Minus the Sugar

My husband and I just wrapped up 13 days of “clean eating”—-our version anyway. We were inspired by an article in Fast Company in which the author noticed some rather startling changes when he gave up refined sugar for two weeks. With the holiday season and all its temptations coming up, it seemed like a good time to see how it would impact us.

We already eat pretty well, but during this time we gave up all added sugars (including honey and maple syrup), bread and pasta (anything made of wheat flour), alcohol, and our weekly “meal off.” I gave up my Friday trip to Starbucks for my grande nonfat two pump mocha with no whipped cream. We didn’t eat paleo, didn’t give up meat or dairy, didn’t give up coffee.

The results? Unimpressive.

I didn’t weigh myself before we started, so I don’t know if I lost any weight, but it doesn’t feel like it. I don’t eat a lot of sugar (except during a meal off), so I didn’t experience the withdrawal symptoms or positive changes described in the Fast Company article. I also didn’t stop wanting a glass of wine at the end of a long day or thinking that a sweet treat would be wonderful.

I think this was more of a challenge for my husband. He drinks 3-5 cups of coffee every day with a teaspoon of white sugar and a teaspoon of powdered creamer. He doesn’t like the taste of coffee with just milk (how I drink it), so he didn’t drink much coffee during this time. Consequently, he had caffeine withdrawal headaches for a couple days. He also lost a few pounds—-I think he must be having more “tastes” during the day than he realized.

Ultimately, I had hoped that this change in my diet would make me feel so much better that I would be inspired to keep it up, at least at some level. And although I did sleep better, I didn’t feel better enough overall to make any long-term changes in my diet.

Still, I’m glad I did it. It validated our current diet, and I added some new foods into the menu. I know now that I can (at least for a short time period) give up sugar and alcohol, and I’m hoping that will buoy my willpower during the season of gluttony and intemperance.


1CL is on hiatus for a while as I figure out what direction it will take.

Happy New Year!

National Soup Month

January is National Soup Month.  So to start off the new year, I thought I’d do a retrospective of the soup, stew, and chili recipes I’ve previously posted.

Lentil & Brown Rice Soup

Lentil & Brown Rice Soup

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Spicy Shrimp Gazpacho

Spicy Shrimp Gazpacho

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

Vegetarian Goulash

Vegetarian Goulash

White Chili

White Bean & Turkey Chipotle Chili

Refried Friday – Excuse Me

Refried Friday is a regular feature of 1CL in which I share posts, articles, and other “stuff” I came across and think you might enjoy too.

Joel Runyan of the Blog of Impossible Things has created a “Complete List of Convincing, Unique, and Legitimate Excuses.”  If you need an excuse, click here to choose one from his list.

Black-Eyed Peas with Pork & Greens – $1.81/serving

Black-Eyed Peas Pork GreensHaving grown up with a Filipino girl as one of my dearest friends, New Year’s Eve doesn’t seem complete without grapes (in addition to champagne and kissing and When Harry Met Sally).

But my grandmother was from the South, so we were always sure to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.  My mom always made a ham with black-eyed peas as a side.  I’ve tried various black-eyed pea recipes over the years, but this is probably one of my favorites.  (And it includes the ever-touted kale.)  Make some cornbread to go with it!

What are your New Years traditions?

Black-Eyed Peas with Pork & Greens
Recipe type: Main - Pork
Serves: 10
  • 2.25 pounds pork sirloin, trimmed, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups instant brown rice
  • 8 cups roughly chopped kale leaves, tough stems removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 15 ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed
  1. Season pork with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until just cooked through. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  3. Add onion, tomato paste and rice to the pan and cook until the onion softens. Add kale and garlic and cook until the kale begins to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in broth, vinegar, and paprika. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the rice is done, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the reserved pork and black-eyed peas and heat for 1 minute.


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