It’s a weird old time at CheltenhamMaman HQ and for reasons a little too personal to share it feels like we’re stuck in a bit of strange space, neither here nor there and unable to make too many decisions (many of which could really do with being made.)
For some reason, I think to cope with these strange times, I’ve really shifted my focus to a bit of self development. Not so much on a professional level but more of a health and well being level which is really unusual for me. Maybe that’s because it’s one of the few areas of my life I can control?
I’ve never been a picture of health, preferring to throw all my energy in to work or to business but as I drift into my late thirties my body is telling me it’s time to pay it a bit of attention and I’m finding that the self loathing that follows a period of indulgence means I just can’t do it anymore.
This morning as I write this post I’m feeling exceedingly smug. The morning after the night before my head is clear and my jeans don’t feel tight. I’m a week into a sugar (almost) free existence and though going out for dinner with friends last night booze free felt tough, this morning I feel bright, healthy and excited about a weekend rather than surviving it through a fog of hangover and too much food.
I posted last Sunday on Instagram two days after deciding to kick sugar in a bit of state. So far it was the peak of my cold turkey and I was climbing the walls for a fix. I was really taken aback by the response – masses of advice about how to curb the cravings and as you all know I’m a huge fan of ‘sharing is caring’ so thought I’d let you all know in case anyone else is in a similar place to me and is sick of being a slave to their sweet tooth. So here’s some of the top tips I received to help me kick the white stuff (sorry to all of you who responded but don’t get a mention – it would have made a very long blog!)….
Lovely Jo suggested that oatcakes with a spoonful of peanut butter make a brilliant snack and actually I’ve been having these for breakfast. I start the day with a pint of water, followed by my usual cup of tea and then an hour or so later coffee with oatcakes and peanut butter. Strong start to the day (and no I’m not kicking caffeine or dairy…. not interested.)
Alyssa suggested that I not limit my intake of naturally occurring sugar (which I’ve listened to) having plenty of fruit but steering clear of processed white stuff. Having a small portion of fruit with cream feels like a treat and also takes the edge of the deprivation. She also suggested I try to watch That Sugar Film (on my to do list) a,nd recommended Davina’s sugar free books (though she pointed out that she still uses honey.) Here’s a link if you’re interested in buying one.
Caroline Keatinge, MumBoss and Nutritionist, suggested having cinnamon sprinkled on a green apple or a banana with some nut butter to help curb a craving. Nut butter has become my very best friend!
Kate Dimmer, MumBoss and Nutritional Therapist suggested cinnamon and chromium and to really up my fluid intake. She also recommended basic distraction techniques for managing cravings – phone a friend, go for a walk etc! I googled natural sources of chromium and this is what I got….
Vegetables such as broccoli, potatoes, and green beans.
Beef and poultry.
Fruits, including apples and bananas; grape juice.
Milk and dairy products.
Victoriaactually sent me a drool inducing recipe for sugar free snickers bars which I have yet to try but am looking forward to this week. She was kind enough to let me share it!
4 tbsps all natural peanut or almond butter
1 tsp maple syrup
0,5 tbsp coconut flour
15 pre-soaked dates
3 tbsps water
Pinch of salt
0,5 tbsp melted coconut oil
Little handful unsalted peanuts
3 tbsps melted coconut oil
6 tbsps unsweetened cacao
1-2 tbsps maple syrup
Start by mixing all nougat ingredients. Spread and press down the dough in a by parchment paper lined tray. The layer should be about half an inch thick. Placed a tray in the freezer to set.
Combine the dates, salt and coconut oil for the caramel layer in a food processor. Blend until you have a smooth consistency. If needed, add extra water or extra dates until you have a thick smooth texture. You will have left over caramel.
Spread the caramel on top of the nougat layer and top off with peanuts while pressing them down slightly.
Freeze for another 30 minutes.
Simply combine all the chocolate ingredients to make the chocolate topping. Cut the layered creation in bars and coat and chocolate, pop in the freezer for another hour or so. Allow to defrost before digging in. Enjoy!
So there we have it – I’m actually now finishing off this blog a few days after I started it and that feeling of smugness has subsided after falling off the sugar cart on Sunday. But I’m back on now and determined to make a sugar free lifestyle work 80% of the time and not to beat myself up about the 20% – we’ve all got to live right?
I’ve not touched on alcohol which is obviously packed with sugar and historically has probably played a fairly significant role in my sugar addiction and also periods in my life when I’ve not felt so healthy! I have a podcast in the making on that subject – it’s going to be a tough one but it’s a subject I want to open up about so watch this space!