|image from bigstockphoto.com|
When I decided to quit sugar, it was the result of a long battle against my skin, and a bid to find a way to deal with the underlying cause of my acne, which is undoubtedly hormonal. While it has helped my skin (and hair, and nails), it has also led me to take a more holistic approach to my nutrition and health.
Not eating sugar automatically forces you to think longer and harder about the food you eat, because so many unexpected things have sugar in them. Just tonight I was cooking baked beans for dinner when I realised that there was probably sugar in the sauce of the beans. And indeed there is. Thankfully not too much, the sugar content of the beans was 5g per 100g, which is more than ideal but not horrendous in the grand scheme of things. And we don't eat beans that often due to their cost here in Austria. Cutting back on dairy also affects how easily I can put food together, especially at lunchtime when it feels like the whole supermarket is made of cheese! Tuna and beans to the rescue.
So by thinking more carefully about food, I am automatically eating better. I took Sarah Wilson's words about whole foods on board and take care to eat as completely as possible. Whole grains, whole meat, whole fats... I feel much healthier and more balanced. I also notice more things about my body, like feeling terrible when I don't drink enough water. My weight seems to have stabilised nicely, without any exercise (for one reason or another I've not been to the gym in over a month).
When it comes to my skincare regime, I've stripped it all back to basics. Plain oil (grapeseed seems to be the best on my skin), Rhassoul clay, simple moisturisers that use lovely nut and seed oils and not much else. This whole process of removing sugar has given me cause to stop, pause and reassess what my body needs. I don't think I'm there yet, I'm still learning, but I am observing reactions, and taking note. Like not exfoliating that much. True, using acid exfoliaters did help reduce the scarring on my face after I got rid of the majority of the acne, but in the long run my skin doesn't seem to like it. Just a wee bit too harsh for my increasingly sensitive skin.
So I'm trying to live well, because I deserve it.