My Sugar-free Month

Settling in to Day 3 of my ‘no sugar’ month….means cutting out all cane sugar, plus any alternative sweeteners such as agave or maple syrup. But I am going to be eating fruit. Plus sprinklings of raw cacoa nibs, that are as close as it gets to chocolate!

Why am I doing this? I was reminded of all the damage sugar can do to my body and mind when I recently read the article ‘Slaying the Sugar Beast’ by Dr Michael Klaper. And he didn’t even mention insulin resistance and diabetes. His comments were inspiring and depressing at the same time:

“…within minutes (of eating sugar), your bloodstream is flooded with sugar. Soon, the structural proteins in all your tissues – the elastic fibers of your skin, the haemoglobin in your blood, the filter membranes in your kidneys, the inner lining of your blood vessels, the lenses of your eyes – all get “sticky” with sugar (the chemists say they become “glycosylated.”)”.

These damaged proteins, called Advanced Glycation End Products are known as AGE’s for short, which is very apt since their effect is to make us feel older: muscle proteins do not contract as well as before, skin cracks in the sunlight, brain function dwindles, eyes become less permeable to light, need I say anymore?

When I really get that all these changes are taking me more rapidly towards frailty and even some form of dementia, I get clear… I really don’t want to eat it sugar!

The first step for me was to acknowledge that I do actually consume some of the ‘pure, white and deadly’ substance every day, description coined by Prof John Yudkin. If the exact amount, in white granules, that I eat daily, were measured into a bowl and placed in front of me, I think I would be shocked.

Maybe you can relate to this; I have this belief that I don’t actually eat much sugar, however it’s insidious!  My truth will set me free! Sugar easily creeps into my diet…

 ‘healthy’ dark chocolate – Every Day!

Vegan ice-cream – Every Evening!

‘healthy’ cake – occasionally  

mango chutney – often

ketchup

cornflakes etc

A few years ago when I was researching how to change habits, during writing my book Eat Dance Shine, I found that the saying ‘It takes 21 days to change a habit’ is a myth. A psychology researcher at the University of London found it takes on average 66 days and can vary greatly from person to person. Maybe I will need 2 months!

How will I manage? I have a few ideas up my sleeve. I’ve taken the time to remember when is it that I rely on sugar? for the energy buzz, or that special treat, and finding alternatives. I am getting used to savoury snacks instead of sweet ones, and that feels like a relief! Finding alternative activities rather than eating, helps too. For me that’s knitting in the evening, instead of eating some ice-cream. During the day, moving and dancing Nia, getting outside in the garden, or on another dog walk.

Looking at the calendar, I’ve decided that this week is the warm-up week, and I will take the whole of May as my sugar-free month. Will I continue after one month? I’ve no idea…taking it one month at a time.

Who’s joining me on this May’s sugar-free journey? Who wants to connect and share how the month is going?

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