Friday, 6 March 2015

SUGAR. The Devil tempting you in a red velvet dress.

One of my creations, earlier today, whilst intact.
'Oh I don't have a sweet tooth. I'm a savoury girl.' Yeah right. I mean, I am a savoury girl, given the choice at restaurants I'll always go starter over dessert. There's no competition. But I've been working hard and slacking lately and reaching for the quick sugar fix and and and...

Here we are, almost in Spring and I am feeling a tad 'bleurgh'. So my thinking is: would any of you like to join me on a sugar detox? I use the word 'detox' in its correct form, I'm not suggesting my body is not capable of keeping itself 'cleansed', but it stands to reason that it would just have a much easier time of it if I stopped putting crap into it.

Don't worry. I'm not about to start posting pictures of kale and saying 'Ooh scrummy!' (if you ever hear me use the word 'scrummy', please smack me around the head anyway), but I am vowing to steer clear of well, things that my children can eat on occasion that I really have no business eating - at all. Ever. Mindless eating. Isn't it strange that you can be very 'mindful' in your day-to-day lifestyle, business practices, parenting - pretty much anything, but very quickly revert to being brain dead when it comes to just eating nonsense? Or badly, let's call a spade a spade, eating badly.

Like I said, I won't be evangelical and preachy, but I usually find if I say I'm going to do something, I am always more inclined to follow through if people (family - especially the kids) are watching me.

Have any of you given sugar the old heave-ho lately? If not for health, let's do it for our skin. ;)

Who's in?

91 comments:

  1. I have actually just given up sugary things for Lent. I said I would do it at new year and failed spectacularly. So now finally it is being done!!! My skin is a hundred times better just from not eating the crap for this past couple of weeks or so :) after this I will treat myself of course, but hoping not to go back to being a I MUST EAT ALL THE SUGAR monster. Good luck :)

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  2. I think I'm tempting to to go on a sugar "detox" (though I loathe that word). I'm doing my masters and have a tendency to snack like nothing else. But I also have IBS, it is not a good mix.

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  3. I've never eaten a ton of processed sugar. My only sugary indulgences on the regular are some dark chocolate truffles and Chai tea. More than that and I feel crappy. I have the occasional odd dessert here and there but it's usually out at a special restaurant. I find the best way to avoid it is not to buy it!

    My sugars come from complex carbs like sweet potatoes and occasional fruits which are mostly berries, melon, apples, and pears.

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  4. I really really need to do this. But Easter eggs...
    Will give it my best shot though, and am definitely up for some group motivation!

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    1. Reese's peanut butter easter eggs!....*wipes drool off chin*

      Are we talking sugar sugar, or any sweetener like aspartame and sweet 'n low?

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  5. Leticia Bessel6 March 2015 at 17:19

    Yes please! Lately I've had too many breakouts that I know I could've avoided had I drunk less Guaraná (Brazilian fizz, 34g of sugar per 100g of drink!)...

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    1. Love this drink! Ever since I visited Brazil 7 years ago :)

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  6. I don't eat sugar for a year already, and your word was the main thing why I decided to do it. After I saw the results of changing my routine, I follow your lead fighting sugar
    But I eat honey, dates and maple syrop, and so cook for myself all types of desserts using them as sweeteners (aaand I have an icecream machine)
    I adore to see how people react when I say I don't eat sugar, they have all the stages of you know denial-anger-acceptance stuff going on hahha So I don't drink store-bought juices and sweet stuff and now I'm able to clearly see that people can't really undersatnd the qantity of sugar they are putting in themselves on a regular bases
    cheers from Russia

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    1. Ooh would love some recipes for treats that don't contain refined sugar :)

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    2. soft dates blend amazingly well with eggs for cake and pancake batter, thicken the icecream base if you blend them with greek yogourt and half&half (or coconut milk for a dairy free raffaello option), instead of making an eggy custard which is quite a pain-in-d-a process. If you take 2-3 soft dates, some high quality coco powder and a tiny pinch of salt and just mush them together with spoon or fingers you get an instant chocolate truffle. Add some greek yo and mush - you get a nice chocolare spread, take larger quantities and blend together with nuts in a high-speed blender you get nutella. The secret with dates - when they are nicely blended or mushed they can be incorporated in any recipe
      If your dates are quite tough - soak them in water overnight
      with honey and maple it's even simpler than that depending on what you cook - just consider adding a bit less liquid than with regular sugar
      granola, maple coated nuts, add some to your stir-fry to get the effect of chines food
      ok that's basics! I can talk for hours about that :D
      also quick candy cheat - take some nice black sultanas and freeze them, they become incredibly caramel-like chewy no-effort treat

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    3. Thanks so much :D I found a good granola recipe on the I quit sugar website which looks good too.

