Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Sugarless Holiday

"Skier on Sugar"
(This was atop Robby's chocolate cake at dinner last night.)
Going on this low-carb/high-protein diet has not been easy, and I'm going to be totally honest and confess that I have had many carbs and many bits of sugar here and there, especially with the holiday season upon us.  However, even with my cheating, I've still done way better than I normally would because of these five rules I'm trying to follow:

1.  Stick to a low (or better yet, no) sugar diet for breakfast.  Breakfast is easiest to control.  My breakfast, then, has been boring but at least true to my diet.  I've pretty much lived on plain yogurt, plain oatmeal, and eggs. I do cheat every morning and have a cup of coffee with cream.

2.  Have a salad or a wheat wrap for lunch.  Again, lunch is easier to control because I'm usually at home or have one packed for school.  Salad has been a life-saver, and topped with meat, eggs, nuts, plus all the veggies I could possible pack in really is pretty yummy.  

3.  Plan on snacks, and lots of them.  Almonds, rice cakes, celery and almond butter, boiled eggs, green apples, yogurt, blackberries, avocado...these are great and keep me from having something I shouldn't.

4.  Drink sparkling water!  With a squeeze of lime and a raspberry or two, it really is refreshing.

5.  I have to remind myself that "a little sugar" in my coffee, tea, oatmeal, whatever, really is NOT going to make it sweet, so why even bother?  Save the sugar for something really good later!

Finally, here are five swaps that make a huge difference, as well:

1.  Plain, whole milk yogurt for anything with less fat and any added sugar.  You would be amazed at how much sugar is in yogurt, especially non-fat yogurt.  I nearly dropped a tub of vanilla yogurt at WinCo the other day when I read that it had 49 GRAMS of sugar in a serving!!!  Forget that!  Trust me, and stick with the plain whole stuff.  And check the label.  Grams of sugar vary greatly among different brands.

2.  Heavy cream with vanilla and cinnamon for any store bought creamer.  Not only do store-bought creamers have tons of sugar, they also have trans fat.  (But my hub doesn't care, so I understand if you don't, either.)

3.  Low-sugar fruits like apples, raspberries, blackberries, and grapefruit for any other fruit.  Use them to help you sweeten up things like yogurt and oatmeal.

4.  Home-made dressings and condiments for anything store-bought.  Play around with sour cream, plain yogurt, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and spices!  Also, home-made mayo isn't that hard to do and is way better for you.  Avoid ketchup and mustard, if possible, and try to use spices to add flavor.

5.  Sweet potatoes (on occasion) for potatoes.  Yes, these are high in sugar (just like regular potatoes) but are packed with good things for you, so indulge in these instead of potatoes.

The final thing I remember is that anything I make from scratch will undoubtedly be better for me than anything I could buy.

If I follow these guidelines, I don't have to feel too bad when I have a sweet or carb-y dinner out.  How about you?  Do you have any guiltless holiday eating tips?

4 comments:

  1. What on earth is that picture all about?!? Guiltless holiday eating, you ask...become an Orthodox Christian and fast for 40 days! HAHAHA

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  2. Good summary and good reminder. : )

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  3. Just a note: Sweet potatoes have been rated the world's #1 food in terms of nutritional value per unit of measure. They are not high in protein, but if your all-around diet is high-protein, then you could do much worse than include regular portions of sweet potato.

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  4. Looks like I'm also a glutton for punishment. I've been doing a no sugar and no meat diet for 2 weeks now. Not the best timing for this! And, I'm craving sweets with the holidays approaching.

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