So the last day and a half I have learnt more about this Sugar Free journey and why I'm really doing this, then I have since I first started. Because lets be honest I'm really just winging it. I was sent a link to do the 8 week program that Sarah Wilson endorses. It gives you shopping lists, exact meal plans, do's and don'ts for about $150 dollars. I'm only week 4 of my own journey and starting with the right tools seems like a great idea, but I've bought all her books and ebooks, I follow her on instagram and her blog.. what more can she offer in this program. Maybe she kept all the good sh*t for the 8 week challengers? But the last 4 weeks I have been taking a bit of this and a bit of that from the Holy Bible of Google.
If you didn't know, I only started this journey after reading That Sugar Book by Damon Gameau and it was a real eyeopener. It stopped me dead in my tracks. What the actual feck was I reading? Who is this satan of all things non sugar? Why does it seem blatently obvious that we are all indulging in stuff that we really shouldn't be? Does anyone even care because hello??? Have you tasted Nutella? But being the jump on the bandwagon sought of person I am, I knew I wanted to be part of this. I can't explain why or how and I also can't explain the smirk my husband gave me when I told him I wanted to go Sugar Free and I was starting a blog about it. He was supportive as always, but he has seen me lying in bed with a family size block of chocolate facebooking quite regularly, he has seen me hide empty Nutella jars inside shoe boxes so it isn't obvious I consumed the whole jar a day after we bought it, he has also seen my moods go up when dessert has been bought out and come crashing down at 4pm when I'm on my latest diet and all I want is FRIGGIN CHOCOLATE!! Every day he tells me how proud he is that I lasted more than an hour and that he can't believe I'm doing this, well that we are all doing this but I'm probably the only one doing it 100% . When I set off on this journey (and I feel like a douche calling it a journey, like I'm off looking for the secret tomb of some dead guy) I went head first into it, trying to follow my own set of rules that I had taken from this and that author. I didn't have a bloody clue what I was doing, but I set myself 4 things to follow:
1 - No fructose - But then I struggled with, well how can I tell if it has Fructose even in it? How do I tell the difference between sucrose and glucose. If it just says sugar how can I tell if its the good sugar or the evil sugar? (apparently if it says sugar its a mixture of sucrose and glucose) Do I just try and bypass ALll sugars? I'm no scientist, hell I failed biology in high-school because I'm pretty sure I spent the whole year staring in horror at a dead pig foetus in a jar..... (true story). So I tried to keep it as minimalistic as possible. Anything that had "Sugar as an ingedient, had to have less than 1gm of sugar per 100gms. (The rule of all sugar bloggers is 3gm but I was trying to be hardcore). However, at all times if the ingredient listed Fructose than it was completely out. The first two weeks of shopping were horrific, as I was having a mental fight with myself over wondering if it has 0.01gm of sugar should I be eating it? Because pretty much every single thing has some type of sugar in it. If I found a food that did have a higher percentage of sugar and had been recommended by a sugar guru, then out the phone would come and I would google it again to check and then cross reference to see what someone else thought (no sh*t). Sometimes it left me more confused then ever (like the whole potato thing) and other times it was straight forward.
2 - Always triple check the label. I swear I can read a packet twice and be like oh hell yeh this is perfect and then get it home and see the big F word Fructose ,which makes me say another F word. (Like the $40 potato chip saga)
3 - Be prepared to make mistakes. Don't let them break me but take them in my stride. So far most of my mistakes have made me look like I have never been in a kitchen before.. oh whats this thing? An oven... let me see how black i can make the contents... Oh does that recipe say 1 cup, well let me free pour two because I'm that good at estimating. Oh you don't like any of the sugar free goodies... let me throw that $30 of ingredients in the bin...
If you have been reading this blog, you know my list of Never to Eat foods are quite long ha!
I haven't had any oh shit moments yet where I have eaten something laden with sugar without realising. The worst is probably the GF bread the husband asked for which had 3gm of sugar per 100gm. I only noticed this after I had eaten 2 slices.
4 - Read, read, read. Learn Learn Learn and Live Live Live. This journey can not be about me hiding in a closet until its over, just so I don't stuff up. I must get out there and practise what I preach. Like last night when everyone got a celebratory alcoholic beverage for coming Runners Up at the Oz Tag G/F. I took my alcoholic beverage. Did the cheers to the team and then slipped it into my bag. I wasn't about to go "oh excuse me, do you have a sugar free drink..." pfft aint nobody got time to deal with that. Every day is a new chance to learn something, to improve and to be a better version of who we are. This sugar free journey is no exception.
