Warm Weather Makes Life Better

by Jenn (eating bender) on March 5, 2009

It’s official: my mood is 100% more positive when its sunny and warm outside. We got up to a balmy 65* today, perfect since Tuesdays and Thursdays are my longest walks across campus!

Breakfast this morning was all about freshness. I found blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries for Buy One Get One Free at the grocery store last weekend, so I made myself a fresh bowl using all three.


Then I cracked three fresh eggs (2 egg whites + 1 whole egg) and scrambled them with some fresh spinach and mushrooms.


I ate it while looking out the window at the sunny skies and people walking around in light jackets and T-shirts. Definitely a great way to start the day!


I enjoyed the leisurely breakfast along with a mug of Coffee Cocoa.


[Breakfast Sugar: 5g]

Confessions of a Sugar Lover

As you can see above, I am now keeping track of the total added sugar at each meal. I want to dedicate the rest of this post to talking more about that. Read on for my thoughts if you’re interested!


Recently, I have been noticing some negative changes to my body that have shown up in my energy levels and skin. I am constantly tired (yes, I know lack of sleep is a big part of this, but I also find myself lagging after eating certain foods), occasionally have severe stomachaches (which have been problematic in the past), and, perhaps the most visibly, I have occasional acne for the first time in my life. At 21 years of age, it doesn’t seem as though the appearance of acne could be due to those “raging hormones” I had when I was a teenager.

Being on the P90X program, I have also seen some major positive physical changes. But it’s hard to keep up with the workouts when I am so exhausted, and lately I’ve been feeling as though I’m not using the program in the way it was intended. In other words, I’ve slacked. Major.

As I look around the blogosphere and note all the wonderful results people have been having from instating their own “crap free” and macrobiotic challenges, I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection. Big shout out to Maggie and VeggieGirl for all of the help and advice you have provided me so far! But if I’m honest with myself, I know that there is really only one aspect of my diet that I could see myself having the motivation to change dramatically. It also happens to be the one aspect that is the most likely contributor to my bad skin and low energy levels.


I’ve been calculating my added sugar intake for the past three weeks, and have been astounded at how quickly the grams add up. I’ve ranged anywhere from 60 to 100 grams on a given day – that’s a lot of added sugar, especially when I read that the recommended maximum is roughly 40 grams. A little can really add up. (Note: I don’t count natural sugars such as fruit in this assessment.) Although I enjoy my Coffee Cocoa, nutrition bars, Barney Butter and rice pudding, eating them all on the same day isn’t the best idea, and may be part of the reason why my skin is so dull and sensitive.

So it’s decided. As of today (because why not start now instead of waiting for next Monday?), at the end of each meal, I am recording the grams of added sugar (not to be confused with natural sugars found in foods such as fruit) and am aiming to be under 25 grams for the entire day. This may not seem like a far reaching goal for some of you, but for me, I think it’s going to make a huge difference.

If I find that it still hasn’t helped my skin and energy levels by the end of next week, I will make the necessary adjustments. I feel that this goal will allow me to discover the “added sugar” that I find truly enjoyable in my diet, and figure out ways to incorporate it  in moderation. I don’t think I could just give up my beloved Coffee Cocoa, and with this plan, I don’t have to.

If you’re still reading this far, I applaud you. Thanks for letting me get my thoughts out on “paper” :) I will officially start posting about the added sugar in my next post. I hope to find out more about what it is and where you find it as I go through this process. I think it will be a real eye opener, and hopefully you can learn something from it, too.

Question: What do you know about added sugars? How do you approach them in your daily diet?

Last but not least, I have a seemingly random question that relates to my marketing class. Please answer if you have some time – I’d love to hear your opinion!

Question: What do you associate with the Ben & Jerry’s brand?



{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

1 VeggieGirl March 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Lovin’ those berries!! Mmm…

Glad that Maggie and I could help, girl – good luck! :-)


2 kaneil March 5, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Great post! I often go through spurts where I cut out added sugar – it makes a huge difference! I hope you find some solutions through this journey. I’m looking forward to seeing your daily totals.

