No, not my cat, but the real deal.
A few weeks ago I saw a clip on Facebook of an elderly gentleman talking about how he had conquered all sorts of diseases and how fit and healthy, how energetic and alive he felt. Though he described a lot of things that he did, including taking special dietary supplements that he had concocted, when asked to give one recipe for good health he had said: cut out processed sugar.
That got me thinking. Yes. Processed sugar is one of the three white poisons: sugar, salt and flour. So where is the hardship? I had cut out coffee and tea, I no longer drink fizzy drinks, nor do I drink juices, my downfall is chocolate. But will it kill me to cut this out? On a whim, and right there and then I decided to cut out processed sugar!
Now it has been over a month and my experience is worth recounting.
The first three days I was craving chocolate so badly it felt I was getting the shakes of withdrawal. No, seriously, it was not that bad, but I found myself thinking of chocolate ALL THE TIME. Like a bad break-up, it was always on the brain for the first few days. Then suddenly, I found I just was not thinking about it anymore. But I did start paying more attention to fruit. The strange thing is that fruit started tasting better and much sweeter than I remembered. My taste buds started to wake up, and not only did fruit taste sweeter, but food in general acquired a sharper, more concentrated taste.
After around 10 days of cutting out processed sugar completely I was hosting a celebration of a friend’s birthday, and there sat my favourite chocolate cake with nuts! If I didn’t take a piece of cake that would be considered as a very great insult. So, I took one forkful of my favourite chocolate cake and savoured it for a very long time. Heaven.
Two hours later my mouth felt foul, I was desperate to brush my teeth, floss and gargle. And that is exactly what I did the moment I got home.
Another two hours and the sharp craving began….but no! I was not going to give in. The feeling of being sugar free was far too good to succumb to a few minutes of chocolate cake…even my favourite, heavenly cake.
So another two weeks went by and I have kept to my strict diet of no processed sugar. Then another social occasion, another forced bite of another cake. This time, strangely enough, the craving was much worse! So I promised myself that I shall be adamant and turn down whatever temptation of processed sugar I was offered, even if I had to lie and plead a medical condition.
Have I felt an overall change in my health? I cannot say that I have, but I have been enjoying my food much more; everything tasted so much better. I have been eating very well indeed, yet have not gained weight! I have not lost either, but maybe it is more long term than that. I very rarely get this horrible taste in my mouth and rush to brush my teeth and gargle.
How it will affect my health in the long term is still to be assessed, but as of one month in, I am feeling good. I could even resist having a Mont Blanc and opted for a plate of fresh fruits, even though my friend was eating, with a lot of relish, one Mont Blanc right there in front of me. I was upheld by a great feeling of virtue, as well as how good what I was eating tasted.
In a country where people practically munch processed sugar all the time, 3-4 teaspoons in a cup of tea, sugared fruit juice, pastries of every type dripping in sugar, I seem to be some kind of freak.
I am just about to consume a plate full of berries that looks utterly delicious.