• Just Say No

    December 29, 2010

    Does anyone else remember this episode of Punky Brewster? Punky starts hanging out with the ‘cool crowd’ and they offer her drugs, but she turns them down because she has Punky Power! :mrgreen:

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    Ok, I’m done with the Punky Brewster references. I promise.

    Dinner

    Tonight’s dinner was a delicious mix of protein-packed foods. I had an open-faced tuna melt sandwich (with celery mixed in) on a piece of whole wheat bread.

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    On the side, I had some buffalo tofu and roasted brussels sprouts.

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    Dinner also included a bowl of baked beans. I forgot how delicious they are!

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    I ate dinner pretty early in the evening, so a few hours later, I was hungry again. I made myself a mug of tea and piece of bread with peanut butter spread on top. I also had a salted chocolate-covered caramel. Mmm!

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    Regarding the comments on my previous post: While I appreciate the ‘tough love’ given by a number of people, I want everyone to know that if it was easy for me to say no to sweets, I would do it. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple for me.

    I’m trying my best and what you see on my blog is actually quite a bit better than how I typically deal with desserts. Usually, I eat them until they are gone! I should probably just throw away all of the Christmas candy in the house, but I’d rather learn how to deal with my cravings when I have them around. My goal is to enjoy small treats everyday, but with control and in moderation.

    This evening, my blog buddy, Caitlin, offered me some advice for taming my sweet tooth, which I am going to try tomorrow. My problem is once I start eating sweets, I just can’t stop. I’m not sure going ‘cold turkey’ is the answer for me (I don’t want to do it and it would make me a miserable person), so I’m trying to find a balance that works best for me. I think Caitlin’s advice might just work.

    With that said, see you tomorrow for a little experiment!

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    { 98 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jessica December 30, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Tina— Thank you for making a statement to stand up for yourself against all the “Tough Love” comments. You know the signals of your own body, not your readers. I don’t know how you handle so many people telling you what you should and should not be doing with your diet! I’d go crazy and scream. I love your blog and find it incredibly inspirational. Way to be a rock star good luck on your sugar journey. You got yourself to your feel great weight, you are training for a marathon you didn’t know you’d ever be able to run, a little sugar detox is an “in the bag” challenge ;D

    Reply

    Nicole December 30, 2010 at 12:22 am

    While I’m on the younger side, I’m well acquainted with Punky and I can’t believer there are people who are not!

    As for the sugar, thanks for being so honest with us. I tend to be the same way with sugar, once I start I can’t stop. Thankfully I usually hit my a point where I can’t take any more and I get to a mindset where the thought of sugar makes me sick and I can get back to a normal eating routine.

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    Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] December 30, 2010 at 12:36 am

    What a respectful ‘rebuttal’. Thank you for being so honest on your blog. Sugar ‘addictions’ aren’t easy to break… you can do it!!

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    Alison December 30, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Hi Tina! I have been reading your blog for a while and I think it is great. I am sorry that you are dealing with this sugar problem. Maybe this will help you…I quit smoking cigarettes a year and a half ago. I quit cold turkey KNOWING I could never have another one again. It was SO hard. I think that maybe you should be thankful that you can enjoy still have you sugar (just in small quantities). I hope you are eventually able to enjoy a little bit and then move on knowing that you can enjoy a little bit the next day. Just imagine wanting something you couldn’t ever have for the rest of your life…puts things in perspective I think.

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    Alison December 30, 2010 at 12:39 am

    *be thankful that you can still enjoy having sugar…sorry for the typo

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    Justeen @ Blissful Baking December 30, 2010 at 1:10 am

    i totally understand your inability to just say no to sweets. i am the same way – once i start eating, i just can’t seem to stop. i’m really trying to practice self-control, but it’s so hard!

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    Carly December 30, 2010 at 1:23 am

    I’ve been reading your blog religiously for a little over a year… and you keep me coming back everyday for more! I respect your “breaking the sugar addiction” initiative and wish you the best with that! I just wanted to touch on one thing really quickly… Lately, I have been seeing somewhat “negative” and condescending comments that are really kind of pointless and offer no advice or even constructive criticism for that matter…childish, really! Just wanted to throw some love your way… even though it’s obvious you have tons and tons of supporters!! Keep it up!!!

