My sugar-free life

On fire! Three posts in two days. Its this tablet, I tell you. Its brilliant (its a Lenovo Yoga by the way – little plug there).

But there may be another reason why I’m on fire at the moment. My name is Susan, and I am a cake addict. Actually a sugar addict. The thing that spurred me into action to do something about this was skim reading the intro to 5 Days to Sugar-Free by Davina McCall whilst hanging around WHSmith in Victoria Station, the day after the Charlatans gig when I had a mild hangover.

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There were certain things about my diet that obviously had to change.

1. Every morning without fail on my commute I would have a chocolate croissant. This was my breakfast. I told myself that it made my commute an enjoyable experience so why not.

2. For the rest of the working day I would survive on either a Waitrose all day breakfast sandwich and/or biscuits or cake that are frequently, generously and conveniently placed around the office.

3. When a drinking opportunity arises I can glug white wine as though there is no tomorrow.

4. I put ketchup on EVERYTHING.

5. Saturdays and Sundays involve at least 2 rounds of coffee and cake per day.

6. Evenings were a bit hit or miss whether I ate anything at all.

I crave sugar. My mouth is watering thinking about it. My job is really full on and I don’t take the breaks I should. Much of the time these regular intakes of sugar got me through highly productive days but I would feel so crap, fatigued and nauseous on the way home to pick up Isabella.

Being a girl who cannot do things by halves, and with the help of Davina’s book, I put an immediate ban on certain things – anything containing refined sugar, white rice, white flour and white wine. I have actually binned my ketchup. Instead of the chocolate croissant I have my much needed flat white (I can only deal with one addiction at a time), and make sure I have a stash of natural yoghurt and blueberries at work – which is surprisingly nice. There are lots of good foods I knew I liked but never took the time to prepare before, such as avocados, salmon and poached eggs. I’ve stopped settling for the quick fix chocolate bar or coffee and walnut cake. But I do so miss them.

There are compromises. I’ve moved on to red wine instead of white. It has less sugar, but I also don’t feel the need to drink it so quickly. By way of sweeteners, the book does allow maple syrup and honey with a view to weening yourself off eventually. Its got this fantastic recipe for chocolate brownies using these two ingredients. The crepe recipe using spelt flour and maple syrup is also gorgeous. It just means making these treats myself as nowhere sells cakes and treats that don’t contain refined sugar – I’ve found. If you know different PLEASE TELL ME!

Its not easy. Its about as hard as not having a crafty cig with a white wine, which I think I’ve beaten now but it took 20 years. Choosing fruit over cake is not hard-wired yet, but it will get easier once my palate adjusts (hopefully!!). You have to drink more water too as some of the foods I’ve now cut out used to retain water.

However, its been a month and I’m feeling more level headed, making better decisions and my moods are more stable. I do feel healthier, and I’m a better example to my daughter, which is the most important thing. Cheers Davina!

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