by Jenn (eating bender) on March 8, 2009

I blinked and another weekend disappeared! I suppose it didn’t help that we had to spring forward this morning. The good news? I’ve been doing my best to follow my Subtracting Added Sugar Goal of under 25 grams all weekend long and am still feeling fabulous. I know it’s only been three days, but so far I’ve noticed:

  • No stomachaches. Literally, zero. That includes the uncomfortable feeling after eating.
  • Skin clearing up. Slowly, yet surely. It feels less dry and itchy than it has in weeks.
  • More energy throughout the day. I haven’t had that 3:00 exhaustion since I started.

Of course, the true test is going to come during the week when I’m at my busiest. But so far, this new change has really caused me to reflect on what I’ve been eating lately in a POSITIVE way. It’s causing me to crave fruits and veggies more than I ever have before simply because I’m looking to avoid the aches and pains and lack of energy that have been bothering me for quite a while.

Here are some of the highlights from this weekend’s foodie adventures.

Saturday morning, I had my official “first bowl” of oat bran. After learning so much about it from Heather (check out her recent post for even more information), I couldn’t wait to try it.


I used the oat bran from the bulk bins at Whole Foods (super cheap!) to make this bowl:

  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 sliced banana
  • 2 tbsp. PB2
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax

The oat bran soaked up the liquid really well and took on a solid, clumpy texture, which I liked, but I did end up adding a little more almond milk to the top for a little more liquid oomph.


This bowl was such a nice change up from my usual old-fashioned oats. I actually think I prefer this texture. I also think that the oat bran provided more volume per 1/2 cup serving. It kept me full all morning long (~3 to 4 hours) and absorbed the PB2 for a nice, nutty taste.

[Breakfast Net Sugar: 3g]

Another Saturday highlight: I used my P.F. Chang’s gift cards from the lovely and incredible Melissa!

I ended up using the gift cards with one of my closest friends, whose birthday was on March 6. We had a dinner + movie night, which was a lot of fun! She doesn’t know about the blog, so I didn’t get the chance to take pictures, but I can tell you that it was delicious. I had:

  • Appetizer: Wonton Soup (wonton noodles, shrimp, chicken, mushrooms and spinach)
  • Dinner: Buddha’s Feast with brown rice (veggies with five-spice tofu)
  • Dessert: Strawberry Cheesecake Mini Dessert

We got the dessert to celebrate her birthday – oh my, those mini desserts are fantastic! They are $2 each and perfectly portioned for one person. She got the chocolate cake version and was very content :) Even though I didn’t take pictures, I found one of the desserts at this site:


The strawberry cheesecake is the one pictured front right. So, so good! After dinner, we went and saw Confessions of a Shopaholic, which was a fun chick flick. It was a great way to spend her special day, and it what’s equally awesome is that she is my Twilight buddy, so I got her the appropriate gift: a Barnes & Noble card to buy Twilight: Director’s Notebook when it comes out on March 17!

Obviously, I wasn’t really paying too much attention to my Subtracting Added Sugar Goal at this dinner. But, as many of you know, I have a very strict philosophy on special occasions: eat what you like and never feel like you’re being “bad” while doing it! I ate really great meals all day long and had an amazing evening. That’s what counts.


Moving on to Sunday, I had another amazing and filling breakfast.


This one was another “first” because I have never actually tried the 2% Greek yogurt before (I always stuck to 0%). I could not get over how much more creamy the 2% yogurt is, and the taste was out of this world :) I combined 1 container of Voskos 2% with 1 cup Nature’s Path Puffs, 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean and 1 sliced banana. Amazing!


Question: I’m assuming that the sugar in Greek yogurt is natural, since it isn’t listed as an actual ingredient. Does anyone know? Just curious!

[Breakfast Net Sugar: 3g]

The last foodie highlight I want to share with you is the inspiration for the post title. After reading this recent post from Brittany, I remembered how much I love Wasa crackers. I couldn’t find the specific version she had in her post, but I picked up a bag of the “Multigrain” on Friday and have been addicted ever since. Here are a few of the ways I’ve been eating them:

1. Wasa + String Cheese (I peel a string of cheese and take a bite of cracker – yum!)


2. Wasa + Justin’s Cinnamon Peanut Butter (I love these packets!)


3. Wasa + Spicy Chipotle Hummus


These crackers are light yet grainy, with plenty of delicious fiber. I highly recommend them!


