pain

Pain or Pleasure, What is Eating to you?

When you think about eating how do you feel?  What emotions run through your mind? For some women it can be a huge spectrum from pleasure to pain, sadly far too often tipping more towards the pain end.

Take a look at these questions, which ones do you answer yes too?

  1. When you think of eating, do you feel happy anticipation of something tasty to savour, something that will nourish you, make you healthy and physically and emotionally strong?
  2. Or does the thought of eating, and making food choices, fill you with a low-level dread?
  3. Do you feel a lack of control or trust in your food choices, maybe even fear of the consequences of what you eat?
  4. Is food a cause of stress and anxiety, thinking that what you eat will make you look and feel unattractive and yet you feel powerless to make a healthier choice?
  5. Is food your friend, a safe, fun enjoyable experience?
  6. Or has food become your enemy, something to be watched over vigilantly, because if you don’t it will turn on you and make you feel a failure?
  7. Does food make you smile or does it make you cry.
  8. Do you eat in secret, ashamed and embarrassed, hiding wrappers?
  9. Or do you eat with confidence and enjoyment?
  10. Does a slice of cake with a coffee throw you into emotional chaos, make you feel a failure and derail all your good intentions?
  11. Or do you just view it as a lovely one-off treat that has no bearing on the rest of your day or week food choices?

Far too many women experience truly painful negative emotions around food.  I have clients who are either euphoric over a pound lost or reduced to tears by a single pound gained on that awful scale.  But of course, it is not the single pound that brings them to their knees, it is that they view the woefully inadequate weighing scale as a microcosm of their lives.  That extra pound reinforces all their belief about themselves that they can’t do it, they can’t change.  That they are failures because they feel they cannot control the simple act of what they put into their mouths.

Imagine now removing all those unhappy, negative emotions without therapy sessions, delving into your past – exhausting, time consuming and expensive!  What would life be like for you when you easily choose the foods you need to nourish you as well as enjoying the occasional treat? Where you don’t have the out of control ‘smash and grab’ moments in times of stress/boredom and all the rest?

How do you think you would feel then?  How do you think you will look?  What do you think you will say to yourselves?  Imagine being proud of yourself, leaner,  less stressed and anxious.

I know all the painful feelings of being out of control far too well.  I was an addict to drugs and alcohol for almost 30 years (see my book, This Isn’t Me).  I did all the equivalents of a yo-yo dieter. I attended class, therapies, took pills (not fun) and waved candles (literally) and none of it made a single bit of difference.  Yes, I was sober at times, but I always went back to my only known ‘coping’ mechanism.  I still drank ‘poison’ – you still eat crap.

Why, oh, why?  We are all intelligent woman, successful in other areas of our lives and yet none of us seem capable of not doing the very thing, (me drinking, you food intake), that cause us so much pain.

Now, though, after becoming gloriously and easily sober I KNOW exactly the ‘Why’ and even better for you, how to address it.  How to end the pull between what I wanted to do and what at the very same time, didn’t want to do and the stress and pain that came with it.  Again, me drink, you eat.

I understand now the emotional attachments we have to drink/food – what comfort, support, easing of unpleasant feelings that we think we will get from what we put into our mouths, whilst at almost the very same moment, knowing the reality of what the actual consequences are in terms of both emotional and physical upset.

My passion is to help other women break free from their emotional issues around behaviors that cause them pain, and with YOUtrition it is with food and weight.

I mentor women on understanding why you make the choices you make at certain times, and how to change those choices. To help you understand how you rationalize those choices in the moment and change those too.  I  explain why some of my clients hands seem to uncontrollably hover over the very stuff they don’t want to eat, plus so much more.

I know, from my own life experiences that having knowledge is not enough. Knowledge is everywhere, in every recipe book and it makes very little difference.  I also know that really understanding how we tick, if you choose to take it on board is.

So, please, if any of the above is you, if you are struggling with  emotional pain that you just can seem to change around food, take the first step to freedom,  book a consultation and let’s get rid of those exhausting, conflicting and damaging around food.

