Naughty Chicken….DAY 22 No SUGAR!

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I have been a naughty sugar free chicken (thats me on the right!)….sorry for not updating for ONE WHOLE WEEK! Hard to believe.

When I was just starting out in no sugar I read someone elses blog that stated quitting sugar is actually hard to write about in a blog – you go through withdrawals, try a few new recipies, then quickly run out of things to say! Has this happened to me?

I guess the first couple of weeks the blog was a huge help as it got me out of the evening ritual of snacking on sweet things on the couch after dinner & also helped me analyse what I was quitting sugar for…but it is true that as I have got more used to the lifestyle of no sugar, there is less and less reason to post. But continue posting, I will!

I am going quite well on my 8 weeks no sugar detox – with a few minor road bumps…

  • Minor moody freak outs – the ones where I would usually run crying to a block of chocolate and feel OK again in 10 minutes. I have ground my teeth and suffered through these. Amazingly, I found they actually do pass (!!!). One evening I found myself in one of these freak outs and also near a supermarket and in a fit of chocolate detox rage I ran to the cheese section, grabbed a block of parmesan cheese and ran back to the car gnawing on one end. I gotto do what I can, right!
  • Friday night Hot Chocolate at Lindt (Chapel St) – yes, a great place to go when you are on a No Sugar program. I actually walked in there mentally giving myself permission to fall spectacularly off the wagon and have a decadent rich hot chocolate…but once I sat down my amazing strong resolve returned and I only ordered a decaf latte! My boyfriend and his cousin both had Dark hot chocolates and they both said it wasn’t very good….so I missed out on nothing AND felt good about holding my resolve! Score!
  • An amazing find…WHITE WHITE COCOA TEA from T2 – This tea is heavenly! If you haven’t tried it, please do yourself a favour and get some. It is expensive, at $22 for 100g but gee, the smell and taste are incredible. Its made using coconut & cocoa…I have a pot sitting in front of me right now and I am in heaven. I also added it to the list of Craving Busters!

Weight Loss Update – Day 15

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Day 15 of No Sugar at all & Day 24 of the I Quit Sugar program.

Today I am going to do a bit of an update for you all…skin, weight, cravings, detoxing, energy…

Skin Update: Yesterday I decided enough was enough with my lifeless skin, so I underwent a multi-targeted skin resuscitation day. I can update today that my skin looks AMAZING now! It did ever since I washed off the face mask yesterday. It is clearer, has a sparkle and healthy feel to it and generally looks more glowing. I highly recommend doing a skin rescue, as it definitely helped me. I will do the process again in a week & update you on here too.

Weight Update: I can report that during the 24 days so far of the ‘I Quit Sugar’ program, I think I have lost about 1.5kg!!!!!! Now, that has to be taken with a pinch of salt because our scales at home are very dodgy, and they can’t be trusted too closely… I used to work in an Eating Disorders Clinic & we had huge heavy duty scales that measured weight down to the milligram (or something!) – incredibly accurate as those girls (and some boys!) needed extremely accurate results. I, however, am much less worried…a ball park figure is enough for me, and a 1.5kg ball park figure is great! Although I can’t really feel I have lost weight, I feel lighter, my face looks thinner and I am just more streamlined.

Craving Update: I am not craving chocolate, however I sometimes see a strawberry or an orange and really really find it hard to not eat it. I am craving the soft, fresh, sweet taste of a juicy fruit,. I can remember what it feels like in my mouth as I am writing this…ahhh….fruit porn (do NOT google it!).  But all this fruit resisting takes willpower, WILLPOWER! I have spent most of my life forcing myself to eat fruit, now I am forcing myself not to eat it!!! I will start to reintroduce fruit from week 6 so don’t worry peeps! I did crave something heavy and comforting yesterday, but I found a Hot Chocolate made with Full Fat Milk, 2 teaspoons of Raw Cacao Powder & some Cinnamon hit the spot. I am fuller for longer from main meals & need less snacks.

Detox Update: I still have headaches intermittently, funnily enough I have one now… but they are decreasing. The sore throat that I had for days has finally gone today and my skin is looking much better after yesterday’s pampering, however there is still room for improvement. I feel clearer & fresher behind my eyes which is weird, almost like there is something cooling there. I don’t feel completely out of the ‘fog’ & still have periods of low energy and motivation, but that is also improving every day. Other sugar quitters from I Quit Sugar and the Sweet Poison program have said that eventually you feel like a veil has been lifted from your eyes and for the first time you can think with absolute clarity. I am not there yet but can see improvements.

Energy Update: My energy levels have definitely increased – I wake up easily in the morning and usually without an alarm clock & feel ready for the day. However, this means that I am also getting tired at a more ‘normal’ time to sleep – like around 10pm – 10.30pm. My boyfriend can vouch that I get rather pissed off if I try to keep myself awake past this time (sorry baby!). I am not generally having an energy slump after meals however still have periods of really low energy…I figure I am still in a bit of the detox phase.

