Top 10 Q&A’s from the guy behind That Sugar Film

that sugar film (blog3)

Want to be a part of a sugar revolution as big as tobacco was back in the 70’es? Then watch That Sugar Film when it shows in cinemas throughout the world over the next 6 months. Dr. Lustig started rocking the proverbial ‘sugar boat’ back in 2009 with his presentation Sugar: The Bitter Truth, David Gillespie raised the alarm as well in his book Sweet Poison and now That Sugar Movie is going global. It is going to happen, and it’s just the beginning.

That Sugar Film – what is it about?

Last week my husband and I were amongst the lucky people who got to watch the first preview screening of That Sugar Film in New Zealand. Having being immersed in this topic for over 3 years, I have to say that it was pretty spot on! It explains why sugar is worse than you thought (trust me, you will be surprised) and showcases real life examples from around the world. And, of course, how one man, Damon Gameau (eating a healthy diet, drinking no alcohol and taking no prescription medicine) reacts when subjected to 40 teaspoons of sugar per day over 2 months (similar to Morgan Spurlock in Super Size Me). Here is the twist though, Damon must only eat perceived ‘healthy’ food such as juice, cereals, muesli bars and low fat products. My favorite part? That this is a highly entertaining movie. I won’t lie and say I didn’t cover my face once, but it’s easy to watch, family friendly and humours. So, my dear friends, if you need to be convinced that sugar-free diets aren’t just ‘another fad’, watch this movie! (Opens in NZ cinemas May 7th, book tickets here, and will be touring South Africa, Europe and America in the following months).

TOP QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FROM THAT SUGAR FILM

Damon Gameau has placed himself in the line of fire after 66 screenings in Australia and now here in New Zealand. These are the top 10 questions that were asked and the answers from Damon that you really want to know:

1. What is your top tip for cutting down on sugar?

Read labels. Understanding that 1 teaspoon is 4 grams. So, if you see a product which has 20 grams of sugar, you divide that by 4 and you then know there is about 5 teaspoons in that serving. Knowing that the companies are using a vast amount of different names for sugar, though they are catching on to this message, there are something like 60 different names for sugar, like evaporated cane juice, my favourite new one is ‘grape mist’.

2. Best tip for dealing with withdrawals?

We now know that fats activate award centres in the brain, not quite as strong as sugar but in similar ways, I had avocado and a teaspoon of coconut oil with my meals. A nutritionist in Australia told me to use reversed psychology, if I had a craving have something really disgusting, like apple cider vinegar, so you brain says, well if you are going to give me that when I have a craving I’m not going to have a craving anymore, it’s a really good technique.

3. Cold turkey or doing it gradually?

It depends on how much sugar you are having in your diet. For me I would say gradual, we have to be kind to ourselves. What worked for me was to have a lot of fruit in that transition period, it has a lot of sweetness to it but the fibre is protecting us from the influx of sugar. And your palate does adjust, for me it probably took about a week, everything tasted bland and like cardboard. But, then I started noticing the subtle flavours again, it’s quite an amazing moment, even to me, now, who drank two cokes a day, I find a banana almost too sweet, so you do get through it.

4. Sugar in alcoholic drinks?

We know that a lot of the fructose is burned off in the fermentation process of alcohol. White wine, red wine is quite low in sugar. Dessert wine and champagne is higher in sugar and beer has a different type of sugar called maltose, so it obviously still affects the liver but you have to have a lot more of it to cause damage.

5. Sugar in honey?

Honey is high in fructose but if you are eating healthy, not having much sugar in your lives, a little honey is totally fine. I think we just sometimes go extreme. This sugar addiction has developed over 100 of years, it’s important to be kind to ourselves. If you have a little honey or maple syrup here or there, enjoy it.