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  7. I quit last year for 7 weeks, then learnt how to make chocolate( and inadvertently, how to grow a fat arse!!) ... I'm in!

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  8. i'm in ! throwing away chocolate....now

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  9. I haven't fully given up on sweet treats but I've cut down to one a week and I'm paying a lot more attention to how much sugar is hidden in other food. I always feel better when I eat less sugar but that doesn't seem to make it less tempting!

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  10. Iv been wanting to do this for a while, for my overall health and my acne prone skin.

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  11. Yes I've just waved tatty bye to sugar. I've been using the deliciously Ella book to help. You may have to dodge the kale pages though! Feeling better for it :)

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  12. I bought Xylitol to use in tea instead of sugar and I pretty much quit the pop (once in a while is alright though) - did it mostly for my teeth to be honest. Xylitol is supposed to actually be good for your teeth but don't believe anyone who tells you they found a sugar substitute that tastes exactly like the refined white kind, it just doesn't exist, trust me, I'm a complete sugar addict.. Unfortunately..

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  13. I'm in! I just recently cut sugar and dairy from my diet...My skin is in a tough state and I need to get back to status quo. Its been hard saying no to birthday cakes and cappucinnos, but I've told myself its only for a month...and then I plan to allow for modseste/reduced sugar and dairy consumption. Fingers crossed for the both of us Caroline!

    MY BLOG: ♥♥♥ Ella Pretty ♥♥♥


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  14. Ha, serendipity? I have just been reading about Ella Woodward's sweet potato brownies which I may attempt at the weekend...so yes why not, although as I type this it will mean no more marmalade and my Mum has just finished making me a batch, and that little joyous jewel of orange is so cheering on a drear morning.

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    1. "that little joyous jewel of orange is so cheering on a drear morning...." Wow, I don't know why but I just had to comment on how poetic this is. :)

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  15. Agreed Caroline! I was a personal trainer 22 yrs, (now semi retired, searching for my next career venture.) I've always, always enjoyed and struggled with sweets/sugars. Though I've exercised mindfulness/discipline in life and with clean eating regarding food, when it comes to sugar, it can hunt me down and find me where ever I might be. Amazing. I can be yapping away, get sidetracked and the next thing you know the gatekeeper's gone, BAM! I digress... I'm with you. I've done this about 7 years ago and though a bit difficult at first (grumpy grumperson had nothing on me) it was truly a life changing experience. I felt great and my skin looked alive. Holding ourselves accountable especially where we are most vulnerable is so important! ~Toni ; )

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  16. I think we must all be thinking along the same lines. For the past month I have been making an effort to cut down on my sugar. I never completely cut anything out of my diet, one I'm not sure I would be able to, two I have a theory that if I cut anything out for any prolonged period of time my body will find it harder to process if and when I reintroduce (this has absolutely no factual basis, merely my own theory) and three if I tell myself I can't have something then I want it all the more. So, cutting down is what I have been doing. And doing very well I might add, I'm a bit of a chocolate / sweetie lover. I would love to say I am noticing a difference, in any way but unfortunately so far nothing. I have just gone back on the pill though and had a bout of food poisoning then a cold 2 days later so I'm hoping I will see some results at some point and the spotty mess looking back at me in the mirror will soon disappear and be replaced by someone far more fresh faced and healthy looking :-)

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  17. Funny you mentioned kale.. After cutting out sugar and carbs all together, kale and other cole crops start to taste really sweet after a while. I'll join you when my sensitive stomach is healed (recovering from a stress related inflammation) and sugar isn't the only tasty treat in my life ;)

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  18. I hear you about being more successful when sharing your goal with others. I just finished a three day juice cleanse and couldn't have done it without friends checking in on me. Good luck!