I’ve got 3 more days left until it’s officially my spring break! I can’t wait!

Springin’ Forward,


1 Sharon March 8, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Love love love wasa!! =)

2 carolinebee March 8, 2009 at 10:46 pm

LOVE wasa too but i always forget about them! They are so crunchy and crumby ha perfection. That pf chang’s sounds ssooo good! I did NOT know they had mini desserts- looks like my next meal out is planned 😀

3 Melissa S. March 8, 2009 at 11:03 pm

yay for pf changs! i’m glad you enjoyed it! i never had the desserts when i was there! totally jealous!!

4 Caroline March 8, 2009 at 11:31 pm

I remember trying PB2 in my oats in the past and thinking it wasn’t peanutty enough…did you have a similar experience? Maybe I only used one T…who knows.

Anyway, I went through a time of Wasa obsession during high school. I really liked them topped with Tofurky and honey mustard…or just good ol’ cottage cheese. The possibilities are endless!

5 Jenn (eating bender) March 9, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Caroline ~ It was definitely a subdued peanutty taste. I used 2 tbsp. and maybe I’ll have to use more next time :) Thanks for the extra Wasa ideas!

6 Moran March 8, 2009 at 11:54 pm

After reading how much your liked the Twilight Saga I actually purchased the books and I am so.freaking.addicted!! Its INSANE!!!

7 Jenn (eating bender) March 9, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Moran ~ That literally makes my day :) You know I’m obsessed when another reader’s obsession makes my day!

8 Sarah March 9, 2009 at 12:18 am

We went to PF Chang’s tonight too, and I saw those dessert shots, but sadly did not order one. I love your “special occasion” rule.

I also went to Whole Foods and bought oat bran from the bulk bins! I can’t wait to try it tomorrow.

Thanks for your sweet comments as always!

9 Leah March 9, 2009 at 1:29 am

Looks like you had a great weekend!!! So glad you are noticing positive results from cutting back on the sugar already.. that rocks!

10 Lara (Thinspired) March 9, 2009 at 2:37 am

I am dying to try oatbran after reading about Heather’s lovely concoctions lately and yours looks great too! Very creamy!
I am pretty sure the sugar in Greek yogurt is just the naturally occuring stuff in milk.

11 Jenn (eating bender) March 9, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Lara ~ Thanks for the information about the sugar in Greek yogurt!

12 Erica March 9, 2009 at 4:06 am

Glad you’re feeling better! This makes me want to decrease my added sugar intake asap :) Oat bran is awesome, isn’t it? I really love the texture. The mini desserts are so cute and I want to see that movie so bad! Love Isla. Hope you have a good Monday!

13 Nicole March 9, 2009 at 4:23 am

I hope that my skin starts to clear up by eating less sugar! I am fairly sure that is the reason I have been breaking out. Boohooo!

Gosh, I love oat bran! It’s got the perfect texture.

14 Heather Eats Almond Butter March 9, 2009 at 4:40 am

eat what you like and never feel like you’re being “bad” while doing it – love this philosophy – very healthy attitude Jenn!

As far as plain yogurt goes, all sugars are naturally occurring. Only the flavored yogurts have added sugar…and boy, do they add a lot to those fruit flavored ones! I like the 2% so much better. That little bit of added fat makes a huge difference in the creaminess factor!

I am beyond excited that you tried and loved oat bran. Such a filling and yummy texture. Can’t see more oat bran bowls on your blog. :)

That is amazing that you are already noticing such good changes from keeping your added sugars to a minimum. Keep it up – you’ll only see more improvements!

PS – Thanks for the shout-out. :)

15 Jenn (eating bender) March 9, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Heather ~ Thanks for the info on the yogurt!

16 Marisa (trim the fat) March 9, 2009 at 5:16 am

I love oat bran, too! I like the texture better than oats.

Good to hear you are noticing a difference in how you’re feeling!!

Love PF Chang’s!!