I use my expertise in nutrition, my long and painful experience and understanding as an addict and the powerful interventions I have mastered as an NLP Practitioner to bring you back to the whole person you were before those negative emotions overwhelmed you. To a place of peace and confidence in yourself around food.  My mission is to end emotional pain, and I now know absolutely how too.

I offer consultations at my home in Beaconsfield, by Skype and telephone call.  Distance is no barrier to the you you deserve to be!

 

 

 

 

 

emotions

YOUtrition is Evolving – Let’s Change Your Emotions Around Food For Life

I love  YOUtrition. My work, recipes, food and my clients are my passion.  I know though that to really make a difference for life, it is the EMOTIONS around our food choices that need to be addressed.  I have written so many blogs on making good choices on good days, when life is going great and we are feeling empowered and in control – and that doesn’t have to mean we have closed a big business deal, no, it can simply mean that the school run wasn’t crazy, it didn’t rain on the washing we left outside or that we got an unexpected bunch of flowers from the supermarket from a loved one.  OK, the last one is huge and has never happened to me, but I hear it has to others….. Anyway, to the flip side of our good days, good choices.  The ‘bad’ days, bad choices.  The days when we give up and chow down on the, literally, crap, that so depresses us and yet we feel we have no control of either buying or consuming. Why, oh why, do we do that?

What I know to be absolutely true from my own addictions (detailed in my book, This Isn’t Me),  is that the food/drink/shopping etc are NOT the problem.  They become the problem and they are the way of shouting out to the world and ourselves that we have a problem, but they are the smallest part of what needs to be addressed for long term, sustained and happy changes.  Yes, you can abstain from the foods that cause the unhappy and ill health bringing weight gain (another diet). Yes, you can stop the booze, and rip up your credit cards, but until you deal with the EMOTIONS around why you overindulged in the first place, you are living in a painful place of missing, longing and deprivation.  That to me is not life.

I have known since the day I stopped drinking, since the day that my hellish internal war (resonating anyone?), was over, that an unconscious shift had occurred and with that unconscious shift came peace.  Peace is my absolute favourite word. It does not, for me at least, mean quiet – hell no – but it does mean an internal calm and steadiness that I never even knew existed and that peace, calm and steadiness ended the exhausting conflict of “I shouldn’t/I mustn’t/I promised/I can’t stop…….” Again, resonating anyone? I know now exactly what this internal war is, and I know how to end it.  For ever.  I promise.

I knew all this that day so clearly but didn’t have the skills to share it and I KNEW I had to.  It’s no longer enough that Christopher and I are high fiving ourselves around the kitchen each morning with happiness and love.  We all deserve to live that way. No matter how old we live to be, these lives of ours are pitifully short, and we must live them with the greatest joy and peace we can.  Loving not hating ourselves, nurturing not destroying ourselves.

I write about ‘ourselves’ first because everything we do to care for ourselves is reflected back on those we love and want to care for most.  Trust me on this, our precious loves ones can either bask or wither in the consequences of what we do to ourselves.

My self-care is supreme and I see every bit of it staring back at me in the relaxed, loving, cared for and peaceful face of my son.  I feel it in his hugs when he lifts me off the floor as he laughs and in his butterfly soft, brief kiss on my cheek as he leaves for college.  Every day.

I knew I had to find a way of sharing this unbelievable knowledge and empower others who struggle.  And now I know how to.  I have recently qualified as an NLP Practitioner (something I have wanted to do for a long time), and it has been a revelation. It was the one piece missing from my tool kit.  I now have the language and interventions, as well as the experiences from my own desperate struggle to help smash emotional addiction.

I know, and I say this with 100% confidence, that I have a solution.  An easy solution, please trust me on this too, that when we work together, will end emotional addiction.  It is a ‘do with’ five step process, not a ‘do to’ and of course YOUtrition will be a big part of that as good and easy nutrition is a vital part of life.

I am working on workshops and group programs as well as 1-2-1 sessions on freedom from emotional addictions that will change your life, the way mine has been changed.  Exciting times ahead. I hope you stick with me.  x

 

 

CHAOS TO CALM – An afternoon of YOU time!

