Honey, Ah Sugar Sugar

by Jenn (eating bender) on March 7, 2009

You are my candy girls :) Oh, and guys, too, if you’re reading!

Don’t know if you recognize the song reference, but you are all as sweet as candy! Thank you so much for the amazing feedback on my last post. The thoughtfulness and self-reflection in your comments was incredible. I read through each of them twice! You all have given me much more motivation than I ever could have asked for, and I’m excited to hear that so many of you are interested in joining me in this new challenge life change. Thank you so much for your support – it means the world to me.

Side note: I added my last post to the My Portion page. It’s been a while since I wrote one of those and I realized how much I missed it. Hopefully I can bring them back again soon!

I’m not sure if it was the “placebo effect” or not, but yesterday was such an amazing day in terms of energy levels. It may have helped that the weather was once again a warm and breezy 65* :)

I am using CalorieKing to track my sugar intake. It makes it easy because it divides out the sugar from the carbohydrates. I’m using my own discretion in determining what is considered “natural” sugar, but essentially, the rule is that any fruits, veggies, and other “whole” foods that are not processed are clearly natural, whereas any packaged good that has “sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup,” etc. listed on the ingredients list gets counted as “added” sugar. It’s really not an exact science, and it shouldn’t be – I would go insane!


Here we have breakfast, which contained no added sugars. I made a bowl of cereal with 1 cup of Nature’s Path Puffs and topped it with a handful of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, plus a sliced banana. I also used about 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk.


I love fresh berries!!

Now came the tricky part. I told you all in my last post that I definitely do not want to give up my beloved Coffee Cocoa because it has become such a mainstay in my everyday life. To compromise for this new sugar challenge, I downgraded the amount of cocoa from 1 tbsp. to 1 tsp. and also topped it with significantly less whipped cream. It still tasted just as good, but had only 6g of added sugar compared to the usual 10g.


I had to bring it to work with me, but just imagine it with less whipped cream!

[Breakfast Net: 6g added sugar]

Work was pretty leisurely today. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on the blog, but I am actually not going to be working there anymore once I leave for spring break this Thursday. I have truly enjoyed my time there and learned a lot about what it takes to put recipes together into a cooking magazine or cookbook that is easy to read and replicate. But at the same time, it’s been very hard because all of the free time I once had is now spent doing the homework I couldn’t get done while at work. Much of the things I enjoy – blogging, reading blogs and, most significantly, my time for hanging out with my friends here at school, has suffered alongside getting my homework done. I don’t feel that I’m being the best “me,” and since I only have a few months left at school, I’m going to make the most of them by focusing just on school and the people I care about.

Whew! TANGENT ALERT! I just had to get that out there. Anywho, while at work, I had a very delicious snack of pistachios, which I munched on throughout the morning.


I’m embracing nuts as a snack because they are great for “volume” and with pistachios, it takes a while to break open the shell, so the eating process lasts longer. They also have…no added sugar!

[Snack Net: 0g added sugar]

When I got off of work, I made my favorite Friday run to Whole Foods, where I picked up my “lunch treat” of a freshly made California Roll with real crab. Mm Mm Mm!


Considering the fact that sushi is made with all fresh and natural ingredients, it was also comforting to know that, as far as I’m concerned, this lunch had no added sugar. I topped it with some soy sauce.


For my sweet treat of the day, I finished off the last two macaroons from Miss Brittany. These went so fast you could barely blink! They were absolutely amazing, lady – thank you so much :)


Based on the numbers from CalorieKing, I’m clocking these babies at 5g added sugars apiece.

[Lunch Net: 10g added sugar]

I worked for a while on my final PowerPoint presentation for my marketing class. By the way, THANK YOU to those who left their opinions on Ben & Jerry’s in my last post. It truly helps a ton! For those who asked, my favorite is Phish Food :) I rarely buy it, but I always look forward to enjoying some on FREE CONE DAY!! Can’t wait for that in April!

