How to Quit Sugar For Good

(っ◔﹏◔)っ I have a confession: I am addicted to sugar. 🙇‍♀️

I’ve had a sweet tooth since the day I was born and given a choice between candy or food for survival without the repercussions, I would have chosen the candy 🍭 Unfortunately, I inherited a sweet tooth from my grandmother and it runs in my family. Even though I minored in Nutritional & Nutraceutical Sciences (NANS), I didn’t need to study nutrition to know that sugar is addictive. And If you’re anything like me, you probably know that sugar is incredibly difficult to quit. The last time I tried quitting sugar, I managed to detox for 21 days only to relapse during the Christmas holidays. My recommendation is not to try quitting sugar during the holidays, especially if you are just starting out.

I know that I am not the only one who struggles with this addiction and if you are reading this blog post, I am guessing that the title intrigued you. My intention wasn’t to use clickbait, and to be totally transparent, the longest I’ve gone without sugar was #21days. They say it takes 21 days to break a bad habit and I want to ditch the sugar, regardless of how many times I relapse. This past weekend, I ate sugary foods and now I am paying the price with a lot of bloating, mood swings, irritability, and more sugar cravings. That being said, these past two weeks have been nothing but bad news for my family, and by now I am well aware that my coping mechanism is sweets and treats 🎂😋


Disclaimer: This blog post was inspired by blog.paleohacks.com. I added some of my own anecdotes to help emphasize the key points from their list (see image below ↓) I hope you know that sheer willpower alone will likely lead to a relapse. If you want a more sustainable, long-term solution for quitting the sweet stuff, then we need to treat sugar like the drug that it is. Let’s get started, shall we?

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👉 Image source: blog.paleohacks.com

Easy Ways to Cut Sugar Out Of Your Diet

Stop Buying Processed Foods If you stop buying processed foods, over time you will accumulate much less of them in your house. If you really want to quit cold turkey, dump your sodas down the drain and toss the rest of your empty-calorie snacks in the trash. We poured the sugar-laden sodas and drinks down the drain which was very therapeutic for me. Some people might say that it is a waste of money to throw food in the trash and I agree with them. However, we should not have purchased these products in the first place.

Make Your Own Spaghetti Sauce I have not tried making my own spaghetti sauce. We try to buy brands that are low in sodium and contain the least amount of questionable ingredients. Look for spaghetti sauce when they go on sale and stock up on the good brands.

Swap Fruit Juice with Whole Fruit I quit this bad habit years ago and I don’t feel deprived by diluting fruit juice or skipping it altogether. Whenever I drink fruit juice such as 100% orange juice or 100% apple juice, I water the juice down with 3/4 water. To this day, I cannot drink non-diluted fruit juice. It is way too sweet!

Avoid Flavored Yogurt There is a lot of hidden sugar in flavored yogurts and that is scary! In a single serving of flavored yogurt, I have seen as much as 20 grams of sugar. Yikes! This doesn’t even include the hidden sugars and sneaky sweeteners that are usually added to flavored yogurts. Opt for plain yogurt and flavor it yourself. It is pretty tasty with a little maple syrup and sliced banana.

Make Your Own Salad Dressing I have not tried this yet but both my mom and husband started making their own salad dressings. I can see the appeal in homemade salad dressings and I plan on making my own one day. Please tell me that I am not the only one with 20+ bottles of salad dressing? I cannot bring myself to throw away store-bought salad dressing.

Give Yourself a Quota Going cold turkey is hard, and let’s face it: we are going to slip up from time to time. If you are used to eating fast food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, then you may want to slowly cut back on sugar and gradually introduce healthier alternatives like fruits and vegetables. If you must have dessert, save your cheat treat for a time when you will really enjoy it, such as date night. I did not grow up in a household where I ate dessert every night and I seldom ate fast food, so, fortunately, I haven’t developed a habit of gluttony and instant gratification.

Try Stevia, Monk Fruit, or Xylitol I have a hard time loving stevia. I find the taste of stevia awful but a lot of people have jumped on the stevia bandwagon and they embrace it with open arms. I don’t mind monk fruit but most often, it’s not made primarily of monk fruit. The one I have is erythritol with monk fruit extract. Erythritol on its own has a cooling aftertaste but gives me stomach aches, so I use it sparingly. I also use maple syrup and coconut sugar in some recipes to replace cane sugar. For days when my sugar cravings are intense, I might try sugar-free gum.

Set Dessert Rules Do you ever implement new rules, end up failing and feel worse than when you started? This method does work with strict discipline but even my family and friends haven’t had much success with it yet. You will likely end up relapsing if you feel too deprived, undergo an uncontrollable binge, or experience withdrawal as you wean yourself off of sugar. What is the best way to overcome potential drawbacks? Decide to make a change and commit to it for a month.

Don’t Keep Treats in the House Preach! 🙌 I stopped buying treats and we rarely have treats in our house. If we really want treats, we have to go out of our way for ice cream, or we make homemade french fries and chips (air fryer or baked). It also forces me to get creative. I have made recipes I would have otherwise never made, such as paleo mint chocolate truffles and chia seed pudding. If you’re going to make desserts, then at least make them paleo! Paleo desserts are naturally healthier and less processed compared to store-bought food.

