I’m not religious, but I was raised Catholic, and Catholics do Lent. I haven’t given up anything for Lent since I was a kid, but this year I decided to give up sugar for Lent.
While I love sugar as much as the next person, it really bums me out that there is such an abundance of sugar in our lives. I read in National Geographic that the average American eats 22.7 teaspoons of sugar a day, which adds up to 77 pounds of sugar a year. Yowza! That is how much Miles weighs. Ick!
But giving up sugar wasn’t too hard. In fact, having a reason not to each sugar was great, and I was totally committed. I told the kids, “Nope, I’m not buying that, it has way to much sugar in it.” So all of us had a lot less sugar in our lives. And we became really aware of how much sugar there is in everything. Sugar is in almost every processed food out there. Lots of it.
My parameters for not eating sugar were easy. I wouldn’t eat anything that had sugar or any form of sweetener listed on the ingredient list, and certainly no maple syrup or honey. So, for example, while on the grape nuts box it says it contains 5 grams of sugars on the nutritional label, sugar is not on the ingredient list, so it was okay. Wine was also okay. So, as you can see, I wasn’t suffering too much.
I did have a couple of mishaps. I ate sugar that was in a hot-dog bun. I took a bite and It tasted sweet to me, so I checked the ingredients and high fructose corn syrup was the third ingredient. Ugh. But what really surprised me was that sugar was in every type of bread out there. I also inadvertently put ketchup (duh, that like 100% sugar!) on a burger and had a sip of soda when someone said, “Try this it’s awesome” Oops. But otherwise I think I did really great, and my kids stayed on top of me, which was awesome.
So tonight, the night before Easter, I let the first dessert in 40 days pass my lips. My dad, who gave up alcohol for Lent, insisted that we could break our Lent the night before Easter, and I decided to roll with that, even though I thought for sure we needed to wait until Easter. But no biggie. So we had a scotch before dinner, and I had strawberries with whipped cream after dinner. Woo hoo! Party time!