Eventually, the warm weather and sun just got to be too tempting, so I decided to go on my first outside run of the year! Wahoo! In a word, it was INVIGORATING. I ran 4 miles in 33 minutes, and after timing it out, I think I ran my first two in 8:00 and my last two in 8:30. This blew my mind because I am usually not so fast, but I seemed to have an endless supply of energy and had absolutely no cramps, which is another rarity.

Placebo effect?!?!

I came back and did the P90X Ab Ribber X workout, then cleaned up and had a banana.


[Snack Net: 0g added sugar]

Before I knew it, the day was gone and I was meeting up with Bobby. We spent the night watching the two-hour 24 episode (SO GOOD!) and catching up on more of this season’s Lost (we’re almost fully caught up now – it’s freakin’ insane). For dinner, we headed to Noodles & Company, where we both had gift cards. Gift cards = the only way Bobby and Jenn go out to eat. Most of the time πŸ˜‰

I decided on the regular-sized Med Salad, which comes with mixed greens, red onions, tomatoes, feta, kalamata olives and cavatappi pasta. I got it with grilled shrimp and the yogurt dressing on the side. I probably ended up having 1/2 tbsp. of the dressing. I tried to look up the nutrition stats for the dressing only but couldn’t find it. The closest substitute was Annie’s Cucumber Yogurt dressing, which is at 2g of added sugar per serving. I’m rounding it up to 5g to cover my bases.


[Dinner Net: 5g added sugar]

When we got back from dinner, we started watching the shows and eventually the sweet tooth started to call my name. To compensate, I decided to make Bobby and myself a gigantic fruit smoothie.


I really don’t have much of a recipe for this one because I just threw in what I had, but there was about 1 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of POM Wonderful, and handfuls of fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and frozen cherries with 5 or 6 ice cubes (all for 2 people). It made about 5 cups of smoothie when all was said and done, so Bobby and I each had 2.5 cups of the amazingness. It was so good and really hit the sweet spot.


Yeah, I didn’t even tell him to get into that picture. I’m sure you are all happy to know that I found someone who is JUST AS NERDY as I am.Β  J/K Bob πŸ˜‰ Love!

[Dessert Net: 0g added sugar]

Obviously, this “dessert” still had a ton of sugar in it, and I’m not ignoring that. But there was a BIG DIFFERENCE: after I drank it, I didn’t feel lethargic or devoid of energy like I usually do after eating a cup of, say, rice pudding. I felt like I was enjoying something sweet, but also knew that it was nourishing my body. That, to me, is what’s most important.

[Total Added Sugar: 21g]

As far as I know, I stayed under my limit and met my goal. I can also tell you that as I write this the day after, I am still feeling great and ready to take it on another day. Let’s hope that it keeps up!


I’m sure there are more, but I need to catch up on my blog reading! Also, I finally figured out what I’m going to do for my blog birthday on March 16 :) Stay tuned, I think you’ll like it!

Have a “souper” Saturday,


1 VeggieGirl March 7, 2009 at 10:27 am

Love that song!!

Oh yes, nice weather = better moods. It’s been proven in studies!! No placebo πŸ˜€

“I don’t feel that I’m being the best β€œme,” and since I only have a few months left at school, I’m going to make the most of them by focusing just on school and the people I care about.”


You’re doing so well with eliminating/limiting the added sugars – keep it up!!

2 Moran March 7, 2009 at 10:28 am

I am looking forward to see what you have planned for the blog birthday
Its good to see you are able to monitor all the sugar intake

3 zestycook March 7, 2009 at 10:36 am

I started singing out loud on the couch and lovin’ it! Great food shots Bender :)

4 marafaye March 7, 2009 at 10:43 am

OMG TOTALLY not a placebo! I was in the BEST mood yesterday because of the weather! Now I have that song stuck in my head, which is making me much happier than the weather today!
I’m so glad you’re taking time for you and to enjoy the rest of school before you go crazy in the work world!
Have an amazing weekend Jenn darling! Field trip after break, don’t forget!

