No Sugar, No Flour – Week 1

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on August 8, 2011

So on a bit of a whim…okay, totally a whim…I decided to give up white/brown sugar and white flour for the month of August. Mostly because I wanted to see if it really would change the way I feel.

I do have on average one sweet treat every day…home baked goodies, usually. And yes, the occasional handful of chocolate chips.

Yes, I admit it. And I know there are others of you out there too!

During this first week, I’m proud to say that I had no sugar or white flour…other than a packet of Emergen-C. Ack!

I completely wasn’t paying attention when I was hit with an allergy attack last week. I usually take Zinc tablets and Emergen-C when they happen to help me fight them off, and to keep away potential sinus infections. *sigh*

But I am thrilled with how well it everything went over last week. And wanted to share a few of my experiences and thoughts from the week with you.

1. Accountability. If you have no accountability, this isn’t going to work. For me, I have you all to report to each week. And I am a part of a small private group on Facebook that shares about these kinds of challenges. I makes a huge difference having someone there (other than your spouse or BFF) caring for you, encouraging you and helping you stay focused on your challenge.

2. Calories. This is not about calories for me. Or weight loss. I’m doing this to see if I notice a difference in my energy level, my ability to fall asleep, and my ability to deal with frustrating circumstances (created by my children mostly…like Tyler getting ahold of the dishsoap and squirting it all over the kitchen floor!) with a little more grace and patience! I do, however, believe, that I will shed a few of these last post partum pounds. (Nevermind that Tyler will soon be 2!)

3. Trouble Times. It didn’t take me long to identify my “trouble times.” The times of the day that I crave sugar. First, afternoon snack time. Second, about 30 minutes after dinner.  Once I figured those out and was able to distract myself during those times and keep my mind off the craving, I was able to have success without much of a “mental fight,” trying to overcome the craving.

4. Map out the plan. While I didn’t specifically write a menu plan for myself, I made a list of what I could eat as alternatives during my “Trouble times,” and made a few other rules/guidelines. I gave up on dessert entirely…easier than trying to come out with good sugar-free S

5. Sweeteners – I am using honey and maple syrup as sweeteners for pancakes, oatmeal, etc. I have done enough reading to know that of all the sweetener options, these are the best. (For myself, a healthy, non-diabetic.)

6. Whole Wheat Flour – I am using whole wheat flour and plan to get some wheat berries from Amazon to grind in my new dry blade container for my Vitamix. When reading labels, be sure it says whole wheat flour. No bleached, no processed. Whole wheat.

I am working on a no-sugar, no white flour meal plan that I hope to have posted later today or tomorrow. And next week in part 2, I’ll be sharing more about eating out on this plan, and other things I’m experiencing along the way!

If you are considering following no-sugar, no-flour change to your eating habits (notice, I did not say the “d” word!), then I hope these suggestions will help you make your decision. Please note, I’m not a dietitian or nutritionist, so please consult with your doctor or dietitian before making drastic changes to the way you eat.

If you have done something, are doing, or are considering something similar, I would love to hear your fears, frustrations, successes!

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Janice Hannigan August 8, 2011 at 8:25 am

Excited to learn more about your site!

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Cindy Jackson August 8, 2011 at 8:29 am

Saw your article on Crosswalk…looking forward to your e-mails!

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Beth August 8, 2011 at 8:59 am

Hi there! About a month ago I started the South Beach Diet, eliminating sugar and flour completely from my diet. Even if I hadn’t lost any weight, I’d still be ecstatic because of how good I feel. I have not had this much energy in years, and I just feel GOOD. I hope you do, too!

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom August 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm

So glad to hear Beth and so glad you’re feeling better! Good for you!!!

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Kaylie August 8, 2011 at 9:24 am

Saw you on Crosswalk! You’re so fun! Thanks for the awesome tips!

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom August 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Welcome Kaylie!

