noticed that these sweets, however healthy, were helping me to avoid other tastes of other foods. I found myself constricted in this dietary place, and my sweet receptors were becoming weakened. I needed more stevia to make something taste sweet; and then this is when I knew there must be a change.
So, here I am, one week later on my my “sweet free” challenge to myself. It’s been quite interesting so far. The first two days I noticed my energy levels dwindled, and I became very tired at 8 PM! I actually wanted to go to sleep that early. Now many of you might think that’s a good thing, especially if you have demanding jobs, children and a household to look after. I don’t have these things, so being that tired that early seemed unusual.
How could this happen? Was it purely psychological? My only theory could be that sense a sweet taste might stimulate insulin production, and my insulin was low that day, my energy was also at baseline all day. I didn’t consume anything that would raise my blood sugar those days. Perhaps the fact that my insulin remained quite normal, I was in sync with my circadian rhythms. When that happens, our body’s sleep/wake cycles are usually attuned to the movement of the sun. When the sun went down, my body wanted to, too. These are just theories, however.
One thing that has helped me this week was drinking unsweetened tea blends. I found seasonal tea while shopping last week. Pumpkin Spice is my favorite, as well as a Stash Decaf Chocolate Hazelnut Tea blend. So good! I place about 1 TBSP. of homemade coconut milk into the tea. It is great to drink about an hour after a meal as a substitute for dessert. I hope to move to a place soon where I will not even have to use the tea. But, for the time being, I am enjoying them.
I will be on this health challenge for another week to see if I notice any change in vital statistics, energy levels and then my response to sweet taste after 2 weeks abstinence. My energy levels are quite good now, so I will see (and hope) if it increases any more over time.
For now, this is The Healthy Advocate.
Interesting Posts About Sugar, Stevia:
Sugar and Aging – Another reason to avoid sugar
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