So I haven’t been 100% sugar free this week. A few hours after my last post, I ate a slice of fruit cake. This was totally within the rules as it was a special occasion. Having read a few books, blogs and articles about quitting sugar, I expected to experience a couple of things: 1. surprise at the level of sweetness I had been denied for two weeks and 2. a noticeable sugar high. Actually neither of these things happened. There was no instant sugar “buzz” and it tasted like…fruit cake. sweet and tasty but not surprisingly so. What I did find unusual was that I didn’t feel like I wanted more. I can’t say I wasn’t looking forward to having the cake after two weeks of no dessert but I was totally cool with declining a second slice. I have also noticed that my cravings are much easier to control. The cravings generally strike after meals and when I’m feeling a bit drained at the end of the day. If I’ve just eaten or I recognize that I’m not actually hungry, just craving out of habit or boredom, then I can ignore it and get over it in a few minutes. If I’m in need of a snack because I’ve had a long day and it’s going to take me ages to get home and prepare and cook dinner, I can graze on something healthy and that will suppress any sugar cravings til dinnertime. I just need to be prepared with a packet of nuts or a box of salad because while you can always find chocolate in a vending machine or local shop, they won’t always sell apples or carrots…
My skin is not particularly less blotchy but it does feel softer and smoother. I also don’t think I look as tired but I can’t work out if I am imagining it. I plan to post photos of my face every two weeks so photos will be up next week. Another observation, my hair isn’t falling out at it’s usual rate.
I’m feeling generally more motivated and optimistic so I think it’s time to bring a little gentle exercise into the equation! During the week I intend to walk to (and possibly also from, depending on the weather and my enthusiasm) my university placement. The journey is about one hour and 10 minutes on foot. I’ll also try to go swimming at the weekends.
Yesterday me and the bf took a walk around cheddar gorge. I freaked out a little when I realized just how steep the hillside was! When we got to the top it was so worth it. The view was incredible! The weather was calm, the lighting was gorgeous and I felt so peaceful and content.
That’s all for now.
I’m at my mother’s house for the week. It’s always so easy to eat well while I’m here because my mum’s quite probably the healthiest person I know, and the best role model for a healthy lifestyle. She’s a vegetarian and there’s always plenty of fruit and veg in the house. She also loves walking and has a reputation for tricking people into trekking an extra 5 miles with the famous line “Can we go this way? it’s just a tiny bit further…” When me and my brothers were younger, she would strategically place a bowl of fresh salad beside us as we watched TV after school. We’d pick at it absent-mindedly like a bag of cinema pick and mix (only much healthier obviously). By the time dinner was ready, we’d already consumed at least two portions of vegetables without paying any attention! Mum still works so she has this genius, no fuss habit of preparing her evening meals at the weekend. She basically cooks up a bunch of veg, tinned tomatoes and some chickpeas/lentils/beans in a pot on the hob and adds some spices and seasoning. She keeps it in the fridge during the week and then heats up a portion when she gets home from work. Easy! So that’s what I’ve been having for lunch. My diet is basically the same as last week:
Breakfast – fruit and full fat natural yogurt or egg on toast with avocado and tomato
Lunch – mum’s veggie stew with bread and butter
Snack – some nuts or salad
Dinner – I made a tasty vegetable lasagne yesterday roughly following this recipe although to be honest it took forever! On other days I had a couscous salad with roasted sweet potato, kale, tomatoes and spring onion / red pepper, hummus, cheese and crackers and an orange (It was late and I didn’t feeling like cooking) / lamb, potatoes and broccoli.
Drinks: sticking to water and tea for now
I can’t really comment on my energy levels because in the last couple of days I have come down with the sniffles. I will say that I think I am feeling more motivated and that getting out of bed does seem easier. I’m still not noticing any major differences in my complexion but that doesn’t surprise me. Hopefully I’ll be able to write a more inspiring post next week once this cold has shifted!
Fried egg and avocado on toast with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar (balsamic vinegar is allowed according to my rules). 0/10 for originality, 8/10 for convenience.
The first week was weird. I had one day of constant hiccoughs, a few faint internal pains and, on one occasion, very definite heart palpitations. My diet was pretty consistent. An average day looked like this:
Breakfast was either an apple with greek style natural yogurt or half an avocado, tomato, bacon and fried/scrambled egg on toast.
Lunch was a bowl of pork, apple and potato stew
I snacked on carrot and red pepper with hummus (Sometimes I try to eat one carrot and one pepper per day having read this article)
Dinner was sweet potato fries with tzatziki, broccoli and a steak.
I drank either tea with milk and no sugar, or water
So far I haven’t been overwhelmingly tempted to eat something sweet, although the cravings are definitely there, especially immediately after dinner when my body is conditioned to expect a dessert. The biggest challenge so far is the restrictions on savoury foods. I was devastated to discover that my favourite rosemary crackers contained sugar. It’s also nearly impossible to pick up a sugar-free snack from the ready to go section in supermarkets, I accidentally consumed some sugar in a supermarket pasta salad.
There hasn’t been any noticeable change in my complexion, but after week one I think that would be expecting a bit much! I haven’t noticed any change in my energy levels, but I am finding it takes longer to get to sleep. This could be down to a lack of activity during the day (I spent 3 days writing an assignment and doing not much else) and getting out of bed a little too late. In the past I would have slept like a log, regardless of what I did during the day (and then still felt pretty groggy throughout the next day). Could this be an effect of the new diet? Time will tell…