After reading Sweet Poison by David Gillespie it put things in a whole new perspective. It is like he has done all the research from the scientific side of things and wrote it in such a way that someone who stared at a dead pig foetus in her senior year of biology can have a lightbulb moment and go "Oh I get that". It is science for dummies. It's my type of book. But it made me think that what I'm doing really is the right thing and that I need to ramp it up a bit in regards to the family.
The second book I read was Year of No Sugar by Eve O Schaub and she pretty much went into her sugar free journey guns blazing (just like me) but she also had set up ground rules
1 - They could have one dessert a month of sugar laden treats
2 - They could each choose one sugar vice to keep in their diet
3 - The children could make their own decisions about food when at school and in social situations but had to tell her what they had consumed no judgement passed.
After reading about where she started and how she finished. I felt inspired that it is possible. She didn't convert to a strictly sugar free lifestyle at the end of her year but she makes so many better decisions health wise.
The last week or so, I have felt like I have become a little laid back with the kids. The first 2 weeks they suffered with me. The 1 year old really was hating on life by the second week and the 6 year old just rolled with the punches. By week 3 I let the 6 year old bring a honey roll cake into the house because he wanted it for his lunches. Then when we went to the grandparents house and they offered the kids sugary treats I didn't say no.
I have allowed the children to have fruit but limited it to 2 pieces a day from the end of week 1 because the 1 year old was becoming a fridge bandit and standing at the fridge pointing to where the watermelon, apples and grapes used to live. Then the 6 year old has fruit break at school and the one day I didn't send it with him, he thought it was the worst thing I could have possibly done.
I also had a few times whilst shopping when both kids have eyed off the confectionary as we are waiting in line to pay for our groceries. The 6 year old declared "remember when you were nice and used to get us treats"... oh the good old days when I was nice apparently. I have only given in once and that was when a kid in front of us in the line was eating a freddo and the 1 year old was trying to pounce out of my arms to crash tackle him and steal his bounty. I tried to read the backs of the chocolates to find the lowest sugar content but with the 1 year old going balistic it was a little hard. We settled for a turkish delight and I wont even go there with the sugar content.
I can proudly say that in the 4 weeks the kids have had take away once. That might still be a cross on a clean record but all of the 6 year olds friends had been to a party whilst he was camping at the new McDonalds playground and I had promised him I would take him there. He never forgets these types of promises, but can walk out the door nearly every morning without his school bag. I swapped softdrink for water (no one said anything or cared) and no dipping sauces for the fries. Little changes I guess. The playground was crap. I can vouch for that because I was the only adult crawling around in there with a 1 year old attached to me. There was no simple way to access the slide other than to climb the maze of bench things that went up ( this took 4min for a 10sec slide). Even the 6 year old got jack of it. So no more McDonalds visits for us, for a long time!
The 6 year olds birthday is less than a month away and he wants a Super Hero Themed party at our house with all of his friends. I don't know what to do in this type of situation. Everyone knows that i'm on this sugar journey but do other people expect that it just stops at me. Do I make them suffer? ( for the record I don't feel like I'm suffering anymore). The 6 year old wants it to be a normal party with normal food and lolly bags like everyone else has. I'm trying to do a bit of give and take with him. The cake can be "normal" but I am going to make the party food sugar free. That shouldn't be too hard (should it)??? I might have to have a practise run. I feel kind of bad. Due to this being a special occasion, should it be declared a day off from no sugar? Well for him and the kids attending, or do I stick to my guns and serve up party favourites but with a little twist (less sugar). At the end of the day I don't want everyone leaving going WTF sought of a party was that....
Anyway I decided last night that I'm not quitting sugar anymore for 8 weeks....... Yep let that sink in.....
I'm quitting it for A YEAR!! And I'm making the whole family suffer with me. Like the book I just read, we will make our own family rules and I will be excited to let you know where we go with this. When I started this journey with the 8 week time frame in mind. I thought it would take me 8 weeks to detox. I thought that even 8 weeks of no sugar I would be wanting it at all times but things seem to be going really well. I want this to be a lifestyle change and I don't think 8 weeks is long enough. I need boundaries and restrictions because otherwise its too easy to fall back into old ways.
I just became a member of David Gillespies Webpage that has recipes and food guides! This is a godsend because he lists all the sugar contents of foods from the supermarkets, so you don't have to read the labels whilst you stand there. This may cut my shopping trips down by 2 hours OR Alelhuia allow me to try some different things, since I'm not relying on the old favourites for a quick in and out shopping trip. Its also good that he is Australian so everything is easily accessible. For $33 its worth its weight in gold!!
I'm off to enjoy my last day of snuggles with the 1 year old before heading back to work for the week!!
Happy Tuesday xo