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  19. I once went a whole year without eating candy when I was about 11 or 12, in a deal with my parents where they would give me 100 pounds for it. I actually did it and I went from eating at least a large bag of candy every Saturday to not even being able to eat ketchup - 10 years later and I still can't stand it because it's just too sweet. I do love a piece of dark chocolate now and then, but other than that I just don't feel like I want sugary things - it's amazing how you can change your habits! Especially since I'm from Sweden and we apparantly eat more candy per person and year than the rest of the world.. :P Good luck with staying away from sugar and I'll do my best to stay away from crisps!

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  20. I'm in!

    /A reader from Sweden, who's eating candy & pastries almost everyday...

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  21. Sugar is the worst thing. Not only for one's skin but also for one's immune system. We're so obsessed with low fat but are more than happy to scoff down low fat yoghurts etc. forgetting that the amount of sugar in them is obscene. Say no to drugs folks but also to sugar.

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  22. But how? How can I stop eating like an "unchaperoned child at a birthday party"? Who will check me? I hope you have a plan, Caroline, so I can stick to it the same way I stick to my skincare routine - faithfully! I AM IN! xxx

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  23. I was a sweet-tooth, I probably still am. But 3 years ago, I started to get stress induced reactive hypoglycemia. There is no treatment, you need to watch what you eat all the time and... not eat sugar. I had to quit cold turkey. It was making me feel sick anyway so knowing what to avoid was rather good news.
    I wish anyone would understand how bad sugar is when you consume it daily and in too large quantities, and how it can end up messing up your health a lot. Sugar kills, much more than fat does.
    I wish I had known that 10 years ago.

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  24. I am the manager of a chocolate shop so this is near impossible for me....but I would love to try!!!

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  25. Good luck! I've been trying to avoid it but that red velvet cake pic has made me huuuungryyy. My flatmate keeps offering to bake for me as I'm stressed with work - it's taking all my strength not to shout back that I'd benefit more if she helped with the CLEANING. Ha.

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  26. I've been sugar free for 4 months now and I can't tell you how much better I feel (and look, clear skin and weight loss). There's lots of books and blogs out there to help, I used Sarah Wilson's 'I Quit Sugar' and it was easier than I ever thought it could be. Good luck Caroline and everyone else x

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  27. I am always confused about what "sugar" detoxes include.....honey? Agave? Maple syrup? I would do a sugar detox if I knew what I could and couldn't eat (love honey on my oatmeal!). Sugar detox would definitely help my skin!!!

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  28. I am in!!! Sugar just for my family Birthdays!

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  29. I would love to join in, but it's Girl Scout Cookie time where I live, so let's not kid ourselves.

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  30. Me, me, me! I so need a sugar detox...lots of things are telling me to stop it but been struggling with it. But enough is enough. ..it's time to help myself. Lets do it together!

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  31. I've recently been thinking about how I need to do this. Me eating sugar just leads to me eating more sugar. It's definitely time to give it a rest. (Of course, I type this as I bake red velvet cupcakes. I mean, had to use up the rest of the buttermilk, right?)

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  32. I'm in! so sick of breaking out.

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  33. Caroline! I just gave sugar the boot 7wks ago! It was a struggle those first few weeks but I charged on. I feel great! My energy level is up, lost a little bit of stubborn belly fat, and I have a complexion! Who knew that sugar affected your complexion so much. I would love to join you and keep this up. My friends are supportive but they will not give up their sugar. I am sad about my sweets though. I miss ice cream, it was my fave but I don't crave it which I guess is the true goal. Here to kicking the cravings to the curb together!

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  34. Since the first of the year I have greatly reduced the amount of sugar I eat. No desserts. I've begun to think of sugar as the Devil. We all know the Devil can appear in any form. For me, it appears in the form of sugar. I do still eat fresh and frozen fruit, but no brownies or ice cream or donuts or fudge or, well, you know.

    I'm in.