Ben&Jerry’s = really good tasting, but reaallly bad for your body ice cream. I always think about mixed-up flavors, too!


3 Krista March 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm

I’m excited to hear about your results in watching your sugar intake. I had thought about trying a CFW myself, but life is very busy these days and I don’t think I could handle another commitment of any sort. I did want to try something, though so I decided to drink a green monster each night in place of my usual dry cereal snack. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s all about baby steps and how much we can handle at any given time. Best of luck tracking this! I’m cheering you on! :)


4 foodsthatfit March 5, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Lately I have been making fruit purees to add to oats or yogurt. I just microwave some frozen fruit with a little water, puree it in my Magic Bullet and heat it a bit more until it thickens a bit. It is like fruit syrup! I use it in place of brown sugar in my oats and instead of honey on my yogurt. I know there is still sugar in it naturally from the fruit, but I don’t feel bad about natural sugar…

Then name Ben & Jerry’s always makes me think of Tom and Jerry the cartoon, weird association huh? I also thing of lots of fat and sugar!


5 luckytastebuds March 5, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Hi Jenn! Grr I’m sorry that the sugar is rubbing off on you, but I am totally guilty of the same thing. You’re AMAZING for being able to identify what causes your low energy levels, and of course a great example, as usual! Now that the culprit is caught, I hope everything rolls back on track!! Those energy bars really are a downer! Thanks for drawing attention to the “sugar issue”. :)

B&J to me means chunky ice-cream. Rich flavors. Premium ingredients….heart attack yummy. hehehe OH, and slightly pricey.


6 Erin March 5, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Your post is so relevant to me right now! My skin is always super clear and today I noticed that I’m breaking out and it looks awful! I was shocked, but have been having a MAJOR MAJOR sweet tooth lately.
I love your challenge for yourself and I think I need to come up with something similar.
Thanks for posting!!


7 Marianne March 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm

I wish I could get fresh berries that look that awesome this time of year for a decent price! I so want to gobble up that whole bowl.

And I don’t really “think” about added sugars generally speaking. I just try and eat a variety of foods from all the food groups, and try and avoid “junk” as much as possible. Good luck on your sugar goal though :)


8 Erin March 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Wow, I’m impressed! I know NOTHING about added sugar. I’m sure I eat too much of it though. Good luck, I’m excited to hear what changes you see and feel!


9 Maggie March 5, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Congrats! It sounds like you really created a challenge that will work for you :) I can’t wait to see how this turns out – I know that I saw amazing things, and I hope you do too.

B&J’s – environmentally friendly! I’m not sure why. I think they are? Also accidentally eating whole containers freshman year, but you can stick with my first thought :)


10 Sarah March 5, 2009 at 5:45 pm

good luck with your challenge! I think you are going about it in a great way by cutting back rather than simply eliminating all added sugar, this way it’s about moderation rather than deprivation. Once again you’re an inspiration! (any more words ending with -tion that I can use?) thanks for providing the calculation and I can’t wait to see how to try to avoid temptation. Ok, enough!

ben and jerry’s= delicious ice cream with tons of mix-ins and crazy names!


11 Hallie March 5, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I think I need to do a similar challenge. Or maybe just an awareness, to start. I know sugar (sweets, particularly) is my #1 nutrition downfall. I know it affects lots of areas in my life (skin, energy level, hunger) and yet that doesn’t seem to stop me from going after the white stuff. Sometimes I really do feel addicted, and one hand, hey at least it’s not alcohol or ciagrettes right? but on the other hand, if it’s something I think is a problem, I should develop a solution to fix it.