From Chaos to Calm, join us for a fabulous afternoon event designed just for YOU!  

Ever feel like you’re in a perpetual state of chaos in your life, like calm is a dim and distant memory, never to be restored?

Do you feel as though you’re a slave to your to do list?

Do you know you need to take better care of yourself but just don’t know how to break the bad habits you’ve fallen into or how to find time to take care of yourself?

Are you losing hope of ever feeling energetic and excited about life again?

If so, this event could be just the ticket!

Join us for an afternoon dedicated entirely to helping you go from chaos to calm, from surviving to thriving.

In this four hour session you will have the undivided attention of a life coach and personal trainer, a nutrition and weight loss specialist whose focus is on emotional eating addiction and recovery and a reflexologist. Between us we’ve got all bases covered!

Through a combination of talks, exercises and group discussion you’ll discover:

  • How to reduce the stress in your life
  • How to combat overwhelm
  • How to set boundaries to protect your energy and your sanity
  • How to put yourself back in the driver’s seat of your life
  • How essential oils can support your mental and physical wellbeing
  • How to make the best nutritional choices, not just on your good days, but on your bad days too.
  • Learning to understand why we make the food choices we do, when we really don’t want the results these choices give up!
  • How to reclaim your innate power

 

Why not show yourself some love this Valentine’s and join us? After all, your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have.

Further Details:

Chaos to Calm is an afternoon devoted to reawakening women to their innate power through teaching them how to use essential oils to support their health and wellbeing, how to re-evaluate the way they are living and start making changes to reduce their levels of stress and overwhelm, and how to nourish themselves in a way that supports their wellbeing.

The afternoon will begin with a grounding meditation, using therapeutic grade essential oils to help you disconnect from the busyness of your life and be present in the space.

Using her extensive knowledge of and passion for essential oils, Adele will then demonstrate how they can assist in supporting you to manage the white noise you experience in relation to your never ending to do list. She will cover how essential oils can support your emotional well being, help to create relaxation, improve the quality of your sleep and help to support your body’s systems, with a focus on hormones.

In Corinne’s session you’ll be given the permission and space you need to start questioning the way you are living and how it is or isn’t serving you. During this session you’ll be introduced to ways in which you can reduce stress and overwhelm in your life, be provided with practical tools that you can implement right away and be woken up to your innate power so that you can take back control of your life.

As a recovering addict, who has only recently found her personal way from ‘chaos to calm’ Sonia knows the absolute importance of good nutrition to both nourish our bodies and regain the balance we all need for us to live the lives we deserve. Using her own simple YOUtrition routines and strategies, Sonia will gently guide you to a stress free way of eating that won’t add an extra burden to either your already busy lives or your overstretched pockets, as well as addressing some of the reasons why we continue to make the food choices we do, even when they are the very choices that keep us in an unhappy space.

Treat yourself this Valentines and join us on 17th February, 1.30 – 5.3o in Beaconsfield. 

Link to book tickets below

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/chaos-to-calm-tickets-42075378590

 

New Year, New You – How’s that going?

New Year, New You – so, it’s the first week of 2018 and I suspect most of us are bursting with new resolutions, hopes, dreams, determination for a NEW US, as well as holiday food and booze.

The fact that we have mostly stopped quaffing and scoffing the ‘finer’ things in life, sadly does not mean we are not still wearing them snugly around our waists/hips/busts – sod it, everywhere we can conceivably carry on our persons this excess of ‘fineness’.

Fear not though, we know the problem and we know the solution! We are determined on regular visits to the gym (full of machines we have no idea how to use). We have committed to a brisk daily walk.  A thrice weekly swim.  A dance class, maybe boxing.  Whatever, we have a plan and we are going to stick with it, aren’t we?  Just like last year, so um, maybe not.

Most of our wonderfully planned New Year, New Us, resolutions are over by 3rd January.  Mine, to stop eating mince pies, was over on the 2nd when I found all my favourite brand pies reduced to 10p in Sainsbury’s, yes, just 10p from £2.50 – heaven came knocking on my door again.

