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First days of No Sugar… Sorta

Jack and I finished the Fed Up documentary and decided together that we were going to do it. Greatly lessen, if not eliminate all added sugar. Within reason. Still allowing ourselves to be human, etc. I’ve been doing pretty well all week, I’ve gotta say. I’m impressed with myself. I’m a complete textbook chocolate addict and to finally start to see the cravings fade…well it’s obviously great!

I told Jack that the next time he would have candy or sweets would be on Halloween. He really didn’t freak out about it either! I’m not buying any more sugary treats so that will make it easier at home . At school Jack gets to make his own choices and I’m not going to completely forbid him to get an ice cream or something, but I did pack his lunch today (no school yesterday) and he had the following: (this also includes a snack and the fact that he eats like a beast).., egg salad sandwich on whole wheat, broccoli and carrots with Bolthouse yogurt ranch dressing, cantaloupe and strawberries, pretzels, cheddar cheese and sliced hard salami.

Not bad eh? Jack said he was getting water because of the milk situation. Though the 12g of sugar in skim milk is not added in…

For breakfast Jack had Rice Krispies with skim milk and bananas. Then he kept eating out of my bowl of plain oatmeal with flax seed and almond milk. He really liked it.

Last night we had homemade turkey burgers, which Jack always insists are his FAVORITE, and roasted cauliflower. Plus French bread.

For dessert I blended a frozen banana, frozen strawberries, almond milk and plain yogurt to make a wicked fruity “ice cream” and topped it off with whipped cream. Jack loved it too! Win win!

Are any of you eating sugar free or low sugar? Let me know!

I’m going to read Sweet Poison next by David Gillespie, as soon as I finish Year of No Sugar (which autocorrected to Year of No Duggar, and that’s funny if you know who the Duggars are. A year never goes by without a Duggar!)

me: Jack, do you think we can do this no sugar thing? It should be easy if we pick the foods that we love that don’t have sugar.

Jack: Can I have cranberry juice?

me : No you can have water.

Jack: Sigh.

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Year of no sugar… Can we start with a week first??

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Yesterday was my birthday. I did nothing out of the ordinary. No party or gifts. No junk food frenzy. No balloons. I reminded Jack again today that he still owes me his promised “birthday drawing”, which he’s quickly losing steam over. But I did give myself the gift of one special book.

Read on. You’ll get to it. :)

Jack: Oh Mom! My project “the Scream” got picked to go in the school display case! (they did an Edward Munch project, which I cannot wait to see!) You can have that as your birthday present! (he just found the easy way out of THAT gift, but I’ll take it.)

me: Hey thanks. When do I get it? Next year?

Jack: Um, I don’t know, in a few days or weeks? Something to look forward to for YOUR birthday.

He points at me and winks. Sheesh.

Back to yesterday. We went to a trampoline bouncy gym kind of place. We played outside. We went shopping. Nothing exciting.

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However, while we we were shopping Jack asked if he could go to the book section and just hang out. I said it was okay. Then, when I was done with my groceries I headed over to find him. That’s when I saw THE book. “Year of No Sugar”. By Eve (Something.) I’m too lazy to get up and check. I worked out TWICE today people! Ahem.

The book jumped off the shelf mainly because it had the word Sugar in the title haha! And someone was what? Deciding to not eat sugar for an entire year? Plus it was a memoir, which is something I LOOOOOVVVVVVVE to read. Maybe I’ll write one someday. Sighhhhh…

So anyway, this book is about the disastrous amounts of fructose that companies have pumped into all of our foods in the last 30 years or so, and how bad it is for our bodies and ultimately our health. The forward by David Gillespie, author of Sweet Poison, had me hooked. HOOKED I tells ya. Anyway, I’m halfway through and chugging along like a maniac. It’s really an eye opener.

