So it has now been 6 weeks since I have begun this sugar free lifestyle. I haven’t really keep count, as it just feels like a nature part of life now, it’s just that someone asked me the other day and I really had no idea so decided to count it up 😉 It has taken a bit of work to be sugar free at times especially in double checking labels of food that we had regularly and replacing them for homemade versions when I found they contained sugar, pre-made tortilla is a perfect example of this. However on the whole, with the cupboards set up with heaps of sugar free foods it has been pretty easy.
I got through Easter sugar free (though not fructose free as I had some dried currents in our homemade hot cross buns) and a weekend away then last week a few bit of sugar did creep in. Some as part of meals out (stewed fruit given to us, cream sweeten up and in a salad dressing) and some through choice (curry paste with less than 3gm per 100gm). I have got to say that while there was a bit of guilt I do try to work on the 80/20 rule in life so figured that as long as the serves were small and I wasn’t making a habit of it, things were all good. The thing is that I really noticed the difference in my moods on the day after having that wee bit of sugar. I suddenly felt irritable and a bit volatile along with a mild headache which nagged ever so slightly at me. Thankfully I had a few Bach Flower Remedies to get me through along with a bit of tapping and by the following day I felt good as gold again 😉 Maybe it was coincidence that I had those feelings all in the same week as I had bits of sugar, maybe …….. and then again maybe not. I certainly felt calmer when no sugar was in my diet that is for sure and it has been a good reminder of why I really began this – to improve my health and well-being (emotionally and physically).
My journey to giving up sugar has been a gradual one in improving my health, until this final cutting off of all sugar (apart from fresh fruit) that is. When we decided to have kids I gave up alcohol, luckily for me I was pregnant 2 weeks after that so I had to continue with that sugar loss 😉 From there a realisation that wheat was playing havoc with my stomach made me reduce baked goods. My daughter then developed eczema and while there were no allergies it seemed that the more processed i.e. the more ingredients in it, the more she flared up. So that meant that I began reading labels more and once you read those labels it isn’t long before you are buying food stuffs without sugar. I was however still a big fizzy bubbly (soda) drinker, tomato sauce user and a humongous honey hogger! These were my staples for coping, and feeling normal, until I read an article last December about how fizzy drinks can deplete the calcium in your bones not to mention what it does to your teeth. Being a runner – well that is what I call the thing I do in the mornings 😉 – I didn’t want to be breaking any bones so the fizzy bubbly was the next to go.
That left my trusty friends honey and tomato sauce (ketchup), along with fresh and dried fruit giving me most of my sugar hits. It is at this point that I read about Sarah Wilson’s book. ‘What??!! Give up fruit and honey?’ ‘She must be mental’ I thought. It planted a seed though. A seed that niggled at me and grew till I eventually went to the library to order her book. It was then that I found and read David Gillespie’s book and the rest is history 😉 No more tomato sauce and no more honey! I can hardly believe it some days.
I have kept in the fresh fruit for a snacks if needed (dried fruit has been left a bit abandoned on the shelf except of Easter buns) and use this in baking. It just comes down to preferring to use naturally occurring products versus processed, like dextrose, for me. I save the dextrose for those occasions, like my Mum’s birthday cake, when the receiver really just wants to taste a yummy sweet baked good and not banana dense wholemeal option 😉 My experiments with the glucose syrup, which I found out is made with completely GM free corn from NZ thanks Queen Fine Foods, have not been that successful so that has be ditched too. I’m happy to have fresh fruit, mostly oranges, pears and kiwifruit now, as the sweeter in my life (baking and raw) instead of all the other stuff. I can go into shops and walk down the lollie (sweets) aisle with ease and even the chocolate section isn’t a big attraction anymore. I do still have cravings for food however it is just that food, not the sweet sugar stuff that I used to think about. Usually nuts can quell it pretty fast, thankfully, along with my trusty Bach Flower Remedies 😉
The past 6 weeks have certainly been an interesting journey into what works best for my body and also just how much I don’t miss all those sugar laden foods when I am eating whole, nourishing foods. Here is to continued health, vitality and enjoying life.
Till next week.