Whew! What a rant. OK when I hear Ben and Jerry’s I think: totally delicious yet crazy fattening dessert. I also think “uber-liberal hippies from Vermont.” (I’m a liberal hippie-wannabe so I say that with love)


12 coco March 5, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I am very reluctant to eat added sugar… seriously, I don’t know how I came up with this idea. But I’d rather eat more good fat than plain empty sugar. So, when I check nutritional info in a product I first look at the sugar content.
I’ve never actually computed my daily intake of sugar, but I’d love to do it to have a better idea of how much the “bad” thing I’m having.
I’d like to know how you actually calculate it and I might join you to the challenge! :)


13 Shelby March 5, 2009 at 5:50 pm

I have the same problem! Too much sugar! Good Luck with trying to cut down, I hope to do the same! =)


14 Melissa S. March 5, 2009 at 5:50 pm

I love the idea Jenn! I’ve been wanting to do something like that too, but with being out in the field I feel like i wouldn’t be able to do things like go life w/ less sugars or crap free week…

but i do hope that this works out for you and that it clears up some things! I’ve def noticed a thing or two about sugar for myself, esp w/ alternative sugars like maltitol or splenda. They make my stomach extremely upset about 20 minutes afterwards and I get so uncomfortable for hours that I’ve decided to cut them out of my diet once and for all. So unfortunately my delish pure protein bars are out of the loop now (loved those things, and they would keep me full for so long!) and sugar free gum. But it’s for the best if it keeps my body happy, right?!

and B&J? Never had it…but when someone mentions it the first kind that comes to my head is “chunky monkey”, and i still to this day have no idea what’s in it. i’m guessing bananas and chocolate or something of the sort? hahah. i’m so out of the loop!

Have a great Thursday Jenn! Enjoy that PF Changs this weekend!!!


15 Lara (Thinspired) March 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm

I don’t know much about added sugars other than the fact that I probably eat too many of them. Major props to you for taking action!

B&J’s…well…deliciousness…and I always wish they made more frozen yogurt flavors in the great ones that they offer in ice cream versions!


16 Marisa (trim the fat) March 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Great post, Jenn! Kicking the sugar habit is tough but, do-able! I know you are strong enough to endure such torture!! :)

Another thought – how about your caffeine intake?? I have noticed for myself that I cannot do caffeine anymore. Instead of being “energizing”, it actually has the opposite effect for me. It makes me feel exhausted and sluggish right after drinking it. And for example,if I have more than one cup of coffee in the morning, not only do I feel exhausted (yawning and all), but also overanxious and jittery! Exhausted and jittery is a weird combo, trust me! I don’t know if you can relate to that or if that makes any sense to you, but just something for you to explore maybe. My energy has come back with a vengeance just after “detoxing” from the caffeine for 2 days:)

As far as Ben & Jerry’s, I associate that with my large hips and backside ;D


17 Jenn (eating bender) March 7, 2009 at 9:08 am

Marisa ~ I’ve definitely thought about caffeine intake, too. I’ve been drinking more coffee than ever before, so I may try to cut back a bit and see if that helps, too!


18 verbalriot March 5, 2009 at 6:22 pm

I’ve totally stopped adding sugar to things…And when I do, it’s brown sugar, but a little bit.

Ben & Jerry’s? Delicious ice cream, and hippies :)


19 Sarah March 5, 2009 at 6:26 pm

i am totally in the same sugar boat!! and the addiction is something that seems to pick up steam as each day goes on. i also know that the more sugar i take in, the more i want it. when i’ve cut sugar out before, the cravings have all but gone away. i try not to be restrictive with what i eat and i certainly don’t plan for lots of sugar, but sugar-filled incidentals pop up at every turn. it’s definitely not healthy! you’ve got me thinking that maybe i should start tracking my added sugar intake as well. the number might shock the cravings into submission.

when i think ben & jerry’s, i think FREE CONE DAY!!! (ummm, what was all that i just said about monitoring added sugar???)


20 Meg March 5, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Beautiful berries! Good luck with decreasing added sugars!


21 Kelly Turner March 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm

dang- your post made me realize i dont really pay much attention to my body and any “changes”. I can say though, that my skin as gotten worse with age- which quite frankly sucks.

Kelly Turner


22 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) March 5, 2009 at 6:42 pm

I have been thinking about this so much lately!!! I add sugar to a lot of things including tea, coffee, yogurt, oatmeal etc. I think I am just going to focus on not adding it to anything rather than cutting it out. I have learned to love Fage yogurt without honey as of late and think I can learn to love oats without maple syrup…I’m getting there!!!


