I’ve quit sugar (week one)

Well this has been a mini roller coaster of a week! I’m now on day seven of quitting sugar and only today am I actually able to focus and concentrate to write this. My first two days I had no idea what to eat and because I am a fussy eater I’m finding that I’m sticking with quite a lot of similar meals so far. Meal planning was key and a large food shop to follow. 

Day one and two I was constantly craving chocolate, anything sweet after a meal. I was literally begging my boyfriend to let me open the one last box of Guyllian delights, sat staring plainly in view under the TV. “One won’t make a difference, they’re tiny” I said. It was only my better half and his firm hand that kept them from me. 

Before embarking on this challenge I rarely ate bread but I bought the new Hovis loaf of wholewheat and spelt to try. It has been perfect for breakfast as toast and mainly a sandwich at lunch with avocado and chicken. What I have started to find is I’m eating three meals a day and much larger than I ever would have and I’m getting hungrier quicker than normal too. My dinner on day one was a beef stir fry with broccoli, fresh chilli, garlic and brown rice. I can’t, really cannot let go of a drizzle of soy sauce (light). Satsumas have become my sweet snack, I’m having at least two a day and usually after a meal to attempt to stop my usual desert cravings. Its worked, sort of. 

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I’ve also gone back to the old routine of making fresh green smoothies for breakfast.  I normally opt for a handful of spinach, slice of cucumber, mango, chia seeds, sprig of Parsley and half a lemon. I normally add Coconut water but after seeing how much sugar is in a carton, I left it on the shelf and just blasted it with water in my nutri bullet. Totally yummy but it doesn’t keep me full for long and I’m usually starving by 11:45am.

I also rarely eat potatoes but I have had a couple of delicious meals with a baked potato, tuna, salad, fresh chillis and a bit of grated cheese. I’m not using any dressings by the way unless I mention them. I’ve also had chicken breasts fried in fresh garlic served with white cabbage and boiled potatoes. It sounds plain but a drizzle of soy and the fresh garlic makes it.

The afternoon of day three I started with the headache. The headache which has lasted 48 hours! The best way I can describe it was as a hangover headache. I couldn’t shift it, and god I felt pissed off. Not angry but really fed up and no idea why. But hey Leah this is the sugar come down.

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Today I’ve felt the best yet. My headache has gone and I’m feeling a lot less bloated. I’m drinking three litres of water a day, which I’m used to anyway but it’s a must to avoid being dehydrated. The hardest part so far has been going out to socialise. I went out with my best friend and to make sure I didn’t stray, I made a kiddy pack up of tuna sandwiches. This was fine, I wasn’t hungry, just angry with my headache. What could possibly make me feel better? going to have green tea and watching a caramel latte and a whoppa slice of chocolate tiffin being plonked in front me. Mmmmm pained face. It was hell, just to look at it, let alone the smell of the salted caramel whofting under my nose. Absolute hell, but I didn’t touch it. I’m sure my friend was grinning more than usual throughout each crunchy bite.

Quite simply I am mega impressed with my will power so far. I’m getting to the point now where I will be so disappointed with myself if I give in that I might actually make it to the end of this 30 day stint. Or not, let’s just focus on getting through week two. 

30 days off the white stuff

January 2nd I’m going for it. I’m quitting sugar for 30 days. I’ve been umming and aahing about being sugar free for a while now. I was umming about it more over Christmas while sitting shoving my gob full of every chocolate bar or box I had in the house. What I found worse is that towards the end of December I felt like there was this race on, I had to finish every bit by January 1st and not the 31st December because that was a Sunday and it just wouldn’t be right to start such a mammoth challenge on a Sunday. Stupid idea.

Four years ago I was in such a fit and healthy place in my life that I remember turning down chocolate or sweets when they were offered to me “No thank you, I don’t eat things like that anymore”. That girl, the former me, was a stone and a half lighter and a dress size smaller. No, it wasn’t all just cutting down the sugar, I was hammering the gym six days a week and was also toned, looked hot and felt amazing.

My main problems are the obvious, chocolates, cake, biscuits and the rest of the fudgey yummy, mmm give me a pudding over anything savoury any day. But whoooaah, after all the reading I’ve been doing it’s the hidden sugars that are going to make this difficult.

Why do I want to do it? There are several reasons and I’m not claiming to be an expert and I probably won’t get it 100% knob on along the way, but I’ll have a good go. Losing weight is up there as reason number one. I have two years worth of excess fat to shift and I’d like to do it pretty quickly. Over the last two weeks I’ve noticed how dehydrated I’ve felt. I’ve woken up most mornings with a headache and felt hungover but had no alcohol. My body has been aching allover, and I’ve not been sleeping well.

I’m not sure if this is just me but when I eat a few biscuits, maybe some choccies too, I’m not hungry for an actual meal. I don’t feel the usual hunger for lunch or dinner. My stomach feels bloated and I feel full. I know how energetic and bloody brilliant you can feel when you’re on top of your game but this is a new challenge for me. I know how to eat well, clean and green as they say and I know how to work out for my body and not what someone else is pushing me to do. But, quitting sugar will be new.

My main concern is what to eat. I am the fussiest eater. Give me a new cook book, it’s guaranteed I’ll only like a maximum of ten things in it. I don’t drink milk, I don’t eat eggs but will if cooked into something. Fish is a no go. I don’t like natural yoghurt but I do when it’s a fruit flavoured one with around 5 teaspoons of sugar in it.

I’ve read all sorts about the mood swings that come with giving up, cravings and tiredness too. I’ve read blogs galore, taken the advice of Davina McCall and watched how Caroline Flack has lost her puppy fat and that little bit of belly she’s never been able to get rid of. Ok, they’ve had a lot of help, I don’t have a personal chef or a personal trainer but I do have a fridge full of fruit and veg, brown rice and meat. Grrrr let’s have it. Let week one commence…

Here is a picture of my first breakfast; Banana pancakes with blueberries and a (small) drizzle of honey. It was actually lush!

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