I bought 12 (as you do) for the freezer to enjoy every now and then throughout the year with a coffee in front of the TV.  Except that I had eaten them all 2 days later!  Of course I had.  Thank goodness the shop has now sold out otherwise I would eating out of date mince pies until, well, the store ran dry. Oh God!

From the above total failure to stick with my resolution, you might have concluded that I am weeping in a corner, having jumped from the size of a small terraced house to the size of say, Downton Abbey.  I am not.  And, whilst  I have possibly added a small ‘extension’ to my frame, I won’t be imposing rules and limitations on myself (aka, New Year’s Resolutions), to dismantle it.

I know that by making hard, inflexibly strict rules I am setting myself up for failure, for disappointment, for feelings of cravings and deprivation.  I would be preparing myself to be miserable. Heck no!  Instead, I acknowledge my weight gain, go back to my normal eating habits, move a little bit more and give thanks for the wonderfully, happy Christmas and New Year I have been allowed to enjoy with my loved ones.

I will move forward with my health & weight goals by being consistent in my helpful, healthy food and lifestyle choices, and by consigning the unhelpful, unhealthier ones to celebratory occasions such as birthday’s, weddings etc that crop up during the year.

By remaining calm about any weight changes that have occurred over the holidays, and by making good food and movement choices without being frantic and panicky, my weight and health will easily re-balance and I will look and feel exactly how I want to feel without punishing myself physically or emotionally.  I am not useless, or a failure and my world won’t come crashing down because my jeans are a little (actually, quite a lot), tighter for a few weeks.

To give you a boost, here are my top 10 tips to get you back on track. Let’s go smash this New Year thing. Here’s to 2018!! xx

  • Eat breakfast – include a protein to keep you fuller longer, egg/oats/chicken
  • Limit caffeine to 1 – 2 cups a day.  Switch to herbal teas, give your over worked body and brain a rest from stimulants.
  • Drink WATER throughout the day – the first sign of dehydration is hunger. Drink first, wait, then eat only if you are still hungry
  • Keep small snacks with you, palmful of nuts (healthy fats), small banana, apple, oatcakes
  • Eat lunch – make a huge salad filled with a wide variety of colours and textures and portion up each day. Add a tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil and squeeze of lemon.  Or make a big pot of homemade veggie soup to portion out.
  • Whole foods only. Packed with fibre and nutrients these will get you slim and glowing in no time.  If it comes packaged with a list of ingredients, its not a whole food.
  • Dinner – fill your plate with 2/3 with steamed veg, add a protein – baked salmon or chicken in foil is soooo easy.
  • Use smaller plates – invest in some cheap smaller dinner plates and put the bigger ones out of sight. You will not notice the reduction in food that way.
  • Avoid sugary sweets/snacks – these and alcohol are the ultimate diet saboteurs.
  • MOVE – walk a little more every day. Use a phone app and count your steps, aim for a minimum of 10,000.  Buddy up and have a competition to see who can complete the most in a day.  Loser buys the coffee!
  • Think positive. Your weight at any one time is just a snapshot.  It is not your ‘for ever’ weight unless you choose it to be!
book

This Is Me, my next book. How you can be the real you, sober, happy and free

I am working on my second book, **This Is Me** It is a follow up, a natural progression, from my first book, This Isn’t Me, which I finished and published three months ago  That book was my honest account of my 27 years of addiction to both drugs and alcohol, my sudden easy, recovery when I thought all was lost and my relationship with my son both during that time and now. I wrote it to help my son heal, as an apology and because I just had to.

It has become such an unexpected success.  It is as though by writing my story, by exposing my life, I had given ‘permission’ to others to break their self-imposed silence on a subject that is causing them huge pain. By admitting the devastation of my own battles, I opened up a dialogue on the despair, confusion, hopelessness and pain that all alcoholics feel.  Often to those who are free from addiction, the drinker seems unaware or uncaring of the hurt they are causing.  Believe me we rarely are.  Most of us absolutely know but feel completely and hopelessy trapped in our addiction.

