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May 18, 2009

Trying to Give Up Sugar? & A New "Life Lines"

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Way back here I posted on giving up sugar. My initial reason for it was to see if my migraines lessened. Although I have had a couple of episodes, (If you've ever had a migraine, it is an episode!), I have definitely had less headaches.

My thoughts were to limit my sugar intake to birthdays and holidays. I bake a cake of choice for One Fine Man and our 3 kids on their birthdays. Past cake choices have been carrot cake, coconut cake, red velvet cake, chocolate chip cookie cake and spice cake with caramel frosting (ooooh that one's fabulous).

I prefer to make the cakes and frosting/icing from scratch, and "No, that doesn't mean I 'scratch' the box!"

Also, I usually make buttermilk pies for Thanksgiving and either carrot cake or red velvet for Christmas. Bella~Mella's kitchen gets to smellin' good, now! Are you salivating yet?

But seriously, I made the decision to give up sugar for long stretches of time and limit sugar on those "special occasions" for great reasons! My health. My thighs. My head. And the "D" word ~ disciplining my flesh!

Remember this praline cake that One Fine Man ordered for Father's, I mean, Mother's Day?

And this coconut cake I made for Easter?

Yes, I had a piece of each! It was a special occasion after all. But then I gave some away and froze the rest.

Since I posted about "My Sweet Life" in February, I have seen lots of bloggers writing about their sugar addictions so I thought I would post some encouragement for you.

~Bella~Mella's Tips to Outsmart Your Sweet Tooth~

#1 Use your words.
Repeat after me. "I don't eat sugar." When presented with an opportunity to eat sugar, just say these words aloud. You know there is power in your spoken word, right?

See this baby shower cake? When it was cut and ready to be served, one of the ladies brought serving sizes to our table.
I simply said, "No thank you. I don't eat sugar." I greatly admired my friend Natalie's expertise in creating this masterpiece for a baby shower last week but I didn't need to taste it to appreciate it!

(Yes, this is really a cake, even the dress and shoes!)

#2 Win the battle in your mind and flesh over sugar by fasting from it for 4 - 5 days. In my experience that is all it takes to retrain your taste buds and your brain.

#3 Eat fruit like blueberries and strawberries. Freeze a peeled banana, then thaw it until soft enough to "cream." It really is good like ice cream. I like to eat frozen fruit slightly thawed with some real whipped cream. Even though there is a bit of sugar in the cream, it is so minimal that I don't overload on it.

#4 Don't substitute with artificial sweeteners. Research I have read says it doesn't really work to keep you from wanting something sweet. Besides, have you done the research? They are not good for you. Really. On the other hand, stevia is good and good for you. It's herbal. If you need a sweet drink like tea or lemonade, try stevia. Your taste buds will adjust if you are willing to give it a try. Do you like your coffee sweet? Years ago I added splenda and cream to my coffee. Then I decided to give up artificial sweeteners and started using 1 T of 1/2 and 1/2 per cup of coffee. I love it like this now!

I fix fresh lemonade by the glass.
Juice one lemon. Press and roll it on the counter so it will release its juice.
I use a 12 oz Tervis and fill 1/2 way with ice. Add 1/2 a glass of filtered water (a necessity if you live in Florida), and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. I add a packet of stevia and mix. This is really delicious and no guilt involved. The fresh lemon juice is good for you and so is the herbal sweetener. Lemons are inexpensive at Sam's Club.

I am 6 lbs. thinner since my post in February!

Do you have any tips for cutting out or at least cutting down on sugar? Do Tell!

Coming soon: There is a cool new TV show I just saw for the first time last week. It has to do with cooking. I'll be posting on it soon!


Interested in reading the latest "Style File" by Alisa Lucas Brown from Life & Style By God's Design? Go here!


  1. i do love my sweet stuff but am disciplined at how much sweet stuff i intake with 2 exceptions...sweet tea and vanilla lattes...so my trick is i make my self a glass of half and half tea, (half sweet/half unsweet) and when i treat myself to a latte i always get them to put 1/2 the amount of vanilla in my latte...i do not normally drink sweetened coffee...

    is steva better than splenda?? i only ask because any and all artifical sweetners including splenda hurt my stomach from bite one..

  2. why Belle, Mella - why on earth could you be posting about this? (*Grin*) I think I will link back to this on Wednesday this week. (I'm not officially posting on Wednesday, but this will be a nice visit for many of my folks, who also said "too much sugar."

    Thanks for your support and the post! I really do think the time is coming. (Of course the 2 pieces of mocha cheesecake I had today are disagreeing). But seriously, I am close to quitting. Close...only matters in horseshoes & hand granades, right?

  3. Thanks for this Melanie. Kelly's post got me this morning. I have been thinking about doing this from your earlier post. Remember, I'm a turtle...b

  4. Why, oh WHY does this keep coming up?!? Sigh. Coincidence, right? Kudos to you for the self-discipline. You make it sound do-able.

  5. This was so good. God removed sugar from my diet completely earlier this year. It was a difficult transition but once I "fasted" off of it, the difference was amazing. One might think I'm off my rocker, but I have more clarity now, I'm not fatigued and my troubled skin cleared up.

    I am allergic to artificial sweeteners as they mimic symptoms of Lou Gherig's (sp?) disease and I can't use stevia for a similar reason because of the way it is processed.

    However, honey and Agave nectar are excellent sweeteners. Agave nectar is the lowest sweetener on the glycemi index chart and won't spike your blood sugar.

    My favorite, plain yogurt with a touch of honey and vanilla extract. Yum!

  6. I am so proud of you for doing this and sticking with it. I know it's not easy in the world we live in! Good for you, you are an inspiration!

  7. Hi Mel, you've convicted me once again. :-) I'm heading to the grocery tomorrow for some Stevia! Congrats on the minus six pounds!

  8. I admire you and your determination and self control. I appreciate the way you continue to create good looking and tasting desserts that are much healthier. Even though I do not have a sweet tooth and do not each much sugar, I have learned valuable things on this post. Thanks for sharing with us.

  9. This is quite inspiring. thanks for sharing!

  10. Kelly sent me for my sugar fix. I think I was tricked. There is no sugar here. It is a great post though and I know I need to cut back on my sugar and other sweetners.

  11. Greetings Bella ~ Mella, I stopped over from Ms. Chatty Kelly's spot. Thanks for the great tips for cutting back/eliminating sugar. I'll be giving some of these a try. Blessings, SusanD

  12. Hi Melanie,

    Great tips! I've resolved some serious health issues of my own by eliminating sugar from my diet and have found that focusing eating mostly natural whole foods is the best way to do it.

    I especially agree with you about avoiding artificial sweeteners and like your suggestion of getting into the frame of mind that "I don't eat sugar."

    If you're interested, here's an article I wrote specifically about eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet.

  13. Hey my friend -- I finally got back to see you and WOW what a wealth of information. I'm not a sugar person at all -- used to be about 2.5 yrs ago. I have not heard of Stevia. If I need sugar I use a sml portion of one pack of Splenda and I'm not kidding when I say that is so rare that it might be once every few months. I'm not big on chocolate either so every few months I have a piece of that too.

    You give GREAT tips/info. Thanks.

  14. I will have to try the lemonade, sounds like a great idea.

  15. You had me at hello. I just can't believe that purse is a cake!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. WOWeee! I love your blog!!!! CHEERS! Michele

  17. Popped in from Spring's to say hi!

    I don't know if I could ever give up sugar. That's hard!