The jackhammer in her head continues while friends gasp at the mere idea of giving up sugar and she discovers balsamic vinegar is sugary. Anna Magee’s second day sugar-free still hurts
’90 days?!! Are you serious? I couldn’t last 90 minutes?’ commented my friend Cliff on Facebook yesterday when I posted about this experiment which I grant him, is fairly idiotic. The day was filled with comments and emails of this ilk. ‘Wow, 90 days. I salute you but I ain’t joining you, I’ve been eating cakes all day at the Natural Products Show – they’re organic so it doesn’t matter,’ said another friend.
I did wonder why I was doing this, as the jackhammer in my temple got worse and seemed to move into my third eye, drilling away all day. Then I remembered how much I want even energy and moods, better sleep and skin – the things the sugar-free fascists say I will gain if I do this. Even now – up since 4.15am unable to sleep through again (I am an early riser waking at 5.30 most days but this is ridiculous) – as I sit here writing this my head is aching. But I don’t want to replace a sugar addiction with Panadol dependency so am not taking anything.
Along with being headachy, I am confused about what I can and can’t eat. On hand I have the purists advising me to go 100 per cent clean and not replace or eat any sugar for the first ten days. They’re talking about any kind, even the kind that is natural found not only in fruits but in milk or balsamic vinegar. I mean really, no alcohol, cigarettes, sugar or balsamic vinegar? Why live? I kind of know these people are right: if the experiment is to be real I need a real methodology so the results aren’t skewed.
On the other hand I have the moderates, who suggest that while I am weaning myself off I have the odd bit of fruit and not worry about sugars in milk etc. For example, yesterday I crowdsourced answers from that great oracle of truth – Twitter -about what to eat before the gym. Up to now I have been having USN Watermelon BCAA Power Punch, a powder that mixes with water into an intensely sweet drink which is sweetened with sucralose. That’s Splenda , an artificial sweetener seen as if-fy by experts and I suspect not exactly on the no-sugar menu. It’s one of those powders body builders take pre-training (I know, I am hard core, right) but super-trainer Matt Hodges suggested I take it pre-workout to help my muscles recover. It really works but now I can’t have it, apparently. I used to have half a banana, but now was thinking: sugar! Then, leading dietician Rick Miller tweeted me saying a banana pre-gym is fine if I am training and doing mixture of cardio and resistance (which I am) because it will be quickly burnt off.
So here I am, drinking tea with milk after eating half a banana pre-gym. Oddly, after my tea and banana, the headache is not gone but a little better.
Oh and BIG observation from yesterday. I didn’t get anywhere near as hungry between breakfast and lunch. I waited until 2pm for to eat! In the office, intern Alexa Tucker and I tried some armchair dietetics on working out why and decided it might be something to do with not eating any fruit with breakfast?
Yesterday’s eating (don’t judge me!):
AM: Whole porridge made with almond milk, sea salt, mixed seeds and a teaspoon of butter.
Lunch: Two cups of raw veggies with about 150 grams chicken breast, five olives and five Brazil nuts.
6pm: Two boiled eggs (they said eat more protein instead of sugar, I was working back and I wanted Maltesers!)
9pm: Small apple and whole porridge made with almond milk, sea salt, mixed seeds and a teaspoon of butter (don’t even ask, it was late).
Plus, About five cups of tea with skimmed milk.
Ah, skimmed milk. Karrine, a reader commented yesterday that I should have whole milk instead as the fats keep you satisfied. Then another said milk is full of sugar anyway.
So – here’s the plan. I am going to freestyle my way through the no-sugar thing in this first week and then on Saturday sit down and make a few decisions about the rules. So if you have suggestions, send them this week!
As a journalist I always feel the need to bring the reader answers – a happy ending of sorts – with the pieces I write. But this blog is throwing up so many questions I am scared we’re all going to get super-confused and run for the nearest Yorkie bar. So each day, I will write a list (ooh, we love a list) about what I learned the day before.
What I learned yesterday about giving up sugar:
1. Sugar is in everything, even mayonnaise and Balsamic vinegar and milk (weep)
2. Protein really does curb your appetite so eating chicken breast, eggs, nuts etc at meals or as snacks helps stop cravings.
3. If you give up sugar you will have a headache. I still can’t tell you when this will end.
4. As an idea, giving up sugar makes people freak out. I am hearing them. I now have no way of quickly self-medicating my emotions. This is terrifying.
Any more tips? PLEASE! I clearly need them…
More in the No sugar for 90 days blog series
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