the final sugar-free update

31 Mar

This is our last major update – I can hardly believe it!

Next week, I will post pictures of our Easter indulgences. :)

Here are the parting thoughts of our three challengers.


Although I should be banished from this Lenten Challenge update since I fell off the wagon on Friday for my trip to Toronto, I had a few thoughts I wanted to share. I was reminded during my short stay with my friend that it is not easy to stay with a friend or family member when your diet is quite restricted. I never could have made the no-sugar thing work. It would have required my friend to replace many items in her fridge and plan the snacks for our car trip to Niagara Falls differently. I didn’t want to do that. So, I gave up my yummy sugar-free breakfasts for yucky sugar-filled yogurt and whatever else I could find. No fruit or raisins in sight!
The sad thing is, I didn’t even get myself a fancy dessert at any point in the trip! Instead I opted for the girl scout cookies in my friend’s cupboard. OK – that I could have done without.

What was the biggest thing you learned or ah-ha moment you had?:

I always considered myself someone who couldn’t live without sugar. Turns out after a week of headaches and light-headedness, I could. I just know this little experiment will influence certain items that I shop for and the idea that Mon-Friday I’m turning over a new leaf and will have sugar-free breakfasts is huge for me. I’ve been a cereal addict since I could lift a spoon, but I’ll just save my frosted mini-wheats for weekend treats!

What are you looking forward to the most at the end of that challenge?:

I’ve had some treats since going off for the Toronto weekend, but I’m really looking forward to baked goods. I’m in charge of making cupcakes for Easter: double-chocolate and carrot. My sister is also making a pie. You better believe my plate will have a sampling of all three!

What things will you continue to do differently because of this challenge?
I think I answered this above. But I’ll also add that my new addiction to La Croix will continue. No need to buy soda for myself at home. I’ll keep it as a treat when I go out. I truly hope my more ‘mindful’ attitude will continue.

Final thoughts:

Bravo to Jen and Meghan for sticking it out until Sunday. I’m still keeping as much sugar as possible out of my meals, but seems silly to go back to 100%. The Chicken Parm I made last night had some sugar in it…
I’m glad my friends talked me into this challenge. I learned a lot and proved that I really could get through one whole day…and many more without sugar!


What was the biggest thing you learned or ah-ha moment you had?:

It truly made me sad to learn how much sugar is in everything! Walking in to Tommy’s (the boyfriend) dad’s house and realizing I literally couldn’t eat anything in his cupboards made me realize how much crap we consume as a society unknowingly. It’s a really bad cycle. I’m excited for the health bill to pass that requires all restaurants to label the calories of each item on the menu. To me it’s not controlling, it’s educating.

What are you looking forward to the most at the end of that challenge?:

Cupcakes. Honestly they are my most favorite things in the world. Oh and of course 7 n 7 s. Other than that I don’t foresee shoving boatloads of sugar in my mouth because I’m used to it now. I mean I will be relieved to not worry all the time what has sugar in it and I’m really excited about dining out again, but I’ve made some great changes so I’ll try my darnedest to stick with em.

What things will you continue to do differently because of this challenge?

See above

Final thoughts:

I’m so very glad to have been part of this challenge with Jen and Amanda. I can’t wait to see what we come up with next year. Each lent I become more aware of my body and the choices I make. It’s a wonderful feeling and I challenge all of you to give it a whirl.  Sure, it may be hard but most things that are worth it are!


What was the biggest thing you learned or ah-ha moment you had?:

I think the biggest thing I learned was that I don’t need to eat sweets just because everyone else is. There were a few occasions at social events where I wasn’t necessarily hungry or wanted the dessert being served, I just wanted to be part of the action, ya know? I’m going to keep that in check going forward to stick with desserts that I really want to eat, not just eat them because everyone else is.

What are you looking forward to the most at the end of that challenge?:

Carrot Cake. It’s my favorite dessert and Brette is making it for Easter. I cannot tell you how excited I am. (no pressure honey!)

Oh, and pancakes.

What things will you continue to do differently because of this challenge?

I don’t anticipate really adding much sugar back into my diet. I consider it more of a special occasion thing. I’m now used to not having honey or agave drizzled into my oatmeal and yogurt, so why add it back in?

I will also continue to eat dates. I never ate them before lent and now I look forward to having one as a “sweet” treat.

Final thoughts:

I think I will miss the challenge, but mostly I’ll miss the lent excuse. When someone offers you something and you respond with, “I gave it up for lent”, they drop it immediately and move on. I LOVE that. Normally, they would push a little harder that you really should try that brownie since they made it themselves, etc. I’m thinking I might try to continue the lent excuse and see if anyone notices.

I’m so glad I did this challenge and I’m so glad I wasn’t alone. Thanks to Amanda and Meghan for being such troopers through this! Thanks to all of you readers who put up with us during this journey. We hope you learned something to.

I know a few of you were doing your own challenges? Now that the end is in sight, what did you learn and will you continue to incorporate this post-lent?


4 Responses to “the final sugar-free update”

  1. Megsp March 31, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    Amanda-just for the record I cheated. 3 times. so yes, I made it through-mostly, but pretty sure Jen takes 1st prize:)

  2. Jackson March 31, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Kudos to all of you. I read labels all the time but not for sugar. I don’t know if I want to add one more thing to my list of things to watch for but I know I will look anyway.

  3. Monica April 2, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    Okay, I have some definite lessons learned. I cheated this week and broke out the 2 liter of Diet Sunkist. I used to love Diet Sunkist. On first sip, I thought it was disgusting.

    Habits started that will continue:
    –raw sugar in my coffee instead of splenda
    –ff greek yogurt (YUM) instead of yogurt with aspertame.
    –not drinking a soda a day.
    –no more Weight Watchers or aspertame filled ice cream treats – replace with tofutti cuties or something good that is not that too fattening but still tasty.
    –not putting salt on everything (ok, it’s not splenda related but i started doing it anyway).
    –juice instead of crystal light/soda. My new plan is to buy juice (no corn syrup, of course) and water it down. I still get the sweet taste but with fewer calories.

    What I learned:
    I have a sweet tooth. I like sweets. I learned that there are certain times of the day when I craved that diet soda (afternoon) and in the morning I didn’t really miss the sweet taste as much. So, I drink water all morning and have my coffee in the afternoon with a little sugar instead. I’m trying to have really good sweets in moderation rather than have fake sugar in excess.

    I NEVER thought I would survive this challenge. I hadn’t even planned on doing it until the last minute. But I knew it was a good idea and it helped to have you all to motivate me.

    What’s next year?


  1. vegan for 40 « She said. She said. - March 9, 2011

    […] religious person, but because I think it’s a fun way to try out new things. Last year was sugar-free lent. That was certainly a challenge. It was during last year’s crazy 40 days that Meghan floated […]

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