The first thing I thought when I picked the book up and put it into my cart was “uh oh, I’m probably going to do this too”. As in, cut out most if not all of the added sugar in my foods. Natural sugars = okay. Added sugars = poison. I’ve already eliminated if not all, at least 99.9% of the HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) from my home. We simply won’t buy anything that has that ingredient listed. And then I’ve become skeptical about fructose and corn syrup, etc etc. Which is why, when I started flipping through the book, I realized just how ignorant I’ve been.

I brought the book home and Jack saw it laying there on the counter.

Jack: What’s that?? (wary look)

me: A new book that’s going to teach me how evil sugar is for us.

Jack: Why is it the year of no sugar? Are you going to MAKE US DO THAT???

me: Maybe. Baby steps of course, but we can start to –

Jack: (cuts me off) YOU’RE GOING TO RUIN MY LIFE??

me: Hey calm down, I didn’t even finish my sentence.

Jack: So you’re doing this!??

me: I think we should take a look at labels more closely and eliminate lots of junk food that we eat without thinking…

(Really, I didn’t think we were TOO too bad, as I generally don’t buy too many sweets or let Jack drink soda and things like that…)

me: Go get ready for bed and then we can read for awhile.

Jack got showered, brushed his teeth, flossed, and got into some clean clothes. He then noticed that I came up to his room, ready to read, carrying the Devil Book: Year of No Sugar.

Jack: Why are you reading that?? Because some crap scientist is telling you that all the stuff we love is bad for you, now you’re gonna believe him??

me: Hey, chill out! First of all, it never hurts to educate yourself on things that you don’t understand. So I’m trying to learn and maybe eliminate some of the bad things that we eat.

Jack: Like all of the FUN stuff?? My friends all eat junk food, why can’t I??? (Here is where he actually starts to cry and ramp it up a bit. Ugh.)

me: Why are you crying about a book that I’m only just starting to read? (Inside I’m kind of chuckling. He’s SO on to me…)

Jack: Why don’t you believe all the people that SAID THAT SUGAR IS GOOD FOR US!!?? WWWAAAAAHHHHHHHH! (full blown crying here)

me: Jack, come on! Relax! It’s okay! Right now we don’t eat most of the stuff that’s bad for us and we’re just going to read the labels better is all I’m saying. I’m not making you eat plain oatmeal for 3 meals a day, geez!

Jack: What are we gonna eat then… Gasp…SOYBEANS????!!!

me: Ha ha, nooo, well, maybe sometimes, but not —

Jack: WAHHHHHHHH!!!

me: Sigh.

Jack: What am I gonna eat at school. They have fructose in EVERYTHING!

me: I’ll start making your lunches again. (I hadn’t thought of what might be hiding in all of those pasta, chicken nugget, grilled cheese and hot dog lunches, AHHH!)

Jack: Wait, I can’t buy lunch any more? I have to bring my own?? I’m gonna be a loser??!! All my friends eat junk food and crap!

me: Well I won’t let you eat junk food and crap. That rule is not changing mister.

Jack: Well this is a dumb idea! (sniffling and snorting follow)

me: Calm down please and wipe your eyes. It’s just a BOOK. We’ll talk about anything I decide to do first, so nothing will be a surprise to you. Plus, think of your Tree Nut allergy. It probably happened because I ate some food that had bad things in it and then when you were in my tummy, those bad things affected you and gave you your allergy. We don’t really know, but eating bad things just isn’t good!

Jack: Well, I already have the stupid allergy so there’s no point in changing what we eat now.

me: If we eat healthier now, we’ll make our bodies better in the years to come. I don’t want to come down with some bad disease when I’m older just because I wanted to eat a bunch of chemicals in my food now. I’d rather us get used to eating better and it will make us feel better and then the junk food will MAKE us feel sick and we won’t even want it any more. Our bodies are good that way.

He starts to calm down and then gets ready to read his book. He tucks his feet up onto the bed and notices a blister that had formed on his foot. Naturally he picks at it until the skin comes off and I anticipate what he might do next.

me: Jack do NOT flick that onto the floor. Throw it away.

