New Year Resolution: Quitting Sugar...Again

Always stand out from the crowd! Unless it's January. If it's January it's perfectly fine to follow the crowd and join the masses making new year resolutions for a healthier you.

Your resolutions will be like the ones you made last year, but this time it's different. This year you mean it. No really, you do.

There's something about being at the tale end of a fortnight spent rummaging through a jumbo tub of Quality Street, searching for the fudges, *insert personal favourite here* that makes January the one. The month that sees you filled with determination to make healthy lifestyle changes.

You vehemently cast aside the Cadburys and laugh in the face of Lindt. January sees a new you! ... a you that drinks coconut water goddam it!

Sugar free healthy living cookbooks, I Quit Sugar For Life by Sarah Wilson. Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward.
My go to wellness bible, I Quit Sugar For Life, Sarah Wilson
The Christmas present I can't wait to get stuck into, Deliciously Ella, Ella Woodward.
Delicously Ella book by Ella Woodward. I Quit Sugar For Life by Sarah Wilson.
My new year resolution is to make healthy lifestyle changes. I know what you're thinking, "well slap my thighs and call me Norma, what an original NY resolution." But there you have it.

My aim is to cut out processed foods and sugar from my diet to live a healthier happier life. Simple and whole foods are the name of the game.

I'm NOT dieting. I repeat I am NOT dieting. I'm introducing a new way of living.

I made a start at introducing these changes in the summer of last year. A mid year resolution if you like. If you didn't catch it at the time, you can read about the start of my 'wellness plight' here.

Kilner Jar. Colourful vintage paper straws.
I wrote at the time that I'd share my progress with you, and as I'm a woman of my word, here you go...

What Got The Thumbs Up
There is no calorie counting. Eat as much as you like of the 'good stuff' so there's no room left for the bad stuff.

Even though it wasn't my aim, I lost weight. I'm talking about that impossible to shift weight too, that sits round your stomach and the tops of your thighs. No muffins in your cupboards or hanging over the top of your jeans!

My mood altered, I felt happier and more positive.

A couple of people passed comment that my skin was looking clearer and brighter.

I enjoyed learning new ways of cooking and with some ingredients I'd never even heard of.

What Got The Thumbs Down
Sourcing the ingredients isn't always straight forward. Not everything was stocked at my usual choice of supermarket. It is all out there though, it just takes a little time to do a spot of researching before you set out with your bag for life. (those 5ps add up right)

It can be time consuming. It definitely takes more time to prepare yourself a fresh dinner from scratch than it does to pop a 'convenience' meal in the oven.

Cooking with new ingredients can be complicated, and stressful if the final result doesn't turn out right. Note to self: pecans can and do burn if you leave them in the oven too long.

You have to plan ahead. If the urge for a snack strikes in-between a meal, you need to have something you prepared earlier ready to grab.

*******

Despite all the benefits of a sugar free lifestyle, I found that after six weeks or so I gradually started to slip back into my old, less healthy ways of eating. Some of the recipes that I tried, although I enjoyed eating them, took me so long to prepare that I struggled to maintain it.
Christmas also came along as a convenient excuse to jump back into eating sugary treats. If it was coated in chocolate and given a festive name I was all over it. Yes to the Yule Log all day long.

2016 landed and things came to a head. A whitehead. On the end of my nose. I kid you not. As well as the breakout in blemishes, my mood well and truly crashed.
I felt like I hadn't felt in a long while and for the first time, could feel the huge effect that diet has on my mood. Maybe it was so glaringly obvious because I'd had a selection box for tea the day before my slump! No need to ring Sherlock, I've figured this one out on my own!

Quote from I Quit Sugar For Life, "so-called lapses are good! They are perfect for reminding us why we choose not to eat sugar. Take comfort: once you know the deal with sugar, you don't go back to where you started. 'You can't unlearn this stuff!"

Going Forward I made my first attempt to be sugar free out of curiosity and boredom. I just felt like trying something different.
I'm making my second attempt to be sugar free after experiencing first hand the slump in mood and difference to my appearance that sugar causes.

I'm calling phase two 'Sugar Free The Resurgence: This Time I Know What Chia Seeds Are!'
 
Deliciously Ella book

It gets easier too. Suddenly you'll have a handy little supply of ingredients that you've gradually been accumulating. You'll work out which recipes you can whip up and which ones to give a miss. You'll learn new ways to cook and with ingredients you've never tried before and feel a little bit pleased with yourself. If your skin happens to be glowing too, bonus!!

There's no lazy way to live a healthy lifestyle. It does take time, but what would you be doing instead?

Deliciously Ella, Ella Woodward. I Quit Sugar For Life, Sarah Wilson.
 
See those 'Coconuts, Kale & Yoga' slogans and be like yes darrrrling that is totally me. 

Have you tried a sugar free lifestyle? Do you have any tips for maintaining it long term?

Thanks so much for reading. Not Your Nine To Five is on Twitter here and Instagram here x x

2 comments

  1. Hi! Yes I do have the Deliciously Ella book. I'm not sure I eat a sugar free diet unless you are referring to refined/processed sugar alone. I love fruit! I love the way I feel when I eat well too. Last year I changed my diet because I was feeling tired all the time. Smoothies, whole, non processed foods and exercising made me feel alive. However, I slipped when Christmas came and there was so many nice foods and it was OK because 'it's Christmas' and everyone encourages it. But now I am still eating one too many mac and cheeses and need to get back on track before I get too comfortable and too slouchy. I'm sure I'll get there. Thanks for the post. It reminded me why I started eating well in the first place and good luck with your journey :)

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  2. Hi, yes I'm just trying to cut out refined/processed sugar! Natural sugars are still in my diet for sure :)
    You're absolutely right about people encouraging you to eat the wrong stuff. I've been surprised at how many people aren't on board with the sugar free lifestyle. When I slipped back into eating sugar, one person actually told me they were pleased!

    Thanks so much for your lovely comment :) x

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