Quitting sugar for the third time;

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Raw treats from Pana Chocolate. My birthday treat this year!

Nine weeks ago, I decided to end my turbulent relationship with processed sugar. In 2013, I attempted to quit all forms of sugar which did not go too well. Then last year, I managed to go a few months with no processed sugar because life was good but then all of a sudden it wasn’t and sugar was back in my  life on a daily basis.

This year has been different though. I didn’t wait until Monday to quit nor a certain date. One conversation triggered me to just snap and decide then & there, it’s time to get rid of processed sugar. It was easy to make that decision that evening as I didn’t have any chocolates/biscuits at home at the time.

I’ve had a few friends ask me how long I’ll be quitting processed sugar for and at this stage, there’s no end date. I’m not looking to lose weight (that’s just a bonus), I’m aiming to have clear skin & consistent energy all day, everyday.

Will I eat chocolate/cake/biscuits ever again? Maybe. What I’ve noticed over the last nine weeks is that I have hardly any cravings for the things I used to snack on daily. I’m never going to be 100% sugar free. I will still enjoy salted caramel crepes from Myrtle’s Crepes every now & then; I will still treat myself to raw snickers slice from Naked Chicks; I will still eat green apples daily; I will still treat myself to Pana Chocolate (and raw desserts) when I please.

The difference now, I don’t rely on processed sugar to fill a void like I used to. If I’m feeling down, I’ll get outside; talk to friends; listen to music; go to the gym/sauna.

I’ve had a friends ask for tips on how to quit sugar so here’s a few things that I’ve learnt over the years that may help in some way:

  • Decide why you want to quit and keep that reason in your mind every time you’re making decisions. Sometimes when I see chocolate, I just think to myself how much it affects my mood/sleep and I’m able to walk away.
  • Chromium supplements are your best friend!! I use an Australian brand called ‘Eagle‘ which is available from many natural shops.
  • Find processed sugar substitutes. I used to make prune and nut raw balls – just be careful putting the prunes into the food processor as I’ve broken two so far (so called pitted prunes!)
  • If you get post lunch sugar cravings, add chromium to your diet, and try eating a green apple. Yes, apples have fructose sugar in them but it’s better than reaching for a chocolate bar or the cookie jar.
  • Pinterest is amazing for sugar free recipes and tips.
  • Check out Sarah Wilson’s books and ebooks. I love her IQS recipe book.
  • Choose to live (processed) sugar free everyday. So what if you had some cake last night, wake up the next morning and choose to make smarter decisions.

If anyone has any other tips, please feel free to comment!

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Monthly Round Up: May;

May was one of those months where it looked okay on paper but in reality, was a lot more chaotic than I would of liked! If there was one way to describe May? Total mix bag!

I checked out a new pilates studio, Lifestyle Boom; went to the sauna four times in one week & as many times as possible after that; fell in love with gym classes once again; did free yoga at the Lululemon store every Saturday morning and enjoyed lots of coastal + park walks with friends.

I did a one day makeup course with my friend K where we learnt that the trick is in the tools! I’ve been using the same makeup for YEARS (creature of habit) and although it does the trick, it looked SO much better with some better makeup tools & certain techniques. Plus, trying a new chemical free primer for oily skin was a total godsend!

Horrorshow, Seth Sentry and Bliss N Eso (my three favourite hip hop artists) came to town & they played an outdoor show. It felt good to put on some jeans, boots & a hoodie and enjoy some of my favourite music in the outdoors (especially because I got to experience it with my big sis which made it even better).

For the month of May, I’ve been off the white stuff (processed sugar) but more on that in another blog post! (recipe for the raw prune balls can be found here).

May also marked a massive change in my life. I attended a 5 day course called ‘Train the Trainer’ with David T.S Wood (pictured above) and 300 others. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone where I got up on stage and trained the room as best I could (it was SO much fun!!), played like a little kid, laughed like I’ve never laughed before and met so many incredibly genuine people, it still warms my heart two weeks later. So many previous friendships are THAT much closer now and all the new friends I made in those 5 days, feel like friends I’ve known a lifetime.

Dancing at 1pm on a Thursday, the usual!

Some pictures of me up the front with David. I had to go up after we watched a video about Nick Vujicic (no arms, no feet, no worries) and that was the hard part. I was sitting there, balling my eyes out & then the next minute my name got called out & I was walking to the front to present. If you haven’t heard of Nick, definitely check out his story on his website, it’s incredible.

David is the impeccable human behind ‘The Kickass Life‘ podcasts which I highly recommend downloading! Now that I’m doing so much driving everyday, I listen to hours of the podcasts and have learnt so much in the last two weeks.

And here’s a small fraction of the awesome people I got to train with from all parts of the globe.

The Monday after Train the Trainer, my beautiful friend Courtney shared her 5 month progress photos with me & they were nothing short of amazing. I’ve watched this girl change before my eyes & seeing the positive changes in her life this year has been a super proud moment for me. So I figured I would take my own progress photos & I was a little shocked to see the difference! The photo on the first was taken in May 2012 and when I saw it, I said to myself, enough is enough. I was eating poorly, my stomach was always bloated and I did not feel good at 21. Fast forward two years, a wheat free diet, nutritional cleansing & better overall health, I feel a million times better. You can read my 12 month nutritional cleansing story over here.

And if I thought life couldn’t get any better, the day after Train the Trainer, my best friend of 17 years, S, called me & asked me to be her bridesmaid in her upcoming Gold Coast wedding. I’ve never been a bridesmaid before but I couldn’t think of a more perfect first time than standing up there with my best friend and her little sister, Bec, who also happens to be my little sister (naturally).

And of course, no month is complete without some epic food dates with loved ones. Photos pictured from Harvest Espresso, Wild Fig, homemade pulled pork, Roasting Warehouse and The Raw Kitchen (and that’s raw black forrest cheesecake pictured – sugar free!)

Amongst all the things that made May amazing (and chaotic and crazy), I sat my interview with the Australian Property Institute and was accepted to be a Property Valuer (kinda a big deal but whatever).  So the last two weeks have been fun; going to lots of awesome houses & apartments and meeting a ton of owners, builders, selling agents and tenants.

Will June be any less crazy than May? I highly doubt it!

I’m still quitting sugar;

Banana & peanut butter covered in chocolate. Sorry in advance.

I mentioned at the beginning of August that I was quitting sugar. While the first 24 days were easy, once it hit the 25th of August, I couldn’t help but allow myself a little treat for my birthday. And because my birthday was on a Sunday & the tradition at work is to bring a cake in for your birthday, I had some treats on the Monday and then the Tuesday and then it was the 28th of August and I figured, it was close to the end of the month so I’ll start September as the ‘sugar free’ month but then the 1st came & went and I was delaying the sugar free experiment.

Quitting sugar is hard. Especially in the form of snickers & reeses pieces (and peanut butter M&M’s while we’re at it). But throw in no fruit weeks 3-6? I was struggling big time leading up to my birthday. Now that I’ve binged my little heart out with (the processed) sugar, I need to think of why I’m trying to minimise it from my life:

  • Sugar affects my sleep. I toss & turn for hours and there’s nothing I can do to get to sleep any faster
  • Sugar makes me tried at the wrong times. Why can’t it make me tired when I need to be sleeping?
  • Sugar does not help me work towards a bikini body (it sure makes me forget a bikini body whenever it’s around though)
  • There is no limit with sugar. It causes an explosion in my body where if there’s no sugar coming in, my body will shut down (that’s the best I can describe it)
  • Sugar causes massive dips in my moodsand lastly;
  • Sugar is not my friend (as much as I try be Sugar’s friend)

So here’s what I’m going to try next:

  1. Limit chocolate bars to one a week (if I need to)
  2. No baking sweets
  3. Politely decline sweets that come into the office

That’s it. There’s no long list of what I can’t do, but just #1 is as powerful as 10 things. I’m not setting an end date because this is a lifestyle  change I want to make FOR GOOD. Here goes….

I’m quitting sugar!

Day 1 of quitting and this is what someone brings into the office!

On the 1st of August, I started the month with a massive goal in mind. I committed to an 8 week sugar free challenge by Sarah Wilson over at I Quit Sugar. I actually started 2013 with a sugar & alcohol ban for five & a half weeks so I have no doubt I will be able to do 8 weeks. My reasons for quitting sugar this time are very different though.

Lately, I’ve found myself reaching for countless cookies at work whenever I need a break/feeling pressured/whatever reason to be honest. When you can’t even recall the amount of cookies you’ve had, you know you’ve had too many. And it doesn’t stop there either. I’ll eat close to a block of Lindt a night and would eat more if there was more. Then there’s the after lunch treats, whatever bar is on special and there seems to be cake in the kitchen every second day.

Combine all this sugar & lack of exercise due to a sore ankle and you will have one VERY crap feeling girl.

Richard Johnson couldn’t have summed me up more perfectly this week:

“They are fat because they eat too much and exercise too little. But they eat too much and exercise too little because they’re addicted to sugar, which not only makes them fatter but, after the initial sugar rush, also saps their energy, beaching them on the couch. “The reason you’re watching TV is not because TV is so good,” he said, “but because you have no energy to exercise, because you’re eating too much sugar.”

When I posted to facebook last week, saying that the biggest dessert head (me) is quitting sugar, I had a few friends laugh & one asked why would I cut out the things I love? and can’t I eat sugar in moderation?

The answer is there is no such thing as moderation when it comes to sugar for me. I either eat everything in sight or I don’t go near it. There is no one square of Lindt….it’s gotta be the whole block. And as much as I love my desserts and little treats, they no longer satisfy me.

Just reading some of the ways sugar messes with your health is enough for me to walk away from desserts FOR GOOD. Why eat organic, raw food that is nothing but good for the body when all I’m doing with sugar is messing up the mineral balance in the body? And when I need every bit of my brain to concentrate on this last semester of uni & do a good job at work, sugar is no good for me.

So over the next 8 weeks, ending 29th September, I will be staying away from chocolates, biscuits, pastries and wine (plus a lot more). And for a few weeks, fruit as well. My birthday happens to be in 3 weeks time, right near the fruit detox stage which is fine because I’ve signed up myself & 3 girlfriends to walk/jog 12km’s in the City2Surf (and it’s not too late to register!) so I’ll be keeping myself busy by training for that.

This is my statement to the world to see: I will quit sugar.

Anyone else tried doing a sugar free challenge or interested in doing this with me?

Friday Letters- Part Two;

I’m back once again with the Friday letters! Check out all the other Friday letters over at Adventures of Newlyweds

Dear sugar; I was doing so well, went all day Monday & Tuesday without you and then as Wednesday afternoon approached and a strict deadline loomed over my head, all I could think about was you. Of course I couldn’t resist you. Why can’t you have a healthy brother I could rely on instead?

Dear weekend; I love you every time you come around because it means I can sleep in & eat my favourite omelette combo when it’s already lunch but this weekend, I love you more than ever because there’s no uni work to do AND it’s going to be my birthday. AWESOME.

Dear Blogger.com; Please hurry up and have a comments notification system like WordPress & Facebook. Going back to every blog I comment on to see if there’s a reply is just frigging impossible. Sort it out.

Dear eye primer; I discovered you yesterday and holy moly, you are amazing!! How have I lived without you for so long?

– – –

I was tempted to write a letter to bestie once again but that deserves a post all to itself (more about that soon!)

Friday Letters, Beginner style;

Every Friday, Michelle over at Jarrah Jungle takes part in the Friday Letters hosted by Ashley at the Adventures of Newlyweds and this Friday, I thought I better take part! So here go my first set of letters;
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Dear Horrorshow; It’s been 3 years since I first discovered you and your music is still just as amazing and relevant as the first time I heard it. Can’t wait to see you guys for the 6th time tonight!

Dear sugar; you are my number one love but also my biggest enemy. I try walk away from you but everyday after lunch or dinner, I give into you. This really must stop.

Dear bestie; can you hurry up & move to Brisbane already? Love, your biggest supporter

Dear Perth; thank you for being awesome & sunny today….can you stay this way for next weekend too? Thanks xo

Hungry for change;

After speaking to Alex on Monday night, I made the decision I need to cut back on the amount of processed sugar in my life. I managed to go Tuesday through to Friday morning with no chocolate/sweets but going cold turkey probably wasn’t the best option for me; on Friday morning, I woke up with a raging headache, on the verge of being sick and I hadn’t even had breakfast yet.

I guess it must of been a huge shock to my body, going from 2-6 pieces (sometimes more) of Lindt chocolate per night + a chocolate bar a day after lunch. That’s roughly 44.9g of sugar per day….which is equal to 9 teaspoons of sugar! (Nevermind all the other foods hidden with sugar)

It’s funny the timing of it all because on Friday, when I was still feeling sick and low on sugar, Veganism, a page I follow on Facebook posted about sugar. I would love for everyone to take the time to read it but here’s an extract that really hit me:

“And yet, when it comes down to it, sugar controls their behaviour. If they don’t have their sugar in the morning (in their coffee, pancakes and cereals), sugar at lunch (in the salad dressing, pasta sauce, soda and restaurant food) and sugar at dinner (there’s sugar in pizza, ketchup and BBQ sauce, plus virtually all restaurant foods), then they suffer serious withdrawal symptoms and go crazy with moodiness and irritability. They start blaming everyone around them for silly things, and they may even become sweaty and light-headed”

I remembered the video that Alex mentioned the other night called ‘Hungry for change’ which really made my decision final. Processed sugars do not have a place in my life!

Have you seen the ‘Hungry for change‘ documentary? Has it changed the way you eat? You can view 20 minutes of it HERE for free.