17 glidingcalm March 9, 2009 at 5:16 am

wahoo! im glad the sugar dealio is going well!

dinner at pf changs sounds like so much fun!!

andddddd you have got to try the Trader Joe’s 2% Greek yogurt!! It is AMAZING.

I totally thought of Brit’s poast and almost bought Wasa crackers yesterday too!!!

Mucho love Jennbug! Happy Monday babycakes!

18 coco March 9, 2009 at 5:31 am

glad that you tried oat bran, it’s fabulous.. now I eat it almost everyday and when switch to oats one day, I just miss how creamy is oat bran. 😀
And greek yogurt 2% is definitely better than 0%. I tried Tj’s 0% first time this weekend and it was very disappointing… I didn’t even think it’s greek.
Great update of your sugar challenge! :)

19 Shelby March 9, 2009 at 6:01 am

I’m having a bowl of oat bran right now!!! =)

I have noticed that once I eliminated the Better n’ PB from my diet, my skin is clearing up. This will totally convince me to stop buying!

Luscious cheesecake dessert! And good for you for just enjoying it!

I used to eat those Wasa Crackers all the time!!! They are so versitle and addicting.

20 sweetandnatural March 9, 2009 at 6:09 am

I haven’t tried oat bran yet, but I feel like it’s been all over the blog world lately. That and blender oats. I’d love to get a hand blender to make that happen!

21 jenngirl March 9, 2009 at 6:29 am

Congrats on your less-sugar accomplishments, that’s awesome that you are already seeing the positive effects! I saw Confessions of a Shopaholic yesterday!! It was pretty cute, I must say.

And WOO HOO for Twilight, what is the DVD, March 24th now?! So soon sooo soon!

And I love those Wasa crackers, they are really good with pb! Hope you have a good Monday Jenn!

22 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) March 9, 2009 at 6:34 am

The oat bran looks good!

Glad you had a great weekend!

23 VeggieGirl March 9, 2009 at 6:36 am


24 brandi March 9, 2009 at 6:48 am

sounds like a great weekend! I’ve never been to a P.F. Changs, but it sounds really good.

25 Krista March 9, 2009 at 7:05 am

Oat bran has always been a huge fave of mine! I’m glad to see it making it’s way around blog world!!!

I love WASA crackers, too! Thr Ryvita ones are also yummy! :)

26 ksgoodeats March 9, 2009 at 7:09 am

First of all – what a great mindset in regards to special events!! Glad you’re noticing the positive side effects of less sugar!

Now I REALLY want to go to PF Changs – never been, how sad :( Love the Wasas!! I need to pick up another box soon, I haven’t had them in ages!

Have fun on your break – three days will fly by, girl!

27 ttfn300 March 9, 2009 at 7:21 am

ooh, glad things are improving already w/less sugar! i’ve been doing a mix of oatmeal and oat bran the past two days and it’s been awesome :)

28 snackface March 9, 2009 at 7:23 am

Alright, I am really considering doing this sugar thing now. I had the last of my highly processed honeycomb last night, but then again we have that pecan pie in the fridge! Grr. I think I will be more conscious now, though. Thank you so much for doing this and sharing!

Holla to the upcoming spring break!! I cannot wait either! I love that we’re both on the rarity that is the quarter system. Have a great week, Jenn :)

29 martiniwindow March 9, 2009 at 7:26 am

Wow – that’s great that you have already noticed some changes! I love P.F. Chang’s and their mini dessert shooters – what a novel idea! Your oat bran looks fab, seems like you can try it with anything!

30 Sarah March 9, 2009 at 7:54 am

i’m now addicted to 2% greek yogurt–it’s SO creamy and delicious and filling. Same thing with cottage cheese. You think the nonfat is good until you try the 2% and then it’s no going back!

have a great last week of classes! WOOHOO spring break soon! (too bad it’s snowing again here!)

31 Emily March 9, 2009 at 7:57 am

Great job with your sugar subtracting progress! Since you’ve started, I’ve also been looking at my sugar intake and noticing what added sugars are present. Thanks for keeping me on my toes!

I’m also doing a giveaway this week (and every week in March) for a mini-meal planner!

32 Yasmin March 9, 2009 at 8:34 am

I heart PF Chang’s! Next time try the lettuce wraps…cute dessert shots btw.