Jack: I might as well eat it, because it’s NATURAL!! (He literally eats his blister skin. Ugh.)

Then we both crack up into fits of laughter. His face is all red and puffy from crying, so it makes it even funnier.

me: You just ate a blister. Come on Jack. Seriously.

Jack: It’s better than soybeans and it DOESN’T CONTAIN FRUCTOSE!

We laugh some more. And then we read our books for awhile and let the subject drop. This morning I let Jack have his Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast, knowing that once the current load of food has been eaten, I will be slowly replacing it with sugarless or LESS sugared versions. (insert evil laughter here)

[[Side bar... We had JUST gone shopping the other day and bought some Milano cookies. MMMMMmmmmmmm. The dark chocolate kind. Jack and I had a few each night as a treat. I knew there were about 4 or 5 left in the bag. Plus, I had some kettle corn that I had gotten from the Big E (read my last post...), which surely contains sugar (and salt and that heavenly smokey flavor known only to corn popped in oil in a KETTLE!) Gasp. I also knew that once I started reading this book I would be HORRIFIED by the fructose evil ingredient and the disgusting things it does to our bodies and I would NOT want to eat any more of the evil sweets. Therefore I sat down with my kettle corn to enjoy a few handfuls WHILE I continued to read the book. And then...I ate all of the Milanos. There. I confessed. I kinda feel better. Thanks for listening.]]

I didn’t want Jack to suffer from the evil sugar! I SPARED him!!!

Sigh.

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Today when I got Jack from the bus, I asked what he had for lunch.

Jack: Today I had a hot dog!

me: Just one?

Jack: Yeah I was full from all the “snacks” you packed me. (He somehow air-quoted this word with only the tone of his voice. I had packed an apple, grapes, ham slices and a yogurt.)   Plus I had milk and some goldfish.

me: No veggies?

Jack: No veggies. But guess what? The skim milk they have is 12 grams of sugar! I’m not getting it any more. I can just drink water.

me: Wow, Good choice!

Tonight, Jack’s before bed snack was plain Cheerios with blueberries and unsweetened Almond Milk. Hmmm, maybe this will be easier than I thought? Stay tuned!

Summer is … where exactly??

JackFries

I had 10 titles picked out for this blog (and seriously I meant to post for like what, a week now??) but I sat down (ahem on my BIRTHDAY ahem) and decided to type on my actual COMPUTER for once instead of my phone, and then I just looked out the window at the rainy foggy morning and realized tomorrow is the first day of Fall. Making this the LAST FREAKING DAY OF SUMMER!

(P.S. I feel like I’m going to use LOTS of brackets and CAPS in this post, and also lots of “asides”, and maybe lots of “quotes”). This is how an old brain works, people! We think of things as we’re doing other things and then we forget the things we are really supposed to be doing and then, when we’re doing the thing that we’re probably NOT supposed to be doing because we forgot the REAL thing we should be doing, we suddenly remember the real thing, and … wait, what? So, yeah, I’m typing this post EXACTLY like that sentence up there. Point-Point.

Yawn. I could totally sleep all day. But then I’d feel guilty.

Because, as I may have mentioned… today is my birthday. Did you catch that up there? I did not get breakfast in bed, which is kind of a blessing really (sorry Jack…but sometimes the mess is you know…pretty bad). However, I also did not get a hand drawn card either. :(  I told Jack he needs to draw me something extra special today. Hopefully he can find time in his busy day. Right now he’s playing XBox, Lego City Undercover with his friend.

And, here I sit with messy hair, and a cup of DECAF coffee (because caffeine makes me insane), with NON-DAIRY CREAMER FAKE POOFY POWDER (because now milk makes my intestines insane haha) and I’m typing this post in weird non-correct English half grammatically correct sentences. But I bet you can all follow me just fine because this is how we express ourselves these days.