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  35. I'm an emotional eater and have been for years. A couple of weeks ago I got sick of feeling bloated and fat so cut out there and then
    Full fat coke, cakes,sweets...crisps all the junk foods I feel better but I would kill for can of coke right about now

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  36. But..... but I like sugar :(

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  37. I'm totally in. I've been avoiding it (most of the time), eating much more greens and already see a significant difference in my skin.

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  38. Hi Caroline, I'm in! In fact I've already started my sugar detox 2 weeks ago and so far so good. I bought a big blender and doing green smoothies quite regularly (sometimes with kale :)) for whole family. For my morning coffee I use stevia, as I hate bitter coffee.
    Greetings from Poland!

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  39. I don't know about a total detox, but I am planning to cut oout the majority of my sugar intake. Especially from unhealthy sources. For the sake of my teeth if not my skin.

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  40. I did this last year and can echo what a difference it made to my complexion. I got really into it and bought a lot of recipe books, my favourites were:
    It's all Good - Gwyneth gets a fair bit of stick, but this is a really good book
    The Medicinal Chef Eat Your Way to Better Health (Healthy Every Day is also really good)
    A Modern Way to Eat
    Deliciously Ella (book and site)
    There are also loads of good recipes on goop.com (I agree there is also some eye-rolling content, but I like to think it is well intentioned).
    Lastly, thelondoner.me has a really good peanut butter ice cream recipe.

    I stopped being careful in Jan and now have four huge red mounds on my face that are super painful, will come to nothing but will still scar so I am definitely in and am very grateful for the motivation.

    Good luck,
    Sarah
    X

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  41. Brilliant post title. Just sayin'...
    Kate

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  42. Oh oh!! Perfect timing, I feel. I'm in the mood for a focus, an obsession. I love to get really into 'something.' Whether it be focus on drinking different fancy teas and being mindful, or exercise, counting calories, or making yummy healthy food. Whatever it is, I like to do it; like really do it.
    So I'm down for some Hironspiration! Let's kick sugar's butt as a team :)

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  43. I've given up sugar. In fact, I've given up anything that converts to sugar. I read Dr Stefanie Williams's book and it's changed the way I eat. It's similar to a Paleo way of eating. My skin has never been better and I don't get hungry as often now.

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  44. Michelle Marie7 March 2015 at 07:01

    Count me in too! Perfect timing, btw. Between an abundance of work commitments and major tugs on my heart as a loved one's health deteriorates, I really need to be more conscious of taking care of my body and what I put into it. Thanks for making this a community of support. :-)

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  45. I've always wanted to do this, so to this motivation & guidance would be fab!!!

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  46. I know I can Google this but I'll ask you guys too. I DO love sugar and cake!! But I don't drink fizzy drinks and my 'only' sugar is in chocolate, honey, agave nectar and fresh cake if I'm in a coffee shop.

    I can cut out the cake easy enough (eek), but I have just bought 10 bars of Ombar raw chocolate, which is sweetened with organic coconut sugar. (Seriously people - this stuff is AMAZING - my poor Lindt bunny tasted like crap after it!). I assume this still counts as sugar, clue is in the name etc.

    What about soy sauce? Balsamic? Honey? etc. Does cutting DOWN on sugar help just as much as a total cut out? The former is fun and manageable, the latter will make life too stressful and I will be more likely to fail.

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  47. Doing a half arsed job of it so yeah I d love to start this . Name a day soon please otherwise I'll start eating all kinds of crap til you pick a date !!!!

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  48. yes please, count me in! I try to do this on a day to day basis but it's hard, some extra motivation and guidance would be fantastic.

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  49. Sugar is the source of all evil! ;-P It is true that it affects collagen?

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  50. Am in! Started a 30 day challenge of swapping sugary drinks for water a week ago. Feel so much better already, inspired me to get rid of more rubbish in my diet.

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  51. How did you know??!! I thought no-one had noticed my recent increasing intake of sugar...

    You literally know everything...

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  52. Peer pressure can be great motivator! I used to be very sceptical about the whole "detox" but somebody recently explained it to me in a way that totally made sense. Our bodies do brilliantly self-regulate but based on a diet from a million years ago. We now consume and are exposed to exponentially more chemicals in our modern lifestyles (from food, pollution, cars, photocopiers, phones, plastic etc etc etc) so giving it a break occasionally so all the functions can work properly is a good idea.

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  53. No licking the Fresh sugar face polish off my chops so....ho hum!!

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  54. I am (successfully!) giving up chocolate for lent, because I was eating too many snack bars with chocolate in/on all of them at school. It's meant I've been making countless banana + applesauce recipes for snacks instead, but they do still contain sugar :( Still, my skin's been better for it, now I just have to kick the sugar completely - I'm in Caroline!

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  55. Definitely on board for this! I'm a teacher, and when things start to get hectic at this time of year especially because of the weather (it's snow season in the eastern part of the states), I default to junk food just like you said - autopilot! Is there a way to know if my skin is reacting to a product versus to sugar? I know when I have bumps on my chin it's hormonal, but is there a way to tell the difference between the bumps on my cheeks as from a sugar reaction versus product reaction? Hopefully since I listen to you so well about my skin already, I will shift my autopilot as well to no sugar at your suggestion too! :) I'm amazed by people whose autopilot with food is to health food - I just want to talk to their parents and ask how they did that? How do you raise a child to do that? I'm so confused by those people. All my brain wants is sugar when I'm stressed - chips (American kind) or desserts. So anyway, my body will thank you for the suggestion as will my skin! :)

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  56. I did the 'I Quit Sugar 8 week program' (I also studied nutrition) and part of that was not eating ANY sugar (fructose) inc fruit (!) for 4 weeks of that. The beginning was super hard especially come evening when the kids are in bed and me and the husband hang out in front of the tv and 'reward' ourselves with a treat. The point of the program is to get out of the mindset that we reward ourselves with sweet stuff and it apparently takes 8 weeks to get out of the habit. It was a real eye opener for me and although I still treat myself, I now do it in a much more conscious way and have stopped being a crazy sugar binge monster. I've also learned that sugar is sugar and it will have the same effect on your psyche and body, whether is comes from the refined white stuff or the more natural stuff (dates, honey, maple syrup, fruit). We also eat way too much fruit and the limit should really be 2 pieces a day. Having said that, I do prefer my sugar (fructose) to come from fruit or natural sources.
    I also stopped giving my kids dried fruit (which is just a concentrated source of sugar) and will now steer them towards more savoury 'treats' and one piece of fruit a day.
    Anyways, I could talk about this all day, but I just wanted to support you on a very important topic; we should all eat less sugar, it's slowly killing us and it's the culprit of many modern-day diseases.

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  57. I cried when I saw this post as I have a very sweet tooth. Saying that I also have a very healthy diet on the whole, I'm vegetarian and dislike greatly processed/packaged food. I love my meals to be cooked from scratch and using fresh ingredients, so my only real downfall is the sweet stuff, & it doesn't help that I love to bake for my family, ok for myself but for them too!! I do however have an auto-immune disease which means I cannot do much in the way of exercise and so I have to really watch my weight. I try and stick to one sweet treat a week but admit that lately I've been slacking so I'm in but I'm still having one sweet treat a week and a slice of b/day cake for my son's b/day next week, but other than that I will stay away from the cake tin. If anyone can make me stick to it its you Caroline so here's to us all being as sugar free as possible. *cries again*

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  58. Giving up wipes, double cleansing, never sleep with your makeup, I have done everything you asked for, but THIS... is sensible, grown-up and probably the hardest thing I will attempt to do.

    LindaLibraLoca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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  59. I believe in clean-eating with the 80/20 rule. If you feed yourself properly 80% of the time, then the other 20% doesn't matter! Me personally, I could never cut out all sweets. If I do, I end up indulging in it. That's why it's important to have moderation. Counting your macros is also an extremely efficient way to make sure you're getting the proper nutrients, and some days your macros would even allow for a piece of chocolate or two! Good luck everyone with your food ventures!

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  60. So..hang on...does the detox involve cutting out fruit? I have two freshly squeezed oranges every morning and there's no way I'm giving them up.

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  61. Wow I don't believe it...I was planning on doing the very same thing, starting Monday....only for a week though to see how it goes :)
    Lulu Bodrum

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  62. Good luck! I can't go without my daily intake of sugar. I'll be with you in minstrels.

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  63. Lets do this! Have been thinking about this for a while but need help and advice.