5 Beadie March 7, 2009 at 10:43 am

I am a little behind on blog reading, but wanted to give you major props for your sugar thing. I am SO addicted to sugar! I hope it goes well and that you start to feel better!

6 Shoshanah March 7, 2009 at 10:50 am

I have an insane sugar addicted as well. Somehow last night I managed having a handful of raspberries for dessert. But most days that isn’t quite what happens. I applaud your efforts!

7 Rose March 7, 2009 at 10:55 am

Salad and smoothie both look delish :) Glad you and Bobby had a nice night of relaxing!

8 innerwellness March 7, 2009 at 11:02 am

Warm weather always seems to make me happier! :) The sushi from whole foods looks delicious! I am loving your blog by the way, I just started following! I just started a blog as my own as well.


9 Jenn (eating bender) March 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm

innerwellness ~ Thanks for the comments on the blog :) Good luck with yours!

10 ksgoodeats March 7, 2009 at 11:03 am

I’m sorry to hear you won’t be working there but I think you made the right choice! The last few months of school are going to FLY BY so savor it :)

That 2nd picture of your breakfast = food porn! Isn’t the weather lately just gorgeous?! Glad you got in a good run! Congrats on your added sugar intake!

11 coco March 7, 2009 at 11:03 am

the weather definitely helps to feel better!
good job with sugar control! I’m too lazy to enter my food to calorieking to track the sugar intake, so I just avoid as much as sugar in my eats! πŸ˜€

12 jenngirl March 7, 2009 at 11:22 am

Wow I totally admire your consistency and determination with the sugar thing, looks like you’ve got it covered! And PLEASE do what YOU need to do in these last few months of school! I hope that you find the time to do all of the things that keep you healthy and happy, because otherwise, it just ain’t worth it!

Have a great Saturday girly!

13 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) March 7, 2009 at 11:29 am

Mmmm, I love pistachios!

Great job cutting back on the sugar!

Have a nice day!

14 Sharon March 7, 2009 at 11:38 am

I need some pistachios.
And I love your morning breakfast with those fresh berries. Simply delicious.

Overall, love how you are taking note of this sugar. I am going to keep this in mind myself too – thanks!

15 snackface March 7, 2009 at 11:41 am

This sugar thing is going so well already! It’s really making me want to take a look at my sugar intake, too–so thanks for that!

Bravo to you for doing what’s best, as far as working at that magazine. I had the same issue when I was doing a play this quarter. While it was something I loved, I had no free time to do the things you listed. Don’t you find that you always want to do everything, but sometimes end up spreading yourself too thin? I do it all the time, and am looking to stop.

Anyway, enjoy your souper saturday!! (Oh and I LOVE that song, hello Now and Then)

16 Marisa (trim the fat) March 7, 2009 at 11:46 am

Great job, Jenn! And you are right to enjoy the rest of your time at school and with your friends; you have the rest of your life to work!!! Enjoy!

17 Sophia March 7, 2009 at 11:49 am

I’d say you’re doing a mighty fine job on the sugar control! but I do know for a fact that sometimes they add sugar to sushi rice…you might wanna check on that? but it’s probably negligible.
great eats today! I love fresh berries too!

18 Nicole March 7, 2009 at 12:28 pm

I’m also trying to cut back on sugar as it really does nothing good for my money. I am convinced it is the reason I’ve been breaking out lately. It’s nice to have someone else here for motivation and support!

19 Mel March 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Congrats on the successful day of limiting your sugar! You are an inspiration!

I love the smoothie pic with Bobby, that is totally something my boy would do too.

