Three Weeks of No Sugar

It has now been three weeks of no sugar, but thanks to melon season, my life has not been lacking in sweets.  I got an 8 kilo watermelon a few days ago and am already more than halfway done with it (don’t worry, I shared!)  I’ve also felt like I enjoy natural foods more, like peanut butter and plain yogurt, and have less desire to eat sugary dessets.  The No Sugar Rule has twice given me an excuse to refuse pastries I didn’t want, which I often find difficult when someone baked something themselves.

A rainbow of sweetness

A rainbow of sweetness

I am realizing how difficult it is to avoid sugar when you are not making all your own food, particularly in sauces, breads, and drinks.  Even in Morocco, where high fructose corn syrup is unheard of, sugar is lurking where you might not expect it.  But with the dawn of cherry, peach, and melon season, my life is plenty sweet.

I have three weeks left of the No Sugar Experiment, and I am curious to see if sweetened foods will taste sweeter when I start eating them again.  I’ll let you know!

Bittersweet

Mint tea, almond pastilla, and flavored yogurts are staples in Morocco, but unfortunately have one thing in common: lots of sugar.  Based on recent books, studies, and experiments of sugar-free life, more evidence is coming out that sugar is one of the worst things we can eat.  Supposedly it works like any addictive substance, so that once you start putting three sugar cubes in your morning tea, you can’t easily cut back to two.  Sugar can be hard to avoid in packaged foods, and sweet treats are often offered as a sign of hospitality, making them hard to refuse.

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Just because those pastries are green doesn’t mean they’re good for you.

My mom and I have decided to see what the no-sugar revolution is all about by cutting sugar out of our lives for five weeks.  We read that a sugar-free diet can lead to withdrawal symptoms, rapid weight loss, and drastically improved health.  We don’t think we will see such a big difference seeing as neither of us eat much sugar as it is; just the occasional sweetened yogurt or some chocolate.  However, one of our motivations is that it will give us the ability to easily turn down treats that are forced on us.  We both dislike when people try to get us to eat unhealthy foods against our will, so it will give us a good excuse.

 

We're only eating sweet treats that grow on trees.

We’re only eating sweet treats that grow on trees.

Our five weeks started strong on Tuesday, with three healthy meals and a dessert of a melon eaten directly from the skin with a spoon…very sweet.  We’ll keep you updated!

My Own Report Card

I just gave out report cards to my students to track their progress in their first semester of school.  I don’t think anyone is going to give me a grade on what I’ve learned this fall and on my adjustment to post-college life, but I wrote notes for a final essay anyway.  Here is what I have learned in the first semester of my freshman year of life.

  • Everything costs money (except walking).  This is a lot less of a problem if you are getting a regular paycheck.
  • Working 40+ hours a week is really tiring – but it makes you truly appreciate the weekends.
  • Staying healthy takes time (time to exercise, rest, form positive social groups, and buy, chop, wash, and cook vegetables)
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    These flowers are healthy.

  • I looooove to cook.  I like using seasonal vegetables, I like making up recipes, and I like baking bread.  I don’t, however, like following recipes or instructions.
  • I am Christian.  I was a bit confused about what I believed throughout college, so it’s nice to have figured this out.
  • It is really nice to have Christian coworkers because you never have to defend your beliefs.  However, I think it is also nice to have friends of other religions.
  • I love learning languages.  I think Standard Arabic is one of the most beautiful languages, and I also really like speaking French.
  • My sister is really cool.  I also knew that already, but in this past year we’ve had really good trips to visit each other abroad.
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We also take super cool pictures of ourselves.

    • I’m really thankful to have a roommate.  I like being alone sometimes, but I much prefer to be alone together.
    • I really like to run, and feel a lot better about everything after running.  I already knew this, but the fact that I’ve been able to continue to run regularly has been wonderful.
    • I need to complain more.  My roommate complained to anyone who would listen about how cold our apartment is, and someone anonymously gave her a huge comforter.  I, however, continued to suffer silently.
    • I’m never going to be an amazing singer, even though I do enjoy singing.  That’s okay, I guess.
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    Who wouldn’t want to be able to sing like these guys? They’re certainly enjoying it.

  • I like listening to stories from my students, whether they are adults or kindergarteners.  I don’t really like disciplining them though, so I think I am best suited to working with small groups.
  • I really like Morocco.  I like my friends here, I like the tram, I like my church, I like the ocean, I like the stores on my street, I like the architecture, and I like avocado juice.  I am very happy living here and do not want to leave, at least for a while.
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    Waiting for the tram isn’t so bad when it’s this sunny.

In three more days I’ll be on winter break, and in only one my mom will arrive!  I’ve got to rest up so that I’m ready for the second semester of my freshman year of life.