WIAW: the “no sweets” challenge

January 16, 2013

Although it’s WIAW I would like to do things a bit differently today. The pictures you see in this post are some of the things I ate this weekend. But I’d like to focus on giving you an update on my “no sweets” challenge. I’ll fill you in if you don’t know about it yet.

Overnight Muesli Health Inspirations 2

My Weekday Breakfast: Super Yummy Overnight Muesli

Our holidays were very food-filled. We had so many delicious meals, the most wonderful and rich desserts and some drinks too and my brother and I simply felt it was time to reduce our sugar consumption a bit. My sister and mom quickly hopped on board and we’re challenging each other to resist desserts, chocolate, etc. for a month.

I grew up in a house where food was  abundant and sweets and treats were always around. Whenever we got the munchies we could count on a cake or fabulous dessert to be waiting in the kitchen…life was good! Somewhere along the way however I became anorexic. I won’t go into details here but during that time I followed a strict diet and sweets just didn’t find their way into my meals. Fortunately that dull stage of my life has passed and I am now able to enjoy food of all kinds more than I ever have. When people ask me if I feel 100% healthy I instantly say yes because my eating disorder seems decades away and I feel like a new and improved person. But as any person who has ever had an eating disorder will tell you it is always possible to slip back into the old routine of depriving yourself of food.

Arugula Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts Health Inspirations 3

Saturday’s Lunch: Mixed leaf salad with cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and parmesan

When my brother and I declared to start this challenge I did initially ponder whether it would be a good idea. Not allowing myself sweets and desserts is basically a deprivation and I wouldn’t want to risk my health and happiness just to prove that I have more willpower to resist sugar than my brother. But now, 9 days into this challenge I am happy that I’m doing what I ‘m doing. Even though I’m not eating sweets I never feel  deprived and have been eating the best food ever. This challenge is not about losing weight and that just proves once again that I am healthy! So often during recent months I’ve nibbled my way through the afternoon at work indulging in chocolate, truffles and cookies and  those are not the foods I want to fill my body with. I come home feeling sluggish and tired and often don’t feel hungry enough to cook a proper meal so I just have a lame old salad or a sad looking sandwich.

Panzanella 6 Health Inspirations Inspirations_

Sunday’s Lunch: Panzanella

Now, I am so much more creative with my weeknight cooking and brainstorm all week long about the fabulous dishes I could make. Every night I sit in front of a plate of food prepared with love and I take so much more time to eat it instead of just scarfing it down while thinking about dessert.

Rosmary Potatoes 07  Health Inspirations.net-1

Rustic rosemary potatoes

When I read Kathryn’s post on enjoying every meal it was clear to me that for the first time in a very long time I’m doing just that. I re-read this paragraph several times because it was so fitting.

What I want to do this year, apart from eat a lot of delicious pizza obviously, is to change my attitude. To stop giving food any power over me and to be accountable for my own decisions. You only get a finite number of meals in your life; I don’t want to waste any of mine.

Food has had too much power over my life and with this challenge I want to prove that I have the control of my meal choices. Instead of stuffing my mouth with chocolate and cookies I want to focus on eating real food. That does not mean that I won’t be eating desserts ever again. Trust me, no amount of willpower will make that happen.  I choose to eat and make lots of cakes and desserts but I’ll focus on good ingredients and won’t indulge in processed junk that’s not worth it…even when I’m really hungry. I’ll try to be more cautious of what I eat and will lovingly prepare each and every meal and subsequently enjoy every bite…even the crumbs.

Bolognese 14  Health Inspirations_-3

Sunday’s Dinner: Bolognese-Stuffed Lumaconi

I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t looking forward to my “cheat days”,  but those days I definitely won’t be spending scarfing down bars of chocolate and treats that aren’t worth it.

Thank you to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting yet another party! Wednesday’s simply wouldn’t be the same without it!

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  • Reply Jennifer January 16, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Good for you Antonia. All your food is so beautiful. 🙂

  • Reply Katie (The Muffin Myth) January 16, 2013 at 7:46 am

    That panzanella looks so good!

    I agree with you, restricting your eating can be a slippery slope. I recently decided to try out some calorie tracking apps because people who are trying to lose weight often ask me if I know of a good one. I had to stop using them because I started starving myself. It because a game where I competed with myself to see how low I could go, which is ridiculous. And this is me, someone who has studied nutrition for 8 years now, I should know better! But eating clean and having energy and feeling good is a different story. I tend to avoid sweets during the week and have treat days on the weekends, that’s a kind of healthy balance I can live with.