Anyway, what has Jack been doing? Well, as you know we’ve been on vacation a few times. This last one to the Cape was really hard to come back from because it was insanely perfect and because we were both insanely busy when we got back. (I’ve used “insane” like way too many times already in this post.)

I think we’ve both just finally caught up with our school work and work-work, and my brain freed up a little space and then I looked at my blog posts and realized, whoa, 9/11 was the last one. Did anyone really really miss me? I wonder… hmmmm…

Regardless, here I am!  Don’t all cheer at once!

On Friday night Jack and I rented the movie Mom’s Night Out. Corny but had some funny stuff in it. Jack LOVED it and wanted to watch it again, but no. Once is enough. It’s a “Red Box” rental (for those of you not familiar, or living in other countries !  …it’s a $1.00 rental box located in most grocery stores, etc). Though, the $1.00 rental ends up costing me like $20 because I keep forgetting to return it. Like now for instance. It’s sitting on the table. I rented it Friday. I’m up to $3.00 already. Sigh. But for normal people it’s a cheap alternative to going to the movies.

As we picked out the movie at the store, we had this exchange…

Jack: (looking at a movie title) Mom, have we been to Transylvania!!??

me: Nooooo.

Jack: But we’ve been to Pennsylvania right? That’s pretty much the same thing?

I laughed. :)

Then Jack went over and weighed his thumb on the produce scale and tried to tell me that his thumb weighed 3 pounds. As he pushed it down as hard as he could of course.

Yesterday we drove up to (cue the banjos) the BIG E! (Eastern States Exposition). They may have banjos there, but since they feature farm animals and large pumpkin contests, people down here (nearer to NYC) think it’s hee-haw-ville. Which it is not. Though there were quite a few people in work boots and torn t-shirts who may or may not have had all of their teeth. Hopefully I’ll go back in this post and insert links for y’all so you can see the wondrous Big E. We had a tiring but fun day eating fried food that we loved (oreos, bananas) and riding rides and playing games and and and seeing farm animals and and watching horse shows! I got all hyper just remembering it! Jack and his friend each won a stuffed Scooby-Doo dog, so they were even Steven, and no fighting was heard!

On the way up in the car, they were talking and Jack discovered this problem and decided to solve it.

Jack: You know… “ASAP” does NOT mean do something as quick as possible!! Why does everyone mean it like that!? It means “Do It As Soon As Possible”. What if that’s like in a week? That’s not a rush.

me: You’re right. At work, if I ask someone to do something, but I don’t really need it right away, I say “asap” and then they end up doing it right away. Oh well, I should only use it when it’s critical!

(is this the longest post or what?)

They kept talking in the back seat and it was so funny to listen to them. Mostly they forget that a “grown up” is even in the car, as if it’s hurtling along by itself or something. Interspersed between the grunts of their combined Minecraft efforts I heard this:

Friend: Do you know that Connecticut is called the invention state?

Jack: Actually it’s the Constitution state, but okayyy?

Did I know either of those CT facts? Hmmm. haha.

I will leave you with a few photos to amuse yourselves!

MasterChief

Jack’s Halo character…

Swing

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Speaking in (hash) tongues

On our way home from Cape Cod today, I decided to take a detour down to Woods Hole just to see a different coastline and to visit Nobska Lighthouse, which is really beautiful and authoritative, sitting on a solid shoulder of rocky, scrub-bushy land.

It was worth the little bit of extra time to me, but not to Jack, who was promised use of the iPad once we crossed the Bourne Bridge off the Cape. To show his displeasure, he spoke only in hashtags the entire way. Here’s a sampling.

Jack: Why are we doing thisss?? Hashtag Boredoutofmymind!

I want to go straight home!! Hashtag
Goingthewrongway!

I’m not getting out of the car at the stupid lighthouse! Hashtag Makingmegotosomecrapplaceidontwannago!

