Trina Enriquez

The end of the 2014 Eat Fresh Challenge calls for a bite-size chocolate party, don't you think?Well, at least a chocolate beignet or two.Who: Trina Enriquez, copy editor

I gave up: Chocolate and added/refined sugars in desserts

The biggest challenge: Remembering which foods actually have chocolate and sugar in them. Chicken mole enchiladas? Duh. "Healthy" spiced yogurt muffin? Ditto. I felt a little forlorn opting out on the chocolate cream pie at a work party this week too.

My takeaway: Cutting way down on sugar, even for five days, has made me acutely aware of just how much I consume on the fly. Little bit here, little bit there adds up! I've known for a while that I needed to do something like this sugar fast, so it's actually been a relief to shuffle off the responsibility on the Eat Fresh Challenge. Left to my own devices, I'd probably just keep thinking, I should maybe cut down on the sweets some—as I reach for another cookie and stifle that thought with, Oh well, what's one more?

May I also say I'm encouraged by the ever-so-slight weight loss I've noticed this week just cutting out all that sugar? I'd been working in a little more exercise (after a long slump of not doing any) as a coping mechanism, so that probably helped as well. Going whole-hog healthy here! Of course, it could all just be water weight ... but maybe not. And these little changes and payoffs are enough to make me want to continue, because before long, they'll add up too.

Of course, I don't intend to ix-nay the sweets completely out of my life. Sweets bring joy. But I think I'll cut them out of my daily snacking habit and save them for dessert. When I decide to have something chocolaty or dessertlike, every last bite better be worth it—whether it's a warm, flaky, golden, buttery pain au chocolat, or a luscious butterscotch budino split with a friend. And I'll balance that with more veggies and general healthiness elsewhere. That's the tenet I'll try keep in mind, at least.

I'm celebrating with: NOT a plateful of chocolate beignets as seen above ... but maybe a Bar Gelato dark chocolate sorbetto would be nice. Plus I just came back from an end-of-week toast with the other editor-challengers and tried some new-to-me sour beers. Keeping the tastebuds engaged.

Next time I'll: Go bigger and go vegan for a week! Just kidding. Sort of.

(photo: Annabelle Breakey; food styling: Karen Shinto)

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