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    Fi December 30, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Personally I think its silly for anyone to go cold turkey, and i also think its silly for people to try and live without any sugar ever ever! balance and moderation, thats the key and practice practice practice will make it easier. Yes, there are things u can do to REDUCE the sugar cravings and reduce the amount of sugar u eat, but cut it out completly?? ur human! and ur a girl, were supposed to have chocolate!
    :)x

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    Nadine December 30, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Good for you Tina! So honest and true to yourself. I respect that so much!

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    MelissaNibbles December 30, 2010 at 5:20 am

    It’s easy for people to try to tell others what to do with their bodies and their diets. I’m trying to gain weight and every day I have people telling me to just eat pizza, drink beer, eat ice cream, etc…. I don’t want to do that because it’s not a healthy way to gain weight and people judge me and say I want to stay skinny. Yes, I want to look like a 12 year old boy people. Anyway, my point is that we know our personalities and our bodies better than anyone else. It’s easy when you’re on the outside to tell people what they should do and while giving up sugar is different than gaining weight, I can relate to what your going through and the only advice I have is do what’s right for YOU and let everyone else mind their own diets.

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    Julie December 30, 2010 at 5:30 am

    I have a sugar addiction too, but it has gotten better over the last year (not over night). Even now if I slip up and have even a bite of a cookie after dinner (I say slip up becaus eI’m doing BFL and you are supposed to save your treats for free days) I can litterally feel my body shaking and craving more sugar. That’s when I just tell myself “this isn’t the last cookie in the world. you can have another one, at another time. This isn’t your last chance to ever have a cookie/cake/cupcake/whatever” and I walk away. It works, because it’s simple and it’s true. There are millions of cookies in the world and you don’t have to eat all of them at once.

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    Jen December 30, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I loved Punky Brewster!
    I think going cold turkey would be 100% unrealistic. I’m trying to do the same thing you are, enjoy some treats, but keep them in moderation. You can do it!!
    Question about Buffalo Tofu, did you make it or buy it somewhere? If you made it, do you have a recipe?

    Jen

    Reply

    Tina December 30, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Check my lunch post for my ‘how to’ instructions! :)

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    Stefanie December 30, 2010 at 7:36 am

    While I didn’t read the “tough love” comments that people left, I can say that I totally agree with you. Quitting sweets “Cold Turkey” may work for some people, but for others, it can be a disaster. I recently followed a “diet” that was created for me and it was all lean protein and veggies. Healthy, yes, but without ANY sweets for a few days I was going crazy. With all the protein in my diet I definitely felt satisfied and my cravings decreased, but in the end I decided that I’d rather be able to live a little and enjoy treats in moderation. Good luck, I can’t wait to see what your experiment is!

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    Lauren at KeepItSweet December 30, 2010 at 7:42 am

    I can definitely relate to your challenges with sweets!!! I often can NOT stop once I start and sometimes feel like I need to finish whatever it is just so it isn’t around anymore…

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    Courtney December 30, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Hi Tina,

    I wonder – how much are you actually enjoying your sweet treats? When you “give in” to a craving, are you sitting down and savoring it, or are you just eating and worrying about it? I agree with others that planning ahead can be really helpful, meaning you plan a treat after dinner. But most importantly, sit down and enjoy it without guilt! Also, maybe up the quality of your treats. Instead of a handful of M&Ms, why not have one excellent, premium piece of chocolate and enjoy every moment?

    Good luck – you certainly have lots of feedback, but at the end of the day, it’s your body. Everyone is different. Plus, this time of year is a challenge for everyone!

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    Elizabeth @ RunWithSneakers December 30, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I can relate to your feelings about sugar. When there are sweets in the house the call to me 24×7. I want to sit down and eat until they are all gone, and often I do. I deal with it best by not having sweets in the house. That is next to impossible at Christmas when friends/family bring sweets over. I would throw them all out but that’s not fair to my husband (he loves them and doesn’t have any problem eating just one piece of candy). It’s a constant struggle. I went this past year keeping all refined sugar out of my diet. It was hard, but I didn’t ban natural sugars and they are just as bad. I’m going to tell my husband that any sweets still in the house as of the 1st are going in the trash. I think he will understand.

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    Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) December 30, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Good for you! You’ll find what works best for you and your body. :D

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    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert December 30, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I have the same questions / cravings / issues with eating sweets. I am so tired of NEVER being able to eat ‘A’ cookie, or ‘A’ piece of cake. Once I start I have a hard time stopping. It’s not the same for everyone. I remember someone telling me one time that they can have a bag of M&M’s in their desk drawer and just eat a few a day. I have never found a way to do that. I have to give all the sweets away but LOVE to bake. I am so interested in your experiment. Thanks for sharing this information – you’re not in this alone!