Eat Dark Chocolate Ideally, you want to eat dark chocolate that is at least 70% solids. I do consume dark chocolate on a weekly basis, and I prefer to bake with dark chocolate which is naturally lower in sugar compared to conventional milk chocolate varieties.

Avoid Mixed Alcoholic Drinks Just avoid alcohol like the plague. Alcohol won’t help you lose weight, is chalked full of empty calories and it wreaks havoc on your kidneys and liver. There are other ways to have fun, like writing blog posts *laughs* In a more serious tone, alcohol is a toxin and I have been around too many alcoholics in my lifetime to know how batshit crazy alcoholics and drunk people can be. Didn’t know alcohol is a drug? FYI alcohol is a depressant. Look it up!

Cut Out Soda If you’re going to drink soda, you might as well drink liquefied candy washed down with a glass of lemon juice. I don’t need to explain why soda is bad which is pretty much self-explanatory. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that diet soda is any better. Diet soda contains similar ingredients as regular soda plus several questionable artificial sweeteners. It’s not even the sugar that is the most cringe-worthy ingredient, or the high fructose corn syrup for that matter. It’s the caramel color that is notorious for staining and corroding your teeth, and the highly acidic nature of both diet and regular varieties. Love the carbonated bubbles but don’t want to quit soda cold turkey? Try flavored sparkly water like Perrier, Bubbly, or Spindrift. Although acidic, these unadulterated sparkling waters are still healthier options.


(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

Well, there you have it! If this blog post inspired you to join me on this sans sugar journey and/or you are currently embarking on a similar journey towards a healthier lifestyle, feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ I look forward to reading your comments!

Also, if you would like to have your recipes featured on sereneluna.net, you can get in touch with me through my contact page or e-mail me @hilary_harm_7@hotmail.com 💌 There is no set deadline for recipe submissions. Ideally, I am looking for recipes that are wheat-free and sugar-free. Stevia, monk fruit, and xylitol are more ideal than added sugars. However, I will accept recipes that use small amounts of honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc. anything of that nature. Thanks so much! 🍨💕

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No Breaths Left to Take

I wrote a parody of the song, “No Tears Left to Cry” by Ariana Grande. Sorry for picking on you Ariana, but I also plan on uploading a future parody of “Thank U, Next.” If you enjoyed reading this parody, feel free to check out my other poetry musings here.

Even though I haven’t been blogging on a regular basis, you can still find me leaving comments and interacting with this wonderful WP community. Life is up in the air right now since I am forced to self-isolate for the rest of the winter semester. All we can do is take it one day at a time and try to make the best of this coronavirus craziness. Thanks for reading! ❤

[Intro]
Right now, my patient is SOB
He lives with end stage COPD
Ain’t got no breaths left to take
So he’s coughing it up, coughing it up
He’s wheezin’, he’s wheezin’, he’s coughing it up
He’s coughing it up, coughing it up
He’s wheezin’, he’s wheezin’, he’s coughing it up (Oh yeah)

[Refrain]
He’s coughing it up (yeah), coughing it up (Yeah)
Hacking, he’s trying to cough it all up
Yeah, he’s coughing it up

[Verse 1]
Ain’t got oxygen in my lungs
I ran out, but boy, it’s hard, it’s hard, to breathe
Don’t matter how, what, where, who’s tried it
I quit my smokin’, my smokin’, my smokin’

[Pre-Chorus]
I need help, my lungs are shutting down
Can’t breathe now, can’t breathe or catch my breath
Catch my breath, and then my lungs are clear
Then now you know it, dear
Know it, dear, yeah

[Chorus]
Right now, my patient is SOB
He lives with end stage COPD
Ain’t got no breaths left to take
So he’s coughing it up, coughing it up (Oh yeah)
He’s wheezin’, he’s wheezin’, he’s coughing it up
Oh, I’ve got meds for him to take
And it will help him for goodness sake
Ain’t got no breaths left to take (To take)
So he’s coughing it up, coughing it up (Oh yeah)
He’s wheezin’, he’s wheezin’, he’s coughing it up

[Refrain]
Coughing it up (yeah), Coughing it up (Yeah)
Hacking, he’s trying to cough it all up (He coughin’ it up)
Yeah, he coughin’ it up

[Verse 2]
Whenever I lose my breath, I start to wheeze
And boy, it’s hard, it’s hard, to breathe
Cigs did this to me, emphysema you see
I quit my smokin’, my smokin’, my smokin’

[Pre-Chorus]
I need help, my lungs are shutting down
Can’t breathe now, can’t breathe or catch my breath
Catch my breath, and then my lungs are clear
Then now you know it, dear
Know it, dear, yeah

[Chorus]
Right now, my patient is SOB
He lives with end stage COPD
Ain’t got no breaths left to take
So he’s coughing it up, coughing it up (Oh yeah)
He’s wheezin’, he’s wheezin’, he’s coughing it up
Oh, I’ve got meds for him to take
And it will help him for goodness sake
Ain’t got no breaths left to take (To take)
So he’s coughing it up, coughing it up (Oh yeah)
He’s wheezin’, he’s wheezin’, he’s coughing it up

