Thursday, 25 September 2014

First Sugar-Free Week was Bittersweet

In our attempt to start eating healthier, my husband and I have decided to reduce bad sugars from our diets. We've substituted our sugar intake with honey. So instead of putting 1 teaspoon of sugar in our tea/coffee, we put half/one teaspoon of honey. It's not easy because we both have really bad sweet tooths. However, we are doing our best to keep at it. I admit, our first week was not completely "sugar-free" but we certainly did reduce our junk food consumption. Instead of having dessert after our meal(s), we have fruits. Also, I baked my first sugar-free treat this week. I made carrot muffins and substituted it with 1/4 cup of honey, as opposed to the 1/2 cup of sugar that the recipe requires. The baking rule is: if you replace sugar with honey, use half the amount of honey. Honey has such a distinct flavour that it can overpower the other flavours in the dessert.

We've agreed upon still allowing ourselves to eat dessert once a week, so I've given myself the weekends as my "cheat day" or "dessert day." On the contrary, we need to remind ourselves that instead of having 2 large slices of cake, we can only to have 1 small slice. It does take a lot of self control and sometimes it can be really tempting to reach for the bowl of ice cream, instead of a piece of fruit.

Our largest junk food purchase is when we do a Bulk Barn haul, which usually includes chocolate almonds, chocolate raisins and banana chips. Those usually finish within the week. Also, when ice cream is on sale, we tend to stock up with 2-3 containers of them. Now we have a whole lot of ice cream in our freezer that will take a lot longer to finish than originally planned!

Carrot muffins baked with honey.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Healthier Lifestyle Choices

We moved to our new house in early June, July was busy with our fasting month, and August/September we hosted a few parties with my and my husband's families. We had my immediate family over for Eid, my husband's entire extended family over for a housewarming (which was almost 50 people) and a small group of hubby's cousins over for the long weekend before school started again. Now that we are semi-settled into the new place, I am trying to get back into my daily workout routine.

Last year, I was extremely vigilant with my diet and workout. I logged everything on my fitness pal app, followed a strict 1200 calorie diet, drank 2 litres of water regularly, and worked out on a daily basis. I managed to lose 20 pounds in about 5-6 months, which was a huge accomplishment for me. It was half the weight I wanted to lose, so that was such a great milestone to know I reached such a big stepping stone. However, I then went through some extremely painful and uncomfortable medical treatment, causing me to gain all that weight back again, due to lack of exercise and being on pain killers. Gaining all my weight back took away my motivation to get back on the horse and start working out again. However, I am slowly getting back into the game.

I started using my fitness pal app again, and am watching every single thing I am eating. I am trying my best to workout regularly, but in all honesty, it can be really difficult. It just feels like a chore, and I really don't enjoy it. I took swimming lessons last year which was fun and was such a great workout. I live in a very scenic little neighbourhood, so I am changing it up by trying to go for walks and jogs on a daily basis and enjoying the scenery simultaneously. I am really pushing myself and remind myself that it took a few months to gain all that weight back, so it will take a few months to lose it all again.

My husband and I started this "no sugar" thing earlier this week. It's very difficult, considering I have a really bad sweet tooth! I am taking baby steps the best way I can. With my hubby cutting his sugar intake with me, that will make it much easier for me to eat healthy, and stay motivated. I also feel like the "no sugar" rule will help me lose weight a lot quicker than I did the first time! I will still have a treat from time to time, but I will control myself around desserts. I do hate to use the word "diet" because that just puts me off. So instead of saying "I am on a no sugar diet", I will say "I am making healthier life choices." Wish me luck! Here's to eating healthy, working your butt off (literally) and a better lifestyle change!