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    Megan December 30, 2010 at 8:23 am

    I echo your feelings on sugar. I’ve done the “tough love” thing and I’ve done the ween myself off thing. Both have their ups and downs but I feel like the ween your self off is the best policy. When I say “nope, no way,” I just want to eat more sugar and I totally agree that it’s best to learn how to have sugar in the house and not have the overwhelming urge to eat it.

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    Beth @ DiningAndDishing December 30, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I know everyone is different but this is something that has worked for me – so maybe it will for you too! I LOVE sweets and would eat sweet things most of the time if I could. But instead of allowing myself that, I make sure I save my once daily “treat” for after dinner. Knowing that I have a couple pieces of chocolate or cookie waiting for me at the end of the day once I am home and relaxed and thinking of how much more I will enjoy it if I haven’t been eating sugar all day makes me much better able to limit myself. Best of luck Tina! :)

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    Brigid December 30, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I’m totally with you on the sweets thing. I eat and eat them until they are all gone. Then my kids wonder where they went b/c they only had one. OOOps. Also like you, I don’t want to rid my house of sweets. I’d rather control myself around them. I think that’s the long term solution. I’m anxious to hear Caitlin’s advise. Here’s to moderation in 2011!

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    Sara December 30, 2010 at 8:43 am

    OMG, watching that episode of Punky is one of my earliest and most vivid childhood memories. I was pretty young when I saw it (2nd grade?) and led a fairly sheltered life out in suburbia. This episode was my introduction to drugs! I was so confused and traumatized after watching it. Sigh. To this day, I can’t believe I learned about drugs from Punky. :)

    Reply

    Amanda December 30, 2010 at 8:56 am

    One of my favorite things to have after dinner for a sweet treat ( which I must have something sweet everynight after dinner!) is to have greek yogurt. I mix in sweet toppings like choc. chips or some kinda candy but not alot of it and it seems to satisfy my need for something sweet but also be filling because of all the protein in the greek yogurt!

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    Lindsay December 30, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I find that when I exercise I crave sugar and cheese like nothing else. And if I don’t satisfy that craving, I get irritable and I just feel awful. I hardly eat any meat or protein or dairy, so I’m trying to up my protein and dairy to see if it will help with the sugar cravings. I understand where you are coming from… However yesterday I had several “small victories”! We had 2 retirement parties at work yesterday and I said “no” to cake and cookies both times… but I did eat a couple spicy meatballs, in the name of protein. ;) Knowing that other people also struggle with strong sugar cravings really makes me feel less ashamed about it, and more willing to actually tackle the problem. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting yourself out there and taking the heat!!!

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    Kelly December 30, 2010 at 9:06 am

    As a nutritionist myself, the only thing that I will say is that sugar is an addiction. Just like people can be addicted to cocaine or alcohol, people can be addicted to sugar. Studies have proven this. If you were an acholic wouldn’t keep beer in the house, would you? Sometimes the best way to do it is to throw it all out and when you feel that sugar craving hit and you can’t rein it in…go to the store and buy 1 thing. This will not only keep you from going crazy on sugar in the house but it also makes you really think about what you are doing by having to actually drive to the store to buy it.

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    Amanda December 30, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I love the Punky Brewster references keep them coming!!!!

    Good Luck with the sweets, I need to kick my salty foods habit! Maybe I’ll try some of your techniques!

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    Christine December 30, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Hi Tina!
    I too share your passion for sweets! It seems like after every meal-I crave something sweet. (even breakfast!!) A little trick that has helped lately is telling myself to wait 10 minutes. If after 10 minutes I am still craving sweets-I will have some. Lately, after the 10 minutes are up-I am busy doing something else and have lost the craving completely! Hope this helps!!

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    Teri December 30, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I have been thinking over the past year or so that I definitely need to get my sugar intake under control. I think part of my problem is that I’m naturally thin and I regularly run marathons, so I’ve always just had the mind-set that I can eat whatever I want. However, I’ve begun to realize that my body feels so much better and my runs go so much better when I eat less sugar and concentrate on eating healthfully. I have no idea how to stop the sugar – it usually backfires on me and I end up eating the whole jellybean container from Costco in two days – so I’m excited to be seeing (and hopefully using!) your tricks and tips. Good luck!

