|image from bigstockphoto.com|
So this week has been the 6th and final week of my experimentation with quitting sugar.
How has the week been?
Much like the previous 5 weeks, it hasn't been difficult. I had an interesting conversation with some colleagues that included the question "but if you don't eat fruit, where do you get all the vitamins and minerals from?", which I thought was interesting, and is indicative of the lack of understanding about diet and nutrient sources. My response was "well, I eat vegetables and savoury fruits like tomatoes". But then in Austria it is noticeable that vegetables play a lesser role in diet than fruit does compared to the UK - whenever anyone from the UK comes to visit they are always surprised when we're out for dinner just how limited the side veg is! In the UK there is a tendency to split a meal plate into three equal parts - meat, veg and carbs.
I also made some cake using dextrose, and after last week's stevia failure, the dextrose was a much better bet. I road tested it on 2 groups of people - my work colleagues, and The Beard's. In my office it went down well, but in his not so much. It wasn't sweet enough for them apparently!
I have continued to struggle with cutting down on dairy, but I am slowly making it work.
Any particular challenges?
None really. I even tried a regular biscuit to test myself and I didn't like it. Too sweet. The baked goods at a stall I passed yesterday were mighty tempting though. I managed to resist though.
Benefits this week?
My skin is slowly getting better, but it isn't perfect yet. I think it will take more time, and as I know I will be eating more sugar next week I'll monitor the effects. I still feel better and healthier, and can see the difference in my skin generally. The same is true with my weight/shape - since I started this, my cheekbones are more defined, my fingers slimmer and less prone to bloating when I'm worn, same with my ankles.
What about next week?
I'll be in Tunisia, eating and drinking what I fancy. I suspect dessert and cocktails made with juice will pass my lips. Ice cream too.
And the future of the experiment?
I will continue to limit my fructose intake on a general basis. I take Sarah Wilson's advice about doing what is right for me to heart, and I think the best way forward for me is to limit my fructose intake, but be flexible enough to listen to my body, and partake in sugary treats on an irregular basis, like Christmas, the odd dessert or piece of fruit if I fancy it. So I will eat Christmas pudding, and gingerbread at Christmas, I will eat dessert if I really want it, I will eat cake in a cafe sometimes.
I think a lot of people I've spoken to think it is really odd, especially the fruit part, but it works for me, and I try to just present the theories and information on that basis. Most people are quite accepting, if a little perplexed!
I think cutting back more on dairy would be a good idea, but I think working up to that will take time. Still, the odd bit of cheese doesn't seem to do me any real harm. Just need to not go overboard!
Overall the experiment has been a success, if not quite for the reasons I thought it would! It has made me re-evaluate things in a way I didn't expect, and totally rework my approach to eating and life in general. We shop more from markets rather than the supermarket, I am expanding my repertoire of quick cook foods so that I don't find myself relying on the easy options of bakeries and places that might include higher levels of sugar in their products.
I was going to include an assessment of the whole experiment in this post, but I think it will get too long. Look out for a round up of everything in the next couple of days!
This is a scheduled post.