Friday, 18 July 2014

Cutting out the white stuff

I have been reading a lot – A LOT – about the evils of sugar over the past few months. And as a result, I’ve tried a couple of times to reduce the amount that I eat. I’ve always crashed and burned after a day or two. Until this time. I don’t know what I’m doing different, but I’m on day 4 and so far, so good.
Now, what I’m doing is probably the ‘lite’ version of sugar quitting. What I’ve been eating is:

Homemade ‘muesli’ (homemade by me, with oats and wheatgerm, dried fruit, nuts and ground cinnamon and ginger. How it differs to traditional muesli is that I don't coat it in maple syrup or apple juice and cook it). I soak this overnight in almond milk (I don’t know if this is sweetened, and I’ve thrown away the carton). I eat it with fruit and Greek yogurt.

A couple of Wasa crackers with ham, hummus, carrot sticks, homemade soup, salad…

Another Wasa cracker or two with a mashed banana and some almond puree, or a couple of dried figs.

I had homemade chicken tagine one night, dinner at the in-laws another night of goats cheese starter, boiled rice with a type of waterzooi, and then a night out in the local Japanese last night (gyosa and sushi if you’re curious!). I also had a glass of white wine two of these nights. Last night and tonight we are having a bbq (have you seen the weather!?!?!?) with some of these salads.

How this differs to a ‘real’ no sugar diet is that first, I’m eating fruit and dried fruit at that, and second, I’ve had alcohol. Yes, these are probably keeping my sugar levels up, but, I think that these natural sugars (as found in fruit, not alcohol) are not as bad as the processed white sugar that is found in cakes or biscuits, sweets, chocolate, etc. And I don’t drink fruit juice, and I haven’t drunk it for years. It’s just empty calories for me. Ditto breakfast cereals.
I’ve not had any cravings or any of the side effects associated with sugar-withdrawal (headaches, shaking and the like), but as I said, I am probably keeping my sugars up through the fruit and the couple of glasses of wine. But I *think* I’m eating less processed sugar than I usually do. I usually eat what I’ve outlined above, but lunch, dinner and the snacks are supplemented with chocolate and jellies.
I haven’t graduated onto reading packaging yet (apparently this equates to Halloween levels of scariness), but when I do, I hope to do it a bit seriously and not crazily. The difference? For example, milk contains sugar, so some no-sugar eaters don’t drink it, but I reckon that naturally occurring sugars are fine, right? I’m talking about cutting out the sugar that is added to processed food (not that I really buy it in the first place) and cutting out sweet foods. 
This is what I’ve been reading:
Sweet poison: why sugar is ruining our health (there is also a 5-question quiz to see if you’re addicted)

And a couple of blogs and websites:
This last one – I quit sugar – recommends cutting out fruit for the first six weeks, and absolutely no dried fruit. But she does allow alcohol.

I made this dessert last night and ate a portion, and OMG, did I know all about it! My stomach made the most incredible grumblings for the rest of the evening. The only thing I can link it to was the sugar (even though I used 25g of sugar instead of 50g, so over three portions, that’s not a huge amount of sugar, but it was the most processed sugar I’ve eaten since Sunday).

I’ll be making the dessert again tonight (Hubs had a version of it on hols recently and I’m trying to recreate it).

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