They got me! Arg! Day One and already I’m out of the game (aka: The Sugar Free Challenge).

I swear it’s like an Easter egg hunt, only you’re searching for hidden sugar that is going to ruin your teeth, your brain and your waistline instead of plastic eggs filled with, um, sugar – sugar that is going to ruin your teeth, your brain and your waistline!

No, I did not take a Drama Queen pill today. I’m just upset. Foot-stompingly, hair-tearingly upset.

Here’s what happened: Day One of my sugar-free adventure started out much like any other day. I made my new (and vastly improved) all-time favorite breakfast and sat down to eat while reading The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan.

The Lost Hero

I’m not going to share my breakfast until I have pictures, which I don’t yet. But it was delightful and healthy and I felt like a million bucks after I ate it.

Next, I made my salad to bring to work. I have a bad habit of doing this in the morning when I’m rushed instead of in the evening when I can put more thought into it. But I gamely threw the following in a bowl, in no specific amounts:

  • Grape tomatoes
  • Yellow pepper
  • Avocado
  • Scallions
  • Dulse flakes
  • Chia seeds
  • Mixed greens

Luscious! But even with the fat of the avocado, it wasn’t going to keep me full for long, so I needed some protein. I had some spreadable goat cheese and wasabi rice crackers, but that wasn’t going to be enough. So I grabbed a can of beans. I thought about chick peas, but they aren’t my favorite, so I went for the kidney beans.

Just to triple check myself – as I’ve been tripped up here before – I scanned the label.

kidney beans

No! I was furious. I could’ve sworn I’d inspected that at the grocery store. But, no problem. I hadn’t opened the can yet, so I swapped it out for cannellini beans instead.

Next up? Salad dressing. We make our own with a seasoning packet, so I was pretty sure it was safe, but just for the heck of it…

salad dressing packet

(Where did the "I" go?)

Seriously? Whatever. Not a big deal. I drizzled on some olive oil and some red wine vinegar and sprinkled on salt, pepper and oregano. Herbs are huge in the nutrition department, though fresh would be better. For snacks I had grapes with cashews in the morning and a clementine in the afternoon. Dinner was pork chops (marinated in balsamic vinegar and olive oil), and broccoli and macaroni (my Nonni’s recipe). No sugar there!

So, what’s the problem? Well, as I was eating lunch, something was nagging at me. The only thing I wasn’t 200% sure of was the rice crackers, so I flipped the package and read it again.

wasabi rice crackers

Do you see it?

I didn’t, at first. But I kept thinking, dex…dex…dex? See, there’s this little old thing called, “maltodextrin”. It’s such a weird name that even I – the health freak – didn’t pick up on it. In fact, I had to Google it to be sure it was sugar.

It is. And it’s just one of many, many guises under which sugar comes. Alex did a great post on the many forms of sugar recently, but I guess that particular one escaped me. I should have been clued in that I didn’t know exactly what “maltodextrin” was. I’m a big believer that I should know what I’m putting into my body. Maybe I didn’t pay much attention because it was far down on the list of ingredients and therefore not used in large quantities. (Did you know that ingredients are listed by quantity – most to least?) Whatever the case, it slipped by me.

I’m so bummed that I failed out already! I didn’t even chew any gum today because it’s got all those artificial sweeteners in it. I know, I know – it’s not a competition, but I was bound and determined in my own mind to go 10 full days completely and totally without sugar.

Stupid maltodextrin.

And this, my friends, is why processed foods suck.

I guess I could throw in the towel right now and go make lava cakes. My husband would love me forever if I did. But I’m not going to do that, for several reasons:

  1. I’m not going to let a little setback like this keep me out of the Challenge.
  2. It’s a good lesson to learn about hidden sugars. So, lesson learned and moving on.
  3. I want Butter Cups!
  4. My husband will love me forever anyway.

How about you? What did you eat that was sugar free today? What sugar surprises did you come across? And does anyone need a couple of cans of kidney beans? Going cheap!


8 responses to “Tricked!

  1. Ridiculous how they hide the sugar from us. Smh…

  2. Oh no! Props to you for still remaining determined. I was successful day one mostly because when I am hitting my stride I make EVERYTHING myself from whole foods… Almond milk, salad dressing and crackers. While I really am striving for a mostly raw, vegan diet I like to think of it as a whole food diet. For my lunch salad I squeezed a lemon, drizzzled a little olive oil and sprinkled a tiny amount of himalayan sea salt. I am always struck by how complex and yummy minimal ingredients can be. Here’s to not being duped tomorrow!

  3. spoonfulofsugarfree

    I know it is crazy where sugar is! I guess it is always best to make everything yourself :P

    And don’t worry about!!! Yu’ll be fine :D Just Keep on truckin’! This is more of a learning experience than anything, really!

    You can do it, girl! Keep up the good work!

  4. Oh, a sneak sugar attack! Argh! How frustrating! I seem to recall spending quite some time searching for sugar-free kidney beans a few years ago. My favorite thing is to dump a can of kidney beans into some salsa – it’s delicious and a super easy protein packed snack. So, that recipe I have for you has honey in it, but I think you could leave the honey out because it was almost too sweet for us. Which is almost impossible to do to OccDoc. I’m so going to try those butter cups, OccDoc is a peanut butter cup connoisseur, so I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for sharing it!

    And good luck with the rest of the challenge! Way to get back on the horse!

  5. Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia,” but only slightly less well known is this: “Maltodextrin is a form of sugar!” Ahh haa haa ha! Ahh haa haa ha!

  6. therecoveringbrit

    Very sneaky!!!!

  7. Oh that’s so frustrating!!! I’m glad you aren’t going to throw in the towel though. Good for you. Just keep chugging along!

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