No sugar challenge week 3: it’s hard because it’s everywhere!
Bula! Bula! Hello! Hello! This post come to you all the way from Fiji where I’m learning some interesting and healthy ways to cook fish! The Fijian’s “Kokonda” is perhaps the most deliciously fresh way to eat fish – cooked in fresh lime juice, real coconut cream and complemented by a zesty salsa.
It’s reinforced how much better raw foods taste compared to processed stuff, and I cant wait to try this recipe at home! Stay tuned 😉
Anyway, no sugar challenge week 3. Three weeks without sugar. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t tough. It’s difficult to cut out sugar for two reasons:
- I’m on holiday where wine and cocktails are plentiful!
- Sugar is in everything – even in ‘food’ you would never imagine to contain sugar.
It is incredibly frustrating. Tinned tuna (except in brine or olive oil), soy milk, rice milk, Jatz and other ‘savoury’ biscuits – they all contain sugar. Various forms of sugar, but sugar nonetheless. So, I have certain rules to follow.
I still have to say though, eating a diet low in sugar is far easier than following a low-fat diet. Not to mention its more natural. Think about it, we were eating steak, bacon and eggs long before we were eating biscuits, cake and Cheerios. In fact, sugar as we know it is only about 800 years old.
Sugar cane was discovered for its sweet taste by the Papua New Guineans about 9000 years ago. Sugar cane contains about 15% fructose by weight and, once refined and concentrated, is six times sweeter than an apple – the fruit we know to contain the highest amount of fructose than any other. Already alarm bells should be ringing – this is a huge increase in the amount of fructose our bodies were used to. By the mid-1200s sugar production was beginning to take off, but at $285 a kilo (by today’s equivalent) it was still an incredibly rare commodity. Even in the late 1800s the only way anyone could eat a significant amount of sugar was if they were the King or Queen of England. Skip forward to the year 2000 and Australia was producing 4.6 million tonnes of the sweet poison per year. Obviously, the increasing production of sugar saw a decrease in price and, hence, a greater presence in foods. Australians now consume about 40kg of fructose each year. Most nutritionists and dietitians would agree that each day we only need about the same amount of fructose contained in two pieces of fruit. If you think that sounds crazy, you should re-read this paragraph!
Although I’m eating a diet low in sugar, I’m aware now more than ever of the sugar that still slips past my lips. My soy milk and rice milk? They contain organic raw sugar and brown rice syrup (respectively). So, I’m going to make my own homemade almond milk. I’ve perhaps been eating too much fruit of late, so I will cut back to two serves a day and increase my vegetable intake instead.
As you will see in the table below, I’ve been drinking more alcohol too. And my body can tell. I’ve been feeling less energised, more irritable, and despite ongoing daily exercise my body is not near as lean as it was last week. On a positive note, my nails are looking stronger (possible side effect of lowered sugar intake? Im not sure).
And actually, entertaining is far less stressful when you’re eating low sugar compared to being concerned by low fat foods. Check out the Bruscetta, lobster mornay and salad I served up to friends this week:
So, holiday or no holiday, let’s do this. Bring on week 4! This challenge is so worth it.
What I ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks:
|Oats (1/2 cup) with rice milk (1 cup), blueberries, blackberries, pecans and cinnamon + 1 cup green tea||Oats (1/2 cup) with rice milk (1 cup), blueberries, blackberries, pecans and cinnamon + 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3 oranges)||Poached eggs (2), 100gm smoked salmon and 1/2 avocado||Oats (1/2 cup) with rice milk (1 cup), blueberries, blackberries, pecans and cinnamon + 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3 oranges)||Oats (1/2 cup) with rice milk (1 cup), blueberries, blackberries, pecans and cinnamon + 1 cup green tea||Poached eggs (2), short cut bacon (2), tomato and mushroom||Boiled egg (1), bacon (2 rashers), 1/2 tomato, 1 sml slice watermelon, 2 sml slices pineapple, 1/2 passion fruit + 1 cup green tea|
|Soy latte and protein balls (2)||Soy latte and protein balls (2)||Soy latte and protein balls (2)||Soy latte and sml handful of almonds||Soy latte and sml handful of almonds||Black coffee and sml handful of almonds|
|Tuna, cheese, cucumber, tomato and lettuce on Mountain bread (rice flour)||Tuna, baby spinach, red onion, cucumber, beetroot, mung bean, feta and walnut salad with lemon vinaigrette||Brown rice, tuna, broccoli, carrot, button squash with balsamic vinegar and olive oil||Poached eggs (2), 100gm smoked salmon and 1/2 avocado||Tuna and sml portion of last night’s salad||Skipped – unintentional!||chicken (2 pieces), small piece fish, white rice, 2 Sml slices apple, 1/3 banana|
|Sml handful of almonds + 1 cup green tea||1 cup green tea||200gm Greek yoghurt + 2 passion fruit||Tuna (95gm tin), sml handful cashew nuts + vodka, lime & soda||1 white rum, lime and soda|
|Lamb loin chops (2), brown rice, raw. Carrot + steamed zucchini||Healthy chicken burritos||Grilled haloumi with eggplant, capsicum, zucchini and mushroom with balsamic vinegar + 2 glasses white wine||Bruscetta, lobster mornay, salad + 1 glass white wine||Seared chicken breast, bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce*||“Kokonda”^ (pictured)||Lobster and avocado salad (shared) + black sesame tuna, spinach and mirin sauce|
|Mango and raspberry gelato||Sml handful of pistachios||1 cup green tea|
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