33 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) March 9, 2009 at 9:03 am

I like wasa crackers too! Yum!

34 ellie March 9, 2009 at 9:13 am

the sugar in plain yogurt is lactose- naturally occurs in dairy products, so don’t sweat it :)

35 Hangry Pants March 9, 2009 at 9:29 am

It’s cool that you’ve been noticing those positive changes already. I always say I don’t want to count things (protein, fiber, etc.) because it seems too hard, but I bet added sugar is not that bad!

The mini-desserts look awesome!

36 biz319 March 9, 2009 at 10:01 am

Love the tiny desserts! Sounds like you had a great weekend – now I am craving wonton soup!

Happy Monday! 😀

37 Beadie @ What I Ate Yesterday March 9, 2009 at 10:15 am

I love PF Changs!!! I have never gotten one of those mini desserts, though. I need to do that next time I am there.

38 icanlaughagain March 9, 2009 at 10:23 am

i love wasa crackers and pb&co flavored peanut butter it’s amazingggg. i loved confessions of a shopaholic also i went shopping after hahaha. and i’m very fascinated by your sugar subtracting meals… this is a very interesting find i might have to give this a try i have been feeling rather lathargic and wanting to sleep all the time as i have increased my sugar intake.

39 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) March 9, 2009 at 10:46 am

Yeah, I think it’s safe to assume the sugars in the yogurt are natural, since it’s plain flavor.

I love crumbling Wasa crackers on my soup because they make awesome croutons, OR if you stir them in, they soak it up really nicely and sort of become little whole grain dumplings! :)

40 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) March 9, 2009 at 10:47 am

Oh and PS that yogurt bowl is basically one of my fave b’fasts of life.

41 Kristie March 9, 2009 at 1:36 pm

So glad to hear about all if the positive changes with the less sugar! I tried paying particular attention to the amounts of sugar in things I was eating today. It’s shocking how few foods DON’T have some kind of sugar in them. Avoiding added sugar is pretty tough! It’s quite eye opening though.

First experience with oat bran! Yay! I love the stuff. And it definitely does seem to be more filling than regular oats.

I love those little perfectly portioned desserts! I’ve never come across them before though. :( If only ALL restaurants would jump onto that bandwagon that would be just dandy!

42 Marianne March 9, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Those little dessert shots are beyound cute. I wish they had those in restaurants up here, because usually I have no room for dessert after dinner.

And I too love the Wasa, but I find when I buy them, I’ll eat a bunch, then forget about them in the back of the cupboard, and they go stale on me.

43 sue March 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm

thanks for sharing the positive results from your sugar challenge/goal…it really motivates me to try it as well!

44 Jenn (eating bender) March 9, 2009 at 10:01 pm

sue ~ Thank YOU for the feedback. It is greatly appreciated :)

45 innerwellness March 9, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Wasa crispbread is a type of Swedish bread called knäckebröd! They eat it in Sweden ALLL the time! :) My husband’s dad eats knäckebröd almost every day with butter and cheese which I guess doesn’t make it quite as healthy, haha. There is a factory that makes knäckebröd about 30 minutes from where I lived in Sweden, I have driven by it several times. Pretty cool!


46 Jenn (eating bender) March 9, 2009 at 10:01 pm

innerwellness ~ Awesome info on Wasa! Thank you! So cool that you lived in Sweden :)

47 luckytastebuds March 9, 2009 at 3:00 pm

I’m so excited for spring break FOR YOU Jenn!!!! hahahah When you come back, you’ll be crusin’ through your FINAL QUARTER at NU with your packets of Barney Butter!!! wahooo!!! hahah

I’m SO happy to hear that eliminating all those added sugars has given you so much extra energy!!! I read in a study that sugar is what causes breakouts, and not really oily foods, which really surprised me. Thank you so much for posting your personal experiences on this because it proves that everyone still has a lot to learn about nutrition and foods, even someone as fit and awesome as you!! :)

I just got my own jar of PB2 and I cannot wait to copy you!! I’m gonna make my oats with them tomorrow and see just how tasty it is. I’m actually so excited for tomorrow. hahahaha. Also, I really can’t imagine how much thicker greek yogurt can get, but i take your word for it, 2% is even thicker than the 0%! wow.

