Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cold Turkey

Strawberry Cheesecake (Low Carb High Sat Fat)

It has been just over 8 weeks since I went cold turkey on sugar (and carbs)! There was no question in my mind about whether or not to quit sugar or even how to do it. I didn't find it too hard - probably because I actually didn't eat a huge amount of it in the first place. That's not to say that I never have, though.

The rest of my family joined me immediately, except Master R, my 14 year old son who said, "If all my friends are gonna die early, then what would be the point of living longer than them?!"

The kids and I stayed up late one night talking about sugar and health, and addiction, and people we knew that suffered with diabetes. We even looked up pictures of gangrene! EW!!! That was enough for Miss C, 13yo, and Master M, 12yo, to be convinced to give quitting sugar a fair go!

Master D, 9yo (at the time), just quietly did it - it was not too hard from him, he was not really addicted to carbs anyway. But for Master H, 8yo - OH MY GIDDY AUNT! He had withdrawals! This was a child who used to get up before the sun, sneak downstairs and scour the cupboards for sugar and carbohydrates. Empty packets, crumbs and unusual product placings were commonplace in our kitchen/dining area.

Open jar of Nutella hidden in the cupbard with appliances!

Taking sugar and carbohydrates from Master H's diet was just a tad stressful. On Day 2 and Day 3 the lad would bellow "I WANT BREAD!" and he meant it! Only days before he would eat about 10 slices a day (without asking) along with rice crackers, plain potato chips, and breakfast cereals.
Somehow, we endured and slowly but surely a new child emerged - a (relatively) mild, good-natured child. A child who would eat eggs, and meat, and drink milk and didn't have melt-downs at the drop of a hat.

Miss S, 17yo, quit quietly - she just started making wise choices. She lost her voice (and a few kilograms) for about 5 days - that was the worst of her withdrawal symptoms. Miss S-L, 18yo, made a half-hearted attempt to quit at first, succumbing to temptation at social occasions and justifying finishing off the 'goodies' in the cupboards. Now she realises that wheat makes her feel unwell. She plans ahead and takes a stash of real food with her when she goes out to avoid the temptation (and the cost) of what's on offer.

My husband quit too, going from a see-food-cereal-eater to a planned-meal-meat-eater in a matter of days. He even fended for himself for nearly a month, making healthy* breakfasts, lunches and dinners for himself. DH just realised today that the psoriasis on his elbows is almost gone - it has been there for as long as he can remember (we're talking 50 years!!!).

Sugar! Master R sprinkled it on cereal, he spread it on bread! I told him that when we ran out of sugar, I wasn't buying any more. He changed from a wheat biscuit (not mentioning any names!) with sugar to a wheat biscuit without and then slowly reduced the number of teaspoonfuls of sugar he sprinkled on each wheat biscuit mouthful! He changed from rice milk to cow's milk and added cream to his cereal to help the changeover.

I asked Master R if he used stevia on his cereal now and he said, "Not really. It's a bit too sweet." **

So here we are 8 weeks on! The sugar is gone. The jam is gone. The chocolate drink beginning with "M" is gone. The bread is gone (well most of it - we still have rye bread in the house for those who haven't quite quit). But we still have a pantry cupboard full of cereal that is slowly, but surely, going stale! In fact, that is all the pantry was used for, really - carbohydrates and sugar!

There's a packet of chocolate lollies and two packets of marshmallows in the cupboard that were going to be brought out for a birthday party - they're still there. We've had three sugar-free birthday celebrations in the last couple of months without one pang of disappointment.

We shop around the outside of the supermarket nowadays, saving money and time, as well as avoiding huge amounts of processed foods, and plastic packaging. Plastic! Don't get me started!


I've quit sugar*** (even fruit, mostly) and pretty much all carbs - I still eat a bit of sweet potato and an even smaller bit of potato. Almost instantly, my hair felt stronger and healthier and my voice had clarity instead of being phlegmy and croaky.

I've lost 5kg - I'm sure my liver will thank me for that! I have increased my intake of saturated fat and my gall bladder hasn't complained once! My skin, my nails, my digestive system, my sleep... they all feel better too!

Now, I put my mind to converting recipes, thinking up new and exciting low-carb high-saturated fat meals, and feeling just a tiny bit guilty when I eat something sweetened with stevia!

That's all I can think of for now.


*By healthy, I mean no carbs, no sugar, protein and high saturated fat!

** He also said, "You're not going to use me on your no-sugar blogging stuff!"
"Indeed I am!" was my confident reply.

***I even sat in a room full of gingerbread, lollies and icing sugar and not one bit of it touched my lips! Miss S-L and Miss S could not say the same!!!

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