Week 6, sweet temptations!

I have another cold. I think this is the 4th one since the start of 2017. At this point I should probably mention that I am attending placement within a class of 4 year olds (a notorious breeding ground for cold viruses) so it would be unfair of me to point any blame in the direction of the new diet. How could I? All I’ve done is quit sugar and upped my vegetable intake! I should be feeling on top of the world! Perhaps I would be if I didn’t keep coming down with illnesses. Needless to say I have not stuck to my resolution of going swimming every weekend. I think that would be a bit unfair on the other swimmers and also I just don’t want to. I have walked to, and or from, placement every day though, so I am fitting a comfortable amount of exercise into my routine.

Today I want to moan about how difficult it is to avoid sugary temptations. So you’ve done your food shopping for the week and you’ve confidently avoided the confectionery aisle. You queue up to pay and the creme eggs are directly in your line of vision but it’s okay because you’ve also picked up a bag of mixed nuts to snack on on the way home. Nice one, you’ve passed the supermarket test. The next day you arrive at work and immediately come face to face with an open tin of cookies which some one has kindly brought in for everyone to share. You realize that actually you are a bit peckish and so you go and snack on some bread that you packed yourself for lunch. Temptation avoided. You’re the best. It’s break time now and another kind soul has picked up a box of celebrations for everyone (they were on offer and she thought it would be a nice treat) This time you are directly offered a chocolate from the box. You could politely decline (“Oh go on, take one! Why not?”) but perhaps you’re worried you might seem rude so you take one, maybe two (“Take another, there’s more than enough!”) and put it in your pocket “for later.” Meanwhile, you go ahead and finish that bread roll you started earlier. It’s lunch time and you are so ready for that hot stew you packed. You wonder why there wasn’t a slightly bigger thermos size available. You would have definitely bought the bigger size. You try to ignore the two tiny sugar bombs in your pocket. Luckily you remembered to pack your favorite fruit. Yes! Another win. Home time and your blood sugar levels are at an absolute low. How annoying that you needed to stay an extra hour today. On the way home you throw away your pocket chocolates (they had melted anyway) and keep your head down as you pass the places that sell sweet baked goods/hot beverages/artisanal food/general confectionery. Congratulations. You made it home. In approval of your iron will power, help yourself to a slice of that super rich chocolate fudge cake that your housemate baked to pass the time  a carrot.

Perhaps not everyday is this tough but truthfully a lot of them are and so anyone taking on the sugar free challenge and managing to remain strong in the face of temptation for however long deserves a hearty pat on the back. Conversely, anyone finding it hard to refuse the sweet stuff should seriously not beat themselves up about it. Sugar is proving to be very difficult to avoid…

As for me, I’m really starting to bend the initial rules. My intention was to avoid anything that could be considered to be a desert. No natural sweeteners. No dried fruit. My reasoning was that a) I wanted to be able to control my cravings better and b) I had made a deal with my boyfriend that if he quit smoking, including all substitutes (for example e-cigarettes) then I would quit sugar and all sugar substitutes. But recently I’ve been indulging a little more. Yesterday I added a little honey to my porridge. Today I baked banana, walnut and blueberry muffins. I followed this recipe but substituted the honey for more banana and added blueberries and walnuts:

2017-02-12_18-05-311

I stopped feeling guilty about eating these when I realized that, if anything, the other ingredients just lessen the sweetness of a banana by itself and that fruit is totally acceptable. They are a wonderful thing to come home to after a day like the one above! I’m still working on how to justify sweetening the porridge. Right now I consider it to be compensation for all the colds I have been getting!

All the best,

Alice x

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