Thursday, 11 October 2012

Special Diets: Sugar Free?

Have you ever had to try and give up something you really enjoy?  You know what?  It's not so easy.  And not so fun.

My journey with sugar began many years ago when I discovered I can't have aspartame.  It makes me very unwell almost immediately and that lasts for about 3 hours.  For about 3 years I couldn't touch it, nor any kind of soft drink because of the severe response I had to it.  Now I can gamble with small amounts, but generally I avoid it like the plague.  The suffering simply isn't worth it...and it's pretty scary stuff.  Over this course of this year I've also discovered that regular sugar is no friend of mine.  If you've been reading here a while you'll know that I have discovered that sugar is evil...and I've talked a little about why.

But it's really hard to avoid it.  And it's even harder to choose not to have it.  Even when you know it won't be a good thing.  This is really something that I need to address and I think the key may lie in finding alternative foods that I really enjoy.  I found some sugar-free chocolate.  It's OK, but it doesn't thrill me. 

This is something that I really need to get a handle on.  If you have any stories to share leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy,
Is it only cane sugar that causes problems for you? Some of the sugar-free recipes use honey or apple / pear as a sweetener.

Belinda said...

Ahh yeah, been there still doing that. I've never been a huge "sweet tooth" so that was less of an issue for me. That said when I came off it cold turkey, when I was about 8 weeks pregnant, I started having day dreams about those "natural" fruit juice flavoured lollies. That's when I knew things were out of control beforehand, obviously my body was under the impression it NEEDED sugar.

Once I rode out the cravings by being totally sweetner free, inc fruit at that point, things got a whole lot easier.

Now I know it would be nice to say yes to a piece of cake but saying "Thanks for the offer but not right now" is reasonably easy. I gave up sweetners and fruit entirely for about 12 months, now I have a small amount of fruit but still no sweetners. Personally I found it easier just to give up any "processed" food that was supposed to be "sweet" rather than try and find a safe artificial alternative.

The things that caught me out early on and made it more difficult were the items you wouldn't really think about sugar being in.. pasta sauce, many brands of tinned beans, deli meats, etc.

If you really need chocolately flavour and you are ok with frozen fruits I have a recipe that might work for you. Just write here and I'll try and dig it out to repost in the comments.

Kind Regards

Tracy said...

Hi Julie - at the moment the problem is cane sugar (artifical sweetner has always been a big problem). I'm not super keen to substitute with fruit sugar because the balance becomes out of wack when the fruit isn't in it's natural state.

Hi Belinda - you've given me a great deal of hope. I'd love any recipes you can share with me! Thank you so very much.

Belinda said...

Hi Tracy,

Glad my journey has given you a bit of light.

This one I have made before I went sugar free and found quite good. **just make sure when you are buying the dates they haven't had sugar added. with any recipe using dates I generally use the soft mejool dates as they are so much easier to process.

Here are a few that may be applicable that I haven't tried

Hope there is something in there that strikes your fancy

Kind Regards

Left-Handed Housewife said...

You know that I struggle with sugar, too--have a sweet tooth, but sugar makes me feel ill. Wish I could kick it for good! I'll keep trying, because I feel so much better when I don't eat it. Good luck with your struggles!