20 Shelby March 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Fabulous job eliminating added sugars, I’ve been looking to do the same since my skin is all bleh…thanks for the tips and ideas =)

21 carolinebee March 7, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I’m SO SO happy you’re taking some time off of your job to ENJOY your last semester!!! It only comes once πŸ˜€ Bravo on your sugar cut-downs, I can see how hard it can be when u go out to eat! My two mayj weaknesses are Chipotle (I’m good there), and fro yo (ha damn..lots of sugar.) Have a great weekend, is your break next week!??

22 eatingbirdfood March 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm

I loved that song.. from the Now and Then soundtrack!!

Enjoy your last few months of school… it goes by oh so quickly!

I’m glad to see you enjoyed the macaroons as well- even if they did contribute some added sugar :)

23 Erica March 7, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I think it is so sweet that you read every comment twice- you are so awesome :) What a great challenge. I often struggle with the sugar intake question. I am a big fan of sweetness and really hate the idea of fake sugar/sugar subs. I have had A LOT of conversations with Josh’s dad (whose a doctor about this subject). His feeling is that excess sugar/spikes of sugar intake can really cause a lot of problems and so he avoids added sugar as much as possible. I have been trying to cut back on my sugar intake as well, so lean on me and I will lean on you πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the shout out too !!

24 Jenn (eating bender) March 8, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Erica ~ Thanks for the info from Josh’s dad! We can definitely lean on each other :)

25 Lara (Thinspired) March 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm

I lvoe that song and know it from the soundtrack to the movie “Now and Then,”–which is total 70’s hits that I rocked out to when the movie came out πŸ˜€
I like your approach to this sugar thing and think the whole experiment is very admirable. I also love how you put your special sushi on the authentic Asian-inspired plate :)

26 Erin March 7, 2009 at 2:04 pm

GOOD GIRL! You’re doing so great and the “tangent” was totally informative. Thanks for being so honest. I can relate to how you’re feeling.
Whenever you talk about Bobby, I get this song in my head:
I DIE LAUGHING! I don’t know if ya’ll watch that show. If you don’t this might not be funny.

27 Emily March 7, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Sushi looks delicious!
I know what you mean about balancing school and friends and blogging; it’s tricky!
Good job on the run, too!

28 brandi March 7, 2009 at 2:11 pm

glad the sugar tracking project is going well! can’t wait to see the blog birthday surprise :)

29 Sarah March 7, 2009 at 2:53 pm

what a great run! Its so refreshing to get an outdoor run in with great weather, I love it!

love the sushi and the plate it’s on–so pretty!

have a great weekend my dear—spring break is almost here!

30 glidingcalm March 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm

lol bobby is hilariousssssssss.

i think your sugar plan is pretty interesting. Most the blogs out there “counting” are doing calories, protein, fats, exercise…..it’s neat to see something different and it’s making me think of how much sugar I consume. cool.

hope you have a wonderful weekend Deary! madddddddddddd loveeeeeeee

31 verbalriot March 7, 2009 at 4:55 pm

That shrimp looks fantastic and I love all the fresh berries! :)

Good job with the sugaaaa intake and the excellent run!

32 Krista March 7, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Great run…..great job on watching your sugar intake. It must be making you very conscious of what you put in your mouth! :)

33 Baylee March 7, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Im sure Im definately not the first to tell you…but i love your foood porn pictures :) They are absolutely AMAZING!!

34 Jenn (eating bender) March 8, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Baylee ~ Thanks, you are sweet :) I always love hearing feedback, especially about photography!

35 Marianne March 7, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Sushi, smoothies, and macaroons! Oh my! All sorts of good food going on here :)

36 elise March 7, 2009 at 7:54 pm

thanks for answering my Qs…unfortunately i buy my fruit from the health foods store and i buy it out of the bins…so now ill have to go back and look at the ingreds (and then try to figure out realistically how many servings i have)

so glad you are already noticing differences with the natural vs added sugars!

37 Melissa S. March 7, 2009 at 8:41 pm

yay for less sugars! i think you’re doing a great job!

and can’t wait to hear what you’re going to do for blog bday!!!

