I know that this is the kind of post which has a marmite effect on readers: some completely understand whilst others think I’ve lost my marbles but as I use blogging as a way of recording things, it only makes sense that I would also use it to record our journey to becoming sugar-free.
My reasons for doing this are varied but essentially it boils down to how ill I have been in recent months. I am having lots of tests and investigations (thank you NHS!) but one thing I have become aware of is how much I don’t take care of what I put into my body. I gradually began to make changes by starting yoga and drinking herbal teas (see my video here for more on that) and so this is the next step.
Now, myself and James are starting out on an 8 week detox courtesy of the ‘I Quit Sugar’ book by Sarah Wilson with the aim that after the detox has finished we won’t cut sugar out of our diets completely (I love a slice of chocolate cake just too much!) but that we will be more aware of what we are putting into our bodies and will be more in control of how that affects our diet and subsequently how we feel. If successful we will also reduce Meg and Eli’s sugar intake although I am assuming this will happen more naturally as we change our meals and so on.
Just going through my cupboards yesterday was a revelation; whilst we are generally quite good at cooking meals from scratch we have been known to fall back on ready meals and jars of sauces when we are having a busy week. I had literally no idea how much sugar was in those things. Go on, take a look, it’ll shock you. That goes for breakfast cereals too. In fact, I have even been persuaded to venture into the world of slow cooker porridge as I know the kids will eat it and it means they won’t nag for the other, more conventional, breakfast cereals.
Right now we are on week one and it is going fairly well. The idea here is that you take small steps to reduce the amount of sugar you are consuming; no cold-turkey just yet. So that means less sugar in my tea, no soft drinks, and no cakes or chocolate after dinner. Snacks should also be sugar-free which I know James has found difficult; he has such a physical job that he usually needs a morning and afternoon pick-me-up to keep him going and because of this he has ‘forgotten’ a few times and indulged in a chocolate bar and a can of coke since we started. Luckily, there are some great recipes included in the book for snacks you can eat to keep you going and I’m hopefully going to rustle some of those up this week to help.
When I went food shopping at the start of the week it was a real eye-opener to actually look at the sugar content in the items I was buying, and I ended up putting a lot of stuff back as it just didn’t make the cut. I also ventured into the foreign food aisle of the supermarket for the first time to discover things like coconut oil and chia seeds.
I tried one of the lunchtime recipes today and it was so yummy and more filling than I had thought too. This was poached egg and steamed greens mixed with spring onions and tuna. Delicious!
I know that some people will be dubious about this whole thing; James certainly was and took a lot of convincing but I do hope to be able to report at the end of the 8 weeks just what a difference it has made. We shall see!