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I consider myself to be a fairly healthy person who exercises and watches her diet diligently, but never seems to achieve that “spring out of bed”, feeling wonderful, of a morning. There is so much information out there about what we should and shouldn’t eat and how much and what types of exercise we should be undertaking. So much so that it was doing my head in!
Over the years I have tried particular diets, under the supervision of a Naturopath, as I do have a tendency to feel bloated and just plain yucky in the tummy. I have tried eliminating dairy and gluten from my diet. I have tried the low fat diet, the low carb diet, the high protein diet, the soup diet and the juicing diet. However I never realised that the number one ‘bad stuff’ in my diet was the amount of sugar I was consuming.
Fact: Sugar is a carbohydrate and provides a source of energy. Sugar can take many forms including white, raw or brown sugar, honey or corn syrup. Too much sugar in the diet can contribute to health problems including obesity and tooth decay. Sugars are popular in the processed food industry because they add taste, colour, bulk and thickness to food products.
In what was a life-changing event for me, I watched a movie on the flight back from the USA a few months ago, called “That Sugar Film”. It was like a lightbulb moment for me. I had no idea that everyday so-called healthy foods were so full of sugar! We have been very cleverly convinced that foods such as breakfast cereals, breads, fruit juices, low-fat yoghurts and muesli bars are good for us. But these foods have so much added sugar.
So immediately when I returned home I chucked out the muesli, the low-fat yoghurt, the low-fat cheese and the fruit juice. I started researching what foods I could replace these with and basically it narrowed down to full-fat everything, plain old oats for breakfast, sour dough bread, nuts like almonds and pistachios and a few select fruits like kiwi fruit, blueberries and cantelope. I started devouring delicious creamy yoghurt, cheese, full cream milk, eggs, chicken with the skin on, loads of veggies and big handfuls of almonds.
What I noticed immediately was that my tummy was no longer bloated and nor did I suffer from uncomfortable tummy rumblings and flatulence. I started to feel better in the mornings and my brain fog lifted. I was feeling more energetic and clear headed, able to think more laterally and make decisions. I was like a whole new me!
The ‘quit sugar’ diet initially is fairly drastic. For the first 8 weeks of the detox phase you give up almost every food you ever loved. No fruit, No bread or cereals, No pasta, No potatoes, No rice, No biscuits, No cakes (unless gluten and sugar free), No fruit juice, No sweets or chocolate and No wine (ouch!). To top things off No Diet Coke or artificial sweeteners at all!
My diet consisted of lots of eggs, chicken, fish, veggies, salads, nuts, cheeses and veggie soup. However I did weaken with the wine after a few weeks and limited myself to the occasional glass. It was difficult to say the least, especially when faced with a High Tea function full of yummy cakes, sandwiches and champagne. However I did make it through the 8 week detox phase and managed to drop a few kilos in weight.
Now that I have moved through the initial detox I have gradually re-introduced foods such as rice crackers, sour dough breads, gluten-free wraps, corn tortillas and a little pasta and rice now and again. For sweet treats I buy sugar-free fruit and nut clusters, make cacao and coconut balls or have some fruit and plain yoghurt.
I am not missing the sweet things in my life that I used to enjoy at all. I have found that I am more satiated with my diet than ever before and I don’t experience the sugar highs and lows that I used to. I just don’t miss the ‘bad stuff’ at all!
So over to you readers. Do you think the ‘quit sugar’ is just another fad diet? Also do you think my cholesterol will jump through the roof?
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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