Saturday, 26 April 2014

Headache part 2

I've been reflecting on the headache, and like every good student, went back to the book for a bit of reassurance.

Chapter 7 is about lapses, and how to cope with them. Now, my lapse was not unconscious - I did know what I was doing - but somehow was also unconscious, in so much as I didn't suffer cravings or  fail as such. Basically I had a horrible sore throat and needed some cough mixture.

I felt ok last night. Yes it was sweet, but not torturously so, and although I didn't sleep very well, that could be attributed to a variety of other things, namely Mother Nature, snoring husband, and very heavy rain. And the sore throat, of course.

But today, oh my word, the headache! Like a hangover, but not quite so all-over body, just head.

It has also made me take stock of how I feel in general, and identify a few cons as well as pros. To be honest, for the last couple of weeks I have felt exhausted. It has been Easter holidays though, and it's back to school on Monday, so my two weeks of revivers is almost up. We have also had quite a lot of social stuff, including a wedding and quite a few nights out, so there has been a good slug of booze drunk. And I'm obviously sickening for something, so maybe that's why I'm shattered.

Still, it interested me that when I felt sugar-hanging today, Sarah's book yet again offered a weirdly psychically on point response.

Today I woke up all about eggs, but no spinach scrambled beauty on granary was going to cut it. No, no, I needed a fried egg bap. Oh yes.

Then a bit of running around, fuelled by an oatmeal and sunflower cookie, them home for a couple of large cherry and cinnamon herbal teas, then a lunch of sardines, salad, and buttered granary toast, followed by a lovely chai and a piece of my slant on raspberry ripple, seed laden and dotted with red rasps.

So, what does the guru say? Contemplate, hydrate, and eat right - protein, minimal carbs and no caffeine. Which is odd, because this is what I had done without instruction. Good, eh?

The exhaustion interests me, the more I read about it. Figures for how long it takes to come off sugar seem to range from 2 weeks to 4 months. I genuinely felt I'd kicked it in the first couple of weeks, and craving wise, I have, but perhaps the cellular clear out takes longer. Maybe I'm still detoxing.

It surprised me, although perhaps it shouldn't have, that so often my experiences married so closely with the book. I have followed it to the letter, which I realise in reading other people 's blogs, not everyone else does, e.g. Sugar free recipes that include honey, or sugar free sodas laced with chemical sweeteners. It is comforting to realise that the slumps and struggles I have incurred are normal and to be expected. It does raise a few questions though :

- really, how long will it take to really get off sugar? I mean, no tiredness or anything. It's been 8 weeks and I thought I was out of the woods, but perhaps I'm not quite there yet. Craving wise, yes, but physical "comedown" still in progress.

- what about times where sugar just cannot be avoided, like the cough mixture? Do I just have to make the choice to deal with the hangover? Or is there another option?

- am I eating the right balance of fats, proteins and carbs to eventually (however slowly) lose weigh and stay at the natural weight for me. The book is very "go for good fats" but I worry that this may not have the desired effect.

Another piece of advice from the book was not to get complacent. I realise I haven't read the book for a couple of weeks.

So challenge for this week is to read the book more closely, and use it as the manual it is intended to be, keep an eye on the tiredness, and what I've eaten to help explain it, and keep reading up on the balance.

What is with this horrendous headache?

Oh that's right... Yesterday I had 6 teaspoons of cough mixture.

Oh my god!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

As if I forgot about Easter!!

I was aware of Easter as being a bit of a challenge to overcome, but actually it came and went without drama.

We were at a wedding on Easter Sunday, so that did sort of detract from the usual routine, but even then, there was no major hoop jumping to be had. I had mentioned to the bride that I was sugar free, and the menu was fairly compatible anyway, with a goats cheese and red onion tarte, and roast lamb (gravy was a special sugar free one, and in a jug - nice touch). The only part I couldn't have was the rum and raisin cheesecake, and a tiny taste of my husbands made me squirm - it was soooo sweet, basically just cream cheese and sugar! The alternative was a fresh fruit salad, which I could perhaps have chanced, but it had bananas and melon in, and weirdly, was dusted with icing sugar, so instead I took solace in my wine. The evening buffet was what can only be described as a tower of cheese (they had a many tiered cheese truckle wedding cake!) with bread, and also bacon and sausage cobs, so sugar free all the way.