Overall, its quite amazing…I actually feel privileged to be doing this I Quit Sugar program. I never thought I could do it, but now that I am & have survived some of the bad stuff I can see the huge benefits already…bring on day 16!

Skin Rescue – Day 14

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Day 14 of no sugar. Day 23 of the I Quit Sugar program.

Today is rescue skin day. My skin is looking dead and lifeless. A few days into the I Quit Sugar program, it did look bright and shiny and I noticed a real difference, but since then it has just got dull and lifeless. I don’t even know how else to describe it. It is less red and blotchy than when I started the program but overall it looks worse than it did. I have mostly always had troubled skin for various reasons and I know that at the moment the bad skin is probably due to an extended detox period…understandable due to the high sugar consumption I was maintaing before I Quit Sugar, however it is dragging on a bit. So I need to do something about it!

So I am going to tackle it from 4 angles – NUTRITION, EXPELL TOXINS, NOURISH & RELAX

♣ NUTRITION – Yesterday, Day 13, I experimented with a raw foods lunch. It was delicious and I have a suspicion that I actually need to increase the raw foods in my diet to get increased nutrients. I have had another incredible ‘alive’ salad today for lunch.

 EXPELL TOXINS – Sauna! I spent about 15 minutes in the sauna, left to have a cold shower and returned for a further 10 minutes. I feel like I need to sweat those toxins out of my face! Another way to do this would be to go for a run or bike ride, which I am unable to do due to a back injury. So I sweated the only way I knew how!

 NOURISH – My face needs food! I tried two home made treatments to bring some life back into my skin – the first was a homemade scrub made from sugar, oil & an essential oil that smelt really yummy! (it was a gift from my housemates girlfriend so I don’t know exactly what she put in it). Just watch out for the sugar and try not to lick your lips as I accidentally did! Next I prepared a home made face mask (recipe below) & let that sit for 15 minutes. My skin actually tingled while it was on, so I hope that is a good sign!

♣♣♣

Mallika’s Face Rescue Mask:

1 tsp Coconut Oil (hard at room temperature)
1-2 small squares of Avocado
1 tsp Yoghurt
1 tsp Oats
Squeeze of Lemon

Put all ingredients except Oats in a bowl and mix, pressing on the sides of the bowl to get all the lumps out. Add the Oats and mix well. Apply to your face after the scrub and leave for 10-15 minutes.

 RELAX – A stroll through the park, a latte at a local cafe and reading my book in the fresh air. Deep breaths, breathing all the way into my stomach and slowly out. Laughing with my man. Watching an episode of Modern Family. All things that relax.

I will update you tomorrow on whether my skin has improved from all this love and attention!

 

Vegging Out – Day 13 No Sugar

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Day 13 of no sugar, day 22 of the I Quit Sugar program. My time without sugar feels like just 10 minutes in time but also feels like a lifetime.

I have had another mini food revolution after watching two food documentaries – ‘Sick, Fat & Almost Dead’ and ‘Simply Raw – Reversing Diabetes in 30 days’. There is a new way to go….raw raw raw food! RAW! As I was watching these documentaries, I ate 1/2 small Organic Avocado (raw of course)…and while I was putting the 2nd spoonful in my mouth, my body was already actually tingling. The avocado felt like it was imparting its life gift into me…is this what eating organic & eating raw is all about?!? I don’t know if I can do it for every meal yet, but I am going to try and eat more of my food raw, especially as it is starting to come into Summer. Always easier to eat salads when its warm!

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Yummy (expensive) Organic Kale!

I also bought Kale for the first time ever. And it cost $4.80 for an Organic bunch – steep! But once I’m home I realise that you can get a lot out of a little with Kale. To continue the RAW theme, I had an amazing raw salad, see link below. It was delightful & looked so alive I could hardly believe my luck at being able to eat it. I also baked up some Kale Chips in the oven…yummy little crunchy snacks to eat up in the next week or two.

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Green & Purple Summery Salad

Food eaten today (Tuesday)…DAY 13 “NO SUGAR”
BREAKFAST: Yummy Healthy Porridge, Black Tea with Milk.
SNACK: home made chocolate milkshake (milk, cacao powder, coconut creme, chia seeds, almond slivers, roasted coconut & 1 drop vanilla essence), 1/2 a small organic Avocado with 1 tsp Olive Oil
LUNCH: Green & Purple Summery Salad (it looked so alive!)
SNACK: Yoghurt with home made Granola, Sencha Green Tea
DINNER: Veal Shank (note: not nearly as nice as Lamb Shanks!), pumpkin mash & Lemony Gremolata
SNACK: Chai Tea (teabag) with Milk, 3 x raw cacao spoons

Australia Votes & Day 12 of No Sugar

Voting Bondi Beach

Day 12 of absolutely No Sugar and Day 21 of the I Quit Sugar program. Few days to catch up with…been busy with the Australian Federal Election over the weekend. In regards to my I Quit Sugar journey, I feel like withdrawal symptoms are still with me & its getting me down now. Before I found it a bit exciting because I felt like it was doing me good. However, now the continued withdrawal symptoms are getting a bit heavy & old. I am still experiencing intermittent headaches, bad skin, low energy (oscillating with periods of high energy), low motivation…Could be because of the disastrous change of government mind you, but more likely it is the lingering effects of the lack of sugar in my system.

