I thought as we enter into our second week without sugar that I would clarify how and why we are doing this, or more to the point why I am doing this and how I am ‘imposing’ it onto my family 😉 I have not had any sugar, honey or dried fruit now for 11 days. The kids have had one biscuit (given by someone else after a group while I wasn’t there) and one toasted marshmallow (well that really was a treat – toasting marshmallows on the beach bonfire). The kid’s tastes are changing, I can see already, as are mine and things seem sweeter or more full of flavour than before. It does feel a little harder this week in some ways as I have had more cravings for sweet things due to a certain cycle occurring however I’m hanging in there 😉
There seems to be a lot of hype over Sarah Wilson and her book however I haven’t actually read it yet so this decision was based more on the fact that what I read in David Gillespie’s book seemed to be the missing piece of the puzzle for me. For a long time we have been conscious of the amount of sugar we have in our food and of the ingredients in our food. I read labels and opt for the ones that have the least ingredients and ingredients that I understand – no I don’t remember any of the additive numbers or codes so it is the real food I’m looking for. I make the majority of our food and we have a pretty ‘back to basics’ approach to food. It hasn’t always been this way though as I come from a long line of sweet toothed ancestors!! Himself on the other hand had very little sugar while growing up and has always talked about the lack of need for it. Slowly but surely as I have wanted to improve my own health, have healthy pregnancies, healthy births and then healthy children we have chosen to minimise the amount of additives in our food, sugar included.
We are no saints however despite all the research I had read, the interviews I had heard and the articles I had studied. As the kids have gotten older and we have moved down South I have noticed that while many of our ‘healthy’ habits remain there were more and more sweet treats occurring. I don’t know if it was that my attention was more on home-educating or that the kids were just older and going to more things but either way over the last 2 years the sugar content of our lives has increased. In reading David’s book it was a good reminder for me to get us back on track and eating a little more health-fully not to mentioned saving a bit of dosh through me not visiting the local 4-square for chocolate!!
So how are we doing it? One thing I am really conscious of is that I’m setting a good example around food for our kids. I want them to see that natural unprocessed food is best and that food is there to nourish us. I don’t want them to get hung up on calories or omitting important ‘building blocks’. We talk a lot about healthy eating that is true. I do this mainly because they ask and also to educate them as to what a healthy balanced meal is like. Carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oils, water along with minerals and vitamins are the basic nutrients we need for life. Sugar isn’t in any of these. Sugar and honey are additives, yummy ones I know however additives never the less. They are great for special treats and parties as long as that is how they are used. My big concern was that the ‘party food’ and ‘treat food’ was becoming very regular food. Not everyday but pretty close to it hence my decision to take a bit of action.
I’m a label reader for sure however I’m not a patient one. If I can’t understand it fairly quickly then the item will be back on the shelf pronto. Likewise I’m a fairly lazy cook so if I can’t just use basic ingredients or get things to eat easily I hardly even make an effort to do so. Below is what I have done so far and how we will be approaching things in bullet point – yeah lazy and impatient in the old blog posting too tonight 😉
- We cleared out the cupboards of anything with sugar listed as an ingredient on the label. Most condiments gone
- The most processed food we have left is Vita-brix (weetbix type breakfast food) and canned beans which will be used up and not replaced. We have heaps of dried beans and personally I can’t stand anything that resembles Weet-bix – sorry Little Miss 7!
- We have left fresh fruit there and tend to limit it to one or two pieces a day. We are also opting for fruit other than bananas and grapes. Bananas hardly even got eaten anyway and grapes are a bit of a hit and miss expensive gamble in our supermarket. Apples are still with us for Himself. The kids actually prefer the pears and oranges more.
- Our baking is now free of honey, sugar or dried fruit. I’m trying out recipes without sugar rather than replacing it with dextrose (as in David’s recipes) at the moment. We don’t have dextrose in the shops here and I haven’t made an effort to get any via the internet. Himself may though as he uses it for his homebrew and then I’ll may try out a birthday cake with it. I do still use whole banana (got a ton in the freezer from them not being eaten in time!) in muffins at the moment.
- We have always made our own bread so the only change there was to omit the honey in the recipe of one and sugar from the recipe of another. Honestly it tastes no different at all.
- Our breakfasts are pretty much the same as always – oats and milk, toast with butter and the occasional porridge being made – apart from the honey, that I used to drown everything in, now being removed.
- Snacks are based around crackers and cheese, nuts, popcorn and any sugar(dried fruit or honey) free baking I have done.
- I’m trying to keep life and our eating pretty much the same really.
- We have actually saved money on the shopping as dried fruit (which I was the main consumer of) costs a bomb as do bananas and grapes.
Can’t think of anything else to say except this is how we are doing it and it is working for us at the moment. Changes may occur as I’m fairly flexible about finding a balance that works and feels natural. I’m aware that it may seem drastic to others however when I think about how we were eating and our over all philosophy to food it really is only a small step we have made.
Hope this finds you all happy, healthy and feeling great.