No Sugar November

By
Added
04 November, 2015

This month while the boys are growing staches, I’ll be growing a conscience about all the confectionary I consume. Gotta eat fresh to feel fresh...

Today marks week one, day four of No Sugar November. By way of background, I struggle with that little ol' thing called 'balance'. And having a MONSTER sweet tooth doesn’t help. For me, a typical day looks something like this:

Smoothie at 7.30am, followed by the chocolate in my desk draw at 9.30

Hummus, tomatoes and grainy crackers at 1.30pm, followed by a muffin the size of my head

Whatever sweet treats I can rustle up on my way home, followed by {insert staple dinner here} and a sugar-laden serving of yoghurt (a ‘healthy’ dessert to compensate for earlier sins – flip this if I’ve refrained from pre-dinner snacking).

Sweet-restraint is not my strong suit, and a block of chocolate never lasts long. Same deal with tubs of ice cream, packets of biscuits, and leftover cake.

I never do anything by halves, and challenges are kinda my bread and butter. So this month while the boys are growing staches, I’ll be growing a conscience about all the confectionary I consume. Gotta eat fresh to feel fresh. To keep me motivated, I'll be whipping up a recipe or two from Cooked authors such as Dale Pinnock, Kate Bradley and David Frenkiel, and sharing my versions along the way.

It should be noted that this is not a diet, per se. Rather than measuring success in terms of weight, I’ll be measuring an overall sense of wellbeing (though the two can go hand-in-hand). I hope for my energy levels to plateau rather than yo-yoing all over the place. To relieve eczema caused by poor food choices and the trap of being ‘too busy’ (see 'energy levels'). I want to sleep soundly at night, without the sweet stuff in my system messing with its natural cues. Got to give up the need; got to kick the habit. Sugar is a drug, kids. I'm not saying it needs to be gone for good, forever, in all of its forms. In my humble opinion we need a little to get by. Potentially controversial to the fully-committed No Sugar crowd, but I think fruit is fine, honey won't hurt, and if you're celebrating, just eat the damn cake (or whatever your chosen poison).

To clarify, this month I will be eating fructose (although I'm pretty fussy on this front, so not a great deal). I won't be having honey, as it spikes your insulin levels like anything else (though coconut nectar doesn't, so that's in). And it goes without saying, no refined sugar in any form – even on the ingredients list of 'savoury' items (low-fat dairy, chips, dips and sauce, I'm looking at you). Basically, I'll be eating what I generally eat but cutting back the processed, packaged items. Which means getting creative – and more cooking!

Typically, I live a life fuelled by sugar and caffeine (note: I am not letting go of the latter, there is no, friggin' way). So I was anticipating a few, ahem, ‘side effects’. And day one – Sunday November 1 – was definitely tough. I ate grilled fish by the bay while my fellows tucked into hot chips with tomato sauce. My eyes made love to my boyfriend's chocolaty scroll while I absent mindedly sipped a beet juice. But it wasn't until I had finished dinner that night that I was desperately craving something. Something else, something sweet…

Phase 1. I scour the cupboards looking for ingredients to combine into something that resembles dessert: almond meal, an ancient bottle of liquid stevia, and peppermint essence are what I scrounge up. The result? A globby, mealy mess (that actually tastes okay).

Phase 2. Unsatisfied, I try to get inspired by browsing the Internets for ideas. My computer freezes, several times.

Phase 3. The computer cocking up bothers me more than usual; as a matter of fact I’m downright furious. I slam it shut, throw it down, get up and cast aside the cushion I'd been sitting with in annoyance. I brush my teeth – resigned to the fact I won't be eating anything delicious – and take myself off to bed. Because what else can I do? (I think other manuals might call this phase 'withdrawal'.)

Must. Stay. Strong. For those of you embracing the sweet stuff, below is a counterproductive effort to satisfy my sugary cravings. Stay tuned.

    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again