I wish I could bottle what I now know and hand it out as a gift to anyone who is suffering – although most of us don’t want any more ‘bottles’ in our lives.  But I can’t. There are not magic potions to end addiction, only the addict can do that.  However, what I can do, in response to all those who write and ask “Well done you, but what next? How can I get sober? and How do you go forward?”, is write another book, in which I share what I absolutely know to be the truth about my addictions and recovery.

In *This Is Me* I have written, in the simplest possible terms how I came to be me, not a ‘new’ me, but the real me, and how I stay me. I will give you a snap shot of where I am now, and how life is for me on the other side of booze, as well as the strategies and routines, including self-care and nutritionally that enable me to enjoy the quality of life that we all deserve.  I am not a psychologist, there is no science in this book, I write as an addict. An addict set free, an addict now sober.

Please believe me when I say that life doesn’t have to be that way.  I live a life with my son I could only ever have dreamed of for so many painful years, and I live it every, single, sober day. xxx

 

5 Day Sugar Free Shift Plan – Lose up to 5lbs!

My 5 Day Sugar Free Shift Plan is a simple set of easy inexpensive recipes, in a straightforward plan which sees most clients lose on average 4 -5lbs.  You can continue with the plan for as long as you feel comfortable, on average 2 weeks, and by then the weight loss is normally between 8 – 10lbs. Check out testimonials at the end of the blog.

My clients all want to lose weight as quickly as possible.  That is their absolute number one goal.  It doesn’t seem to matter overly how that is achieved or how they will feel on their journey, they just want to get there.  Hardly surprising in the high speed, instant gratification world we live in, where most things can be bought with a click of our mouse at any time of day and night, and often delivered the next day.

This saddens me for them on most levels, because the euphoria they feel in losing the weight that makes them so unhappy is usually (and I am talking over 90% of the time here), very hard won – in terms of hunger/tiredness/poor sleep and concentration, and very short lived.  My YOUtrition clients deserve better than that.  Without exception, they are glorious ladies, funny, intelligent, loving, and oh this list can go on for pages, but they feel completely lost when it comes to putting the food in their mouths that will help them achieve their goals.

With that in mind, I have created my 5 Day Sugar Free Shift Plan. I know that cutting out processed sugars is the easiest way to achieve healthy, long term weight loss and the idea behind this plan is to get them on track quickly so that they see and feel early results – which they do, but they don’t feel rubbish, tired and with the underlying, nagging knowledge that this just can’t last.  My aim is to rebuild their often shattered food confidence and their ability to make the best choices which will motivate them to continue on their healthy eating weight loss path, either with my support or alone.

My 5 Day Sugar Free Shift Plan is £20 and includes a 15 minute telephone consultation.

Testimonials

” 9lbs down in two weeks!!!! I can’t believe I have done this. I am in the easy routine Sonia promised I would be and its working. This is amazing! Thanks for the email support Sonia, it was great knowing you were there for me. I can do this now myself”.

A Ellis, London

“I followed the plan and lost 4lb, which included a night out and a glass of wine*. I am so chuffed and making good food choices is my life now. Feeling wonderful”

Mrs J James, Gerrards Cross

“I thought I would feel tired and hungry and I didn’t.  I upped my water as Sonia told me to and realized that I was often thirsty not hungry.  That has changed everything for me.  5lbs down and so happy.  Thanks Sonia”

Mrs G Ellis, Bedford

*Wine does not form part of the plan!

hangovers

Sugar Hangovers – They do exist!

As a recovering alcoholic of over 27 years, I know more than most how debilitating hangovers can be.  Not just physically, but emotionally as well.  It feels now as though I awoke, almost every week, of every month of every year for 27 years with a pounding headache, swollen eyes, parched dry mouth, dehydrated yet profusely sweating, unrefreshed as well as with no energy or zest for the day ahead. Now though, just over 2 gloriously, easy years of sobriety, which is not dependant on any interventions, support or therapies, I wake almost every morning refreshed, with a clear brain and eyes, fresh skinned and raring to go.  Not so great for my son, who is not a morning person, but perfect for my puppy, Gorby, who is!

