Constantly reading and hearing about the extreme negative effects that sugar has on our bodies made me want to try and seriously cut down… To see just how addicted I really was.
Sugar is in SO MUCH! It is scary. It can be so damaging for our cells, ageing us prematurely and affecting our immune system, making our ph levels and gut flora imbalanced. So why do we still eat and drink it the way we do?! Because unfortunately, it is down right addictive.
In this day and age it is pretty hard to completely avoid it. Unless you are prepared to go through some hardcore detox symptoms and be to also be a bit anti social.
I decided to try and reduce my sugar intake, not completely cut it out but choose food and drink options that had no extra sugar added and no sweeteners.
So during my 30 day challenge I could still eat whole fruits that contained sugars but when it came to juice only have vegetable juices.
I would stop adding sugar (I normally used coconut sugar) in my coffee. Stop adding any sweeteners in my smoothies (I would of usually added either maple syrup, raw honey or dates as they are natural). No squash or flavoured drinks (hard, because I love elderflower cordial!!). No processed food with hidden sugars, for example savoury foods that you would not expect to find sugars in. And the obvious, chocolate, sweets, biscuits and cakes – I don’t have too much of these anyway to be honest but I’ve grown to love raw chocolate coated dried fruit, which unfortunately although unrefined are REALLY high in sugar!
If you were going to take sugar freeness to the next level it would mean cutting out starchy foods also (bread, pasta, rice and potatoes). I didn’t feel ready to change my diet that much to be honest so thought I would try the no added sugar approach first…
The first few days were pretty hard… Did not help with the fact the Easter was at the beginning of the month.
Then my skin broke out (detox symptoms) and I was hating it. What was the point in being healthier if it made me look like this?!!
My mind and body overcame a hurdle about 2 weeks in and I was buzzzzing! Doing loads of exercise with so much energy. My mind fog had gone and I felt really positive and happy all the time! You know like when you wake up and it’s a gorgeous sunny day and you just jump out of bed. I felt like that all the time! (I was probably really annoying to a lot of people!) constantly talking about the benefits of cutting out sugar.
I had woken up super early to go to an exercise class and then been at work and not eaten a lot. I got home and just felt rubbish and exhausted. I think I had physically overdone it for a few days running and then just crashed. I had SUCH a bad headache and a temperature and could not stop thinking about… COCA COLA! I never even drink the bloody stuff, whyyyyy could I not get the craving to go away?!!
I caved… I downed the whole can and it felt amazing! Then the guilt came… I failed my challenge 22 days in.
I felt so disappointed in myself and just thought, well I’ve f’d up now so I might as well carry on so had chocolate and strawberry laces the next day too!!!! What was wrong with me??!!
I felt awful, I just binged and my body must of been so shocked. Going from a really clean diet to stuffing it with pretty high sugar chemical and colour filled food and drink. The next day it was like I was hungover…
The experience of trying to completely cut sugar out of my life has made me realise that I was eating too much previously and will no longer add sugar to my coffee or sweeteners to my smoothies which over a long period will be a lot of sugar reduced from my diet and has changed my tastebuds.
It has also made me realise just how addictive sugar is.
And how I will try and not add it to any of Ava’s food or drink growing up, making it easier by just not having it in the house. Obviously she will want treats at birthday parties and ice creams on the beach with her friends in the summer. I would hate for her to feel left out and then most probably rebel and go crazy for sugar as soon as I was out of sight.
As with everything in life, balance is key and if you can consciously make small changes from your daily routine (like cutting sugar out from tea and coffee) it will soon add up… Just think how quickly you go through a bag of sugar at home and how good it would be to cut that out of your diet!
I found using half a teaspoon of coconut oil in my coffee (also known as bulletproof coffee) helped to mask the bitterness and make it more palatable.
I don’t know if I would try and cut sugar out completely again as I wouldn’t want my body to feel the need to just binge (it’s so not worth it!). However adding it just to make something taste a bit nicer now seems not as necessary to me. So I’m definitely glad I had a go at it as it has changed some habits, but sadly can not say I completed my 30 day challenge… Next time I’ll maybe try something a bit easier 😉