Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lent Observations...

Firstly, did you know that "Honey Maid graham crackers" have HFC's (high fructose corn syrup)??? I know, big surprise, but not really. In fact I hadn't even planned on eating them(they are above the five ingredient limit on processed foods), but was merely giving my kids a snack. When I realized that they too, have been tainted by the HFC craze.

This is just one of the many instances where I have been surprised. Overall I would say that I am really enjoying this deprivation of food that is not good for me. I really am feeling strong. I typically get to this point in the Lent process each year, but this year because I am not just cutting out bad sweets, yet keeping in the good ones, and it is really making it much easier.

Normally when doing my previous format of lent, I allow myself certain "OK" foods (i.e graham crackers, and healthy blueberry muffins). This time however, because I can eat small portions of good sweets I don't find myself craving them all of the time. Except after finishing the half marathon...I'm sure that the ginger-raisin- frosted bars they had at the finish line may have gone against my lent, but I would say that they did resemble something that our grandmother's would recognize. :0)

I'm pretty sure the Gu I hate mid race was against the rules, but I made the executive decision that if I was running 13.1 miles (half of it against a very fierce wind) that it was justified. I had packed some lemon-honey drops to eat in it's place, but after having to stash my jacket due to heat, I decided it was easier (less messy) to stuff a GU in my bra, rather than some honey drops. As I said before...it was a executive decision that I feel was totally justified( if you disagree, you can chastise me in the comments).

Some of the other observations I've noticed...I didn't list it, but one of my other rules was to limit snacks. Try to eat good, thought-out meals so that I feel satisfied until the next meal. This has really been an adjustment, but I totally feel much more in control of my eating. I really enjoy having to make a healthy choice if I really NEED a snack (like after teaching a spinning class). I like not being tempted by the HFC filled candy that my kids like to get out of the candy machines, post class. I really feel much more in control.

As for my kids, I haven't been as strict with them, but I also haven't really purchased any overly processed foods (the graham crackers have been around for months). They have been doing really well with it, and other than being a bit temperamental at first, they have adjusted well.
Today was a testament of how refined sugar effects my kids...we were watching a friends daughter all day and it was her birthday (this particular child has incredibly horrible eating habits, seriously, she only eats corn chips and milk.) but because we had her over and it was her birthday I decided we would make some healthier cupcakes, with real powder-sugared frosting. They also ate corn chip nachos for lunch...I know not so healthy. When I went to get Oscar from school he was pooped...no energy and was really grumpy. Both of them were begging me for something to eat and they were really energy deficient. The only thing I can think of is that because I haven't been giving them much refined sugar, they totally had a sugar high and drop out.
This is a good thing...I now have evidence that having some sugar is alright, but full -n processed sugar frosting will put them over the edge.

So, that is where we are. I'm really enjoying this process, and I like having to think outside of the box. It really has been a good challenge.

How is your lent coming?


Nedge said...

Woah! Refined sugar can do that to you?! Maybe I should cut back. Maybe that's why i'm having such major energy highs and lows throughout the day.
Now...where can I find a vending machine that sells carrots?

anna jo said...

yeah, HFC's are in everything! you've gotta watch out 'cause they'll get into your food when you least expect it. it's ridiculous!

I made my own graham crackers a while ago. I've only made them once, but something went horribly wrong during the process. they ended up tasting okay, the dough and I just didn't see eye to eye. I think I should give it another shot sometime and see how it goes. at least I know they won't have HFC's in them!

JoAnna said...

I crashed out on my lent... sorry:( I gave an honest attempt but came up short. However, I am doing much better with it now. I have found that when I come upon a severe sugar craving I can just eat a piece of dried mango. Have you ever tried it? It is naturally SUPER sweet and fulfills most of my sweetness cravings. If you read in my blog I have been trying super hard to get on course with my fibromyalgia diet... however it has been quite the struggle. I was going to ask you by the way... what recipe books do you use to come up with all of your rice and bean recipes? I went to winco and bought out of the bulk food section natural Basmati rice and some wild rice pilaf. Neither of them have any additives or MSG, but I am struggling to find ways to make them taste really good, to the point where my hubby could stand to eat it on a regular basis. I love that we're becoming healthier but it sure is a challenge a lot of the time. I started buying bottled water to get me in the habit of drinking atleast 64 oz of water a day. Its been helping quite a bit. Well I will quit rambling now but thanks for your inspirations to get going on things. I started exercising a week ago.. I finally found a morning exercise partner!
love ya

Rachel said...

You really should read Barbara Kingsolver's book 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle'. You would love it! It fits into every part of what you are trying to do for lent. And it has some super yummy recipes.

Jen said...

dude, i can never be catholic. i am failing the lent thing. if i made lent ADDING something, like eating healthier, it would work...but i added back in some not so great things, too- i blame stress right now. some day i have to come to grips with the fact that i can't blame that forever- just not today!