Sweets and things

Want to know something funny? I have been avoiding sugar and gluten this week as part of the Tony Horton cleanse that I’ve decided to try, and what do you think has really tempted me? Is it the chocolate chip cookies that my kids brought home from Grandpa and Grandma’s house? No. The Girl Scout cookies we still have on hand? No. The M&M’s left from Valentine’s Day? No, again.

But these little beauties…

My kids wanted to have crackers with the chili we had for dinner last night. We normally do have crackers with chili, so I dug out these lovely crackers for them to eat. Having these crackers out has been the most tempting thing for me in these nearly two weeks of avoiding certain foods. I find that sort of funny, that crackers called out to me even more than homemade chocolate chip cookies.

On that note, I’d also like to share a bit more about that chili dinner. I baked sweet potatoes and made a batch of chili, which I thought made a wonderful combination. Chili is one of those things that I make in a variety of ways with a variety of ingredients. This time, I had in mind to use the chili as a topping for the sweet potato, so it wasn’t a soupy version at all.

I sautéed some chopped onion and garlic in olive oil then added black beans and diced tomatoes and a little water. I liberally sprinkled cumin and not-so-liberally sprinkled cayenne pepper.

I have never tasted such sweet sweet potatoes before in my life. I am not sure if they really were unusually sweet, or if avoiding added sugar has made my palate more sensitive. At any rate, I thought it was a simply delicious dinner.

I also happen to have a cold now. In April. I find colds even worse when they seem to be in the wrong season. I have been eating enough citrus lately to stave off scurvy for the entire Navy, I think, and here I am with a cold. I know I just said I was doing fine with this, but I can’t help but wonder if it has anything to do with coming off caffeine. I tend to get sick if I don’t get enough sleep – a night or two is okay, but if I don’t get enough sleep for a more extended period of time, I end up sick. I have been sleeping, but I just wonder if my body was so used to caffeine that it feels run down without it.

Even as I say it, I think it is pretty sad to be so hooked on something like that. I guess I am putting it out here to help me really acknowledge that it is bad for me. I know some people do fine with it, can consume it in moderate amounts, etc. For me, it seems like it’s nothing but trouble. At the end of these four weeks, I will have to decide how to consume or not consume it on an ongoing basis.

One thing about it, no matter how you feel about any of these substances that I am currently avoiding, the process has made me consider my meals and snacks even more carefully. How much junk do you think I can consume when added sugar, caffeine and processed foods are off limits?

I hope you are well and enjoying this lovely spring.

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