[Pre-Chorus]
I need help, my lungs are shutting down
Can’t breathe now (Hmm, oh)
Catch my breath
Ain’t got no breaths left to take
Oh yeah, oh yeah

[Chorus]
Oh, I’ve got meds for him to take
And it will help him for goodness sake
Ain’t got no breaths left to take (Take)
So he’s coughing it up, coughing it up (Oh yeah)
He’s wheezin’, he’s wheezin’, he’s coughing it up

[Refrain]
Coughing it up (yeah), Coughing it up (Yeah)
Hacking, he’s trying to cough it all up
Yeah, he’s coughin’ it up

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Less Talking, More Listening

Paradoxes are literally EVERYWHERE in life

What is a paradox? A paradox is a statement that may seem absurd or contradictory but yet can be true, or at least makes sense.

pict--arrow-loop-sales-arrows---vector-stencils-library.png--diagram-flowchart-exampleFunny thing that I learned about the universe is that life is a paradox with many smaller paradoxes. The littlest, most mundane (and sometimes most annoying) things in life may actually be trying to subtly teach you something. If you are a believer in God, then he is truly a master in disguise.

So I have been #not-blessed with this sickness after recovering from conjunctivitis last week. Being sick with one thing after another is far from pleasant. Anyways, my awful sore throat decided that my body would play host to it last Thursday while I was just starting to recover form conjunctivitis. See my last post for the full story. Unfortunately, I have not had a restful sleep in several days and this sore throat has no plans to leave any time soon. After finding out that I have laryngitis AND tracheitis (like is this really a thing?), the doctor told not to talk for the next 2-3 weeks to avoid agitating my larynx which will prevent coughing fits and lead to easier breathing. Because this sickness is probably viral, no OTC meds are going to help me recover any faster no matter how hard I try. Lovely, eh? Knowing that I have little control over my sickness and my health it seems, and that I should just STFU to make everything better, I know this recovery won’t be easy. Talking is part of my job as a student and part of my existence on this planet. I guess what God is trying to teach me is that I will need to do some deep introspective thinking about my life and the people who I interact with which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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Maybe its’s time to personally reflect on my own shortcomings to gain a deeper understanding of life | Photo sourced from https://www.pexels.com/photo/amazing-balance-blur-boulder-312839/

Ont thing that I am certain of in life is that everything happens for a reason or is somehow supposed to teach you lessons. So what is my lesson here? To become an active listener. Since I shouldn’t be talking, I will be forced to listen to others and think before I open my mouth.🤐

What lessons are you learning today? This month? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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Sickly People Everywhere

I initially wanted to write about paying it forward, because I have been blessed with little acts of kindness by people lately. This post ended up being completely different than what I had initially planned to write about. I do not post often because I am in school right now while trying to juggle family and school life. I am aware that I focus most of my attention on other areas of my life, and consequently, this blog suffers because of it.  And I am genuinely sorry for my absence. Unfortunately I will be MIA until April 18, 2019.

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Here is the dilemma that I am dealing with. If you are a student, you may have seen this before.

I want to update you on how I have been doing. In December, if you had read my cookie post, you would have known I was really ill. I ended up getting bronchitis which took additional time to recover. By the time I started feeling human again, the winter semester had started so I needed to focus my attention on school. FOCUS is important to me and school is my top priority. I get criticized for saying this my daughter should be my top priority, right? Right. I devote time to both school AND my daughter but it’s really hard to balance things. I cannot be present 100% of the time for my daughter and I admit I am probably not the best mother in the world right now. But if you are going to judge me, try going to nursing school yourself while trying to devote all of your time to your toddler without encountering these problems:

In February, I was hit with the flu and ended up with recurrent bronchitis. Bronchitis seems to linger in sickly Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) carriers like me. It is an inherited condition which presents itself similar to asthma. I noticed that my lungs are worse in my late 20’s than they were in my teenage and childhood years.  For this reason, I cannot participate in activities that require running or any strenuous physical activity or I’ll have air hunger. Believe me, it’s awful.

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Sometimes I escape to this place to get work done. Let nature heal you 😊

I thought I was over being sickly and that my body had enough antibodies to fight off whatever sickness lingers on doorknobs and cursed sneezes. The university is full of sickly people. Students feel the need to attend class despite being ill, which I am guilty of myself. Nursing students cannot afford to skip school. I caught something a few days ago which presented itself as a persistent, uncomfortable sore throat and horse cough. I already know how this is going to end which is likely a head cold and sleepless nights. Fun. Now pair this with conjunctivitis (pink eye) and you really have something going for you. I’ve had conjunctivitis for a few days now and saw a doctor yesterday. The doctor advised me to stay home today so that the medication can work its magic. Hopefully my eyes will be less swollen and red by tomorrow!

How do you find balance in your life? How do you balance personal life with school? Please leave a comment below↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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