23 Erica March 5, 2009 at 6:45 pm

oh no! Tummy issues :( You know I feel so much for you! I am starting to think my tummy issues are coming from lack of protein. Whenever I eat more protein…they seem to ease up a bit! Glad the weather is heating up, up there as well! I love it!

Ben + Jerrys makes me think of yummy ice cream with tons of fat


24 Alisa - Frugal Foodie March 5, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Unfortunately, I am right there with you on added sugars. I want to cut them back, because I know I consume too much. Yet, as I type, I really want to go grab some chocolate :)


25 ksgoodeats March 5, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Ah this weather CAN stick around for a while!! I try to avoid added sugars but they are in EVERYTHING!

B&J: break ups even though I’ve never “hit the pint” after one!


26 Allison March 5, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Those berries look fantastic!

Sorry you feel like you’ve been slackin – in the scheme of things – you are no where near a slacker though – you are one busy gal with ALOT on her plate!

Good luck with the sugar cut out!


27 marafaye March 5, 2009 at 7:28 pm

I know that if i stick to natural fruit sugars as opposed to added sugars, I feel a LOT more energized than if i put sugar in stuff. I don’t know anything scientifically…


28 sweetandnatural March 5, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Good luck with the sugar tracking!

Ben & Jerry’s always reminds me of college. I used to average 2 pints a week senior year! My roomies and I would go to the White Hen (now 7-11!) right by our house to purchase our ice cream and then eat it while watching reality TV. Good times.


29 snackface March 5, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Wow, I think it’s amazing you’re going to watch the sugar intake! I’ve done this before and I didn’t really notice a difference in my skin, but I noticed it in the belly area. I don’t know what it is, but I swear I didn’t get as bloated or puffy. Now, I am also typing this while I eat ice cream, so clearly I’ve thrown out watching my sugar intake a long time ago, haha! Good luck with this though; I’m interested to see what happens! OH, and Ben & Jerry’s to me means indulgence. It means me fishing around an entire pint just for the chunks of brownie/cookie/candy/cheesecake, and leaving the rest behind!


30 ttfn300 March 5, 2009 at 7:49 pm

great challenge, and something I need to take a closer look at, too. reading about everyone else’s journey has made it easier, for sure! Sorry to hear about the tummy troubles, not great food does the same thing to me…

b&j? super indulgent ice cream, vermont, cherry garcia


31 Yasmin March 5, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Great question and I have a weird answer. I always think of depression when I hear Ben and Jerry’s. In movies, books, etc. whenever a girl is depressed or dumped she reaches for her two best friends Ben and Jerry. I think of Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia.


32 zestycook March 5, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Bender, those berries are looking so good. Mind if I have one :))


33 Emily March 5, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Good luck with your sugar quest! That’s something I’m constantly trying to achieve. I try to eat lots of non-prepared foods, and I really have noticed since trying to include more fruits and vegetables that I have had much more energy and felt better, despite my hectic schedule. I’ve also built a stronger immune system in the process.

I associate Ben & Jerry’s with PB cup icecream :-)


34 eatingbirdfood March 5, 2009 at 8:59 pm

I don’t know anything about counting added sugars so I am excited to see how this works for you. I probably eat way too much sugar a day because I unintentionally eat a lot of carbs.

I tried your sweet potato, cottage cheese, ketchup combo tonight. When I first saw it on your blog I didn’t know if I would like it, but I loved it!!

Lastly Ben and Jerry’s makes me thing Hippy- tye dye shirts, jerry garcia, dave matthews, and cows.


35 Sharon March 5, 2009 at 9:04 pm

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming post on sugar! =D
And love your freshness morning!


