Sugar, ah honey, honey

This weekend hubby is away on a stag do. When he’s out for the evening, normally I will watch something I like to watch and eat chocolate. Except this time.

Whilst I have every intention of watching You’ve Got Mail tonight, last night I didn’t really want to tuck into my bar of chocolate that I’d bought especially for the evening and even ended up not being able to sleep. Admittedly I find it a bit lonely when hubby’s not here and the bed seems really big, but to eventually fall asleep at 1am is a bit ridiculous.

So what was going on with the chocolate?!

Earlier this year I read the blog of Eve Schaub, a lady in America who, with her whole family, chose to go for a whole year without eating sugar. I had been reading a few things about the amount of sugar we consume on a daily basis, particularly in processed food prior to this. It has been in the news quite a lot because it has been linked to various ailments and the World Health Organisation reduced the recommended daily intake. In the blog, Eve Schaub talks about why she decided to ditch sugar, the various books she read and how her family coped.

I should probably mention that this isn’t about the natural sugar in fruit. Eating a whole fruit is fine with all the fibre from the skin or pulp according to Mrs Schaub’s research, it is about those added crazy-named sugars that you read about on food labels. The only thing with fresh fruit is the natural sugars are still bad for your teeth. We heard somewhere you should eat a piece of cheese after fruit to neutralise the acid from the fruit or, as our dentist suggested, eat the fruit and then a sandwich. But she did use dextrose to replace normal sugar in cooking.

Anyway, having read some of her blog I seriously considered how much processed food and sugar we eat as a family. I make most meals from scratch and I make cake for hubby nearly every week which, whilst it contains sugar, is homemade so does not contain any preservatives or crazy-named added sugars. We do like to have treats and I struggle to resist anything which has chocolate in it or on it.

After reading Mrs Schaub’s blog, I was inspired to try to cut out all sugar in order to be healthier but I failed quickly due to the tower of Easter eggs on our mantelpiece at the time and my lack of determination. Clearly Mrs Schaub did a whole year without sugar as a kind of experiment, and I had no intention of being so extreme.

Ironically, I ended up eating more sugar. Knowing how bad it was for me didn’t make any difference! There are other factors that make me eat chocolate and doughnuts, not just how nice they taste – everything from my mood to hubby’s bad influence (he has amazing metabolism and eats a lot of cake). Last night I realised I wasn’t hungry when I opened the chocolate and thought back over the last couple of weeks to when I’ve eaten chocolate or cake. Crazily, most occasions have not been because I’ve been hungry. I ended up not being able to sleep and instead writing down how I was going to fix this sugar obsession.

So it seems to have finally sunk in. After this weekend (because we’re visiting friends tomorrow), I am ditching chocolate, biscuits and cake and not eating after 6.30pm on weekdays unless we’re having dinner late, because after our son is in bed I’m more likely to relax and happily munch choccy biscuits. I was going to start today but due to the lack of sleep felt I needed a (decaf) mocha to keep me awake. Actually I felt a bit funny after drinking half of it. Maybe it was caffeinated after all! I’m sure eating a banana would have done the trick instead.

Clearly I will still eat sugar and I’m definitely not saying I will never eat chocolate, drink a mocha or devour chocolate fudge cake ever again. That would be crazy talk. But I have a definite plan to cut right down and return to chocolate and cake being a treat instead of the norm. I’m going to make healthier sweet snacks like the almond cookie bites I made recently so that I have a back-up. In fact, if I just followed our son’s diet (except for the mountain of crackers that boy currently eats), I’d be doing great – the general rule is he can only have cake, biscuits and chocolate at the weekend (not all weekend).

I also need to ‘up’ my exercise. Hubby has already said that I should do some exercise – he was quick to add this isn’t because he thinks I’m fat but because it helps my mood! Now the mornings are dark I really struggle to get out of bed at 7am let alone any earlier so I haven’t been swimming since I swam in the sea on holiday. It’s tricky trying to fit in exercise with a toddler without getting up before him or not seeing hubby or getting anything done in the evening. The good thing is our son loves dancing to music and he thinks Mummy doing star jumps is funny, so that’s a couple of ways to burn a few calories. Perhaps once he’s in bed tonight I’ll get on the exercise bike whilst watching You’ve Got Mail and burn off the mocha.

Why am I blogging about this? Because if I make it ‘public’, perhaps I’ll stick to it. Friends and family can say ‘you’re not supposed to be drinking mochas’ and actively keep me from eating cake by not offering it to me and not buying me chocolate. That is, of course, if anyone has read to the end of this essay.


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