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New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

This past year seemed to fly by, but don’t we say that about every year? I don’t know if it was because there was a lot of changes and new things happening to us, but this year in particular seemed to fly by. It started off with our very last semester at college, where both Rose and I somehow ended up only taking 1 class and then working on research instead of more classes. The semester was an easy one, but a good conclusion to our college years. Then all of a sudden we were running, literally running, to our graduation where we were given our diplomas and sent off into the real world.

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Summer lasted all of a few weeks, even less for Rose who started her job not long after graduation. I started my job a few weeks later.

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Haley and her dad when she found out she got her job!

We then moved into our apartment and started this blog. Since the summer we have been busy bees working during the week and trying to have the most relaxed weekends as possible. It’s been a crazy year full of lots of new things. Much has changed and I am glad to say that we have survived it all. Somedays I look back forlornly on our college years and how easy it was, but other times I am glad to be pushed and setting my own goals in life.

Moving in...
Moving in…

Speaking of goals, as it is the New Year, Rose and I have both decided to come up with a couple of New Year’s resolutions. Normally, I kind of think these are rubbish, and why wait for a whole New Year to start something? But at the same time, it is nice to start out the year with a goal, something to work towards and believe in.

Our main resolution this year is to try and cut out any unnecessary (I say unnecessary as chocolate is definitely necessary) sugar. By this we mean we are going to try to avoid eating any refined sugar. Refined sugar is sugar has been processed to the point so the nutrients naturally found in the raw food have been eliminated. This is compared to unrefined sugar, which has only slightly been processed so it still holds some nutritional benefits. Raw honey and maple syrup or two types of unrefined, or raw sugars.

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Haley in Mexico, 2014

Now I’m not going to go into too much detail about how bad too much sugar can be for you, but I will state some of the reasons why we are choosing to eliminate refined sugar. One being that we seem to be stuck on a path where we continuously crave sweets because we are eating them. Since Halloween we seemed to have acquired a bit of candy in our household, which has led to both of us eating it without thinking about how bad it can be. Neither of us particularly want to be reaching for sweets all the time, so we hope to try and stop this craving. Another reason we are doing this is just for our overall mood and health. I can’t speak for Rose, but my mood tends to fluctuate a lot and I am curious if eating too much sugar has anything to do with it. We both are very healthy people, or at least try to be; we work out around 5 days a week, and generally cook our own meals and pack our own lunches. We are conscious of what we are eating, but somewhere along the lines our cravings got the best of us and we started eating a bit too many after dinner sweets. We don’t want to mess up all the good we did during the day by ending it with eating a handful of Oreos.

Which brings me to my next point, we are not cutting out all sugar from our diet. Instead we are just trying to eliminate this “bad” or processed sugar. We are still going to eat foods that have natural sugar in them, such as fruits. We are also allowing ourselves to eat foods sweetened with any unrefined sugar, such as honey and maple syrup. Since we don’t want to set ourselves up for failure, we also are allowing ourselves a few sneaky items that we will deem acceptable. This is just something for us, as we know we would be rather grumpy if we had to completely cut out everything. This is our own goal and we’re choosing a method we think will work for us and allow us to succeed. With that being said, we have decided to still allow alcohol. We are young and still enjoy going out on the weekends, now this would come to a screeching halt if we were to completely eliminate refined sugar as most alcoholic drinks are quite high in sugar. As a compromise we are going to do a bit of research and start ordering drinks that might be slightly lower in sugar than our typical rum and coke.

Rose in Mexico, 2014
Rose in Mexico, 2014

One final stipulation we have is the length of this resolution. We have decided come January 1st that we are going to eliminate refined sugar for a period of 5 weeks. Five weeks you might ask, well a major factor in this decision, albeit a bit of a selfish one, is that my birthday is at the end of January. When a birthday comes to the Popcorn and Chocolate crew, we tend to celebrate like it is both our birthdays, and we like to have cake and ice cream as well. Therefore, we thought it an appropriate time to at least check in and see how we are doing and maybe allow ourselves a moment of birthday cake bliss. We also are unsure how this is all going to work on our busy schedules and didn’t want to set up the impossible goal of trying to cut refined sugar out all year. But, we are hoping that by cutting it out for a month that we will lose some of those cravings and see that we can survive with less sugar. If at the end of the month we feel good and confident, we will continue to try and keep the amount of refine sugar we eat to a minimum.

We wanted to share this New Year’s resolution with you incase any of you are interested in doing the same thing or just learning more about it. We will be trying to post some recipes and updates along the way for any of you interested in trying them out. Keep checking back at our blog throughout the month of January to see how we are doing! Also, we are interested in hearing some of your New Year’s resolutions so post them in the comments below and maybe we can help each other achieve them!

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