A little Background
On 1st May this year, so just over 3 months ago, I decided to give up processed sugar for good. What?! Yes, you heard me!
Why would anyone do this to themselves, you might ask? Well, let me tell you about my little journey so far…
It all started with the primary aim of post-pregnancy weight loss. I joined a three-week programme called DropIt21 which is based on clean eating (no carbs, no sugar, no caffeine, no dairy, no alcohol,…) and daily exercise. After surviving the first three days without coffee and my baking (my body had completely gone Cold Turkey by that point!), I became used to substituting:
Flourless blueberry pancake if ever I craved something sweet, or some almonds and strawberries as a treat after dinner.
After those three weeks (and around 18 pounds lighter), going back to my old life didn’t seem an option at all. Instead, I completely changed my lifestyle – from rich evening meals followed by a tub of ice cream to the world of Paleo, baby!
- Wellbeing / Health. Cutting out sugar (and caffeine) has helped me overcome my constant fatigue (no more sugar crashes!) and has proven to be one of the most amazing decisions I’ve made so far. While I used to suffer from throbbing ears, headaches and tiredness, I now get up early, have a fairly even amount of energy during the day, exercise regularly and have a deep sleep (sprogs permitting ).
- Cooking. While we used to love pasta, rice, couscous, pizza etc., we now almost exclusively cook Paleo-style dishes from our favourite cook book Nom Nom Paleo by Michelle Tam. We have substituted flour with coconut flour (soooo delicious), have started making our own muesli bars (no processed sugar, just dates and coconut). We have started experimenting and including new recipes – we make burgers, salsas, curries, flatbread and so on, all healthy, from scratch and carb / sugar free.
- Awareness. I will be honest – I had no idea that nearly everything we consume contains processed sugar. It has been an amazing journey to uncover all the nasties in our regular diet. Our toddler loves our home-made bars and sometimes prefers them over chocolate, and we make our own delicious ice cream now, which she adores!
- Food shopping costs. Whereas I thought that our weekly food shop would be far more expensive due to all those products bought at the local wholefood shop (coconut flour, macadamia nuts, dates, ghee, …), they have not increased significantly. The costs even out due to less carbs, sugar, alcohol and dairy in the trolley. Also – no more expensive takeaways!
- Attitude towards food. I love food. Simple as that! But while before, I wasn’t fully aware of what I was shoving in my face all the time, I now feel empowered and in control. I decide what I eat, there are no more cravings for chocolate. A strawberry tastes so sweet to me now, and a date is almost too sweet to eat! We shop more consciously, try out new ingredients, new recipes, new styles of cooking… It’s been a fantastic life-changer.
- Ease of eating out. While this new lifestyle has been such an enriching and rewarding experience, having a non-mainstream diet can have its downsides. Eating out is a little more complicated nowadays and I have to allow for some flexibility (I can get a decaff in my favourite coffee place, but I’ll drink it with regular milk instead of soya). With a little planning and prepping, we don’t have to grab a bite when we’re out and about and there’s nothing “Paleo” in sight.
Personally, this year has been all about discovering and nurturing my mind, heart and body. By embarking on this journey, I have found a balanced way of living for myself which I hope to continue for as long as possible. To be continued…Kathrin x