In short, my life has changed completely and I feel amazing. Until recently. Since I started to research sugar and its affects on our weight and physical and emotional health, I have made an astounding discovery.  If I eat too much sugar regularly, I wake up with almost the exact same symptoms as a vodka binge! I am experiencing sugar hangovers.  This is incredible to me.

I started my nutrition and weight loss practice, YOUtrition, after realizing that making simple, easy and straightforward changes to the foods I ate made a huge difference on every level to my health (at the beginning this was as a rear-guard action to counter balance the damage caused by my drinking), as well as my weight. And whilst this has now become a way of life that keeps me slim and in tip top physical shape, I have also noticed a huge shift in my emotional wellbeing.

Then of course, the better I feel, the better able I am to make the best food/lifestyle choices, as I love the way I feel now and I am thriving on every level.  So, sugar has been relegated to a small corner of my nutritional intake, a small slice of birthday cake or slice of occasional pizza – I am very  sociable.  Becoming sugar free was not even a conscious decision, it just came about because the wholefoods I choose to eat and love, don’t come with any pre-packed, processed nasties.

That is all well and good, but to write about sugar and its affects, I needed to actually eat the stuff, so I made a deliberate decision to include in my daily diet, for just one week, some of the food products I rarely eat.  Bread, shop bought cakes with my coffee on dates with friends, refined pasta, shop bought sauces etc.  I didn’t over eat, I just can’t, my body knows when to stop and sends very clear signals, which I cannot ignore, but still I ate differently and my God, the change I felt was almost immediate.

I am bloated (though no extra weight yet), my waist is thicker, my skin is duller, my hair (never anyone’s idea of a crowning glory), lifeless, my eyes are puffy in the morning, I feel sluggish and dehydrated and worst of all, I have no energy, little enthusiasm and my mood is lower. In short,  I have woken every day this week sufffering from sugar hangovers and the only thing that shifts them is either a huge jolt of caffeine, or a “sugar hair of the dog” in the form of a sugary breakfast that then starts the depressing and depressive cyle all over again.

I am only aware of this change because this is not my natural way of living/eating. And  I know I can’t live like this. My body is under siege from the assault of rubbish it now has to process and get rid of –  this stuff has literally nowhere to go, or has any use in my poor body so can only be stored as fat, mainly around my waistline (just where I want it most!). Plus, and by far the worst aspect for me, my emotional wellbeing is struggling too.  This then is a complete no brainer, I eat rubbish, I feel like rubbish.  End of experiment.  End of the sugar hangovers.

One week later, back to my normal eating habits, I feel amazing again.  Fresh, relaxed, my humour intact again and raring to go. Up and ready for my early morning puppy walk – let’s do this Gorby.

Give yourself just five days of eliminating processed foods – and they are all sugar/salt drenched, they have to be for longevity on the shelves and to compensate for the taste that’s lost through processing, and you will see and feel an amazing difference.  Don’t just trust me, trust our body, it will literally change a gear and whiz you towards where you want to be with your weight and health.

If you need any help or support in ditching your sugar hangovers and living an easy sugar free life – and it is easy as well as much less expensive, contact me.  I want you to feel the way I do every single day. I deserve to feel this way and so do you!

sugary

Sugar Addiction Questionnaire from my A Simply Sugar Free Life recipe book

As part of my YOUtrition, A Simply Sugar Free Life recipe book, I have devised a simple questionnaire to help you identify your triggers, moods and feelings around sugary foods (well, actually if they are not whole foods, they are “food products”), and on how much these “food products” feature in your life.

How much control does sugar seem to have over you? How much do you think about these foods and how often do you consume them?

By completing this questionnaire honestly, you are taking a first huge step towards acknowledging the power and prominence sugar has in your life and then, with my help, starting to make the changes in both foods and behaviours that will get you living a slim and healthy Simply Sugar Free Life.