My body has never known a life without sugar for this many days – I’m sure it is a huge, huge shock to my system.

My skin has been bad – well, when I look in the mirror I feel like it is bad, however my boyfriend thinks it is looking better. I must keep remembering it is only 12 days in – I need to give my skins cells a chance to renew…And I feel like I have lost some weight but our scales are so shoddy I can’t really tell.  However, I still can’t actually believe it is me doing this no sugar diet. Am I actually living a life without sugar?! It still surprises me when I think about it, I almost have to do a double take on my reality each time because I can’t quite believe it.

I did crave a ‘treat’ yesterday afternoon & being not near a kitchen to make up a Raw Cacao Spoon, I ended up sharing a large packet of Sea Salt Chips with my man…totally yum! Not that healthy, but sugar free! I couldn’t believe how good they tasted…so crispy & salty. They made my mouth sing & I savoured them very slowly at the start, and faster in hurried handfuls towards the end. Hello to my former self – lol.

RESULTS FROM PAST 4 DAYS
 SUCCESS WITH NO SUGAR:
 1
 DIFFICULTY: 1-4
 MOOD: From Relaxed to Annoyed, full spectrum!
 PHYSICAL: intermittent headaches during the days but waking up early without alarm. Alternating low to high energy, low motivation still. Had a sore throat for a few days too.
KEY: (1 = absolutely no sugar/very easy, 10 = disaster territory/very hard)

Food eaten today…DAY 12 “NO SUGAR” (MON)
BREAKFAST: Yummy Healthy Porridge. Black Tea with Milk.
LUNCH: Hamburger patties with onion, cheese & lettuce
SNACK: 3 corn crackers with Cashew Nut Butter, yoghurt with home made muesli
DINNER: 2 eggs scrambled with 1 tbsp yoghurt & 1/4 cup of Full Fat Milk, 1 tbsp crumbled Danish Feta, Corn on the Cob with Butter
SNACK: Black Tea with Milk.

sea salt

   Chips satisfied my ‘treat’ craving!

Food eaten yesterday…day 11 “NO SUGAR” (SUN)
BREAKFAST: Organic Biodynamic WholeMilk Yoghurt with home made Muesli (Oven roasted Oats, Almond Slivers, roasted Coconut & Cinnamon), Black Tea with Milk.
LUNCH: Carrot sticks with Cashew Nut Spread, Rice Crackers, Handful of Nuts
SNACK: Latte, Sea Salt Chips (had major craving for a ‘treat’!)
DINNER: Fish baked with Lemon, Broccoli en papillot, Salad (Lettuce & Tomato) & more Sea Salt Chips!
SNACK: Black Tea with Milk, small square Bulgarian Feta

Food eaten day before yesterday…DAY 10 “NO SUGAR” (SAT)
BREAKFAST: Yummy Healthy Porridge. Black Tea with Milk.
LUNCH: Omelette with Zucchini and Cheese, Black Tea with Milk
SNACK: Small handful of nuts
DINNER: Coconut Chicken Nuggets with Pumpkin Mash* & Peas with Garlic (while watching the Australian Federal Election results unfold…!)
SNACK: Black Tea with Milk, Raw Cacao Spoon

* Links may not work unless you are a member of the ‘I Quit Sugar’ program

Withdrawal symptoms return – Day 8

Woke up today with a headache. Had breakfast with a headache. Went through the day with a headache. Cooked dinner with a headache. Finished dinner with a headache. Writing blog with a headache.

Yes, headaches are back. Sugar withdrawal symptoms return.
Detoxing 101…again. Whoo.

I read someone’s sugar detoxing story today in one of my many searches for personal stories on the web (it gives me confidence to keep going!) & she said withdrawal symptoms hit her hardest in weeks 3 – 6 & she only started feeling better in Week 7! Oh no! I would love to post the link but I forget where I read it…and I am reading a lot.