6. Should we avoid dried fruit and certain high fructose fruits (as well as added sugar)?

I think that fruit is very important, we know from studies that fructose is affected by the fibre, it slows down the metabolism in your body, it reacts very differently than of that sugar is removed and we have it like a free sugar. Dried fruit is an interesting one. We had a scene in the film that we took out where we took a child’s lunch box and counted out that there were 91 sultanas in there, and then I took 91 grapes and I tried to eat them all but I only got through about 30 of them, I just can’t, the fibre and water. But you can have all that condensed sugar in one tiny box and get that hit. It’s probably better for you than a Mars bar but be careful with the dried fruit.

7. My kids are so headstrong – how do I convince them to eat less sugary things?

Avoid ‘cutting out’ or ‘removing something’ from the kids. You want to crowd the pantry with other things that are healthier, provide good options instead of taking something away. We have got a lot of recipes on our page that are almost a transition, so you can make banana and avocado smoothies that are still really sweet but it’s not a soft drink. There are ways of making them sweeter but still healthy too, almost like a transition phase. So there are just all these new foods ad they start loving it – there is also a free book you can download to help families, you are not alone.

8. How do you see the continuing effect of the movie and your own personal commitment beyond the film?

We are carrying on the tour, South Africa, Europe and America. And, pitching to 300 philanthropists, we were able to raise enough money to develop a school study guide from grade 5 to 11 so they can do a whole term on just the topic. They get the book and there’s an app where you scan the bar-code, the sugar cubes drop out and tells you how much sugar is in that item. It’s great fun, great for Coca Cola too, the screen just fills up. And something very dear to me is that we have been able to raise money for the Mai Wiru (Good Food) Foundation, that’s the aboriginal community in the film, we have been able to re-employ John Tregenza that’s the man in the film, he started going up there again. We have sent nutritionists up there to train some of the aboriginal people and we are going to employ them to work full time in the store and they will show the other people how to shop, how to by lower sugar food.

9. We followed your ups and downs in the movie, not only the physical ones but also psychologically, those outbursts just seemed to become the norm?

This is the conversation I would most like to have – we need to acknowledge the link between food and mental behaviour is just as important as the link between food and physical behaviour. There was a study on 800 kids in New York where they lowered their sugar intake and noticed enormous changes in their grades and behaviours. And there were schools in England and one here in New Zealand where they removed sugar and suddenly there were less detentions. It’s very real, it’s just going to take a really long time. We accept the physical aspect of it but the mental ones are going to take a bit longer.

10. What do we do to get this message about sugar though to the government?

We have to remember that 40 years ago we were having the same chat about tobacco. That conversation had to start somewhere and that’s what the film has been doing. I think that scene with the Flintstones and the cigarettes get a laugh but I reason that in 40 years we will feel the same way about an athlete endorsing Gatorade to kids or Australian cricket captain is eating KFC. I hope we get to a point where we think ‘gee that was pretty irresponsible knowing what we know now. It is coming from a grass-root level, it’s people like you who go out and spread the message and share on social media etc. We can wait for the government if we like but it will take a really long time, we might as well do it ourselves, get moving, get active, and that’s what is happening. In Australia we see screenings now for medical groups and even some education departments, nurses etc. For example, next week we are screening for a private hospital, they are showing 400 nurses because they want to change the whole food in the hospital. In a prison 200 inmates are going to watch the movie because the nutritionists there wants to take away soft drinks because it affects their behaviour. It’s happening, and it’s happening without a government, it’s though the people. That’s what we can do for now and then, if there are votes in it, the governments will come on board.

So, dear readers, if you want to be a part of a grass-roots movement that will change how the world eats and leave a legacy for your grand-kids, spread the word, watch the movie, ask for low sugar products at your supermarket, your tuck shop/can-tine/cafe and follow my blog for great tips on eating less sugar, delicious recipes and staying healthy 🙂

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Having Jon Snow over for dinner!

Any Game of Thrones fans out there? As the world is preparing for the imminent launch of the next instalment of the TV series – here is, for your amusement, what a dinner party with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) would be like (what a good sport!). I’m not sure I would invite him (what am I saying, of course I would!) but I sure did chuckle at this one.

