Reader, we have been treading a dangerous path.
It always starts with the eating out. Sometimes we eat out from necessity, and sometimes we just like to. And this is where the danger lies.
We took a trip to Tennessee and did some hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a few days over my spring break, which was extremely lovely. The weather was warm(er), our cabin was amazing, and the quiet was perfect. When I booked the cabin, I was delighted to see that they had full kitchens. “Great!” I thought, “We can stick to our no-sugar diet while on vacation, and save some money, too!”
Our lovely little cabin.
I had it all planned out. I had a lovely mushroom, goat cheese, and herb frittata planned for breakfast which we would eat for two mornings. Dan was going to cook us some steaks with baked potatoes and asparagus for a fancy dinner, and we’d packed stuff to make for lunches out on the trail. We did expect to get dinner somewhere in town when we got in Monday night, and Dan wanted to get barbecue in Lexington, Kentucky on our way home.
I got a confirmation email the day before which said “Not all cabins have full kitchens. A few cabins only have a microwave and refrigerator.” It was too late to call in the evening by the time I got home from work, and we were leaving too early the next day to call, too. I crossed my fingers and hoped that our cabin had a full kitchen.
It didn’t. Of course. We packed up a cooler full of steaks and eggs that we couldn’t use. C’est la vive. They came home with us. Thankfully we had the fridge, at least.
That meant that we ate dinner out Monday night, breakfast out Tuesday morning, then dinner again Tuesday night, and still stopped in Lexington for barbecue. Delicious, forbidden barbecue.
I was glad that I had thought to pack a grapefruit to share and some of our plain Greek yogurt, at least. That meant that we only went out for breakfast one morning, and the second morning before a short hike we each had half the grapefruit, a hardboiled egg, and some yogurt, though even the yogurt was cheating because they had left some delicious homemade granola for us to enjoy. Still, I didn’t want us to be hungry. It was necessary.
Luckily, our lunches were still fine, and I was even so excited because I had gone to Whole Foods and found a turkey breast brand without sugar! (Thanks for the tip, Manuela!) We had turkey sandwiches! It was amazing! And Dan even found cheese snack crackers without sugar, which we have declared a long and abiding love for. I think they’re even better than Cheez-its. And of course the usual fruit, pickles, etc.
But it was so frustrating to have planned out a sugar-free trip and then had to eat out so much and have no control over the sugar content. And of course I couldn’t deprive Dan of real barbecue on our trip south, and he had researched which place he wanted to try and everything, so even though we had been cheating, we chose to make it official and eat delicious barbecue which is always coated in sugar.
Red State BBQ. Best ribs I’ve had in my life.
The worst part was that we had planned on having our February sugary treat on our mini-vacation, and we didn’t end up eating anywhere ever where we wanted dessert. So, even though we had been cheating thoroughly for the better part of a week, including sugary barbecue, not just general “out,” we came home and while I dragged Dan all over town looking for old windows for a project, we ate out again for lunch. And I felt really guilty first about eating out again, and I didn’t feel like we had been “good enough” to deserve dessert. But I caved and we got dessert.
Don’t worry, I think I paid for my guilt.
We had both been craving a brownie sundae with ice cream and hot fudge. I am lactose intolerant, but I can usually handle a small scoop of ice cream without too much difficulty. Of course, being at the fancy schmancy locally-sourced, crunchy granola place we were, their brownie sundae came with salted caramel gelato instead of ice cream, and real whipped cream instead of the fake stuff.
There’s a brownie under there, I swear.
I realized in the car on the way home that it had been good, but it hadn’t been what I wanted. I was unsatisfied with my once-a-month treat. And since it was gelato instead of ice cream (I only ate half the scoop!), and real whipped cream, my stomach was at least kind enough to wait to express its extreme displeasure until we got home.
So, overall, a very disappointing once-a-month treat. Sad. It’s ok, I didn’t deserve the treat, anyway.
Like the title of this post implies, all this eating out and sneaky sugar that we have been allowing is a slippery slope! We’re slowly falling off the bandwagon. I sneaked a bite of potato salad at work the other day, even though, duh, it has mayonnaise which has sugar. No more!
This means we are strengthening our resolve and have made it a rule that we are not allowed to eat out until March 14 when we are attending a symphony (we’re so fancy) with my parents. And then after that, only when necessary again. Gosh darn it.
Another thing that has been bothering me is that about halfway through February I weighed myself, expecting to have lost maybe two or three pounds. Instead, I had gained two or three pounds. Not that I’m doing this for weight loss, but I certainly didn’t expect to gain any more weight. It was really disappointing and made me flounder a bit. It also forced me to come to terms with the fact that it’s not my diet that is the problem, it’s my sedentary lifestyle. I sit at a desk all day at work, and I sit at a desk all day at school, and I sit at home all the time to do homework, and then we sit and watch movies to unwind. I know I should be more active, but I hate working out to an extreme. And it always feels like I don’t have the time or energy, and it’s dark when I get home and I don’t want to leave my house. And I know I should make this resolution now, but for all the reasons above, I am waiting until graduation, and then I intend to go out and be active everyday, whether it’s a walk or a hike or throwing a football or biking somewhere. I just hate artificial exercise, i.e., going to the gym. And I am really excited about being more active!
Maybe if I had some mountains nearby I’d be more inclined (pun intended) to be active.
Still, I have to remind myself that the benefits of doing this are more than just about slimming down! It’s worthwhile even if I’m still gaining weight.
Other than this past week, the challenge has been going generally well. I’ve still been making our bread roughly every week or two and am still tweaking the recipe. It turns out better every time. Oddly enough, I still miss jam the most out of everything. Dry toast, bleh. We picked up some “no sugar added” apple butter on our trip. Its only ingredients are apples and spices, which seems like it’s not cheating, but somehow I still feel like maybe it is. Maybe the apples are so cooked down that all that remains is just sugar, and it’s cheating the same way that fruit juice is cheating. …But my toast.