Rock sugar, not crack cocaine…..but sugar is possibly as addictive apparently…
So, feeling good that today I am 3 months into my year without sugar! Yay!
I’m feeling pretty proud of myself and can’t quite believe I’m this far. Today I remind myself I am quarter of the way in. It feels achievable now.
I wouldn’t say it’s been easy, but it’s been so much easier than I thought. One of the main things I’ve noticed is, I get full pretty quickly (high protein, low carb), and if I eat well and regularly, I don’t snack or crave bad things.
And for someone who’s been overweight all her life, I’ve lost weight:). I’m guessing I’ve lost probably 2 stone so far, though I am only weighing myself at the beginning and end of the year, so I don’t obsess about it…..
But the main surprise is, I can’t get a ‘hit’ from anything. There’s no ‘high’ from anything, ‘no satisfaction guaranteed’ and I realise I need to learn to live with this and learn to enjoy feeling this way. It’s not really a hard way of being, just different.
This is a good example of why I felt I needed to do this challenge for a decent amount of time, to take the time to be really aware of myself and my habits. A year felt doable, and I wasn’t prepared to give things up for life as it felt way too scary and I thought I would resent the fact I had given up things forever (and resent those around me who could still indulge at their pleasure!). And I knew I would constantly feel that I was missing out. Poor old me:((
But I knew I needed to look at changing my bad habits of a lifetime, and forge new, good ones for the rest of my lifetime. I wanted to find a way to really enjoy being healthier without a quick fix diet (that never works), and to find a way to have my cake and eat it, and a way of being that was sustainable over the long term.
What’s interesting is that quite quickly I was aware that my taste buds had changed, and although I am allowing myself potatoes and rice (once a week at most), as part of my new diet, I’m finding potatoes very sweet now, and sweet potatoes are unbearably sweet to me! Who knew!….
So little sugar free notes….so far….
As you’ve probably read, avoid processed foods as much as possible. I never ate that much processed food before but I’ve been surprised what unnecessary (rubbish) is put into it. Remember, if something has been taken out of a product, something will be put in to replicate the taste….usually including sugar…..
So, read the labels. Boring I know. And for someone who wears glasses more than she likes to admit, the ingredients are always written in a tiny typeface that I struggle to read (even when I can be bothered to get my glasses out to check!).
Avoid all sweetners – So, no natural and artificial sweetners at all. No maple, date, or agave syrups or honey. (I had a tiny amount of raw honey with ginger and lemon when I had flu recently)
SO FAR I’VE FOUND THERE IS OFTEN SUGAR OR SWEETNERS FOUND IN:
Anything that states it is gluten free – including many sausages….
Products that say ‘sweet cure’ or honey cured’ or smoked – This will often have added sugar, honey or maple syrup – Bacon being a prime example – but also cooked ham and charcuterie, smoked mackerel and other fish.
Flavoured crisps, potato and corn snacks, tortilla chips etc – I bought a (quality) pack of pork scratchings, that stated on the packet that they were ‘additive free’, ‘high in protein’, ‘no MSG added’ and ‘gluten free’ – But yup! They included added sugar….
Hummus – and other ready made dips…
Coconut water – the new ‘drink of the day’ – be careful as many brands add sugar to it. It doesn’t need it as it’s sweet enough as it is.
Ready-meals – For example, ready-made currys – Indian and Thai etc….
Breakfast cereals – Granola is loaded with sugar.
Bought mayonnaise – Yes really …
Peanut butter – It doesn’t need it!
Dressings – check all bought salad dressings and marinades.
Check anything with a glaze – ie. glazed chicken wings
Dried fruit – although no sugar is usually added, it gives an intense sugary hit and should be avoided if you want to kick your sugar habit. Seen as a healthy alternative to sweets and encouraged as part of your recommended ‘5-a-day’, people who are giving their kids dried raisins and other dried fruits and purees, are just setting (some) kids up for sugar addiction later in life…
At some point I will tackle my addiction to Lactose – Sugar that is naturally present in milk – of which I am slightly intolerant to – But not quite yet……:)
Remember this – If you can’t live without something, you are probably addicted to it….
What have I missed most so far? – Sharing a nice bottle of red wine with friends, and toast! Boy do I miss proper toast sometimes! – I make a brilliant gluten free soda bread, but if I’m honest, it doesn’t always cut it every time!….
A little vid – I really don’t get The Rolling Stones, so here’s a breathy version of the classic ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’ by Britney…