Easter breakfast – scrumptious fluffy pancakes with fruit

Wordpress

This Easter is the first with our wonderful little girl who is now 10 months old. I have fond memories of Easter from my own childhood. Growing up in my family in Denmark we would give each other chocolate Easter egg baskets and get to open them Good Friday. In the afternoon we would colour and decorate boiled eggs and my parents would hide them on grand parents farm and in their garden. One of my best memories was chasing around in the garden, racing though the spring daffodils with our cousins trying to find the most eggs.

DaffodilsI

We don’t quite have daffodils here in New Zealand for Easter as it’s autumn but I can’t wait for our little girl to be old enough to chase around the garden looking for eggs. For now, I spoiled my wonderful husband and daughter with some fluffy pancakes and hid a naughty chocolate egg in my hubby’s pancake (melted) and served with fruit this morning. Delicious AND sugar/gluten/dairy-free. If you want the recipe, click here.

Happy Easter everyone!

If you would like to see more articles and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes like this you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Stop dieting!!! (and what to do instead)

Stop dieting (blog)

I’ve had it with people dieting. To get their pre-baby body back, to fit into a particular dress… whatever it is – stop dieting! Right now! There is no need to constantly feel deprived and hungry. You can loose weight, feel great and still eat delicious food every day. Read on.

What’s the issue? After becoming a mum it is particularly evident in all the online forums I’m in, that loosing weight is a big thing. After all, especially for mums, who doesn’t want to get rid of the baby weight and return to your pre-baby body? (or even fitter!) The problem though, as I see it, is women asking for advice on how to loose weight and the answers from others is all about the latest diet, from the ‘juice only’, ‘only eating every other day’ to restricting daily intake to near nothing. Then, comes the success stories of loosing the weight (but it wasn’t pleasant, headaches, cravings, feeling deprived etc), followed by a re-gain in weight because these diets aren’t sustainable. They are only a quick fix. You will be yo-yo’ing for life if you carry on.

Here is what you can do instead and FEEL GOOD for life:

  • Go sugar-free! Go to this page and read up on all my posts on how to go sugar-free. Not convinced that sugar is the problem? Read this and you will wonder no longer.
  • These posts from my sugar-free challenge will help you through the first week which is the worst and explain what to do after that. Day 1. Day 2. Day 3. Day 4. Day 5. Day 6. Day 7.
  • Follow my blog (sign up your email in the top right corner or follow on Facebook) so you don’t miss out on the latest recipes and great articles.
  • In a pickle or have a question? Just need support? Email me on contact@exsugarholic.com

What – and start a new diet? No. Although it may appear to start with, you are not cutting out a food group, you are just avoiding allergens and processed crap for the most. The hardest part of it is only temporary, then you are set for life long success. After your withdrawal from sugar you will no longer feel like you NEED sweet things, overdose on carbs and trawl the cupboards when you get home or grab that last cookie at the office. You may loose/maintain your weight (depending on what you want), have high energy, loads of motivation and feel happier.

What’s not to like? If you try it and withdraw successfully and you don’t like it you haven’t lost anything! (although I have yet to hear of anyone not loving all the benefits of their new lifestyle :)) Start now!

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

WHO sugar report slammed by sugar industry AND anti-sugar organisation

sugar

Last week the World Health Organisation released a long-awaited report on recommended sugar intake. The news spread like wildfire and social media streams were buzzing with the recommendations: Reduce daily sugar intake to under 10% and additional health benefits reducing to 5%. Now WHO are getting slammed from both the anti-sugar groups and the sugar industry. Let’s just take a step back and look at this.

The sugar manufacturers are saying:

  • The evidence backing the new recommendations is “misleading” and “backed by low evidence” (European Committee of Sugar Manufacturers) [1]
  • Welcomes debate but says the under 5% recommendation is unrealistic. “In practice, such a threshold would be exceeded for instance with the drinking of a mere glass of orange juice. Consideration should therefore be made of the impact this would have on the public understanding of a balanced diet, as this could for example undermine and contradict healthy eating messages such as the “5-a-day” campaign” (European Committee of Sugar Manufacturers) [1].

