The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Ashley Ortizcazarin

Olk tries to avoid foods that have high amounts of added sugar.

Megan Olk tries a sugar-free diet

They say ‘you never realize what you have until it’s gone’, and now I can attest to this. I thought that going a full week without eating anything with added sugars would be a piece of cake, but I was mistaken.

The first day I felt excited and motivated to begin this challenge. My new diet was going to have to consist of a lot of fruits, vegetables, and other organic foods. I started my day off strong. I ate a banana for breakfast and made myself a salad for lunch. Everything was going well, and I was feeling pretty good. The school day went by, and I hadn’t had any major temptations, so I was feeling confident. However, after school, my friends wanted to get some food before practice, so I decided to go along. This is where I encountered my first real challenge, ‘how can I tell if these foods have sugar in them or not?’. When I was at home and making my own food, I was able to tell if there was added sugar. When at a restaurant, it became harder to tell if they had added sugar to any of the ingredients in their meals.

Another problem I encountered during this week was eating snacks. I never realized how many simple snack included added sugars. For example, pretty much all granola bars and packaged snack food, like pretzels, contain at least one gram of added sugar. At first this seemed tough, but eventually I got used to snacking on more natural foods like almonds and carrots.

One of the hardest parts of this week without sugar was that I was out of town for two of the days. I went to visit my cousins in Wisconsin over the weekend, and this made things more difficult. I told my aunt about not eating sugar, but I felt bad and didn’t want to be high maintenance. And it got worse. There is an amazing ice cream place about ten minutes from my cousins’ house, and when my family went to go get ice cream, I just had to stand by and watch them enjoy their treat. It was somewhat of a bummer, but it ended up working out and I was able to get through the weekend without caving.

All in all, I am really glad I did this. This was for sure out of my comfort zone, and difficult at times, but I felt really good the whole week and would do definitely do it again.

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