It was only yesterday that I realised that Easter had completely passed me by - no egg, no chocolate of any description, no kicking and screaming. It's a strange, slightly flat little victory, because it wasn't hard and I didn't realise I was doing it. It just goes to show it's worked, and is working.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

My theory about cholesterol.

I realise I don't write as much as I used to. I think this is because in general I am thinking a lot less about my own personal quit, but I am reading a lot about the science behind the movement, and thought I'd share some of this today.

A friend of mine rang and told me she has been told she has high cholesterol, and ordered to give up dry white wine and start eating only low fat, and completely bypass saturated fat. It just doesn't sit well with me... Here's why.

(Disclaimer... I am NOT a medical professional. I am a food teacher, but my standpoint is entirely based on my own experiences and my logical interpretation of the texts of other writers. This is not advice, just observation.)

1) Cholesterol is produced by the liver. It is a fatty substance, or lipid. Fructose gets converted into fat by the liver instead of being converted into glucose by the cells. Maybe if the sugar wasn't in the liver in the first place, the liver wouldn't be able to do this. Maybe?

2) Low fat stuff generally has lots more sugar in it that normal fat products. If it didn't it would taste like wellingtons. Cardboard wellingtons.

3) Dry white wine has very little sugar in it, because the yeast gobbles it all up in the alcohol making process. Even better choice is red wine, and steer well clear from port, liqueurs or mixers.

4) Coconut oil is a saturated fat. It contains a large percentage of lauric acid and stays by stable at high temperatures because it is a short chain fatty acid. Also, communities that eat primarily just coconut oil have low rates of heart disease. Unlike vegetable oil, which does crazy things at high temperatures. Not good.

I don't mean to get really evangelical about it all, but you have to agree that  a lot of the advice on matters like cholesterol, and diet lately don't quite seem to add up. I found these 2 articles in the Telegraph to support my rantings:


Plus, one can't argue with the evidence that in the last 2 months, and without dieting or exercising more than usual I have lost 5cm from around my middle, and half a stone. I also no longer compulsively clear my plate, don't crave sweet treats, and haven't at any point had to talk myself down from the ledge because of not being allowed to eat something I wanted.

My gut feeling is, take the pressure off your liver by not feeding it loads of sweet nasties, and it will be able to concentrate better and not produce the bad stuff itself. It's only a theory. I might ask for a cholesterol test at the doctor. Some evidence would be pretty cool.

In other news, I had an orange. It was very sweet. I only ate half. This is new.

Bon appetite xx

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Tentatively, I may be cured.

I have been absent for a while, too many other things going on I'm afraid, but I'm back and I have news.

So, weigh in this week was not so good. But before I got too antsy, I did have a good thorough look at the week's activities and to be fair. I deserved to have put on a pound. I deserved ten, if I'm honest. There was the Night of the Three Parties... Guinness, lager, gin martinis, and several gin and it (nothing if not creative) hotly followed by the Day of The Unholy Hangover when I think I ate everything in the kitchen. No sugar was in the kitchen, however my own body weight in bread and cheese was, and is no longer. That day ended with the Feast of the Hen Party When the Hen Didn't Show, otherwise known as the Feast at the French Cafe, where cheese (again with the cheese, fatty!) was washed down with a bottle of Merlot... No, I deserve everything I got.

But, a few interesting things have happened.

1) the Night of the Three Parties saw me try a gin and slimline tonic for he first time since the big quit, and I couldn't drink it because it was so unbearably sweet. Tooth-achingly sweet in fact. I knew my tastes had changed, but I hadn't realised quite this much. Interesting. 

2) the Feast at the French Cafe ended with dessert. Well, I say dessert. My friend who is currently on a diet with one of the big slimming clubs had a mango sorbet, which she left half of on account it was too sweet. I had the baked Camembert starter for dessert. It came with bread and apple slices, and a couple of which were plenty. A nice treat, but no need to eat the lot. Hmmmmm. 

3) the aforementioned Hen asked me to make wedding favours for her, little nets of Cadbury mini eggs tied with a ribbon. In short, I handled 900 mini eggs yesterday. NINE HUNDRED!! And not a single solitary egg passed my lips. And not, I swear, because of any extraordinary willpower or self control. I actually just didn't want one. They smelled so incredibly sweet, far far too sweet, and the sugary dust on my hands was almost mindbending. That is new. Previously I would have eaten as many as I wrapped! 

So the sugar quitting has definitely worked. Happy days. Perhaps I need to increase my veggie intake. I probably ought to decrease my booze and cheese intake. But hot diggity, I think I'm cured.