As happy as I am for you to be graduating soon, I’m also sad you’ll be leaving Evanston!!! At least I had an inkling of hope of running in to you at WF right?!?!? Please keep me posted on where you go afterwards! I might have to make a stop at graduation just to meet you. hahaha

48 Jenn (eating bender) March 9, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Michelle ~ Did you see my email?!

49 lisaheartspizza March 9, 2009 at 3:06 pm

I’ve always wanted to try the 2% but was afraid I would never go back to thinking that the fat free is creamy(which i already do)….the sugar in greek yogurt is natrual unless it comes with honey or is fruity(but they would list it in the ingredients) but I thought you would be interested to know that there is less natrual sugar (the lactose in the milk) in greek yogurt than regular and also more protein. It happens when they strain it. So in my opinion it’s healthier and tastes better. Glad to hear about all the improvements!-Lisa D.

50 lisaheartspizza March 9, 2009 at 3:22 pm

p.s. I just started my own blog and I thought my name would have the linky-link but I guess I’m still a blog dunce and it doesn’t! But in case you wouldn’t to read it( I would be so honored) its http://lisaheartspizza.wordpress.com

51 eatingbirdfood March 9, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I’m so happy to hear that the added sugar challenge is going so well. It really make me want to try it… especially since you haven’t had any stomach issues. I tend to think artificial sweeteners are a big cause of stomach problems for me, but who knows maybe it’s the added sugar as well.

PF CHANGS!! Those mini desserts look delish. I always order the veggie lettuce wraps (yum…) and the Buddha’s feast! Do you get it stir-fried or steamed?

I have been wanting to go there ever seen my b-day, when I had my heart set on it, but there was a 2 hour wait. Isaac actually asked me this morning if I wanted to go sometime this week… heck yes I do!!

And, thanks for the shout out -glad that you are loving the wasa crackers as much as I do. They are delicious!

52 Sweet and Fit March 9, 2009 at 3:31 pm

I haven’t trip wasa crackers/crsipbread yet – thanks for reminding me! I’m so glad go went to Pf Chang’s and had a chance to kick back =) I loooove the buddha’s feast!

53 Erin March 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Wasa wasa wasa!
I was wondering how you could possibly stay off the sugar train with those desserts. Not possible!
It sounds like you’re doing great and reaping the benefits. Yay. :)
Keep me posted. SO TO SPEAK! Oh my.

54 Jenn (eating bender) March 9, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Erin ~ “Keep me posted.” That’s my girl!! 😉

55 Maggie March 9, 2009 at 5:09 pm

I adore oat bran, wasas, PF Chang’s, and Greek yogurt… if only yogurt didn’t kill my stomach. You’re right, the sugar in yogurt is naturally occurring – it’s lactose. And I’m pretty sure that’s what my stomach hates! Lactose actually goes away in cheese, so people who are lactose intolerant can generally handle cheeses.

56 bobbi March 9, 2009 at 5:46 pm

as always love all the eats I have oat bran I need to just give it a try, you have inspired me 😉

57 Karla March 9, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Glad to hear that your new sugar plan is working out well!

Wasa crackers+Laughing Cow cheese+me=Love 😉

Happy almost Spring Break!

58 Andrea [bella eats] March 9, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Great eats and lovely photos! I’m happy to hear that the sugar plan is working out so well for you, I think we can all stand to reduce our sugar intake and you are such an inspiration!

59 Jenn (eating bender) March 9, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Andrea ~ Thank you so much :) It really makes me smile to hear positive feedback about this new change!

60 Jenn (eating bender) March 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Thank you to everyone who let me know that the Greek yogurt sugars are indeed natural. It’s so awesome that all I have to do is ask and there are so many talented people out there who know the answer :) Also, thanks for your continued support with the Subtracting Added Sugar campaign – it’s so much easier and more fun when I know that you’re cheering me on! You all rock!

61 Sarah March 21, 2009 at 7:37 am

I have recently tried this and failed, reading your blog makes me feel motivated again and going to give it a go – would love not to have that tired feeling in the afternoon!

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