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Go to Australia Where They Have Better Reception

I have no idea why Jack screamed that at the ocean yesterday…but he did. We were playing catch. I don’t ask questions any more.

Anyway…We kept moving yesterday and today because there is so much to see on the Cape and we only have 2 days left!

I went for a 6-mile or so run while my mom watched Jack. It was so needed! I took some great photos as always. The light is amazing early in the morning.

Later on, Jack and I ate lunch again at Mac’s Seafood on the pier. Fresh seared tuna wrap. OMG. So flipping good. We spent more time on the beach and in town, and visited Uncle Tim’s Bridge, which leads to an island in the middle of the marsh. We had a quick hike up to the top and got to view the town from up high. We then visited the used book store down the road called Herridge’s. Jack and I can both get lost in a book store for quite awhile, and we both picked out some good books.

Some down time at the house followed and we both dug into our new books. Jack is a super fast reader and he is already finished with his! (Maybe I can coerce him I to another book review! :)

Side note: we are watching a show about how bad Russian drivers are. It’s scary to see how these guys drive. I remember my cab driver scaring us quite a bit in Moscow.

We visited a museum in a Eastham for a short while but they were closing. :(

We then met a friend and hit Nauset Beach, Nauset Lighthouse and the three sisters…a group of lighthouses preserved in a little park near the beach. Some hackey sack on the beach gave us some more exercise.

We ate a good dinner out and spent probably more than I needed to, but I really wanted those Wellfleet oysters. Can’t beat em.

Today we mostly stayed in town going to the beach and playground and skate park.

Jack is now begging for a new skateboard for $130 and yeahhh… no? Can’t afford.

Jack: But mom, just listen. Don’t say anything. I think I would rather have the cruising board to just go around town. I’m not that good at tricks and like I think I’d get more use out of the cruising board?

me: It costs too much.

Jack: But I promise I won’t ask for anything else again for a veryyyyy long time. Like maybe 6 months!!!!

Sigh. I’m sure I’ll hear more about it tomorrow!

We took one trip to the National Seashore Museum and watched a couple short films about Cape Cod.

We had lunch on the beach and dinner at the house. There were lots of leftovers to use up from all the meals we’ve been having!

Jack peeked in the freezer…

Jack: Hey, I’m not eating these ice cream bars . They’re called Red Sox bars!!!

me: So we’ll chew em to pieces! (I didn’t care what they were called, I was gonna eat one. ha ha)

Jack: Yeah we hate the Red Sox so we’ll chew em up! (He was also looking for any excuse to eat the bars!)

Needless to say they were good. Now, we couldn’t leave any Red Sox bars behind, because we supposedly hate them. So of course, we each ate two and then threw the box away.

Okay time for bed. I am beat!

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To Err is Human, To Arr is Pirate

Day two on the Cape was great as usual! A storm blew through in the middle of the night and cooled everything down!

We walked to Box Lunch for breakfast …yummy wraps…and then headed to Provincetown for the day.

The sun was blazing, the wind was breezy…a perfect September day.

We shopped, ate at Scottcakes, looked for beach glass, and at least one of us got a tattoo of a serpent. (Hint: not me.)

After a few hours enjoying the “sights” (see pic of “ladies in pink dresses, and Jack watching!), we headed back to Wellfleet.” Jack and I hit Mayo beach for some fun watching the fishermen and playing catch, and then did the skate park again. We never stop moving!

We watched the sunset in Duck Harbor. It was beautiful. Omg. So peaceful. Well, until we showed up. :)

Dinner was at the Lighthouse Restaurant in town. Dessert was finishing off the apple pie we had baked! I don’t even think my head had hot the pillow before I was sound asleep.

Jack: I have to wazzle.

me: Not right here! Sigh.

(He peed on front of 10 people in the Duck Harbor beach parking lot.

