One Month Down

June 30th marked one month that we’ve been doing this challenge and I didn’t even realize it until it had already passed!  I’m going to take that as a good sign because it means I’m not counting down the days until I can eat sugar again (as I thought I would be).

If you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning, you know that when we first started this challenge I was curious to see how not eating sugar would affect my sugar cravings and energy levels.  I am happy to report after one month that I think both have definitely improved.

It seems like I have only noticed these changes in the past couple of weeks.  Maybe it was going to China and breaking away from my normal routine, or maybe it is just that it takes that long for results to start showing, but I’m finally starting to feel a difference in my body.  Honestly, in the beginning I felt terrible.  For the first couple of weeks I was actually feeling worse than I had been feeling before I cut processed sugar out of my diet and was wondering if it was really worth it to continue.  Perhaps I was eating more of something that I hadn’t been eating much of before (such as soy or more grains), but whatever it was, it has gone away now and I’m feeling much better.

I’m actually feeling really good about myself right now.  There were only a handful of times that I craved sugar in the past month and those times are becoming fewer and further between.  I have also noticed that certain foods that did not taste that sweet to me before, now taste much sweeter.  I first noticed it in China when I bought what I thought was unsweetened tea and it turned out to be sweetened.  I thought it was disgustingly sweet, but my husband said it tasted normal.  I noticed it again when I got home and ate a handful of Kashi Go Lean cereal.  I used to think Go Lean tasted pretty much like cardboard when I ate it dry, but the other day I could actually taste some sweetness in it.  Each of these little improvements give me motivation to keep going….we’ll see how I feel in another month :).

I know I have already said it many times before, but it’s worth repeating for any of you who are thinking about giving up processed sugars—it is liberating to pass up sweets and desserts altogether rather than battle with myself not to eat too much.

As far as my energy goes, I mentioned in my last post that while I was in China I noticed a significant improvement in my energy levels.  Even though I was walking around for hours and hours each day, I still felt like I had a lot of energy.  Despite the fact that I am a pretty active person and get plenty of sleep, I normally get really tired during the day and often feel like I could fall asleep at any point.  I only felt like that once or twice in China and I think those feelings were justified from all of the sightseeing.  Hopefully this trend continues :).

I think it’s important to put a little disclaimer here.  By sharing with you my journey, I am not trying to say that cutting out processed sugars are the answer to everyone’s dietary woes.  Every body handles foods differently—some people can eat diets very high in fat while others can eat a lot of sugar without seeing any noticeable difference in their weight, energy levels, or overall health (more on this later).  Just because I have noticed a difference in how I feel does not mean I think cutting out processed sugars will ‘fix’ everyone’s problems.  However, I would encourage you to play around with what you eat to find out what works best for your body.

On that note, I’ll leave you with some more pictures from our trip :).  These were all taken in Beijing.  I’ll share some from the other cities in the next couple of days.

This adorable lady invited us into her home. I wish I could have taken her home with us!

Spinning the prayer wheels at one of the local temples.

A little shrine at one of the gardens I visited.

I loved the architecture and the vibrant colors everywhere.

Such a relaxing place amongst the hustle and bustle of the city.

Hmmm not sure I trust the food in this clean "environment"

What a happy guy!

One of the watchtowers at the Forbidden City

Houses along the moat at the edge of the Forbidden City

Some Chinese delicacies I did not try.....

Archway to the Great Wall

This was at the bottom of the Great Wall! Globalization at its finest.

Nighttime view of Houhai Lake

Question: Have you ever cut anything out of your diet?  What was it and for how long did you do it?  Did you notice any improvements?



Filed under Milestones, Travels

5 responses to “One Month Down

  1. Kate

    Hey Kristen, nice job on the blog! I’m so glad you guys had such a great trip, I can’t wait to hear all about it when we skype! As far as your question goes, you know that I’ve cut out gluten for about two years now and I’m not at all surprised to hear it took so long for you to feel results, and only after I was out of denial and stopped trying to cheat. I’d say I felt bad for the first two weeks, and didn’t really feel great until the end of the first month, but of course it’s been worth it! Traveling is by far the hardest part of having a restricted diet, but it sounds like you did really well with it, so good job, and keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Kate! I know that you’ve definitely had your ups and downs with cutting out gluten, but I admire you for sticking with it. It is definitely hard and I realized when I was traveling how much more difficult it would be if I really did have a food allergy.

  2. judy cummings

    I’m considering cutting out my tongue….. Do you think that would help???? My best success so far is actually cutting out any extra servings and REALLY eating what is considered ONE SERVING. Most people make up their own serving size and then wonder why they feel full, etc. If we eat only 4 oz of protein, the proper amount of fruits and vegetables…… For those who have no allergies, etc. I think eating in MODERATION is KEY to a good diet. Exercise works well along with moderation.

    • I think moderation is key too. I recently read (and have heard this before) that the Japanese have a saying about only eating until you are 80% full. I have started doing this and it really helps me. It’s hard to do and after some meals I have realized that I ate until I was 100% full which later translates into feeling bad. The times when I really do stop myself when I am 80% full, I have felt really good after the meal.

  3. judy cummings

    I FORGOT to add that I LOVE your photos. I love the little lady, the way you “framed” the Great Wall of China, the “happy guy”, the colorful architecture, and your photos in general. I also would not have touched any of those “delicacies”. Seeing the Subway shop disappoints me, but I guess someone feels there is a place for it there…… Looking forward to more blog and photos.

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