At the end of June, I resolved to not use two things in my kitchen during the month of July: sugar, and the microwave. While we try to eat as healthy as we can, these are two areas that had been hard for us/me to give up. I had predominantly been using "raw cane juice sugar" (basically, a less refined version of regular sugar) for baking. The only time I used the microwave was to reheat leftovers quickly, which was not every day, but it was almost daily.
Then last week I blogged some pictures of Anna covered in maple syrup and blueberry pancakes. I got the following comment, and it made me laugh because it is so far removed from reality:
From what I gather from your posts, "maple" syrup is a daily, if not constant, part of your children's diet. I'm sure our good friends at the High Fructose Corn Syrup Council and in the blood glucose test meter industry salute you.
What 100% organic, grade A maple syrup from the US has anything to do with HFCS or blood glucose meters is beyond me. I did get a good chuckle, though, which is always a good thing.
How have I been doing on the "no sugar, no nuke" challenge? So far, so good. I have substituted raw, unfiltered honey in place of sugar for everything from cookies to fruit smoothies to lemonade. Unlike refined sugar, which enters the blood stream immediately, honey must be metabolized. Therefore, it does not affect blood sugar levels in the same way as sugar does. Additionally, raw honey contains many enzymes and nutrients not found in refined sugar (or refined honey, for that matter - obviously, in baked products, the honey is no longer raw by the time they are baked). Eating a spoonful of raw, unfiltered, unrefined honey every day has many health benefits (such as alleviating allergies to pollen, to name just one - a big one for us here in AZ).
There has not been a single recipe that honey did not work equally well in, including cream cheese frosting, and sweetened whipped cream for breakfast waffles. I use about half as much honey as the amount of sugar the recipe calls for.
Cutting out all use of the microwave has been easier than I had imagined. I just pretend I don't have one, and then come up with different ways to re-heat food, such as on the stove, in the oven, on the grill, or over a double boiler. It really doesn't take much longer because I can reheat everything at once rather than on individual plates.
More than half-way through the month, I have not used a single grain of sugar, and have not once turned the microwave on. It's not quite as convenient as what I am used to, but I am hoping over time it will become second nature.
What are your tips for cutting out unhealthy kitchen habits?
Edited to add: I failed to mention that babies under 12 months of age should never be given any honey due to the botulism risk.