Halfway Home

By
Casey Warrener
Added
16 November, 2015

I’ve been sugar-free for a total of two weeks, and things are going surprisingly well. Ahead are the smug highs, frustrating lows, and shameful confessions of my sugar-free experience to date.

The Upside

  • It turns out that eating on a needs basis = higher productivity. Because I'm no longer procrasti-treating.
  • Consuming larger, more nutritious mains (rather than using minuscule meals as a way of justifying dessert).
  • For the most part, I've been sleeping soundly and thinking clearly.
  • Saving $$ I would've spent on snacks (then blowing it on tahini).
  • Drinking tonnes of water. During race week when wine was the drink du jour, I was on the bubbly waters. I've never been so hydrated.
  • Cooking much, much more. (I’ve shared notes on Cooked recipes I’ve tried in the past fortnight further along.)

The Downside

  • In the first three days I ate a whole jar of tahini. I kid you not.
  • Eating out is hard. You look like a weirdo checking the ingredients list of every nibble at your mate's place. And you feel ridiculously high-maintenance asking wait staff for a sugar-free reading of the menu. What a drag, man (is what you're sure everyone is thinking).
  • Booze is a grey area (does it count if sugar has turned into alcohol? Is fermented sugar fine?).
  • Those closest to me are acting like I've sucked the fun out of their lives, because I can't share in the enjoyment of bakery goods, gelato scoops, dipping sauces and general deliciousness. Basically, I’m at threat of becoming a social pariah.

Confessions

  • I sent my boyfriend off with a carefully mapped out shopping list, yet he managed to come home with vanilla Greek yoghurt rather than the regular stuff. In a low (blood-sugar) moment, I downed a spoonful or two… or three. I thought to myself, it's probably not that bad, right? It's still Greek yoghurt – just with vanilla. WRONG. After the fact I looked at the nutrition label, and that creamy, pot-set sweetness has a whopping 25 grams of sugar per serve. Whoops. 
  • I may have had a couple of sips of bubbly (not water) along the way.

What I've Cooked

  • Dale Pinnock’s Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry. This was a little watery for my liking. I’d slash the amount of stock or simmer longer to reduce.
  • David Frenkiel’s Broccoli Salad with Pomegranate and Raisins. I tweaked this until it was near unrecognisable, but it tasted damn good. Instead of using yoghurt for the dressing I went with my beloved tahini, a dash of coconut nectar and a clove of garlic. I also lightly roasted the broccoli rather than going raw. And no raisins were added, so you can calm right down. And finally, I added a pile of pan-fried almond flakes to serve.
  • Dale Pinnock’s Baked Sweet Potatoes. I made a version of this recipe with a butter bean and pesto filling. It was a simple, delicious, comforting dish, which tricked my mind into feeling like I’d imbibed a creamy bowl of pasta (although there wasn’t a thread of spaghetti in it). This is a weeknight winner, for sure.

Finishing Line Goals

Over the next two weeks I’ll be cooking recipes from a broader selection of chefs, and trying out a no-sugar-added sweet dish. Because those cravings are starting to kick in, and I’m longing for more options. Check out the sugar-free dessert recipes below for some ‘naughty but nice’ inspiration.

    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