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No sugar for 90 days blog – Day 1

Day one of our editor Anna Magee’s sugar-free quest and it hasn’t been exactly easy though she did get her hands on the sugar addict’s methadone to sort out a Sunday night sorbet treat

Anyone know the meaning of headache? Think of a jackhammer in your temple and you’ll get an idea of how I was feeling on day 1.

It’s not like I eat that much sugar but I was withdrawing from something and given that I don’t do coke or heroin, these symptoms must have been from going sugar-free. On Saturday I had to watch my husband heartlessly eat a Magnum – you know not the plain ones but the ones with the works, caramel, nuts, extra chocolate, the cruel beast – and a large bag of crisps (which turn out to be laden with sugar when you look on the label). I couldn’t even add a dollop of Hellman’s mayonnaise to my salmon because there’s sugar it in – it’s mayonnaise for heaven’s sake!

I have had lovely Twitter support and a trainer called Anthony Mayatt got in touch to say that he’s been sugar free for a few weeks and felt great. Also, that the first six days were the worst and increasing my protein intake would help me. See his tweet below:

@AnnaMagee yes they will go its just the craving like any other. My main tip is increase your protein intake throughout the day

So I stocked up on boiled eggs, nuts and salmon and munched through those through the day. Still, at the supermarket – even though I don’t normally purchase this kind of stuff – all I could see were sweet things.  Big, pink donuts and marzipan croissants and chocolate eggs in every size, shape and colour taunting me from the isles and jumping out in my peripheral vision like a David Lynch movie. And this is only Day 1.

The diet for the day looked like this:

AM: broiled salmon and sliced pear. Tea with skimmed milk

Lunch: About 40 almonds and a small packet of ham (okay not great but I had a deadline, was in the office and couldn’t get out to the shops)

Snack: Teaspoon of whole earth peanut butter (the sugar-free one, for the pedants)

Dinner: Chicken breast stir fry with almonds with a tonne of veg, ginger, garlic, Tamari and lime juice

Dessert: Sorbet made with frozen strawberries, almond milk, half a banana, Ecuadorian cacao nibs from Hotel Chocolat and a tablespoon of Stevia. Exhibit A.

vitamix sorbet

Cacao nibs are the cocoa bean before it’s had any processing and Hotel Chocolat sell them according to region, a little like wine. They’re really bitter and dry alone, but fab in dishes. I do know hard core sugar-free-ers that have a handful when they want a ‘treat’ – not quite there yet – or as an anergy boost before a run.

cacao nibs
Hotel Chocolat sell Cocoa Nins according to region like wine, from left harvested in Ecuador which I used in my sorbet, Trinidad and Vietnam
So anyway, Sunday night is treat night. Or was. Last night, we were inhaling a couple of eps of the new series of House of Cards and anyone who has seen it will know, Frank Underwood is best served with something sweet because the guy is eeeee-vil. Most of the experts I know say not to replace sugar with artificial sweeteners because it tends to keep you craving sugar’s taste. But this was an emergency. So I turned to the Stevia. It’s made from a sweet plant and so far has the approval of most nutritionists I know. Still, it is super sweet and having it as a habit is not going to do anything to help me lose my cravings.
stevia ok
I filmed with David Gillespie, author of The Sweet Poison Quit Plan earlier in the year and he called it ‘Methadone for sugar addicts’ in the film above we made about giving up sugar to lose weight. So, I guess in the first month while I am getting clean it’s okay. What do you think?
Got any tips? Help me!
Other No sugar for 90 days blog posts

Why oh why give up sugar?


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