Don’t overthink your answers, a simple Yes or No, (your immediate response) is all that is needed.

When you have finished, look back and review your answers.  There are no right or wrongs, it’s just about you, what you eat and how you feel about what and why you eat.

If you would like to send me your completed questionnaire, email me through my website, I will send you back a quick summary which will depend on how many Yes answers you have!

Do you have a sugary food/drink every day? Yes No
Do you feel you need sugary foods to get you going? Yes No
Are you aware if you haven’t eaten a sugary food on any day? Yes No
Do you feel proud of yourself if you haven’t eaten a sugary food on any day? Yes No
Do you often think about your next sugary treat? Yes No
Can you stop after two sugary treats or does it trigger a binge? Yes No
Do you feel guilty after eating sugary foods? Yes No
Do you feel that sugar has control of you? Yes No
Do you go out of your way, even when you are tired or fed up to buy sugary foods? Yes No
Do you think eating sugary foods will make you feel happy on a bad day? Yes No
Does your energy crash after breakfast/ lunch? Yes No
Do you choose sugary foods that you know are unhealthy over healthier choices? Yes No
Do you think you a sugary food will make you feel better or comforted? Yes No
Have you ever tried stopping eating sugar and not been able to stick with it? Yes No
Do you feel drawn to sugar foods even when you don’t feel like eating? Yes No
Do you find it difficult to resist a dessert even after a big meal in a restaurant? Yes No
Does eating sugar affect your mood, either by not having some or overindulging? Yes No
Do you feel upset and guilty when you have eaten a sugar food? Yes No
Are you often tired and lacking energy? Yes No
Do you hide how much sugar you eat? Yes No

* A Simply Sugar Free Life to be published in November 2017

 

 

 

sugar

A Simply Sugar Free Life – My recipe book & guide to the life you deserve.

I recently started to research sugar, and sugar addiction for my new A Simply Sugar Free Life (scheduled for October release) recipe book.   I want to write a straightforward, no-nonsense, easy to follow book that will really make a difference.  A game changer hopefully (well, that is my aim anyway). I want it to be a mix of the science behind how sugar affects the brain and keeps us coming back for more after the first bite, the potential consequences to our health and the definite consequences to our weight.

“Ok”, I thought, “Jump in Sonia, go sugar free yourself”.  So, I did.  I gave myself one last dinner out and, fairly unusually for me, had a creamy, yummy dessert which, whilst it tasted pretty darn good for all of five minutes, left me feeling somewhat low and uncomfortable afterwards.  Been there anyone???? Anyway, the next day  I went sugar free.

First things first.  Off to the shops, no sugar shopping for me.  I had researched all the sneaky sugars and knew what to avoid.  And then as I wandered around the shops, a slow realisation came over me.  I was buying exactly the same foods I bought every week!  There was literally no change.  It suddenly hit me that I do, at least 90% of the time, live a sugar free life!  What on earth……..

So, a sugar free life is ultimately a life without processed foods.  It is as simple as that.  I don’t buy shop made sauces, I don’t buy processed cereals, I eat very little bread, I don’t buy cakes or sweets – instead I always treat myself to once piece of fresh, juicy, sweet and often exotic fruit each day and I love full fat yogurt with a teaspoon of honey or a good sprinkle of cinnamon and maybe, if I am going crazy a chopped strawberry or inch of chopped banana.  All of which satisfy my sweet tooth and leave me feeling good and positive afterwards.

I have to say, this was quite a revelation and also a slight worry.  How on earth was I now going to write the definitive book on a sugar free life?  I now knew that with a little re-thinking, as well as some tasty alternative recipes to guide my readers into the speed, ease and inexpensive way of making homemade sauces, dips and meals bursting with  texture, colour and flavour sans the sugar and salt that drowns out the taste of any shop bought ones, that I was done. In fact, I have just written it in this blog.  Read this, take it on board and a sugar free life is yours!

