Saturday, 27 February 2016

Sugar, sugar, ahh, honey honey!

Ok, so last Friday I had this utterly mad idea that following a chat over a LARGE glass of wine with a friend who'd tried it that I too was going to attempt to go sugar free, dairy free and caffeine free for SEVEN whole days. I had watched the Sugar Free Farm on ITV, I saw how hard it was for those celebs but I thought why not?

The celebs of ITV's Sugar Free Farm

Now, my friend is doing three weeks but I thought that seven days to start would be a good start and given my love of biscuits, chocolate, diet coke I was doubtful I would even make it to Monday afternoon.

I set about planning my food for the week and had my first black decaf brew made for me by my lovely secretary at work. She too thought I was mad but was going to attempt to go sugar free in support. 

Day 1 - Taking the leap! 

Friday afternoon passed pretty quickly and I went to bed with a head full of how amazing this week as going to be, visions of glowing skin, the lbs falling off me and the hope that by Wednesday afternoon I would have magnificently transformed in to Cobham's answer to Gwyneth Paltrow - how hard could it be?!!?

This will totally be me come Wednesday - except I will be at work and not in a bikini in the sea!

Day 2. (First full day)

Saturday morning came and I was working. After faffing about in my fridge looking for inspiration for lunch I prepared for the day by making six boiled eggs, yes I know six boiled eggs - cue the cholesterol police! I took some prawns out of the freezer and off to work I went with a spring in my step - I had even convinced myself that my skin was already starting to glow!

Well, by 1pm I felt hideous, truly hideous. I had a stinking headache, was in a foul mood and the tiredness was starting to kick in despite having a great nights sleep. How lucky Nicola was to be working with me on a day like this. Didn't help that come 2pm she turned to me and said "You look s**t"." Thanks - it was true though I did feel crap. Was this the lack of caffeine or was it the lack of sugar??? Have years and years of excess caffeine and sugar really be that hard to knock on the head?

I ended up resorting to a desperate 3pm pick me up in the form of a juice from The Juice Smith. It tied me over. It wasn't the KitKat I was craving but it was something.

Tom suggested we meet down the pub after I finished work, great idea hey! Well I stuck to my guns and ordered a sparkling water. Tasted alright most bizarrely. 

The tiredness was really starting to take hold and by 8.15pm I was sparko on the sofa and in my bed ko'd by 9.30!! 

Day Three - A turning point

With a few stirrings from Hector I had an INCREDIBLE nights sleep. I had a cracker of a breakfast with poached eggs and avocado. The afternoon saw us head to the theatre with Charlie, Tom and my mother in law. I ordered a sparkling water again whilst Tom downed a beautiful Coke!! We popped in to his mums after the theatre where Lis insisted we try the next door neighbour's blueberry muffins that she was judging for his D of E. She told me it was for educational purposes. I had the teeniest nibble that I didn't even taste the gorgeous fresh blueberries that bulged from their little paper cases. Usually I would have hoovered one up and this time it didn't even cross my mind. It felt good. She had even made my favourite flapjacks so I insisted she freeze me one for Sunday! 

Day Four 

After another great nights sleep I'm ready to face the week ahead, but first the school run! Charlie requests pancakes for breakfast. I fulfill his request and stand flipping pancakes at 8am. God they smell incredible but I resist instead opting for a boiled egg and a large glass of sparkling water. 

Lunch consisted of roast chicken, bacon and a lot of water. A lot of water. 

Dinner comes around very quickly and I knock up scrambled egg, spinach, Spring onions on rye bread whilst the kids had added turkey meatballs that I had made. Quite nice actually.

Homemade turkey and cranberry meatballs

Day four. Done.

Day Five - A spot of baking

Being a big baker I wanted to look at the possibility of baking without refined sugars if I had any hope of making this a permanent lifestyle change . I headed down to my local health food shop, Holland and Barrett for some supplies. The young guy in there was so helpful and I left with a big bag of sugar free goodies.

My supplies - obviously I won't be eating the sliced brioche!

I embarked upon baking some coconut and blueberry muffins. An easy recipe to follow and the results produced not too bad, ok they didn't taste like the muffins that I knew and loved but then again this was my first attempt at baking without sugar.

Day Six

Back in the office today and I just know this is going to be a tough one. First up is the tea. I can't do black tea. I've tried and I just can't get my head around it. Decaf fine but black no. I decide to ditch the dairy free in the form of milk as realistically I am never going to go totally dairy free. 3pm was going to be my biggest challenge. How would I cope without my usual biscuit or chocolate buttons? Well 3pm came and no cravings!!! Hoorah!!

Lunch was a random mix of salad vegetables and cooked chicken.

A meeting after work and then a fun game of netball after that saw day six round to a close. I have a couple of boiled eggs for dinner and head to bed.

Day Seven

Another day in the office came and went again with no cravings, not even when offered a mini hot cross bun!!

For dinner I had looked online for some inspiration. I decided to make some coconut chicken nuggets with homemade mayo - yes I even made homemade mayo, so simple!!

It was delicious.

Day Eight

As of 12pm today I would have been caffeine and sugar free for a week.

12pm came and I celebrated with...... chicken salad and homemade mayo.

I felt amazing to think that I have done a week of no sugar and no caffeine. As my seven days were over I went out in the evening with friends and had steak, mac 'n' cheese and a creme brulee for pudding all washed down with Sauvignon Blanc.

Day Nine

So, reflection time. I feel good. I'm not so sluggish. My skin is definitely clearer. Will I continue it? You know what I think I will. I'm no way saying that I am giving up sugar FULL STOP but for 80/20 of the time I will continue the sugar free lifestyle. It's easier than you think and now having done seven days and the lack of sweet cravings I am feeling really good. Also as you could have guessed it I don't quite look like Gwynnie just yet - hey Rome wasn't built in a day!!

I've even been out for a quick catch up with my friend The Home Chef at Bronte's Cafe and even asked if they had an sugar free options and Roddy recommended the banana cake which was delicious!!!

Sugar free banana cake and a decaf tea over a catch up with my friend Phil

Tonight for dinner I am doing the delicious coconut chicken nuggets and I will post my recipe up on the blog as it's one you should really try, I know my kids are going to love them!!

Lots of love,

Nathalie x

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