The Sugar Blog Part 1 – No Sugar No Cry!

Remembering the Bob Marley song No Woman No Cry, I thought it was a good place to start my Sugar Blog. There’s a line in the song,

“Everything’s gonna be alright.”

and it repeats eight times, it’s very comforting!

I started a candida albicans diet on Wednesday. Thinking about it for a long time I had even made an attempt at it last November. The difference this time is I have support. My friend gave me the name of a Medical Herbalist and I’ve found her help really useful. She’s given me supplements to keep my body nourished and books to keep my mind occupied(!). One of the supplements even seems to have stopped the sugar craving. But I didn’t know that last Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning the sky was grey and my mood was black. I had a “sort of” plan to follow but wasn’t hopeful. The previous Monday night at the cinema I had eaten a €5 bag of sugar coated jelly sweets! I ate them one after the other almost without tasting, almost unable to stop. If I had done that –

How am I gong to survive without any sugar?

But it turned out that wasn’t the important question. Feeling miserable after my breakfast (porridge, rice milk, cinnamon, sprinkle of crushed flaxseed and supplements) and not wanting to share my misery I went up to my bedroom and wallowed for a bit. In my head I could hear, (well, I wasn’t hearing voices … it was my own voice!)

This is so unfair…. How am I going to manage?……. Why can’t I just eat what I want?……. Where am I going to find the energy?……. I’m so tired……… I’m so fed up…… I’m useless……. I never do anything right……. How am I going to feed myself? …….. How am I going to cook for everyone else? … What can I eat?……

And I started to cry. Now I’m no stranger to wallowing, but I hadn’t done it in a while and I may be loosing the knack, because soon I was hearing,

This is just an outward manifestation ………. What? This is just stuff happening out there, and you can use it to grow calm in here …… Oh…. ok that sounds just like something I tell other people ……

And then I started to feel calm. I wanted to go back to wallowing but it wasn’t working. I talked to myself for another few moments and then I heard,

What about a book with recipes?……..

Well, now you’re talking! I love books. That’s what I’ll do. So I got up, dried up and went to buy lots of vegetables and a new cookbook. The funny thing was I was feeling so good that when I made the grocery list I crossed out the book because I have plenty of cookbooks and I could find suitable recipes in them.

Wanting to buy vegetables I drove to the vegetable shop but for some strange reason parked near the book shop. Walking past it occurred to me that I could just look to see if there was anything interesting. So I walked in and found the healthy eating section. There were a few books and I flicked through them until I came to the one that had a recipe for Yoghurt Soda Bread, and it had two stars beside it.

Before I go on some background information: I’ve never liked cooking! Probably because I do it everyday for my family, whether I feel like it or not. And also because I didn’t think I was that good a cook. This has changed a bit in the past couple of years, and when I cook calmly the food tastes better! Leaving aside the cooking, I love baking. Scones, Apple Tarts, Rhubarb Tarts, Queen Cakes. Yum! I love eating the result of baking, now that I think of it that’s probably because of the sugar! So when I saw the recipe for the Bread I started to get excited.

The other thing about my diet is it excludes yeast and I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat bread, but Soda bread doesn’t have yeast! Yippee! But the MOST exciting thing about the recipe was the stars. You see this was a book written by a lady, Erica White, who had to go off sugar and yeast and she knew what that was really like. She knew that there could be bad days on this journey and she had come up with a plan to help! Star ratings. There were three star ratings. One star was a recipe for days when you are just surviving. Two stars for a day when you’re reviving and three stars for a thriving kind of day! The fact that making bread could be considered harder than easy and easier than difficult and I was willing to make it, made me feel great. I must be doing better than I thought. So I bought the book.

After that traumatic first day, things got easier. I picked out the recipes I wanted to make and bought the ingredients. I accepted that I might need to go shopping each day, and that made the almost daily trip easier. I stopped watching food programs on TV, stopped having biscuits in the cupboard and kept my eyes from straying to chocolate at the shops.The fridge had alternative sources of food always available. A week into the diet now the important question is –

Why do I want to eat when I’m not hungry?

The answer’s not clear yet, but it’s related to using food to comfort myself. I had a very busy day yesterday and there was some stress and some excitement and I was tired by dinnertime. For the first time since beginning this diet I wanted to eat something “nice” (“nice” to me means sweet) after my dinner. Fortunately there were plenty of non-sweet choices in my fridge. It was only after I had eaten some beautiful red Pesto with multigrain rye bread that I became aware that I was not hungry when I began eating. For the first time I considered that sugar may not be the problem, the problem may be that I eat when I don’t need the food for physical nourishment. Could this be another drug? This is just week 1, await further revelations!

For now all is well and I’m surviving, reviving and thriving through my sugar-less journey.