For the past month I’ve managed to avoid: refined sugar (including honey & molasses), yeast products, wheat gluten, smoked & cured products, dried fruit, fermented products, lactose, mushrooms, peanuts and caffeine…my luxuries came in the form of small amounts of fresh fruit & vodka.
I have to admit I found it hard to stick to the rules, especially at weekends with my sweet-loving Boyfriend. Christmas markets with their festive smells prooved hard to resist. I turned a blind eye to worrying about EVERY ingredient when it came to eating out; obviously I avoided the bread-based/creamy/mushroom dishes and desserts. Guilty conscious was more common to follow my relapse than a bad stomach.
My eating habits changed over the past month; I ended up consuming in volume. I ate huge amounts of whole-grain carbohydrates, a colourful range of vegetables, calcium enriched soy products, protein and healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts & seeds), and an alarming amount of porridge to stave off the sugar cravings. I became a bit more resourceful in my baking and had some successes (sweet potato pancakes, banana biscuits, blueberry & rose zebra muffins, beetroot brownies) as well as some disasters that I’d rather forget. I chose to avoid artificial sweeteners though I did have some diabetic chocolate – it just tastes wrong!
A sugar-free biscuit attempt, it tasted like pastry crust, very dry and very crumbly and very tasteless…
So…was it worth it?
+ It did what it set out to do as my fungal infection’s cleared up
+ My skin is softer & not as dry as it used to be – must be all those nuts.
+ I feel a lot more energized and healthy – whilst everyone around me seems to be suffering from some sort of cold my body seems to have gained extra resistance
+ I’ve been procrastinating a lot less – I guess baking’s been a big part of my life and I think about food 90% of my waking hours, mainly about the next cake I’m going to bake.
+ I feel empowered to do things & have a more positive about my outlook on life – I’m sure it’s partly to do with circumstances as well as diet, but I feel ready to take a step forward.
+ I listen to what my body needs, not what it wants – I’ve previously been depriving myself of essential nutrients by filling up on empty calories, I’m now thinking more about eating healthy balanced meals.
+ No more sugar binges, no more beating myself up – I am a victim of eating sweets out of habit/ boredom/ stress/ comfort/ reward. Once I start eating sweets I just can’t stop. Complete sugar abstinence gave my mind a well needed break from destructive feelings of guilt & worthlessness.
Today’s been the first day back to normal but I don’t want to undo all my good work. I nibbled on the bar of dark ginger Green & Blacks chocolate that had been waiting for me for a whole month. I had my first cup of smoky lapsang tea this morning which was a refreshing change from my usual rooibos. I made my own peanut butter that I’ve been spreading on everything. I have a HUGE list of desserts that I want to bake and of course I’ll be finding ways of substituting the refined sugar.
My love for desserts, cakes, cookies & chocolate will never cease, but I will try to stop & think about what my body really needs before gorging on the unnecessary.