How to get rid of your sugar addiction – visiting friends (3/4)

At home friends in the kitchen

Visiting friends or going to parties can be a minefield if you have food intolerances, allergies or you life-style choice isn’t very common (i.e. sugar-free). Hopefully you have lovely and understanding friends who accept and support your new life-style choice (that would make this easier for you). Pot lucks are great as you just cook something that you want to eat, and then bring that (check out savoury ideas here on the blog). However, you might find that some friends might hesitate to invite you over for a regular dinner because it’s too hard to figure out what to cook for you. You can, however, explain to them that, main courses shouldn’t be too difficult. Home-made, wholesome dinners don’t often have heaps of sugar in them (with the exception of a few cuisines which has many sauces with higher sugar content), so I don’t usually fret about that (it’s far more likely to have gluten in it, e.g. pasta).

Make it easy for them and say that you will bring drinks for yourself and dessert for everyone. When it comes to drinks, water is of course always best, just not as exciting as other drinks. You could jazz it up a bit and drink sparkling water and add slices of lemon and strawberry. If you are not too worried about the usual effects of alcoholic drinks on your body, just choose wisely (sugar-free or low in sugar) – keep an eye out for my post on drinks soon.

Desserts and treats are the most difficult ones to deal with – they are after all meant to be sweet and sugary. I have dragged many recipes (which are now here on the Ex-sugarholic) to work with me and asked my very helpful ‘taste panel’ to rate them and give me feedback. My aim was to make free-from recipes which tasted just as good as the sugar-laden stuff (to ‘normal’ sugar addicts). This meant that I could still bring cakes and sweets to work, have friends for dinner or visit them and everybody satisfied and happy. That being said, I don’t actually eat sugar-free ‘treats’ very often. When your body and taste buds are cleansed from the sugar addiction you just don’t feel like it that much and I tend to go for foods which are just naturally sugar-free rather than recreating something I miss. But, I like to have the option so that I can choose.

PicMonkey Collage - bring to visit friends

Luckily, you don’t have to worry about all the testing I did. Just try some recipes on this blog and then go visit your friends 🙂

Have you got any questions? Please let me know.

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

DIABETICS: Please note that the recipes containing glucose (including the following terms: dextrose, rice syrup and glucose syrup), as far as I understand, is not suitable for people with diabetes. Please see my recipes with no added sweeteners or just the natural sugar from fresh fruit. If in any doubt, please contact your health professional

 

How you got hooked on sugar and why it’s so bad!

sugar syringe

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that sugar is not really healthy. Right? But, what most people probably don’t realise is just how bad and addictive it is. If you are currently a sugarholic, read on! (and keep and eye out for my next post on how to become an ex-sugarholic). If you are already on a sugar-free journey, a reminder of why we choose this lifestyle is always good.

So, how did you get hooked in the first place? Well, sugar binds itself to the same opioid receptors that drugs, alcohol and tobacco do! Following the fat-free ‘revolution’ in the 70’ies much of the fat in processed foods was replaced with sugar. This, unfortunately, means that there is added sugar in most processed foods. So, the generations growing up after the fat-free ‘introduction’ never really stood a chance of not becoming addicted in our modern and very convenient world. If we had all stuck with making everything from scratch like previous generations did, we probably wouldn’t be facing the global obesity epidemic that we are today.

The majority of this sugar consists of fructose and glucose.

Glucose is produced in our bodies and ingested through food and beverages and can be naturally broken down by every cell in the body. Glucose is the main energy source for our brain and for various processes in the body. We NEED it.

Fructose, however, is not essential and can only be broken down in the liver. Small amounts are okay as the liver can handle it and turns it into glycogen which is stored until it’s needed. If we flood our bodies with fructose the liver can’t keep up though and it’s forced to convert the fructose into fat which can cause havoc on our bodies in a multitude of ways (from tooth decay and obesity to fatty liver, diabetes, kidney failure, erectile dysfunction and heart disease). Natural fructose ingested through whole fruit is okay (as the fibre slows it down from being absorbed too rapidly in the bloodstream causing a spike in blood sugar). Juice is the one to stay away from. Juicing fruits hides the bulk that you are drinking. Think about a large glass of orange juice. It could have taken 8 oranges to make – would you ever eat that many oranges in one day? And, as mentioned, it goes straight into your bloodstream. You might as well just inject sugar right into your veins. If you stick with non-juiced fruit, it is really hard to over-eat. Just be careful with dried fruits, it’s easy to be tricked into eating too much because they take up more space than fresh versions and, hence, more concentrated.

For these reasons, you will notice that a lot of my baking uses glucose/dextrose (in the shape of glucose powder, glucose syrup and rice syrup). Important to note though is that glucose has a high Glycaemic index (GI) and is not suitable for people with diabetes (instead, please check out my low-carb recipes with no added sweetener, just fruit). Also, please note that even though we need glucose, it is a sugar and an excess can be dangerous, potentially causing obesity, diabetes and a host of other issues. All the recipes with glucose should still be considered a treat (baked goods) although some of them only has low amounts. Just eat sensibly.

Generally, many of the recipes that you can find here I only make for special occasions and a fair few of them I created or adapted during my sugar withdrawal because I craved those things I would normally eat. On a daily basis though (when you’re past the withdrawal), the main bulk of my food is wholesome and made from scratch as this is the only way to fully know what goes into your body. Yes, sure, it takes extra time, but as with anything that really matters, good things take time.

Need more information to be convinced? Check out the following:

Dr. Robert Lustig – Sugar: the bitter truth (video)

David Gillespie – Ways fructose destroys your body (article)

Nigel Latta – Is sugar the new fat?? (video)

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

 

 

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