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Lisa August 8, 2011 at 9:33 am

I made this switch about 3 weeks ago. I’ve noticed a lot of difference in how I feel, my energy, my sleep, my PMS symptoms…all for the better too. I’ve started using local beef, organic milk, maple and honey and sucanat for sweetners, whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat because the whole wheat pastry flour is very hard to find here, whole grain corn meal, etc… I have noticed the change in my sweet tooth and the change in my appetite. I’ve also cut out about 90% of the processed foods and chemically laden foods. I have noticed such a difference and though it takes more planning and more time in the kitchen for real foods and whole grains, I am determined to not go back. And I have noticed a little weight loss and not the gain. I haven’t been counting points or calories or anything, but more listening to my body and it’s working. Best of luck to you!

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom August 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Awesome Lisa! Love hearing this!!! You go girl!

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Robin August 8, 2011 at 10:22 am

I switched from white to wheat flour a long time ago, and it has definitely helped with digestive issues. I haven’t been able to kick the sugar habit, especially with baked goods though. Honey, because it’s a liquid, doesn’t create the same texture in cookies, muffins and other baked goods….which I should probably be giving up too. Good luck to you! I’m interested to hear about the differences in the way you feel.

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom August 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Good for you Robin! I’ve heard using sucanat in baking works better than honey…although I haven’t baked much with it!

Hoping to share more about the difference in how I feel in a week or two!

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Shannon Baukhages August 8, 2011 at 11:40 am

Erin, try using white whole wheat flour. The flavor is milder than regular whole wheat and it works great in baked goods, pancakes, etc, making the transition easier.

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom August 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Thanks for the suggestion Shannon!

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Shanel August 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm

AWESOME! I’ve been no sugar/flour/fast/processed food for over a year now and never felt (or looked better) Will you be cutting everything that is not called “sugar” but truly is sugar? Or just things that specifically say “sugar”. Thanks and good luck!

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom August 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

That’s amazing Shanel…way to go!

For now, I’m cutting out anything that is sugar, HFCS, CS, evaporated cane syrup, etc. So yes, I guess that’s all sugars…anything sugar cane derived.

I am eating naturally occuring sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, and am still eating fruits, which contain natural sugars.

Hope this helps to clarify!

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Jill August 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Nice! My family recently discovered Paleo and eliminating these white “foods” is essential to healthy living. I look forward to following your path this month!

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Amy T August 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I went sugar/white flour-free about 3 months ago. I have never felt better and I lost about 1 lb a week for a total of 10 lbs. Unfortunately the sugar is slowly creeping back into my diet. For me, it was easier to take it all out. Once I decided to let myself have something now and again, the now and agains got closer and closer together. When I was completely off I stopped craving the sugar. Once I let it back in, even in small doses the cravings came back :(

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Karissa Green August 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm

SO excited to see someone else doing this! Today was day 1 for me. I have done this before and felt great-but sugar crept back in and so i am trying this again!! I can’t wait to see a meal plan-it would be so helpful to see what someone else is eating!!
Blessings to you.
Karissa

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Antoinette August 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I wanted to congratulate you on doing this. I did this during lent so I knew I had a certain time period to do this in. I noticed a huge difference in my complexion. I have a problem with constant breakouts and it helped tremendously, however, I didn’t notice it right away, but a few weeks into it it became very apparent. I wanted to let you know that there is a sweetener out there that is low glycemic and it’s called Agave. I buy it at Costco, but I’ve seen it at the regular grocery store. Good luck.

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Kessie August 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I’ve observed the effects of no processed foods for years, because my mom and I experiment on ourselves. The first few weeks of getting off the white stuff are the hardest, and then you feel great. But you have to replace all those white snacks with fruits and nuts and good munchies, you can’t just remove them and leave a vacuum. Good thing it’s summer and all the good fruit is in season. :-)

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Kim Parkes August 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Your motivation is inspiring! These are good pointers that I plan to incorporate in my family’s food options. Thanks for sharing!