The anti-sugar group is saying:

  • “There is absolutely NO nutritional requirement for free sugars in our diets, therefore Action on Sugar is disappointed that the 5% recommendation is ‘conditional’.  The WHO used the ‘GRADE system’ for evaluating the evidence which is useful for drug trials, but is not appropriate for the links between diet and health.  This has allowed the food industry to sow the seeds of doubt amongst the WHO, who have failed to come up with the strong recommendation that is so vitally needed, especially for children.” [2]
  • “Free sugars damage health. The leading public health bodies all agree the scientific evidence is solid – hence the urgent need for public health interventions to slash sugar and thus tackle the dental health and obesity crisis” (Action on Sugar) [2]
  • “Professor Simon Capewell, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Liverpool and Action on Sugar advisor; “The WHO should be congratulated on this important first step. These are evidence-based recommendations published despite massive industry opposition. The lobbying behind the scenes resembles the tactics previously used by Big Tobacco (denials, delays, and dirty tricks, plus dodgy scientists disseminating distorted evidence).” [2]

The WHO is saying:

  • WHO recommends reducing the intake of free sugars* to less that 10% daily (they list this as a strong recommendation). That’s roughly 50 grams per day (12 teaspoons).
  • They suggest a further reduction of the intake of free sugars to below 5% daily and that it will have added health benefits (they list this as a conditional recommendation**)” That’s roughly 25 grams per day (6 teaspoons). [3]
  • WHO recognises and states in the report that: “The recommendation to further limit free sugars intake to less than 5% of total energy intake is based on very low quality evidence from ecological studies in which a positive dose–response relationship between free sugars intake and dental caries was observed at free sugars intake of less than 5% of total energy intake”. [3]
  • In regards to the low quality of evidence being questioned in the consultation process, WHO stated that: “As noted in the guideline, the quality of evidence is one factor, though an important factor, to be considered when determining the strength of a recommendation using GRADE methodology. These include values and preferences, trade‐off between benefits and harm, and costs and feasibility (…) WHO issues conditional recommendations on topics of public health importance even when the quality of evidence may not be strong.” [4]

My thoughts:

It seems that even the sugar industry is not disputing that we should consume less than 10% of free sugars* daily.  In my book, this is a health win, considering that the one thing that they produce and make their money from is a health risk and has no nutritional requirement in our diets.

Where the battle lies, is the 5% recommendation and the evidence supporting it. After reading the report and press releases from the involved parties, I was left will the following questions: Why present evidence if it’s “very low quality” (WHO’s own words) in the first place from a large and respected organisation like WHO? Why were some trials left out when the final recommendations were made? Why were there only caries studies available to support the 5% recommendation but not weight studies? Why are there no solid actions to act on? I also read through all the notes from the consultation process and although most of these questions were posed and answered (well, some more or less vague), I’m still baffled.

So, what’s next?

Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director of Action on Sugar and Registered Nutritionist says; “These recommendations are all well and good, but until manufacturers stop hiding sugar in our foods in such vast quantities, how can we be expected to lower our intake?  The recommendations need to be translated into something meaningful for the consumer.  Sugars are hidden in so many of our everyday foods; we eat and drink more than our maximum recommendation without even realising it.”  I agree, we need actions to carry out, for consumers to be able to make easy informed decisions in the supermarket. People need to understand the ramifications of excess sugar intake. There is still a misleading focus on fat and despite recent focus on sugar there is still a long way to go.

I hope that each government (and certainly here in NZ – John Key!) looks at:

  1. Improving food and drink labelling to make it easier for the consumer to choose low sugar options
  2. Make strict rules for the use of currently misused and confusing terms such as ‘natural’, ‘low fat’ and ‘healthy’
  3. Educate the public on nutrition and health (explain cause and effect – how sugar is linked to e.g. obesity, type II diabetes and dental diseases)
  4. Set a maximum limit for free sugar content in food and beverages, especially those aimed at children
  5. High taxes on products with high sugar-content
  6. Restrict marketing of high-sugar products geared towards children

Hopefully, with pressure from health organisations, individuals and groups such as Action on Sugar (a group supported by 23 experts around the world), the focus will be kept on the effects of free sugar of human health. I have no doubt that the WHO has been under massive pressure from any group, association and organisation which profits from from selling sweetened products (in 2012 the sugar and sweetener industry was worth $77.5 billion[5]). So, perhaps some might say that the report was lacking, however, I think it’s a huge step for the WHO to release it. Clearly the report has caused ripples all over the world creating focus and attention. Well done!

