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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New here. I've always hated it when people say "I could *never* be a vegetarian -- I love <bacon, steak, burgers, whatever> too much!" But now I feel a little guilty, because I realized today that that's exactly how I feel about going without sugar: NFW.

I know this isn't a vegetarian issue per se, but it's sure a health one and I'm trying to be more healthy. Has anyone else struggled with this? Any tips?

Just to clarify: I eat the healthy stuff. My meals are all about the whole grains, beans, tons of vegetables, etc. Ironically, I don't do much in the way of *added* sugar: only drink water or unsweetened tea, only eat unsweetened porridge for breakfast. I also don't consider sweet things as "snack" food. But the thought of not having a little dessert after lunch and dinner drives me nuts.

I don't have any sugar-related health issues, but I don't want to develop them, either! I'm not overweight and exercise a *lot* (at least an hour of cardio a day, and that's not counting Pilates and other stuff). But I know that doesn't mean sugar is just fine and dandy.

Thoughts?
 

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Yes I have a serious sweet tooth.

I keep a running list of things that satisfy it without too much sugar. Half a Hershey's bar, a Fig Newton, dates, a baked apple, peaches with whipped cream, etc.

I try to retool my taste buds by using less sugar in things and have succeeded. I use half the sugar in hot cocoa, for example.

There are a few things I like ok when I make them with stevia too.

Generally I just try to stay hydrated and nourished so the sugar cravings aren't as bad. When I do eat sweets I try to use portion control. And I let myself give into them, sometimes more than others. Generally on Fridays and Saturdays I let myself eat a bigger dessert.

Total deprivation makes the cravings worse, and ultimately I indulge more. Moderation is better for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is all good to hear -- great suggestions. I have tried total deprivation, with the same results you describe. Thank you for the tips (especially baked apples -- such a treat and no added sugar!).
 

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I have a raging sweet tooth and a serious likelihood of getting diabetes (all of the females in who are directly related to me on my mum's said are or were diabetic, my grandmother and cousin from my dad's side are also) which was part of the reason for me adopting veganism anyway. To me you don't sound like a total sugar addict - I mean you don't add sugar to anything and you're very healthy in every other respect. Do you have dessert after lunch and dinner, every day? Or is it after lunch one day, dinner the next? If you have it both days, I would definitely swap it from some high sugar fruit like dates (lil bit of peanut butter in side and some carob chips - heaven!) This doesn't do much calorie wise, but at least its a better kind of sugar than the processed stuff you would add to homemade desserts.

I like to have some fruit after lunch and dinner, and allow myself a "proper" dessert maybe twice a week? Though this usually ends up being an alpro soya pudding pot because I dont have the energy to actually making anything.

Aside from that, check out Chocolate Covered Katie. She makes healthy dessert recipes, so perhaps you could check out her blog and try some of those recipes. It doesn't do much for cutting out your sugar intake (which I think is a bad idea, completely I mean) but if you have maybe 2 or 3 truly indulgent, yet healthy, recipes a week it might help.

It took me this long to get here and realise I didn't answer your question. Sadface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks! I was doing okay for a while just having one "serious" dessert a day and then one thing that wasn't so bad, like a mildly sweet whole-grain rice cake. Then the holidays came and blew me out of the water in that respect. So now I'm back to two a day.

One thing that's a problem for me is that I'd love to have more cooked fruit -- homemade applesauce or baked fruit -- and have that be my dinner dessert, so that I'm not adding any sugar and not much in the way of calories, either. But my husband is so allergic to fruit that just smelling it cooking would give him a bad attack. I guess I should start timing it differently -- I work at home, so am usually at home for lunch (when he's at work).

Thank you so much for the encouraging words and suggestions!
 

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wow, I'm really curious about what fruits your hubby is allergic to! would cooking really set him off?

anyway, how about using dates or figs as a dessert or sweetening desserts with them instead of sugar. What about making fruit smoothies for the sweetness and fiber, which would fill you up?
 

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I am type 2 diabetic, and if I have cereal, coffee, tea etc I add Canderel which contains aspartame, which I don't really completely trust, but all the diet coke etc I've drank over the years hasn't seemed to have done me much harm. Diabetes was the result of plain old over eating, for me...I think....but I don't suppose you'd use sweeteners.

I don't see what is so wrong with sugar, in moderation. Carbohydrates turn to glucoses after you eat them any way...bread, pasta, rice, potatoes....I suppose sugar will raise your blood sugar quicker though.
 

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I thought of a few more ideas.

Amarynth is kind of sweet. I've made a sort of hot cereal with it and little sugar.

I find if I put sweet spices in things I "need" less sugar--cinnamon, etc. Also a little vanilla extract, liquor or orange rind.

If I feel I need a 2nd helping I try making myself wait 15 minutes. Sometimes the urge goes away.

I taste the sweetness more intensely if I have a coffee or espresso with dessert, plus the hot drink fills you up.

Italian desserts--they have many semi-sweet items to try. A glass filled halfway with juice and half with carbonated water, with a cherry or slice of lime is good.

There are books on mindful eating. I have one--it's kind of repetitive so I'd suggest the library vs. buying it.
It gives some decent tips--pay attention to the flavor, the feeling in your mouth, etc.--fully enjoying it vs. shoveling it in while paying attention to tv.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Several years ago, after suffering a very bad lung infection, my husband developed a slew of food allergies. All fruits -- even things that we don't usually think of as fruits, like avocados and tomatoes -- trigger a reaction. (He has other allergies as well.) He doesn't have to ingest them, either. Once on an outing I had a lime-flavored drink, and as I was putting the lid on, a few drops sprayed out and landed on his arm. He immediately developed an angry rash. We learned the hard way about his being in the same room (or even the house) when I cook fruit. He develops the same tongue-swelling, rash on his face, and difficulty breathing that he would if he consumed them.

It's difficult, to say the least. When my son became vegetarian and we went to vegetarian dinners (we were already veggie for breakfast and we all fend for ourselves for lunch), my friends were shocked that I could make such a big change. I told them that vegetarianism was the least of my worries at this point!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the tips on mindful eating -- I'll have to look into that. And I hadn't thought about a cup of coffee, but it really does intensify the dessert experience!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, it's pretty tough for everybody. I think the hardest part for me is trying to cook vegetarian without tomatoes -- it seems like all the casseroles, soups, and bean dishes I like the looks of contain them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bittermama View Post

Several years ago, after suffering a very bad lung infection, my husband developed a slew of food allergies. All fruits -- even things that we don't usually think of as fruits, like avocados and tomatoes -- trigger a reaction
I think I would rather be castrated than allergic to avocados
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I hear you. I'd rather castrate someone with my bare hands than be allergic to chocolate. My husband's now allergic to that, along with coconut, sharp cheese, buttermilk, and vinegar. (Which makes salad a bit of a challenge, at least so far as dressing is concerned.) He was allergic to peanuts, too, but that reversed itself after a couple of horrible years.
 

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I could stand being allergic to chocolate, but tomatoes?

No way.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post

is being castrated, or castrating someone else, as opposed to being allergic to something really going to be a likely choice?
Well the theory is completely logical, but I'm having trouble finding volunteers for the clinical trials even though I offered free peanuts and avocados.
 
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