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...
Sunset Eat Fresh, Day 5: You need a little sweetness in your life.

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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