Got a 6:19 am wake up this morning!!’ :)

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As Far East As We Can Get

Aka, we are in Wellfleet! Okay Provincetown is further East…but we ‘ll be there in a few hours! (Scottcakes.com here we come).

Jack and I left at 5:30 yesterday morning and arrived safely at the Pancake Man by 9am. Jack ordered the strawberry pancakes and I ordered plain with a side of peanut butter. Yum!

We had time to kill on arrival day because the house isn’t ready until 1 or 2…sooo we took Jack to Pirates Cove where he proceeded to get crazy on some arcade games. He played one where you watch a light race around a course and you have to hit the stop button and try to have it stop on the Jackpot light. If so you will win a zillion tickets which you can turn in for prizes at the counter. Jack played twice. Two tokens. On the second try he hit the jackpot. Little lucky sh*t. And 186 tickets popped out. He chosee a stop watch for his prize, which had to be programmed “immediately” by me, while reading badly translated instructions on the back which I think were originally written in a far off language. “Push B to time set clock if you wish to have time right” and “pushing A and B at same time makes for functions not working. Do not do this!” Etc. Have I mentioned that I have the patience of a saint and got the darn thing to work?!!

……Now Jack is using the stop watch to point out my parenting shortcomings.

Jack: Mom, it literally took you 7 minutes on the dot to go out to the car and get my book bag! What were you doing??? (He frantically pushes the buttons to reset the stop watch to time my answer)

me: Are you enjoying lounging in bed with your stop watch? Sheesh…..

From Pirates Cove we visited the Cape Cat (where Jack ticked off the owner by saying loudly “we are only staying in here 5 minutes, and I’m timing it! Beep beep!! The owner then told Jack that he was welcome to leave any time he wanted ha ha.) and then drive to Eastham…where they were having a Windmill Day Festival. Jack had fun in the “wipeout” style bouncy house and then we toured the inside of the Eastham Windmill. It was very cool! I met a local elderly resident and semi-famous artist, and we talked about design, illustration (we both have degrees) and writing our first books (which we are both trying to do, though his is about to be published and mine hasn’t been started yet. Ahem.) Very interesting just the same!

Lunch at Mac’s Seafood of course (fried clams, yum again) and then over to the skate park so jack could get schooled by another 9 year old. Frustrations ran a little high. :(

We then got into the house and unloaded our gear. The first thing we did was look for the A/C switch because it was 86 and huuuuuuuuumid! Totally no oxygen happening in Wellfleet at that particular time.

We then walked through town and visited our favorite stores (Sick Day and Abiyoyo). Picked up some pizza for dinner, baked an apple pie, watched some TV about sharks (there are so many shark sitings on the Cape this year that the Wellfleet drive-in theater is humorously showing “Jaws”!!), played trivial pursuit in the backyard while swinging in the hammock and then passed out asleep from exhaustion! Day 1 complete!!

Did I wear you out too?

Here are some of the things I heard throughout the day. Jack had a lot of sh*t to say…

Jack:
– Can I use the iPad for the entire ride to Cape Cod? (I said no of course and doled it out in 20-minute increments.)

- Alex got a new Guinea pig because he traded in his rat. You couldn’t even touch that thing. But his sister got to name it and she picked Annabelle.

- I need a new skateboard. Right now. Mine stinks.

- I love being back in Cape Cod!! (Followed by Jack inhaling deeply and smelling it all)

- Remember last year when we saw the big dead sunfish right here and it had the big chunk taken out of it?? I hope we see another one.

- You never let me do anything that I want to do!! This trip is always all about you!!!! (Um…???)

- I just want to stay here and watch bad tv all night.

- Your arms are so mushy! It’s great!

- Even though I don’t believe I the tooth fairy, I still get the cash because it’s my tooth she’s taking. (Haha)

- (this morning at 7am) Time to wake up! Can I use the iPad!!!

Well I’m sure Jack will have lots more to say in the upcoming days. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted! :)

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