  • Reply Kat @ a dash of fairydust January 16, 2013 at 11:34 am

    You can be so proud of yourself,Antonia! I am currently trying to beat my Eating Disorder as well; after more than six wasted years,I want my life back. Stories like yours give me hope and strength when I feel down,so thank you for opening up and sharing your story with us on your blog!

  • Reply Ffion @ Chocolate and Raspberries January 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    After doing a paleo challenge in September and going without sugar and realising how I great I feel as a consequence, going sugar free is something I recommend everyone to do, if only just for a month, it really helps get rid of that craving.

  • Reply Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count January 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Everything looks delicous! I’m in need of a salad. In fact I’m planning to head to the produce market today to calm my salad yearnings.

  • Reply Eating 4 Balance January 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    This is a great idea. No need for deprivation without sweets! Usually for lent I give up added sugar, but this year I’m already not eating any so I have to find something else 🙂

    Really, I feel so much better without it! Hope you are feeling some of the positive effects too.

  • Reply Kathryn January 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    You have such a mature and thoughtful perspective on eating and it’s great to hear that you’re in a much better place than you were and can really enjoy your food again. I’m glad my post resonated with you – I think we are all guilty of letting food have so much power over us whether we acknowledge it or not and we all need to stand up for ourselves sometimes!

  • Reply a farmer in the dell January 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Good for you! all of your recipes look amazing!

  • Reply Kyra (Scribbles & Sprinkles) January 16, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Those potatoes looks delightful! And yes, I totally agree with the bit about getting too preoccupied in food. Sometimes we focus on it too much, we forget that there are more things in life that are worth much more! Great post :))

  • Reply Olivia @ Liv Lives Life January 16, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Those potatoes look so so good!!

    Good for you – that takes a lot of inner strength to bypass the sweets. Good luck!

  • Reply Katie @ Live Half Full January 17, 2013 at 12:48 am

    This is a great post. I definitely think these type of experiments change your attitude on food!

  • Reply Nina January 17, 2013 at 1:58 am

    😀 Everything looks great! Hehe especially the roasted potatoes. I feel like Kathryn’s quote really resonates with me too. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Tessa @ Amazing Asset January 17, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Hi Antonia, it’s been far too long since I have read your honest, lovely, inspiring blog! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this… Like you said, doing something like this can make you worse if you are a vulnerable state of mind. But you have gotten so much better since your ED days and a challenge like this can allow you to progress and feel as physically well as possible! Umm those potatoes, literally perfection, along with the salad as well 🙂 Actually, everything looks beautiful and tasty as always sweet lady!

  • Reply Liz January 17, 2013 at 3:36 am

    All of your eats look amazing! I’m loving the no sweets challenge as well. I’ll admit, sometimes I get a little to heavy on the sweets, and my body just doesn’t like it, I feel tired and lethargic. Sometimes the body needs a good detox!

  • Reply Clair January 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I am sure you put a lot of thought into doing this experiment without losing your sanity, but I have to say, your healthy outlook always sounds like it comes so naturally to you! I’ve been seeing a few new year no-sugar challenges around the blog world, and it’s inspiring me to get a little better myself…since I’ve been indulging a lot lately. But while I’m glad I went through a time without any sugar at all, I also realized it wasn’t sustainable for me, and whatever the physical effects of a little sugar are, they’re balanced by a happier mental outlook when I indulge a little!

    Hope all’s well across the ocean!

  • Reply Lot-O-Choc January 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    oh wow; all your food looks so good – especially loving the look of that muesli!

  • Reply Meghan@cleaneatsfastfeets January 20, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Will you please come cook for me? I promise to savor and enjoy every meal, and I will pamper you. I want to eat everything in these pictures. Whoever thinks healthy is boring is just wrong.

  • Reply Emilie @ Hungry Delights January 20, 2013 at 6:25 am

    You eat so much amazing wholesome food – good luck with your challenge. I also agree that in my lifetime there just isn’t enough time to eat all the foods I want to try!
    xo Emily

  • Reply 28 Day Blog Challenge February 1, 2013 at 7:02 am

    […] set yourself a goal do it now! You can do anything for 28 days {this isn’t exactly true for my “no sweets challenge” since I had a couple of slip-ups, but you get the point}. Usually the months fly be without us […]

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