38 Katie March 7, 2009 at 9:38 pm

HAHA I laughed out loud at that picture of Bobby creeping around the smoothie! That is so funny :)

By the way, I really love the new “Around the Blogosphere” section at the end of your posts.

39 Caroline March 7, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Wow, I am super impressed with your sugar tracking skills! I need to get on that…after I get back from vacation!

40 Sarah March 8, 2009 at 1:13 am

I sing that song all the time! Love it.
Bobby is not a dork…I think its so cute that he hopped into your pic!
I LOVE pistachios. Favorite nut by far. Mmm…I should try making pistachio butter!
You are mad fast with that run! I had no idea you were such a speed demon.
SO jealous of your LOST progress. We still have not even started to watch this season.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, dear Jenn!

41 Lauren March 8, 2009 at 9:36 am

Those berries are gorgeous… and I love unsweetened vanilla almond milk! I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the sweetened variety.

Love the pic of Bobby behind the smoothies :)

42 Leah March 8, 2009 at 10:58 am

You did great!! I love all the ways you are trying to cut down on added sugar without depriving yourself! I would hate to have seen you give up your coffee cocoa! That would have been disastrous on you!

43 Heather Eats Almond Butter March 8, 2009 at 1:48 pm

So glad you are already noticing the effect of less added sugar. I know it makes a huge difference for me! As far as your coffee cocoa goes, you could try using 1 tsp. dark cocoa powder instead of hot chocolate mix since it has no added sugar. That’s what I do, and then I add one stevia packet. Also, Cabot makes an unsweetened whipped cream. I’ve seen it at Trader Joe’s. I don’t think it has added sugar, but I could be wrong. I know Whole Foods sells an unsweetened can of whipped cream in their refrigerated dairy section. A girl’s gotta have her coffee cocoa with ALL the fixins!

Also, congrats on quitting your job. I know it was a great learning experience, but I’d much rather you enjoy every minute of your last quarter of school without the added stress of a job!

Can’t wait to see what you’ve decided to do for your blog birthday little Miss Speedy! (Great run!)

44 Danielle March 8, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I’m definitely in a better mood when it’s nice out. And speedy run!

45 lisaheartspizza March 8, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Hi! I’m new to this foodie blogging world but it seems that yours is pretty popular and I can see why! Super entertaining and informative. About your sugar challenge, I think it’s awesome. And just so you know-fructose, the sugar found in fruits(and a higher concentration in honey) is absorbed differently in your body than glucose(the white sugar). If I flipped through my old nutrition biochemistry notes I could explain it more in detail but right now I’ll leave it at that. There definitely is some scientific basis to back up how you’re feeling. Also, I think the more natural the better and I’m sure most added sugars come from foods out of a package(except for your beloved coffee drink which I can’t wait to try). More power to you! Good luck with your challenge! -Lisa D.

46 Jenn (eating bender) March 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm

lisaheartspizza ~ Hi there! You are very sweet and I appreciate all your nice comments on the blog! Thanks also for the info on the sugar in fruits vs. white sugar. I knew there was some difference, and that completely makes sense. I hope you do try the Coffee Cocoa. Let me know what you think :)

47 Chocolate-Covered Katie March 8, 2009 at 7:25 pm

I love that song, I love your blog. You are so cute!

48 Jenn (eating bender) March 8, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Thanks to everyone for the continued encouragement on my “added sugar” challenge. I’m glad that you are enjoying the process so far! I also appreciate the tips and advice – keep ’em coming!

49 Kristie March 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

I love seeing how the lesser sugar thing is going! Better energy levels? Feeling great? I seriously need to try this. And your food looks just as delicious as ever, if not even MORE so even by picking less sugary fare. I could go for a giant fruit-loaded smoothie right about now. Mmmmm.

Hope you had an awesome naturally sweetened weekend Jenn πŸ˜€

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