I use Stevia to sweeten. It's a natural sweet leaf herb from South America. It has two components- sweet and bitter. If you use too much- it's gross, but just right and it tastes like real sugar. You can get it in Whole Foods or most health food stores (even my Walmart has it and Koger too). I think the liquid tastes the best, and you can add it one drop at a time to control the sweetness.
I grow my own Stevia plants too- I got them at the local nursery in the herb section.
I steep the leaves to make sweet syrup to make my sweet tea according to the old time Southern method.
Once you get used to NOT eating overly refined processed foods, you don't miss them.
I recently was offered a donut in a social situation where I would have offended my boss's boss's wife - herself a diabetic who should have known better. She is also well aware that I am a vegetarian and always makes a fuss about that. She personally tracked me down with this offering on a plate- I need my job and my boss needs his job- so I took it, smiled and thanked her- she wasn't done with me yet- she verbally asked me to taste it and tell her how much I liked it. I took a bite (my first bite of donut in over 2 years) - it tasted greasy and gross- really greasy and gross- and that's all I could taste. Everybody else was going on and on about how wonderful these donuts were (a local delicacy) and how they had a secret ingredient and expected me to swoon in fits of ecstacy I guess.
I faced her down and said- " hmm, I detect the taste of LARD, that was my grandma's secret to making light, crispy donuts. Lard on the inside and fried in lard- and I can't eat lard as a vegetarian- Oh my- I'm sure you didn't mean to make me sick- it's a good thing I only had this little bite."
Really- the thing didn't taste as wonderful as my memory of krispy kremes. You know what's great? I brought in my first grape tomatoes from the garden yesterday- now they were sweet- clean and sweet, not greasy and sweet. And I grilled my first home grown zukes yesterday too- swooned in fits of ecstacy- ate them until I almost burst- and woke up to my lowest sugar in weeks -81.
Sweetest of all.
Good luck- you can do this!
I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett