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