And for the European Committee of Sugar Manufacturers: It IS entirely possible to reduce your sugar intake to 5% or less. I do it every day and help others to do the same. Even with glucose in some recipes I make, I still consume less than 5% (6 teaspoons). You just have to be knowledge to make the right choices and cook wholesome food. But, without clear directions and knowledge to make informed decisions, then you are right, it is very unrealistic. And yes, the 5-a-day campaigns which suggests drinking juice as a part of your 5-a-day do need to be updated following the WHO’s new recommendations. We shouldn’t be advising people to drink juice every day! So, let’s stand together to help the human population be healthier. Regardless on ‘which side’ of the sugar industry you are on, this affects us all. It could be your mother, friend, son. Let’s make a change!

 

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

*Defined by WHO in their report as: “Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates”.

**“Conditional recommendations are made when there is less certainty “about the balance between the benefits and harms or disadvantages of implementing a recommendation” (20). This means that “policy-making will require substantial debate and involvement of various stakeholders” (20) for translating them into action”[y]

 

 

 

Sugar-free challenge – DAY 7

WOOO! You made it through to the last day of the challenge! What’s next you ask?

Day 7 (blog)

The bad news: It takes more than a week to get rid of your sugar addiction and become an ex-sugarholic. Actually, research shows that on average it takes at least 21 days to break a habit. And, this habit is unfortunately attached to a horribly addictive substance.

The good news: You already did the worst part! Week two can be a bit tough as well but then you start feeling the benefits of being sugar-free which usually as a natural incentive for people to keep going. So, don’t stop now, you are not too far away. It typically takes from one month to  8 weeks to break the cycle completely, depending on how much sugar you used to eat and how fast you have been cutting it out (cold turkey vs. various levels of stepping it down).

What’s next? 

  1. If you haven’t already done so, start checking those labels of your favorite foods and drinks. Look back at your food journal. Do a rough estimate of how much sugar you ate each day this week. In general, as recommended by WHO, your health will benefit from consuming less than 25 grams per day (6 teaspoons) of free sugars (that’s your added sugar and sugar naturally occurring in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrate). You can still eat as much fruit and veg as you like (the fibre and water ensures you feel full and won’t overeat and the sugar is released slowly which your body can cope with).
  2. If you are serious about going sugar-free, you MUST make your house a sugar-free haven. Just like a junkie wouldn’t be able to leave a fix alone, you won’t be able to either. Check out this post to see how.
  3. Going out and visiting friends will feel like a mine-field. Check out these posts on how to deal with going sugar-free at work, visiting friends and when going out.
  4. Do NOT use glucose just yet. Your appetite control is not working, it has been messed up by fructose. Eating glucose may just increase your blood sugar and overproduction of insulin. Instead, use naturally sweetened products (try my chocolate bars made with Zylitol) or even, short term, artificially sweetened products (diet drinks etc.) to get you through to the other side. Then, when you have withdrawn successfully, ditch the artificial products and then you can eat glucose and naturally sweetened products as your appetite control now will be working and you won’t overeat.
  5. Next week, try cutting down on any bread, pasta and croissants that you may be eating – these are high carb and turned into sugar. That craving for a toastie or pasta you have had, was probably your sugar-addiction talking! Try it – your digestive system will thank you too. When I stopped eating products with gluten (muffins, cakes, pasta, bread etc) I felt so much better. When you always feel crap you don’t actually realise that something better exists. Just try it for one week, see if it doesn’t make a difference.

Last, but not least… I have been overwhelmed by all your emails and stories, I just about managed to keep on top of it all. Thanks for sharing, I feel humbled and I hope I have helped you to move ahead in your new, healthier lives. Please keep updating me and asking questions. I would love to know how it goes. And for those who may have missed out, just give me a shout on contact@exsugarholic.com – I’ll be glad to see if I can help.

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Sugar-free challenge – DAY 6

You probably aren’t feeling all that great today? Don’t worry, it will be quite bad, but it will get worse before it gets better. Remember, you will feel AMAZING when you have successfully withdrawn from sugar. You will be bouncing with energy, loose weight and feel on top of the world. Keep that in mind when you want to kill someone who just looked at you the wrong way 😉

Day 6 (blog)

TODAY’S CHALLENGE. Get sugar-savy. You have probably been focussing on the obvious sugar culprits so far, but if you have the energy, have a look at your fridge and pantry. Check those labels. You might be surprised just how many of your regular staples contain added sugar.

The many names of sugar 3

This animation explains it very well too, including the difference between glucose (which is used in some of my recipes) and fructose:

What else?

Do email me on contact@exsugarholic.com. I would love to hear your story, what you eat, why you are on this journey and how I can help you. Fire away 🙂

CLICK HERE FOR -DAY 7- OF THE CHALLENGE

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Top 5 tips to avoid getting sick in the winter

For those on the Northern Hemisphere, winter is still gripping the country with it’s cold, clammy hands. Although spring is not too far away (woohoo!) how do you make sure to avoid all those nasty colds, flus and bug floating around? And if you already caught something, how do you get rid of it as quickly as possible?

Woman drinking cup of tea - warm clothes (blog)

I constantly used to get everything which was passed around and felt like my immune system surely must have been the most useless thing ever. I walked quite a bit and didn’t eat that bad after-all, it’s not like I lived of junk-food. Maybe just a cookie here, a piece of cake there at work, dessert on weekends… popcorn at the movies occasionally. Sadly the grey skies and crappy weather just made me want to eat more bad stuff because you feel good. However, the overload of starchy carbs and sugar is only a temporary relief. This is how I stay happy and healthy during the winter:

  1. Water. This one may feel like it’s been beaten to death, but it’s true – drink lots of water! I drink at least 1.5L of water each day. Don’t underestimate the humble powers of water. It improves your immune system, clears toxins, prevents constipation, makes you think clearer, relieves fatigue and just generally puts in a better mood.
  2. Cut sugar, eat healthily. Cutting sugar out of my life has boosted my immune system incredibly. I get less sick than before, and if I do catch something it passes very quickly and with less nuisance (usual two week long colds turned into nice short 2-4 day affairs). If you are not prepared to cut it out completely, see if you can swap out one item every day through the winter for something with less sugar content and less carbs. E.g. cookie instead of a donut, a piece of fruit instead of a cookie, a small caramel macchiato instead of large etc. I generally eat healthy wholesome foods, including loads of veggies and superfoods. For inspiration on making your own healthy food (including sweets), check out my recipe page.
  3. Sun-worship. I open all the curtains as soon as I wake up, the light helps to reset your body clock faster. Go for a 15 minute walk midday, every day. Even 5 minutes help. It doesn’t matter how crappy the weather is, you can still get plenty of vitamin D through those miserable grey layers. Vitamin D makes you happier by activating production of serotonin and dopamine – your body’s natural happy hormones (p.s. Vitamin D also increases production of oestrogen and testosterone… if you catch my drift. There is a good reason why people feel more frisky in spring and summer).
  4. Eat breakfast. Please don’t skip breakfast. You will have heard this a million times before. But, if you skip breakfast, you are setting your day up to fail from the beginning. There, I said it. Protein rich foods like eggs, meat, seeds and nuts gives you long lasting energy and you will be much less likely to reach for unhealthy things during the morning. Why not try my crunchy granola with fruit and almond milk – it’s full of seeds and nuts (and some carb for immediate and slow energy release to start your morning of right). Oh, and it’s tastes ridiculously good! This is what I have every weekday morning along with a soft-boiled egg or two.
  5. Laugh. A good laugh makes me less tense, less stressed and much happier. Laughter increases you resistance to disease by boosting the immune system (yes, I know I mentioned this several times already, but that’s what keeps you from getting sick :)). In the winter, I make sure I spend quality time with my husband and friends or watch funny movies. If you are at work and having a miserable day, why not grab your mobile and read something funny online (like these autocorrects) or grab your ear phones and your phone and watch some funny  cat clips on YouTube? (What? You don’t like cat videos? Get of this page! ;))

I hope these tips might help you through the rest of the winter. What’s YOUR top tip? Please share 🙂

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes, you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Sugar-free challenge – DAY 5

You are doing great! Cravings and grumpiness is abundant but a few of you have already seen the first signs of weightloss. Even if you just managed to swap just a single unhealthy food or drink for something with a bit less sugar today, you are slowly beating the cravings. Keep going strong 🙂

Day 5 (blog) new

Today you might be wondering how to deal with your after work drinks. Maybe you are going out for dinner, to the movies or to a party and wondering how to to attack this. Read on.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE. Choose wisely and you can still enjoy your weekend drinkies. All though there is a lot to say for staying tee total (for your health), if you would like the occasional alcoholic drink, this overview I put together might help:

Sugar-wise drinks choices

I’m happy to explain the reasons for these groupings – just ask me if there is anything you would like to know 🙂

How does this compare to food? This infographic from the MailOnline gives you a bit of an idea of the amount of calories you consume. So, stay away from that Pina Colada and other sweet mixers! Click on the graphic if you want to read the article. Keep scrolling to see the rest of this post.

Calorie graphic

Food. Select the healthier option on the menu (sauces generally have loads of sugar). If you really fancy a dessert, why not go halves with someone – that way you still get to enjoy a dessert but will only consume half the sugar.

What else?

Do email me on contact@exsugarholic.com. I would love to hear your story, what you eat, why you are on this journey and how I can help you. Fire away 🙂

CLICK HERE FOR -DAY 6- OF THE CHALLENGE

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Sugar-free challenge – DAY 4

Today you might be starting to feel a bit worse for wear although our bodies handle this in different ways. Shit WILL hit the fan eventually and you may experience withdrawal and serious cravings.

Day 4 - woman tearing her hair (blog)

Symptoms of sugar-withdrawal:

  • A feeling of being constantly hungry
  • Grumpy
  • Moody
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

But WHY is it so bad? You are an addict. Sugar (especially fructose) is as addictive as cocaine and tobacco. You are, essentially, a drug abuser. However, being a sugarholic doesn’t have the same social consequences. For more info, read here.

Here are the good news. Knowing you enemy makes a big difference. You are probably reading this because you realise that you have a troubled relationship with sugar and unhealthy things. That’s a huge step in the right direction, and hopefully you have been making healthy food/drink swaps for the last couple of days. You will also be glad to know that a craving typically lasts for a maximum of 10-20 minutes for most people, so, while you’re craving something sweet, the essential thing is to distract yourself or consume something which settles your craving.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE. Come up with a list of distractions and alternatives for when the cravings hit. Keep in  mind that healthy fats and protein will relieve your sugar cravings (that’s why the protein bars from yesterday are so good). These would be my suggestions:

  • Swapping for an option with less sugar / no sugar
  • Eat protein and healthy fats (e.g. nuts, seeds, avocado etc.)
  • Drink lots of water (water thirst is often masked by sugar cravings)
  • A hot shower or a bath
  • Drinking a cup of tea and popcorn for your evening TV series.
  • Reading a good book
  • Go for a run / gym / yoga / karate
  • Play with your dog, cat, hamster
  • Watching a funny movie or a YouTube clip of funny cats on your phone (yes, you know you can’t resist!)
  • Anything else you can think of.

Cat meme (blog)

What else?

Do email me on contact@exsugarholic.com. I would love to hear your story, what you eat, why you are on this journey and how I can help you. Fire away 🙂

CLICK HERE FOR -DAY 5- OF THE CHALLENGE

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