36 Michelle March 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm

when I think of Ben and Jerry’s I think of unbelievably good ice cream that is sooo not good for you. Also it makes me think of hippies and Vermont. haha so random


37 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) March 5, 2009 at 9:26 pm

So funny that you should mention decreasing your added sugars – the boyfriend just started P90X recently and told me today he was going to start watching HIS sugar! I’m scared to give myself that challenge – sweet stuff is my kryptonite for sure…though I’m sure it would benefit me!


38 artur March 5, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Try stevia. Doesn’t have calories, is natural and it’s 200 times sweeter


39 Rose March 5, 2009 at 9:42 pm

You are so intune with your body, Jenn. I really admire that. I like how you noticed changes (both good and bad) and have taken it into your own hands to change that. I think this will be a good process for you. Sugar is something I never take into account, but it can be a huge factor in your energy levels and how you look and feel. I look forward to seeing the discoveries you make!

PS: Now get some shut-eye :)


40 dailydulcie March 5, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Hi Jenn,
I’ve been reading your lovely blog for quite some time. Your photographs are beautiful and your eats always look so delicious!!! I need to make your coffee cocoa soon; it is definitely on my agenda. I love coffee and I also love hot chocolate, so I just KNOW I’ll fall in love with your wonderful concoction.

Onto added sugars.. I really am not informed about added sugars. I wish I knew more about them, because I too feel more tired lately with a lack of energy. I wonder if it’s due to all the sugar? I can’t wait to see how your experiment turns out and then maybe I’ll try it for myself.

I have finally started my own blog.. check it out if you’d like :)

Have a great night!


41 Jenn (eating bender) March 5, 2009 at 11:46 pm

dailydulcie ~ Thank you for your sweet comments :) I would love to check out your blog – would you mind posting a link to it?


42 Hangry Pants March 5, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Good luck! Sugar is definitely something I would want to keep track of, but honestly, most of mine comes from fruit. Anyway, I will be curious to see your numbers.

Ben & Jerrys = delicious ice cream.


43 Sarah March 5, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Way to be in chickety check with the sugar. I have noticed just recently how many more bars, sweetened cereals and processed carbs in general I have been consuming since becoming a part of the glorious blog world. Maybe watching your anti-sugar stance will rub off on me in a good way!

When I think of B&J, I think of SUPER rich ice cream with tons of mix ins! In other words, its the perfect premium ice cream.


44 bobbi March 6, 2009 at 12:26 am

Great post!

First, I am proud of you for taking this step I know it shall be a challenge. I have been thinking a lot about natural sugar, ever sence I have been keeping track of my daily eats I notice I EAT ALOT of FRUIT in my diet. Can you have too much natural sugar, well I know too much of anything is not healthy, do you know the recomended amount?

Second, when I think of BJ’s I think RUN!!!!! I remember when i wasnt the healthiest of eaters, I got a pint of Chunky Monkey and went to the movies with a girl friend and sat and ATE the WHOLE thing, ever sence then I havent touched the stuff its just too good!


45 Jenn (eating bender) March 7, 2009 at 9:09 am

bobbi ~ I’m not sure about the recommended amount of natural sugar. I know refined sugar is 40g or less per day for a 2,000 calorie diet, but it’d be interesting to see if that’s higher for the natural stuff! I’ll check it out!


46 Caroline March 6, 2009 at 12:53 am

BOGO berries?! I think that alone would put me in a good mood.

I feel the same way about sugar–I have noticed that it has crept into my diet in far too many places: PB&Co. PB, Annie’s Bunnies, cereal…mind if I join you in this challenge?


47 Jenn (eating bender) March 7, 2009 at 9:10 am

Caroline ~ I don’t mind at all! Please do!!


48 carolinebee March 6, 2009 at 1:11 am

DUDE i’ve totally been thinking about this…I am in such a similar dilemma with my energy levels and skin freak-outs. It really sucks b/c those two things are dragging down my attitude and are also discouraging ya know?? It would be hard for me to cut out sugar, which I”m scared to even count right now! I’m really interested in your journey- we can chat about it over coffee yay 😀 As for the B and J- i think upscale, gourmet ice cream brand…but also fun and creative!


