I’ve been having some pretty loopy mood swings lately. This might all be fun on a good day but heaven help anyone who speaks to me on a bad one. Turns out, my whole body is in a spot of bother and it appears that if I don’t do something about it now my health could really suffer.
Sugar has been deemed the biggest villain here and has been banished from my usual diet until further notice. White flour, white pasta and rice have been shown the door. In their place come whole-meal and whole-wheat counterparts. This isn’t a diet. I have never properly been on a diet. (Although I did once spend a week eating special K for breakfast and lunch. This sounds like I was successful until you factor in that I was meant to do it for a fortnight! Oh, and another time I tried to cut out carbohydrates and fruit but that lasted as long as it took me to realise I’d just made a batch of soda bread).
This no-sugar-more-wholemeal-plan is a change in eating habits that I need to make permanent. I eat quite healthily most of the time but I am prone to having huge sugar cravings. I can easily bake a batch of fairy cakes and eat the lot. This doesn’t sound catastrophic but these sugar hankerings have been getting progressively worse.
If the only result of my heavy sugar intake was a little weight gain and furry teeth then I could live with that but in my case even a small increase around my waist throws my hormones into a right muddle. In a funny sort of way I hope I stay scared about this for a long time, or at least until I have settled in to an almost sugar free world and begin to feel a few benefits.
After glancing over a few books, doing an online search and chatting over coffee with sympathetic friends I gleaned a lot more information on this subject than I thought. It sounds naïve but I was genuinely surprised at the amount of differences even small changes in eating habits can make with so many health problems.
So far, so good, although let’s be realistic, I’m only 3 days in!
In order for this to be sustainable I have decided to face it with the following two-pronged attack:
1) Focus on the worse case scenario
If I don’t change then there are serious health problems ahead.
2) Be positive about what I can eat
I started listing the things I cannot regularly eat anymore (such as white flour, sugar, cakes, biscuits) and started to think of delicious alternatives or “swapsies”. This new healthy lifestyle actually encourages the consumption of some of my favourite things – a little red wine, dark chocolate, poached eggs and avocados; if I start to think of these things as medicinal then, well; happy days!
When Richard offered to make me porridge this morning I felt a little sad. I’m one of those people who take their porridge with a metric tonne of golden syrup but I know that’s definitely off the menu. Instead I went for chopped dates and a dash of cinnamon and (thankfully) it was surprisingly delicious. Yesterday I made risotto with bulgur wheat instead of white rice and this evening my spaghetti carbonara became spelt spaghetti with avocado and goats cheese.
With all this extra veg, fruit smoothies, dates and a dash of spirulina I might be farting for England for the next few days but at least I’m on the right track!
I shall open a window and look forward to loosing a few pounds and my sweet tooth!