Day Four [No Added Sugar]

I’ve been feeling pretty miserable all day, seeing as my period started overnight. This lead to me stain treating my pajamas first thing this morning, which is not how you want to start your day!

Around my period, especially on day one, I have such sugar cravings, mainly because I am so exhausted by the cramps I get. I pushed through today, which I am quite proud of, though I did probably eat a lot more food than I needed… oops! At least none of it was sugary though. 

I’m starting to see changes in my shape at this stage. My stomach is flatter, I’m less bloated, and my legs look slimmer. I am assuming it’s due to loss of retained water, and hoping it doesn’t return. 

What I ate today:

Breakfast 

  • Two fried eggs on toast

Lunch

  • Quesadillas made with vegan cheese and red onion
  • Salad plate, consisting of sweet potato, chickpeas, tomatoes, salad leaves (no dressing of course, they’re often full of sugar!)

Dinner

  • I didn’t really have a dinner today… I ate two sandwiches and a bag of popcorn this evening before bed!

Day Three [No Added Sugar]

Today was the first day sugar cravings actually kicked in and I was tempted by chocolate- I resisted, though I would love a piece of chocolate cake, especially right now as I usually would be asleep by 10:30pm, and it is closer to midnight now and exhaustion is setting in. 

Already my energy levels are more constant, and I am significantly less bloated around my middle- I haven’t yet stepped on the scales to know what change, if any there has been there. I do have an upset stomach however from all the fruit I have been eating! Ideally that will pass rapidly, it’s a bit uncomfortable. 

What I ate:

Breakfast

  • Two fried eggs on toast

Lunch

  • Mixed salad leaves topped with roasted sweet potato, red onion, mushrooms and chickpeas

Dinner

  • Wrap with the same sweet potato filling as above

Snacks

  • Popcorn
  • Banana bread (made this morning to a BBC Good Food Recipe)

Day Two [No Added Sugar]

Today was tough. Really tough. 

It wasn’t so much that I was craving sugar throughout the day, but I was really irritable and bad tempered. Everything was annoying me, and stressing me out, and I just couldn’t deal with it (which is unusual for me). I’m hoping this will pass quickly, as it is making me somewhat difficult to be around.  The headache that I had yesterday was almost non- existent today, but my body feels tired and heavy. 

Lunch was really good today- I had been craving pizza for the last few days, but ordering one would be breaking all the rules! I found some puff pastry in the fridge, and topped it with grated vegan cheese, chopped fresh basil and sliced cherry tomato. I then baked that, and it was the perfect substitute. 

I went and did some grocery shopping today, and stocked up on fruit, nuts, vegetables, vegan cheese and avocados in particular. I really like avocados, and if I’m not having eggs with a meal, I like to add a quarter to a half of an avocado to increase the fat content and keep me feeling full for longer. I also found some tomato based pasta sauces that don’t have any sugar, and though they don’t taste as nice as the sugary ones, they are certainly better for me. 

What I did realise is that reading labels on food is super important. My aim is to cut out all sugar- real, artificial sweeteners, stevia, you name it to eliminate my constant sugar cravings. Sugar is hidden is almost everything- like one brand of tortillas had sugar as a main ingredient, whereas thankfully another didn’t. 

What I Ate:

Breakfast

  • Toast and two fried eggs

Lunch

  • Slice of homemade puff pastry pizza
  • Three rice cakes with peanut butter and a banana

Dinner

  • Pasta with mixed beans in tomato sauce. 

Snacks

  • Almonds
  • 100kcal bag of popcorn
  • Grapes

Day One [No Added Sugar]

My enthusiasm is still strong at the moment, and the novelty of trying something new hasn’t worn off, so today has been easier than expected. Having said that, I have a headache and feel slightly flu- like, but I’m not going to blame that on lack of processed sugar- yet. 

I did some more reading though, and discovered I should probably be limiting my banana intake to one per day, due to their high sugar content. This is even though I am focussing on added sugars, but I will try swapping some of them out for oranges or apples. 

Breakfast required some thought- usually I would wake up, and while half asleep pour about three bowls worth of coco pops into a  single bowl, and top that off with whatever non- dairy milk was in the fridge. Instead I opted for what was the most easy and sugar free option, and made eggs the main part of my breakfast. Fortunately, at least in Ireland, our shop bought breads generally don’t contain any added sugar, so that makes things a lot easier- cutting out white carbs will be a future challenge however!

By the time lunch came around the headache had started- and not helped by the presence of biscuits at work. It was alleviated somewhat by getting some fresh air on the way to get lunch, but seeing the baskets full of chocolate chip muffins nearly broke me- if this were yesterday, I could easily have had two of them. 

I was almost at fainting point by the time dinner arrived- headaches, light headed, the works. Dinner was odd in that I ate too much hoping that it would ease the headache, but it didn’t, so I slightly overate. I made dinner the last thing I ate, though did have some tea before bed.

With all that though, day one is finished. Hopefully the sugar flu won’t last much longer, and I can concentrate on reducing the amount of snacks I have to eat to keep myself feeling sane. 

If you have any advice or feedback for me on what I ate today, please let me know- changing my diet is going to require me to relearn how to eat, and I’d really appreciate advice from others on what they ate and what worked for them. 

What I ate:

Breakfast

  • Two fried eggs on toast
  • Banana and peanut butter on toast

Lunch

  • Bread roll with spinach and tomato 
  • Popcorn
  • Banana
  • Handful of almonds

Dinner

  • Pasta with homemade tomato sauce, red onion and mushrooms

Snack:

  • Banana
  • Toast
  • Almonds

Day Zero [No Added Sugar]

Hi, I’m overweight.

At 5’2″ (160cm), and approximately 74kg (154lbs), I have a BMI of 27.3. At the most basic, this means I have to lose 11kg, to have a healthy BMI- which is a moderately suitable indicator for me, I definitely don’t have a high muscle mass percentage!

I’ve taken a long look at my diet, and noted that I have fallen into the trap that so many people who are vegetarian do- I eat a lot of carbs, and in particular a lot of sugary carbs. I find myself snacking frequently on biscuits, chocolate and other snacks, and this is probably what contributes to my constant tiredness and exhaustion, leading to my plan of cutting out all added sugar for thirty days straight. 

I’ve set a few rules for myself over the course of this, which can be summarised as:

  • No added sugar
  • No sugar under a different name, such as honey or maple syrup
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No sugar substitutes
  • Try to avoid excessive fat and calorie consumption!

This rules out pretty much all of my favourite foods unfortunately- but this should have at least one benefit, in that I am allergic to dairy, and should remove from my diet most of the things that make me tired and bloated!

I start tomorrow- please hold me accountable!