49 Maxine March 6, 2009 at 3:14 am

Ben&Jerry’s is over-rated to me. If I’m going to spend that many calories on ice cream, it’s either gonna be homemade or Cold Stone! :)


50 peaceandpeanutbutter March 6, 2009 at 4:08 am

That bowl of berries looks delicious! I love them all, especially on a sunny day! Have you ever been blueberry picking in the summer? It’s one of my favorite things to do!

Sugar: I’m making a major transition from artifical sweetener to regular sugar. I’m don’t use much, maybe 1 pkt raw sugar in my coffee in the morning. Other than that, I don’t add much. The only other sugar might be in my PB&Co PB, flavored yogurt, or vitamuffins. Idk what kind of sugar you use, but maybe it would help if you switched to ‘raw’ sugar when cooking/baking, and easing your way down (like use 1 less tsp everyday) Good luck!

Ben and Jerry’s: Every time I hear it I think of the funky/colorful container it’s in, and of Chunky Monkey (maybe bc it’s my fav flavor?)


51 Jenn (eating bender) March 7, 2009 at 9:10 am

peaceandpeanutbutter ~ I’ve never gone blueberry picking – definitely on my list of things to do, though! Thanks for your input on the sugar, too :)


52 MizFit March 6, 2009 at 5:30 am

it is so amazing to me how the skin really is the great reveal for me too.
lack of sleep



53 Lauren March 6, 2009 at 6:32 am

Very interesting post, Jenn – lately I’ve been more conscious of added sugars in my diet as well. I have a huge sweet tooth, and am trying to make wise choices when it comes to sweet treats.

I stay away from refined sugars both in packaged products and baking at home. In baking, I stick with honey, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, and evaporated cane juice. Sure, they’re still sugar – so I usually cut down the amount of sweetener called for in a recipe (often by half).

I’m weaning myself off of flavored yogurt during the day, and saving these sugar-bombs for an occasional evening dessert – most plain yogurts have no added sugar, and swirling in some fruit-only (no sugar added) preserves is a great way to sweeten it up!

On the topic of sugar, hmmm Ben & Jerry’s… when I was a kid, my family and I visited the factory in Vermont. I was excited for the free sample at the end of the tour, and was disappointed when it turned out to be Rum Raisin. Haha… I’ve enjoyed their ice cream in the past, but honestly haven’t had it in years and so I can’t speak to how I feel about it now.


54 Aimee March 6, 2009 at 7:55 am

I hope going easy on the sugar helps you out Jenn! You need all that energy for all the great things you do :)


55 brandi March 6, 2009 at 8:20 am

great idea! I try not to have too many sugars, either. Some days are good, some aren’t the best, but I’m sure it evens out.

I’m excited to read about your days doing this.

Ben & Jerry’s?
– creative flavors
– community (they do a lot of neat stuff with the main community in VT)


56 Danielle March 6, 2009 at 9:22 am

I know nothing about added sugars, and I’m actually curious now as to how much I’m consuming in a day, I’ll have to do some tracking.
I actually saw a special about ice cream last weekend and ben and jerry’s was of course on there, they said that every employee gets to take home 3 pints a day of ice cream and they sometimes use it to barter for free haircuts, or snow plowing. That’s all I can think of now though.


57 healthy ashley March 6, 2009 at 9:22 am

Sun AND healthy, yummy breakfasts like yours help make a perfect day! Have a great weekend!


58 Andrea (Off Her Cork) March 6, 2009 at 9:28 am

My husband and I were just talking about sugars the other day! :) I’m not really into sweets so I don’t really take in too much extra sugar. At least I don’t think. I have fruits, soymilk, and PBs which contain sugars. Sometimes granola. One coffee + creamer in the morning and that’s about it. Recently I’ve been taking in some extra fruits and wondering if it’s causing me to take in too much extra sugar. I’m still thinking that over.

Ben&Jerry’s = ice cream to me. And you know? I’ve never in my life had their ice cream before. Some of the ingredients can be sketchy and for a wee little container the price is crazy expensive. I can’t justify buying it ever.