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    diane December 30, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Tina, I’m with you 100%. I did the massive sugar detox ONCE, when it included switching out regular flours for only whole wheat, PLUS candy etc. It was horrible, I never want to go through that again.
    When I try to go cold turkey I am a miserable person to be around. It makes me sick and sad that the sugar addiction has such a hold on me, but it is what it is.
    Some of us are just sweets people. It runs in my family. I know how hard it is, and I am excited to read about your journey!

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    Allison W. December 30, 2010 at 10:39 am

    When I’m hungry or craving sweets, I dip a spoon into the nut butter jar – sunflower butter or Barney butter is my favorite. Its much lower in sugar than junk like M&Ms and has less processed ingredients. The protein and fat fill me up, and its just sweet enough. If I start in on chocolate, I don’t stop, and then I feel like crap and I don’t sleep well. Sugar really is an addiction, and I think it dulls our senses to naturally sweet things like apples. Another cure for sweet cravings is to make a green smoothie (1/2 frozen banana, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, giant handful of spinach). It tastes sweet but you’re getting a serving of veggies too! It also takes awhile to drink.

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    Sarah @ goingongoals December 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Hi Tina, as a fellow Chocoholic I thought I would pipe in with a few tips. I have found that I have curbed my cravings by treating myself throughout the day, starting with breakfast. Most mornings I add about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to my oatmeal. Another tactic that I have found extremely helpful is that I hide my Holiday Candy and Girl Scout Cookies. The GS Cookies are easy, I burry them in the freezer. With the Holiday Candy, I put it in Ziploc bags and hide it in various spots in my pantry. It’s great because you don’t see it so you don’t splurge. Or at least it helps me. Good luck!!

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    Daisy December 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    say no to drugs! what are those kids like nine?!?

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    Carla December 30, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I wouldn’t sell yourself short. I think you are a very powerful, creative, and unique person who definitely has the strength within herself to overcome any obstacle. Good luck!

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    jassy December 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    i’m a carbohydrate person…i can’t cut off carbo from my life…:) about sweets…right now since it’s the holidays, I eat a lot of chocolates and I am always craving for it. :)

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    Amber K December 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I hate “tough love” comments. They make me want to exactly the opposite of what they are saying. But maybe that’s the stubborn Taurus in me. ;)

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    Erika MC December 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Two tricks that work for me: brush my teeth if I don’t feel like I can control myself and/or suck on a mint or raspberry creme saver.

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    suki December 30, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    I totally remember that Punky Brewster episode. :)

    In terms of sweets, try having healthier sweets. Whenever I’m craving something sweet, I’ll have freeze-dried fruit or a fruit leather. The ones they have at Costco are awesome. All natural and still the right amount of sweetness.

    Of course, this comes from a girl with hardly a sweet tooth.

    :)

    Reply

    Amy January 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I’m kind of backtracking on all your recent posts, so sorry for all the comments!

    I know exactly what you mean though in regards to cravings for sweets! I have the worst time with them. Once I have a little taste of something sweet, I can’t stop eating it. And there is NO way I can quit cold turkey. Maybe I’ll try the “dessert after dinner” thing as well and see how that works. Good luck! =)

    Reply

    Vanessa January 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Tina,
    I’ve had (and have again) a problem with yeast. Sugar feeds yeast, so I had to remove sugars from my diet (and yeast, of course, and anything fermented). I found it really tough. After the 8 weeks without sugars, I felt great – more energy, vibrant, everything was running smoothly, etc., but once I could start introducing things (like fruit) in, I went off the deep end. My body went crazy with the sugar cravings, and now I’m back in the same position as before, if not worse. So I feel your pain.
    Some things that I find help me are to put all of the sweets (like the boxes of chocolate that everyone gets at Christmas) in a cupboard that you don’t use (we have it all in our linens closet). I find that I don’t get into it because I know that its hidden for a reason. Take them out when you have company, so that you know that you’re not going to eat the whole thing yourself. My bf also suggests that I brush my teeth when I say that I want a sweet treat. I try to limit the sweets that I buy (make the list, stick to the list).

    Good luck with your sugar detox. I’m beginning one of my own “cut the sh*t out of your diet” detoxes today…the holidays really left me feeling heavy and slow.

    Reply

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