Learning My Way to Success

Holy cannoli this past week and a half has been a roller coaster to say the least! What was I thinking giving up sugar and nightshades in the same month as my birthday AND Valentine’s Day? But then again is there ever really a good time to give up an addiction? Probably not.

So how am I dealing with all of this? With fruit and sweet potatoes, of course! No, seriously, they have been a life saver. I told myself I was going to limit high sugar fruits like bananas, which I have. I can honestly say I haven’t had a single banana this whole time, but… apples have even more sugar in them than bananas, which I wasn’t aware of until just now. They have a staggering 19 grams compared to banana’s 14. Oranges, which I thought had the most, only have about 9 grams, and pears, oh pears… how do you have 17 grams??

This lesson brought to me by the letter A for assumption. Next time I’ll do a ton more research beforehand! BUT the good news is that in addition to the sugars in fruits and veggies there is also fiber, so the digesting of things is slightly different than it would be if I was eating processed sugars. Plus, I’m getting all the vitamins and nutrients from them that are easily digested, which foods with added sugar generally don’t have. So there’s that, right?

As far as the nightshades are concerned, there have been a couple snafus. I was so focused on the no sugar, no white potatoes thing that I completely forgot that tomatoes are a nightshade. While taking a bite of brown rice pasta with marinara sauce the other day, I realized duh tomatoes! And then a couple days later I had salsa. An oversight on my part, but it happens. I can’t beat myself up over it forever. I had a “That really sucks!” moment and moved on. So I’m not actually sure how exactly nightshades effect my body yet because I haven’t completely gotten rid of them from my system. Hopefully, though, I’ll have more to go on with the next update.

The positives of all of this are that I’m starting to really hear my body, not my addiction talking, and I am starting to recognize my triggers for wanting to reach for something sugary or full of carbs, which in itself has been a huge learning experience. Some of the triggers are innate like wanting sugary foods when I’m cold because my body wants to up its stores in case there’s a food shortage. I can appreciate the wisdom bred into my body but know that I’ll not be without food any time soon. Usually I can simply tell myself this and have something savory instead like a handful of nuts or some sardines, and the craving is appeased.

But sometimes, more often than not, the triggers are emotional like craving chocolate when I’m sad or stressed, and those are much tougher to override. I’ve tried ignoring them completely, which works very rarely and usually only succeeds in making me hungrier and desperate. I’ve tried throwing fruit at them, which also sometimes works, especially in the case of apple chips. But sometimes I just have to give my body what it wants in the healthiest way possible.

Instead of half a cup of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, which is easier to eat over the course of a day than I’d like to admit, I can have some chocolate peanut butter pudding made with sweet potato and avocado. No, it isn’t as sweet as most things people would consider sweet, but it is sweet enough, and it’s filling. Plus, it’s damn good and healthy for you. So good, in fact, I used this pudding recipe as the filling in my revised grain free dairy free chocolate peanut butter pie recipe that I made for my birthday, and it was good! I’ll be sure to post the recipe soon, so you can enjoy it too 🙂

So I’m on to the next week of this challenge with a lot of hard work behind me as well as ahead of me. There will be some set backs, I’m sure, ones that I’ll learn and grow from, but many more victories, and those will be what I focus the majority of my attention on.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Maya Angelou