59 caitlin March 6, 2009 at 10:18 am

ben and jerrys = community service. i know they do a lot of it! i have a very positive image of the brand. :)

good luck with sugar detox.


60 Emily March 6, 2009 at 11:42 am

Ben and Jerry’s means luxury ice cream that I crave but don’t allow myself. I dream of Phish Food and Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Baked Alaska flavours. I even feel bad eating the fro-yo and sorbets! Crazy, eh? What’s your favourite flavour?


61 Jenn (eating bender) March 7, 2009 at 9:11 am

Emily ~ My favorite is definitely PHISH FOOD!!!


62 Meghann March 6, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I’ve never thought about added sugars. I honestly had the same thoughts after reading about maggie’s challenge. In the last year my face has broken out more then it did the whole time I was high school or college and I am starting to think it may be all the sguar in my diet. maybe I should follow in your footsteps and try to track down all the added sugar. See my problem would not be the added sugar, I think I may have that undercontrol to some extend, but it may be that I consume too much natural sugar which is why I have taken an avid step in trying to cut down my fruit in take. I have been trying really hard to only eat fruit in the morning though I crave it all day long. I don’t think I’ve seen that much of a difference but its just a thought that has been going through my head.


63 Paige March 6, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Good idea about the added sugar. I’ve been trying to keep track of how much I’ve been eating, too and it really does add up fast!

As for Ben & Jerry’s — New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream!


64 Kristie March 6, 2009 at 12:56 pm

I am definitely with you on the mood thing, sunny days automatically make me happy! I just love them. And now that the temperature is picking up too… great moods from here on out right?!

The sugar thing is really interesting… My energy levels are exactly perfect and my skin has actually been breaking out for the past couple months now. The thought of too much sugar ran through my head as a possible cause but I haven’t really tried to do anything about it. However, I am NOT a fan of the acne in the least. I think I might have to follow in your footsteps and try writing down my added sugar intake. And heck, possibly consider the changes of consuming too much natural sugar too as I seem to be eating a lot of fruit… I’m not going to worry about that part of it too much but it would be interesting to see how much extra sugar I’m taking in each day… definitely update as to if you notice differences once you cut down on the sugar. If that’s a huge culprit in skin and energy levels then I will definitely consider cutting down myself.


65 lauren (athlEAT) March 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm

When I think of Ben & Jerry’s – I think of Chubby Hubby and if I eat it too often, I will be a chubby hubby.

good luck with tracking sugar – it will be interesting to see your results!


66 Leng March 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm

What an amazing post! This is why I like your blog so much, you always seem to keep my interests high. Look forward to seeing your results.

With Ben & Jerry’s I think of ice cream and black and white cows and decadence. Too much at times.


67 Heather Eats Almond Butter March 6, 2009 at 3:10 pm

As a girl who fears highly caloric pint of ice-cream, I associate Ben & Jerry’s with major guilt. I just can’t buy it because I feel so bad after eating it. I decided I’m much happier with something like Greek yogurt and almond butter – it’s good for me and guilt free! OK, so maybe after 3 TBSP of almond butter, I start feeling a little bad, but nothing like how I feel after going to town on some Cherry Garcia or Phish Food! Besides, after eating healthier desserts for so long, stuff like B&J’s tastes way too sweet and rich!

Jenn, I loved your post. I do my best to avoid added sugars as well. I use Stevia in my coffee, and maybe a tsp here or there of maple syrup to sweeten dishes, but otherwise I keep it out of my diet…even the fruit sugars. I lost all my weight after eliminating sugar from diet, and it has made a world of difference for me. I think cutting back will really help you. The doctor I work for sees a lot of patients with weird skin ailments and rashes. It’s usually always related to their diet, and he takes them off sugar immediately!

I too was really interested in Maggie’s Macrobiotic journey. Since reading about her experience, I’ve added larger portions of grains to my diet and have tried to limit all the add-ins (crunchy sweetened cereals, crumbled bars, etc.). Once I got used to my less sweetened bowls, I can’t tell you how amazing they taste and so filling! Nothing like 3/4 cup oat bran, 2 heaping spoonfuls of UNSWEETENED crunchy nut butter, and maybe a splash of nut milk. Delicious!