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Tiffany August 8, 2011 at 10:07 pm

I have been sugar-free for almost a year!!! It has been the BEST thing I could have ever done in my life other than having my son. I feel like I did when I was a teenager(physically) the energy is what I am grateful for. I can keep up with my active 4 year old son. I have the occasional sugar sweet now and again….however, I do notice what it does to my body and its not good. This helps me keep on track, it has become my ACCOUNTABILITY(the voice that never goes away =}) I make Cheesecake sugar-free of course with sugar-free short bread cookies for the crust or no crust(carb count) This will be a long and rewarding process. Way to go. Thank you for sharing and allowing us to be part of this journey.

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Sandy Garrett November 16, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Please post recipe

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Christina August 9, 2011 at 7:39 am

I have been toying with this for a while now. I would love an energy boost to keep up with my 5, 3, and 18 month old and baby to be in February! My biggest fears are the cost involved and the time involved. I’ll be very interested to follow your progress!

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MaryAnn August 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I’m so glad you are doing this!! I am sugar free for over a year and it has cut down my cravings considerably. Can’t wait to see your food plan. Good Luck!

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom August 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Thanks MaryAnn!

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Stephanie October 8, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I started the no sugar, no flour (or any processed foods) way of eating & I feel so much better. 1st 3 days were really hard but now not at all. I keep my fridge stocked with all natural soups, beans, fruits & veggies. I do eat chicken & salmon & whole grain brown rice, I feel great & have lost 9 lbs in less than 2 weeks with moderate walking [2 miles] about 3-4x week. I have a waist again! I’m 5’2 & now weigh 148. Goal is 125.

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 11, 2011 at 8:15 am

Good for you Stephanie! Yes…the first three days of any habit changing exercise are the hardest. Stick to it and it won’t be long before you reach your goal! You can do it!

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Free Android apk June 1, 2012 at 12:48 am

I believe is that flour and sugar to the ‘over-eater’ is akin to alcohol to the ‘alcoholic’.

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Helen July 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Congratulations to all who have decided to kick the sugar habit. Sugar is insidious. The good thing is the cravings will go. I have avoided sugar of years, but when I came across this eating program, I decided to eliminate the flour as well. Very easy to follow, as you do not eliminate a whole food group, just 2 dubious ingredients. I did not need to lose weight but I did lose a couple of kilos, but the best thing for me is I have noticed the arthritic pain in my arms appears to have gone, a real bonus for me because I am a knitter. This is the best eating program ever, however convincing sugar addicts is a challenge.

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Tynna October 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I just eliminated sugar and white flour from my diet. I am also cutting back on the amound of meat I eat and have found since doing so thatmy digestive system seems to be much happier. I’m interested in recipies that do not use any of the sugar substitues. I am using honey, aquave and maple syrup for sweetners. In addition to this, I am also trying to avoid combining protein and starches in the same meal (fit for life concept). I love to cook and eat good food as does my family, but since making these changes I feel like I am starting at ground zero…..Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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The Baronnessa January 10, 2013 at 9:24 am

Erin, Are you sure you’ve read everything about sweeteners? Honey and maple syrup are even more deadly than high fructose corn syrup.

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Dorie January 19, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I just began a no flour no sugar lifestyle and feel great! However, it has only been a week and I find myself still craving other things. At what point does this go away? I feel a bit better but would love more recipes and hope my wandering doesn’t get the best of me!

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debbie August 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I am doing the no flour/sugar/pasta/ like most of you AGAIN…oh well we all are human. I have been walking every day for a week now and will continue. It is hard and nice to read the comments about the trouble times and foods that all of you have which helps me and gives me ideas. I can’t wait to read the meals that others eat also…as I need all the help I can get!

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Sandy Garrett November 16, 2014 at 10:41 pm

I have eliminated sugar, white flour and potatoes and most dairy from my eating.
Trying to eat mostly organic as it is not as inflammatory. It has been since November 1 that I started eating this way. Later at night I feel munchies coming on but resist by drinking water.

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