No sugar challenge week 4: I’m halfway!
I’m half way through the 8-week no sugar challenge and surrounded by temptations. I’m in Fiji where the locals’ staples are root vegetables, coconut, chicken and fish, but the resort’s menus offer deserts like white chocolate and passionfruit ice cream with marshmallows. It’s cruel. So I cheated! In fact I cheated on myself a couple of times, and here’s what happened:
- I had a taste of Mr IM’s white chocolate and passionfruit ice cream with marshmallows desert, and – wait for it – it was way too sweet! I would have previously described myself as having a ‘sweet tooth’!, so surely this is a one-off thing?
- I ate a banana. While this is not considered cheating (I allow myself two pieces of fruit a day), it had been seven days since I’d last eaten a banana and it tasted much sweeter and yummier than I ever remembered –it felt like an indulgent treat. I think my taste buds are changing!
- I was served lemonade instead of soda water with my vodka and lime. I only had one glass but was too polite to ask them to swap it and too ‘encouraged’ not to drink it anyway. I had already had two serves of fruit that day. The next morning I had stomach cramps and the runs. No joke!
- I ate banana bread. Once upon a time this was my ‘healthy’ treat and I absolutely loved the stuff! But the slice I had, as offered to me by a Fijian local, (again, too polite to refuse – I must work out my way around these situations!) tasted like pure honey in my mouth. Yuk!
- I drank a soy latte for the first time in seven days and I could not finish it, as instantly it gave me stomach cramps, bloating and gas. Since then I’ve been sticking to black coffee and have incurred no problems. Not sure if it’s the added sugar in the soy milk or something else yet. This is particularly sad, as the whole coffee thing for me is more about the culture and the habit than the drink itself. How will I navigate this in the future?
In short, after four weeks of actively avoiding sugar, I am only now beginning to detect the true sweetness of food. Interestingly, during this time I have consumed sugar without even realising it.
I’ve just finished reading Sweet Poison and a number of scholarly-based articles on our dear friend sugar, and boy oh boy, do I feel a sense of obligation to share this information with you all!
You see for me, it was such a feeling of sabotage to discover that my so-called healthy choices were actually bad choices disguised in their Sunday dresses. Did you know that balsamic vinegar – my go-to salad dressing – contains 16% sugar? Or that tinned beetroot is drowning in high-fructose corn syrup (you don’t even want to know what that stuff does to you)? I had no idea!
Why didn’t anyone ever tell me before?! That’s what I wanted to know! I took Food Tech and Home Ec classes at school. I read all the health and nutrition magazines since I was a teen. I knew the latest diet trends of Miranda Kerr and Gwenyth Paltrow. Yet none of it made sense before. Now, everything is so blatantly clear.
Soon I’ll bring you a post on everything you should know about sugar, and I can tell you, it will be an eye-opener. It certainly was for me anyway!
What I ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks:
|Boiled eggs (2), bacon rashers (2), passionfruit (1) + green tea||Boiled egg (1), bacon rashers (3) + green tea||Boiled egg (1), bacon rashers (2), cherry tomatoes, banana and passionfruit||Poached eggs (2), bacon rashers (2) and cherry tomato||Wholemeal toast (2) with butter and vegemite + earl grey tea||Boiled egg (1) and bacon rasher (1)||Scrambled eggs|
|1 cup fresh coconut milk||Banana bread||Fresh green coconut (juice and flesh)||Banana + soy latte||Pistachios|
|Kokoda + 1 vodka, lime and soda||Wholemeal bun with ham, cheese and salad||Tuna and cashews||Tuna sashimi and soy sauce||Tuna sashimi and soy sauce||Wholegrain sandwich with ham, cheese and Dijon mustard + crackers and cheese (2)||Tuna, cheese and steamed vegetables|
|Lychee martini (1)||Cashews||Almonds + green tea||Almonds||Cashews|
|Traditional Fijian buffet + red wine (1)||Maui Maui fish with mango, corriander and lime salsa, roasted pumpkin and potato + melon delight cocktail||Indian curry platter + vodka, lime and lemonade||Pork loin with roasted sweet potato, buk choy, carrot and grilled pineapple + 2 white rum, triple sec and lime martinis + 1 vodka lime and soda (Not smart – I threw up all night!)||Seafood platter + chardonnay (1)||Chicken nuggets (10) and garden salad (felt revolting – same reaction as soy latte)||Roasted chicken and salad with almond mint dressing|
|Greek yoghurt and passionfruit (1)|