If you've followed this blog for awhile you'll know this is something I really struggle with--trying to cut down the amount of sugar and refined grains in my diet. I know what a health disaster these substances are, I know I feel much better when I don't eat them, and yet my addiction persists. I've never gotten to the point where I'd be willing to give up sugar and refined grains cold-turkey--perhaps that's what it'll ultimately take--but I do have a plan.
I know this isn't going to sound like much at first blush--well, heck, you'll probably think I'm being a complete wimp about this--but baby steps, you know. The plan is to limit my consumption this year to just thirty pounds of sugar and seventy-five pounds of grains (at least half of which must be whole grains). I suppose you're laughing at my "just thirty pounds". I know it's still a lot! But consider this--the average per capita consumption of sugar in the US is 97 pounds per year (I'm using the word "sugar" here as shorthand for all types of caloric sweeteners: honey, molasses, brown rice syrup, cane sugar, etc.). Grain consumption per capita in the US is over 137 pounds per year. So if I achieve what I'm setting out to do, my consumption will be substantially below average. Still too much--I recognize that--but it feels like a reachable goal and better than my earlier efforts which only lasted a few weeks. This will keep me accountable all year.
The nice thing about this approach is I can divvy up my allotment of sugar and refined flour into twelve separate parcels and only allow myself access to one parcel per month. Each parcel would contain 2.5 pounds of sugar and 3.125 pounds of refined flour. I won't put the additional 3.125 pounds of whole grain flour into the parcel since I'll probably want to vary the types of whole grains a bit--but I'll keep a tally. If I run out of sugar on the 10th of a month, too bad. I'll have to wait to the 1st of the next month to get a new allotment. If I run out of refined flour, too bad. If I run out of everything, too bad. I'll just have to do without.
I actually feel this won't be too hard of a challenge, but I'll post my results even if I fail. This is the one big, bad thing left in my otherwise healthy diet and I'm really motivated to succeed.