I look forward to reading about your sugarless experiences. I think you’ll notice some positive changes. Now, try and get more sleep my friend…very important!


68 Jenn (eating bender) March 7, 2009 at 9:15 am

Heather ~ This comment rocked – it was full of amazing information, so don’t think twice about writing a long one because I’m always interested in what you have to say :)


69 Heather Eats Almond Butter March 6, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Oh my gosh – that was my longest comment ever. Sorry for the novel.


70 Mariposa March 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm

i try to keep my added sugars in check as well, but its REALLY hard! i love snacks! i love carbs!

I’m more of the everything in moderation person- but its good to cut it all out for sometime, especially if you have been feeling crappy! I know that i feel at my worst when i eat like crap. AND it shows on my face too!

Ben and Jerrys?? i think YUM. i think EXPENSIVE. and i think THANK GOD i cant eat them!


71 Sarah L March 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Ooo, I’m trying to cut back on added sugar too! I’m looking forward to learning more from your blog as you post about what you’re doing.

I LOVE Ben & Jerry’s! I don’t ever eat a whole bowl – a spoonful is enough to satisfy me! Sooo good.


72 Jen March 6, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Great post!!!! While I have learned sugar in moderation is fine, i try to not add silly amounts as it totally can add up fast!
good luck!


73 Katie March 6, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Wow. Your berry picture made me drool a little. I hate the vicious cycle when you’re tired. You feel exhausted so you don’t work out, but working out can boost your energy level when you do find the motivation to do it. Sounds like you have a game plan and some ideas to experiment with. I’ll be anxious to hear how it works out for you.


74 elise March 6, 2009 at 8:18 pm

i really enjoyed this post. i never gave it much thought to be honest with you, for the most part i always considered the sugar sources in my diet to be natural, which i consider null and void. but now that i think about it…i eat a TON of dried fruit, which is basically ALL sugar. especially carob covered raisins, which i down at an alarming rate. im curious what you think? is dried fruit considered added sugar?

i look forward to reading more, and im definitely going to be paying more attention to my own sugar intake now.


75 Jenn (eating bender) March 7, 2009 at 9:13 am

elise ~ Check the ingredients on the container the dried fruit comes in. Some of the dried fruit I buy is simply listed as “dried mango” or “dried strawberry” so in that case, it’s all natural. But if they add in “cane juice” or any other sweetening agents, then it’s considered added sugar. This is my opinion, and I could be wrong! But I hope that helps :)


76 Victoria March 6, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Good luck with your sugar intake! I’ve noticed a similar problem in myself, so I’m trying to replace some of my refined carbs with fresh produce.


77 gina (fitnessista) March 7, 2009 at 7:33 am

what a GREAT post
i notice that sugar makes me feel disgusting too.. when i first started losing weight i avoided sugar at all costs. now that i’ve let it back into my life (and kinda stopped caring about it) i’ve definitely noticed a change in my energy levels. i’m excited to read about your progress and i know you’ll be excellent motivation for me to cut that extra sugar out of my life!
i hope that you have a wonderful weekend <3


78 Jenn (eating bender) March 7, 2009 at 9:07 am

To my incredible readers,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful comments! I read through each and every one and am excited to hear that some of you are taking on similar challenges, and that others have never thought about it in this way before but are going to start! This is an incredible community and I’m excited to share this new change with you!

~Eating Bender


79 Leah March 7, 2009 at 9:30 am

I really enjoyed reading this post! I can’t wait to see how you progress Jenn! Good luck!


80 seeleelive March 9, 2009 at 7:11 pm

wow-you are so great bender giiirl! i am so proud of you for being so aware and determined! 100 grams seems like a lot, i wonder how much i consume! im not sure if i need to do this now but its going to be so much fun watching You go through this! does that mean no more pure protein? even tho its sugar alcohol?? :-(


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