30 Dec 2017

It started, not with a kiss (for those of a certain age you will know this is the title of a Hot Chocolate song, rather apt title too!) but with a bendicks bitter mint!  Just ONE of those delicious minty chocolates  was enough to fire up my brain and palette, that’s all it takes and is exactly how sugar affects the body – it is instant.  As someone who rarely eats refined sugar, my body reacts super fast to it when I do.   The few times I might ingest sugar I am generally left feeling tired and emotional, stressed and the menopausal symptoms come flooding back with night sweats, anxiety and sleep problems (I usually sleep between 7 and 8 hours a night with no problem at all) – what sugar does to me is more than enough to keep me away from it as much as 99% of my time.  I do however,  occasionally throw caution to the wind and this Christmas was no exception.

That one chocolate created all sorts of problems first and foremost it left me wanting more and so the sugar fest began.  While wrapping my daughters Christmas stocking, at break neck speed I found myself opening the packet of Percy Pigs destined for her stocking but ending up rumbling around in my mouth like washing in a washing machine!   The next day a homemade Pavlova was just too difficult to say no to and so the cycle began so by Christmas day I thought nothing of downing a couple of glasses of wine with lunch  (I drink alcohol nowadays as rarely as I eat sugar) and a gin and tonic while cooking it and a whole box of mint (mint again!) Matchsticks bar a handful which were put in the food bin underneath all the nasty leftovers to ensure I didn’t go back and finish them off – that’s what sugar does!   I do not regret what I consumed, ok perhaps the Percy Pigs because they were meant to be for my daughter and I could have probably stopped half way through the Matchsticks box, but I didn’t.   BUT…the way I had been feeling and was continuing to feel since my sugar fest was a strong enough pull to STOP!  So since boxing day, I have been eating and drinking in my usual way and am now reaping the rewards of feeling happy and bouncy once again!

Staying away from the sweet stuff really doesn’t feel like a noose around my neck.  When I took the decision to stop consuming sugar (around 8 years ago), it wasn’t easy in the first instance that I will admit, I missed the booze most of all but having felt and seen the huge benefits staying away from it 99% of my time, makes it more than easy.

We all know sugar is addictive, some say as addictive as cocaine and the likes – I completely agree with this.   The hardest part of removing it from our diets is making the decision to do it and then sticking to it, at least 90% of the time.   Humans need to eat food, humans do not need and should not eat refined sugar and other chemicals.

Your body is not dissimilar to a car, put diesel in a petrol car and it will go horribly wrong, the very same happens to humans if we fuel ourselves with the wrong stuff – it just takes longer to manifest.

Women going into menopause or in the thick of it will suffer further if consuming sugar, I very much include alcohol in this too.  A females body dealing with the hormonal changes menopause brings will not be able to deal with what sugar does to it.  The knock on effect of an unhappy body is weight gain, sweating day and/or night, anxiety, dry hair and skin, tiredness, sleep problems, mood swings and much more.  To feel like this for the remainder of life anytime from around 40 onwards is a horrible prospect and we should be kinder to ourselves – life is just too precious to feel ill and unhappy if it’s simply down to what we’re fuelling our bodies with.

I have never judged anyone for what they eat or drink but If someone chooses to eat lots of unnatural foods and/or drink lots of alcohol and comes to me with weight and other problems the advice I give is to change their eating and drinking habits. Sadly, too many people will listen but not act or act but only for an amount of time and then return to their previous ways.  This is a horrid way for a human to live. We all enjoy a bit of naughtiness sometimes, but it is the clever person who jumps off as fast as they jumped on.

The trick to giving up sugar is to teach your brain and palette to stop craving it and the only way you will do this is by stopping eating it.  Human palettes are completely sugar designed nowadays, the food supplied in our supermarkets and the likes are filled with sugar and other chemicals so it is down to us to make those choices and go back to how we used to eat.   The only way of doing this is to buy fresh foods (that do not require ingredient labels), stay away from all the boxed up cartons and packets and accept alcohol is just as destructive too.  The long and the short of it is, do you want to make changes badly enough – only you can make that decision.

New years eve and will I do it all over again no, I can guarantee I won’t – I’m enjoying feeling well again too much!

Have a happy and safe NEW YEAR 2018  🙂