Well, Lent is over. Hurray. I can eat sugar again. Really, I’m not as excited as I thought I’d be. I mean, yes, I’m happy to be eating strawberry jam and canned nectarines again but I really don’t have much desire to bake. That’s a good thing. I used to bake almost every day. Now if I just do it once or twice a week, our sugar intake will be drastically reduced from our pre-Lent consumption.
I truly am happy that I can relax again and not consume my thoughts with whether or not something has sugar or white flour in it. It kinda took over my brain there for a while. I suppose if I stuck with this “diet” it would become more natural but I have no desire to go through life scrutinizing food people serve me (though I have to admit that a couple of times during lent, I ate it anyway) or completely ignoring that bag of white stuff in my kitchen cabinet. Some sugar won’t kill me. A few baked goods will keep my taste buds lively. But guys, I’m going to try to keep the sweets to more of a minimum around here. Help me out, will you, and if you see me posting too many desserts (baked and otherwise), give me a virtual punch and remind me to get back on track.
In case you are wondering: no, I did not lose any weight. Yes, I felt better throughout my days (especially the afternoons) and even had less of a desire to snack. I didn’t feel sluggish. Feeling sluggish makes me want cookies.
Here are a few tips I came up with when experimenting with alternatives to refined sugar and flour:
*Use brown rice flour in place of all-purpose when thickening stews or white sauces. The results aren’t quite as smooth as when using all-purpose flour but I prefer the brown rice flour to whole wheat flour.
*The best alternative to sugary salad dressings? White balsamic raspberry vinegar and olive oil drizzled on your salad.
*No more brown sugar in your oatmeal? Use maple syrup instead…it’s even better than the brown sugar! And it works in baked oatmeal, too, instead of the agave or white sugar.
*Craving carbs? Toast a piece of 100% whole grain, no refined sugar bread and top it with natural peanut butter and honey.
*Just don’t serve dessert. After a while, you’ll forget such a thing exists.
If you want to give this little experiment a shot, I’d back you up 100 percent. Challenging yourself occasionally keeps you healthy and your brain active. And yes, your sugar cravings will be diminished. Might take a few weeks but believe me, it happens.
Thanks guys for sticking with me! Here’s to a life with less empty carbs!