Speaking as the woman who once bought her husband an exquisite Easter egg, but ate it herself the week before Good Friday, it was never going to work – me going sugar-free. In fact why would I even attempt such torture, some may ask? Well, since the publication of my debut novel six months ago, my butt has been firmly attached to chair, promoting said Doubting Abbey and writing the sequel.
Unsurprisingly, I have put on over one stone in weight. And I have to say, the whole process has been highly enjoyable – glasses of wine, crisps and olives, flapjack with coffee. Plus I’m not bothered about the extra pounds, appearance-wise, which probably explains why I’ve done nothing to halt the weight-gain until now.
As a girl, ahem, of a certain age, words such as “high cholesterol” and “back problems” have dared to tiptoe into my life and I don’t want to suffer an unhealthy old-age. So when the papers were full of the sugar-free revolution a few weeks ago, I did my own research. It all made sense. Sugar highs and lows have probably ruled my life for a long time.
However, the problem is, I’m a black and white kinda person – no grey areas for me. So I cut out sugar COMPLETELY – used a plant-extract replacement, Stevia, in baking, cut out squash drinks, imbibing only decaff coffee and water, plus stopped consuming my favourite fruits full of natural sugar. Talk about cold turkey.
Formerly, I must have been eating 20 to 30 teaspoons of sugar a day – I decreased this to about five. An apple became a real treat, with 3 teaspoons of sugar in it. And everything went okay until I made a bad, runny batch of porridge one morning, followed by the above bland, sugar-free muffins which made me gag and ended up in the bin.
Don’t get me wrong – I know from recipe books there are some fantastic sugar-free recipes out there, using carrot or beetroot to replace sugar in cakes, for example. But after a few days my will-power lost the battle – although I am now addicted to peanut butter on wholemeal bread, and Ryvita seeded thins. Plus I still look at the sugar content of food which is scary. Do it yourself – on the ingredients label, look for ‘carbohydrates’ and then the carbs that come from sugar. 5g roughly = 1 teaspoon. You’ll be amazed at how much of the white stuff you’re shoving into your stomach, ready to be converted to fat unless you regularly exercise. Ready meal, yogurts, you name it.
So where does this leave my extra inches? Ooh, I feel another blogpost coming on! Let’s just say I’ve found something which puts a blush in my cheek and involves riding a new, but already very dear friend… 🙂