It is time for something new, or actually, it is time to pick up something old! In the last months I haven’t had the time and interest to write about my sugar free life. But this doesn’t mean that I started to eat sugar again. Two years ago, on New Years Eve 2014-2015 I decided to stop eating sugar for a month. This New Years Eve (2017) I realized one month became 2 years. I’ve learned a lot in the last two years and I realized that sharing my experience might help you to stop eating sugar as well! That’s why from now on, you find a new (or actually old) section on my blog about living a life without added sugar.
Sugar free means: added sugar free
The first thing I’ve learned is that eating sugar free is very difficult and not healthy at all. The reason why I decided to stop eating sugar was to live a healthier life. But taking sugar completely away from your diet means no fruit, no yogurt, no carrots and much more! This was absolutely not my plan, so I did some research on the concept sugar free. There are two types of sugar. Fruit sugar which you find in vegetables and fruit and white processed sugar which you find in candy, sauces and soda’s. A healthy diet includes fruit and vegetables so I decided not to exclude these from my daily meals. But white, processed sugar was a different story. White, processed sugar is an empty calorie which means that it doesn’t add anything to your body. That was, and this is the sugar I prefer to exclude from my meals. From that day I stopped eating added sugar in stead of sugar.
Added sugar is (almost) everywhere
Excluding added sugar means understanding what your food contains. When you cook your own meals and you don’t use any processed food it is easy to know what your meal contains but with processed food is this completely different. I found out that a lot of processed food, breakfast, lunch and dinner contain added sugar! I was surprised to find sugar in almost all sauces, in spice mixes, in bread, in pizza, in juices, do you want me to continue? 😉 A lot of product that don’t even taste sweet contain added sugar. I prefer to limit the amount of processed food I eat and this helps me to exclude added sugar but still, all the processed food we have around us make it very difficult!
Fruit, spices and vegetables taste sweet
When you stop eating added sugar your taste changes. This means that fruit taste sweeter than it did before. Eating blue berries feels like eating candy (yes I serious!). But also carrots taste very sweet. But not only fruit taste like candy also spices like cinnamon and cocoa powder make my life so much easier. I make banana bread, overnight oats, mug cakes and black bean brownies and I’m still surprised how much I enjoy eating this.
Sugar craving changes
As mentioned before, fruit taste very sweet. And don’t get me wrong, I still crave sugar. Even after two years I still need something sweet after my lunch and dinner. But the craving changed from added sugar craving to fruit sugar craving. I really enjoy eating banana bread in the evening. I think I enjoy eating banana bread as much as I used to enjoy eating candy. The funny thing is that I don’t crave candy anymore. This took me a couples of months but now I can say that I’m not tempted anymore to eat jelly beans, cookies or wine gums. But this takes really, really long.
Dark chocolate and wine
I also realized that living a life without added sugar is very very difficult. And I’m not talking about eating candy or cookies. I’m talking about a glass of wine during your holiday or a nice piece of dark chocolate during a cold winter night. That’s why I decided to drink a glass of wine ones in a while. And I also eat dark chocolate (80% cocoa or more). This decision doesn’t mean that I failed excluding added sugar. And yes, I’m aware that both products include some added sugar. But I realized that including these to product in my diet, it makes it easier for me to continue my way of eating healthy. I do believe you need to find a way of life to successfully exclude added sugar, not to call it a diet.
I’m not an a diet
Last thing I learned is that a lot of people think that excluding added sugar means being on a diet. I’m not on a diet! I love to eat cheese for example. But it is funny that people link excluding added sugar to a diet.
The last two years have been a very interesting journey and I will share some of my tips and tricks on my blog to help you to exclude added sugar to your life as well. I’ve noticed a lot of positive results on my body and mind and I will tell you more about this in my next blog!
With love, from Dublin..