But of course, the food information is not the complete answer to a sugar free life, in fact on the whole it is only about 10% of it.  There is the science of addiction as well, how the brain responds to the sweet poison.  There are the types of sugar that we need to avoid, think fructose as well as sweeteners.  Then there is the sugar that we do need in the form of glucose for energy and brain function.  This information offers probably another 10% at best towards a sugar free life.

So, we are left with a huge 80% to deal with, and that it is where my expertise really kicks in. My first book, This Isn’t Me, is currently being published and is due for release in September 2017.  It is my memoir and deals with my 27 year battle, first with heroin addiction and then alcohol addiction. I write about my total desperation to be sober, especially after my glorious son, Christopher, was born and my total failure to be so even when armed with all the information, researched by myself, as to the devastating consequences both physically to myself and emotionally to him.  And still I just couldn’t stop.  And then I did.  I understood my addiction and just like that, I stopped.

That understanding of my addiction was the 80% that was missing, and it is the same with all behaviours.  Please trust me on this.

It is not about what you know about what you do, it is about why you do it.  It is about what you feel, about what you do, be it drink, drugs or food.  It is about what you think it gives you. It is about how you think it makes you feel, even when all the evidence points you in another direction.  It is about understanding you, and finding alternative ways of thinking. It is about your mindset.

When you have that knowledge, that understanding, you have the elusive 80%.  Then with the science to back it up and the recipes to support you, you have your 100%, and as we are talking about sugar here, you have your simple sugar free life.

I would love to hear any questions you would like addressed in my A Simply Sugar Free Life book.  The more I have, the more I can help. I can write from my perspective, but I want to help you.  Have a think and email me through my website.

Believe me, my alcohol free life is easy, every day.  Your sugar free life can to too. x

 

 

me

This Isn’t Me – A painful, yet inspiring personal memoir on alcoholism and recovery.

This Isn’t Me details my journey into a heroin addiction and recovery, and then subsequent alcohol addiction that lasted 27 years.  It is about the  horrifying shock of realizing that my alcoholism was impossible to overcome, even with all the available interventions and professional support I engaged with for over 15 years, when I had successfully overcome heroin with none.

It details the relationship between myself and my now 19 year old son. It is about being a single mother and the absolute joy of the gift of him. A joy that turned into the crippling nightmare of severe post-natal depression, requiring in-house psychiatric care on two occasions, and my return to drinking and then self-harm to cope.

It tells of my despair on realizing that I would die an alcoholic after being informed that my liver was damaged. Of the deceptions and self-disgust, of my complete desperation to be different.  Of how it affected my son’s life before he realized it was alcohol that changed his mother from the daytime loving, caring one into the cold and emotionally unavailable shell I became in the evenings.  Of his realization, during his teenage years that alcohol came before him and that I was unable to stop, even when he begged me too.

It then details the miraculous, magenta moment just over two years ago when I just stopped drinking.  No last drink, I just stopped.  Of the “how” and “why” of my stopping.

It is about my son’s initial distrust in my sobriety and my determination to show him that I was sober, by changing my behaviour, by doing something different.  As part of my apology and acknowledgment of the damage I had done, I started my own nutrition and weight loss business YOUtrition and together we are building our brand.

It tells of my total commitment to helping him heal as much as possible in a healthy way where his hurts and confusion are discussed and talked through, as and when he needs those conversations.

I write about where I am now, where we are now in our relationship, our closeness, our friendship, our love and understanding.

My sobriety is easy and I do not attend any interventions or have any therapy or support.  I just don’t drink.  Even after my first sober, truly painful experience of loss of a loved one, alcohol did not enter my mind. I even have alcohol in the house, I just don’t see it.

My book is not a “woe is me” exercise. I do not attempt to deflect responsibility away from myself or to apportion blame to anyone else for my choices.  I own both my drunkenness and my sobriety.

It is simply honest, painful, uplifting and inspiring. It offers a different view on recovery, which works for me so easily where accepted interventions didn’t.

It is ultimately a letter of love to my son, an apology , which he can re-read as he grows stronger, one that will help him know and understand that he always was, and always will be my Number One.