SUCCESS WITH NO SUGAR: 1
DIFFICULTY: 2
MOOD: Relaxed
PHYSICAL: Constant headache all day. Woke up early without alarm. Very tired in afternoon and slept for over an hour (very rare for me)
KEY: (1 = absolutely no sugar/very easy, 10 = disaster territory/very hard)

I know I have a huge amount to detox from…I have never restricted my sugar intake before and was a complete chocoholic. I ate chocolate daily, and a lot of it. I have been using chocolate to deal with life, and do you know what, that is actually something I need to be grateful for, because it helped me a lot. Chocolate made impossible situations possible. After eating it, I felt calm and could deal with life again. However enough is enough. I am now at a place of strength in life where I can choose to deal with this addiction. And this choice is not being forced upon me but it is completely driven from deep within. I am completely committed to overcoming this addiction. Even if I have withdrawal symptoms up ’til week 10!

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Lamb Shanks, Lemony Gremolata & Pumpkin Mash

Food eaten today…day 8
BREAKFAST: Yummy Healthy Porridge, Plunger Coffee with Milk.
LUNCH: 1/2 tin of Pink Salmon, Cooked Peas, 2 tsp Mayonnaise, sprinkle of Capers
SNACK: Small handful of nuts, 1 corn cracker toasted lightly with butter and Vegemite
DINNER: Lamb Shanks with Lemony Gremolata* (made without potatoes) & Pumpkin Mash* (so so yum!!)
SNACK: Black Tea with Milk, 2 small Frozen Cacao Spoon

 

Food eaten yesterday…DAY 7 NO SUGAR
BREAKFAST: Yummy Healthy Porridge. Black Tea with Milk.
LUNCH: 2 eggs fried with 1 tablespoon grated Cheese, Corn on the Cob with Butter, Lettuce
SNACK: Small handful of nuts
DINNER: Chicken breast fried in Coconut Oil, Broccoli en papillot with Roasted Almond slivers and Macadamia Oil, Peas with Garlic, 1tsp Grainy Mustard
SNACK: Black Tea with Milk.

*Link may not work unless you are signed into the “I Quit Sugar” program

Why was I addicted to Chocolate? – Day 7

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A whole week without any sugar. Hard? I have to say that apart from detox symptoms, NO! Well, is it easy? Also NO! Not hard, but not that easy. For some reason, I have an inner commitment at the moment, an inner burning desire to do this. I am sure that this inner fire is the only thing that is keeping me going these past 2 weeks (this is day 16 of the ‘I Quit Sugar’ program but day 7 of absolutely no sugar). Of course, it is getting easier as the days go on but I am just completely 100% committed to this – there is not even a millimetre of room to let myself squeeze out of it.

I should state that this is not the usually state of my personality – i am very relaxed with myself I would say (although once I start something I FINISH IT AT ALL COSTS, Hello Nursing Degree, Hello International Health Masters). But back to food, and more precisely, SUGAR! Previously, I would allow myself to eat almost anything I felt like and although I would hardly ever have soft drinks or fast food, I would have muffins, biscuits, cakes, ice cream…and my raison de vivre was of course chocolate. More often than not, I couldn’t make it through the day without it & the thought of restricting myself and having it once a week was similar to imagining my eyes cut out – even the thought of not having it produced a physical pain & longing so deep inside me that I felt it could never be accomplished.

Lets face it, chocolate was a form of emotional relief for me – when I ate it, it reduced my anxiety, pain and anger.

It sounds oh so sad, but it really was my comforting friend. Anytime I got too stressed, or life was just a little bit too hard, I reached for the chocolate/muffin/Nutella & I would feel better and more able to deal with things. But I also knew it was having a terrible effect on my body. So I did many different things to try and overcome this including meditation, intense therapy groups that go back to childhood, acupuncture (worked but only while I had to drink those disgusting herbs), exercise, hypnosis & self hypnosis, self imposed restrictions, living in India (worked, but because of bad quality of chocolate there & I also realise now that it worked because of the high quantity of natural fats (Ghee) in the Indian diet), Mindful eating courses, willpower, guilt etc. etc.

So, what changed? Well I am not really sure, something just flicked inside me.

  • Maybe it was my gorgeous health-freak boyfriend that is super intelligent but also very buff and careful about how much sugar he consumes (hopefully he will read this and I will get brownie points – much needed as he was the one dealing with my detox moods!). I think he has been subconsciously rubbing off on me.
  • There have been a few health scares in my family that have led others to be on the no sugar track (to name a few family influences, my mum is vegetarian and allergic to dairy, soy & gluten, limiting her food choices to mostly very health home cooked ones, my brother-in-law had a rare form of cancer and completely revolutionised his diet and beat it, and my brother was a professional surfer who lives and breathes incredibly healthy living).
  • My guru natropathy friend Soraya came to analyse my diet and my body composition and I was able to see clearly on paper, & with the added scrutiny of a health professional/friend, what I was actually doing to my body & how badly I needed to change.
  • Plus, this all came at the end of a cold winter, when i was already feeling Blah and looking for ways to feel more alive again.

So here I am!