Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Quitting Sugar - 5 weeks down

So, three weeks have passed since I wrote my first post about quitting sugar.  I'm now in the fifth week and I'm going very well.  In the first eight week period, I'm not having ANY fructose - so that means no fruit for now.

The main thing I've noticed is how different my mindset is.  I'm actually not interested in cake or biscuits or icecream or chocolate.  That's a pretty big change as I'm a baker with a sweet tooth.  I would always look for something sweet after a meal.  I had already discovered the value of liquorice tea as a naturally sweet after dinner drink and I still like to have it after a meal.  If it's not available, it's okay.  I'm not craving something sweet to finish.

The biggest challenge is still the catering provided by clients.  They often cater for a lot of different dietary requirements, but "sugar free" still seems to raise an eyebrow.  Last week the food on arrival consisted of soft drinks and juice, along with chocolate bars.  Lunch was delicious, consisting of salads and fish.  The dressing was on the side, so that was excellent.  Afternoon tea was chocolate cake, brownies or beautiful looking mini vanilla slices.  I resisted them all, but was quite hungry and very pleased I had packed my own snacks.  Activated nuts and sesame crackers are now a fixture in my handbag.

My eating patterns have also changed.  I'm hungry earlier, wanting lunch before 12 noon and ready for dinner at about 5pm.  Interesting.  If I can, I do eat when I'm hungry rather than waiting for some artificial notion of meal time to arrive.

Breakfast is completely different from what it was before I quit sugar.  I was a muesli and yogurt girl in summer and porridge in winter.  On my porridge I would sprinkle some brown sugar.  Gone is the muesli (I put it in a ziplock bag and gave it to a friend who loves muesli.  He also took my stock of muesli bars) and natural yogurt makes a great accompaniment to a curry, but I just can't do it for breakfast.  Vitabrits with milk and nothing else or porridge made from oats and spelt with milk and nothing else feature regularly. I've just bought a jar of toasted cereal topping to add some interest.  It contains sesame seeds, linseed, buckwheat kernels, sunflower kernels, sliced almonds and cinnamon.  I like it with everything, including salads and sprinkled on vegetables.

If I'm home during the morning, I'll have toast with a scrape of butter and sometimes vegemite or toast with an avocado and pepper.  Again, if I'm at home, I'll eat my main meal during the day and be satisfied with a light salad at night.  Gone is the balsamic vinegar which I loved on salad greens.  I've replaced it with red wine vinegar and am still deciding what I think of a sugar free mayonnaise I have found.  The currants have also gone from my favourite brown rice salad.  I've replaced them with more seeds, nuts and finely chopped parsley and mint.  It's still delicious.

I do miss sweet chilli sauce.  I would have it on everything from scrambled eggs to cheese on toast to steak.  It's gone.

The other thing I'm missing is the ginger cordial I loved to have with lime and mineral water, or even as a mixer with gin (Hendrick's is the best).

Commercial baked beans are also banned, which is a shame as I enjoyed them as a light snack to have in a hurry.  I'll have to get back into the habit of making my own, but even that will require some adjustment as brown sugar was a feature of them in the past.

Today I had coffee with a friend and two gorgeous looking macarons arrived along with the coffee.  He didn't know that I've given up sugar and I didn't want to offend him.  I thanked him and gently explained my sugar free quest.  He did say something about it being Christmas, but I'm proud to say that I held firm.

The fuzzy headed feeling is gone and I'm sleeping very well.  Friends have told me they can see I have lost weight and I'm having trouble keeping my jeans up without a belt.

Christmas will be the next challenge and I'm really glad that my new eating habits will be well entrenched by the time it's in full swing.  I'm exploring sugar free Christmas menus to find ways of satisfying everyone. I'm confident that I won't be tempted - I'm just not interested anymore. Sarah Wilson has a handy Christmas menu planner on her website.

I regularly check David Gillespie's Sweet Poison quit plan and it goes with me to the supermarket.

What's your favourite sugar free snack or breakfast?


  1. Good on you Tanya! Keep us posted please. I have Sarah Wilson's E-Book and have cut back a lot on sugar and agree with you, you start to not crave it. I haven't ventured into the fully-fledged quit stage though, I love fruit.

    Favourite sugar free snacks: rice cakes with nut/seed butter; Miso soup.

    Breakfast: poached eggs on toast + asparagus; or tomato, salt and pepper with butter or avocado on toast.

  2. Thanks for your encouragement and interest Tracy. Rice cakes are a great idea! Haven't explored Miso soup - will check it out.

    And your breakfast ideas are sensational.

  3. Keep up the good work. I'm on the same journey and it's always heartening to read other people's success

    1. Thanks for reading. I think it does help to share. How are you going? Any tips?

    2. Doing fine thanks. Cocoa nibs give me a chocolatey hit when I need one. Nutty museli is a winner too. Still get cravings, but not as often. Definitely feel better for it. Good job at the Christmas party (your last post). 43things is a good way to connect with other people as well as twitter (which is where I found your posts).