Over the last month I stopped using refined sugar. Oh the agony!
If you know me, you would understand what a great achievement that has been. I am the type of person who eats dinner just to have dessert.
So just around the beginning of lent, I decided to eliminate, as far as possible, the use of refined sugar in my diet.
I no longer put two teaspoons of sugar or more in my cup of tea or coffee. I started to drink either black coffee or cafe au lait without sugar.
No more cakes, ice cream or other delectables for me!
At first it took great discipline to refrain from making sweet choices but soon enough it got easier. The most difficult part now is to be cognizant of hidden sugar in foods.
One day I made a ham sandwich with mustard, ketchup and mayo and of course, I added mum’s tasty pepper sauce. As I savoured the first piquant morsel, my son chided me for using ketchup. I did not remotely remember that ketchup contained sugar. Alas! that did not arrest the hand to mouth movement as the second delicious sandwich square entered the first phase of digestive pleasure.
Fortunately most sources of refined sugar have been easily detected. Soda, particularly Coca cola, has always been my greatest temptation; however it has been the easiest to eliminate from my diet.
I undertook this challenge for several reasons.
First, I wanted to test the limits of my discipline. I have surprised myself because I no longer struggle and waiver trapped in a sweet addiction.
Second, I have read about cancer and its choice fertiliser, sugar. With a strong family link to cancer, it seems a minor sacrifice to make to reduce the probability of encouraging a proliferation of cancerous cell growth.
Third, sugar reputedly dulls the taste buds and does not allow for the fullness of flavour of some foods. I wanted to refresh my taste buds so that I could savour culinary delights.
The high calorie contribution of sugar provided good reason for me to want to stop its use ( or at least to curb its use). Then the scary links of excessive use of sugar with diabetes and coronary disease drove home the necessity to restrict the use of added sugar to my diet.
Yesterday I joined a friend for tea. We each had a cup of spiced chai. I knew it was sweetened but I had not eaten lunch and this was close to four in the afternoon, so I justified drinking the sweetened chai using this argument.
What a disaster! The tea was cloyingly sweet. I remained nauseous for the rest of the evening until I drank enough water and some unsweetened black coffee to aid in digestion and elimination.
What about you? Are you up to the challenge to stop or at least to reduce the use of sugar in your diet? Drop me a line let me know if you will try it or if you have already done it and what effects it has had on you.