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  64. I'm totally in. I follow Dave Asprey's Bulletproof when I'm feeling healthy. All the fat has done wonders for my skin.

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  65. Dane Pemberton7 March 2015 at 22:02

    Totally in. Trying to cut down on sugar atm as i'm addicted to M&S bakery white choc cookies. So much so i've had 3 packet in 1 week, baring in mind there is 5 in a pack. I have those to thank for the 2 huge spots that have appeared on my cheeks. That are only just managing to shift after vigorous acid pad rubbing and a high frequency treatment.

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  66. I am definitely in, I've given up sugar and my skin already feels better. I follow this kind of diet: unrefined carbohydrates (homemade bread, rice, pasta), 2 fruits a day, no more soda or sweets, ...

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  67. I'm in-tips on actually how to achieve this would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!

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  68. I gave up all processed foods, including processed sugar, as part of my weight loss regime, last year for about 5 months. My only sugar intake was from fruits. And low fructose fruits, not anything like bananas. And similarly, my only carb intake was from homemade bread from oat flour. I lost 16 kg (around 35 pounds). I didn't necessarily diet. I only ate healthy, yet boring, stuff, and never ever strayed. So we're talking not even a single bite of cake.

    I felt much better in every way. Now my processed sugar/carb intake is not 0, but much lower than what it was before. I have completely given up carbonated drinks. But I eat pasta, bread and a cookie every now and then.

    I am finishing up my thesis at the moment but I will join you in a few months, by cutting out all processed sugars.

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  69. I'm in, finding my sweet tooth in overdrive since hitting a certain age, premenoposal under the skin bumps/spots, appearing exactly where Dr Sam suggested they would be, far too regularly for my liking!!!

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  70. Yep I'd love to I am at my heaviest I have ever been and turned 40 last year need change the way I feel and fast

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  71. I started last month stopped eating out, sweets, soda, chips just junk. The first week was awful, but honestly I have stopped craving sweets and feel less sluggish. I am not saying I will never eats dessert again, but just not as often.

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  72. I'm definitely up for giving it a go too - I'm type 2 diabetic and whilst I have it under control with meds, I know I still eat far too much crap! I'm already trying to eat better and am reaping the skin benefits of drinking lots more water incl hot water and lemon (on your advice) as well as now properly cleansing my skin (also on your say-so) so this feels like a good next step in this fun game of "Caroline says"!!
    Definitely up for getting some advice on how best to do this - I bought a drink last week that I thought sounded fairly healthy - tastier than plain water but not as bad as some... I drank two mouthfuls and THEN looked at the label (first mistake - always read the label before putting anything in your gob!!) and it had 24 grams of sugar in it!!! How can they sell this as an even vaguely healthy drink?? There is so much hidden sugar in food nowadays... and then there's the sugar/fat trade-off that you seem to have to make - anything low fat is high in sugar and vice versa - it's a total minefield!!! HELP!!!

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  73. I know i would fail miserably at a total sugar detox, as I have a wicked sweet tooth.. however, ezpeically after this little (2.5 month) adventure in Japan that ends next week, aka the world of carbs, sweets, and more carbs (there's even rice with the sushi of course), I need to focus on a bit of detoxing for sure. I find that if I focus more on what I SHOULD be eating, it leaves a lot less room for the things I shouldn't.
    www.divaandthedivine.com

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  74. Currently on the Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin!

    Cut out 7 inflammatory foods - Gluten, Corn, Soy, Sugar/Artificial Sweetener, Dairy, Eggs, and Peanuts.

    After 21 days, test gluten, soy, dairy, and eggs individually to see if you have an intolerance to them. Avoid sugar, peanuts, and corn 95% of the time. Easy peasy.

    Feeling SO improved.

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  75. For a really long time, I had absolutely no cravings for sugar. I managed to cut any cravings for sugar, and luckily never drink pop. The past holiday season, I had a lot of boxes of chocolates coming in, and undoubtably ate them all. It's been 2 months past new years and I am still downing chocolates and cookies like nobody's business!! My skin definitely took a toll, but I cannot seem to curb this sugar craving! Definitely easy when you have absolutely no sweets in the house (which i usually don't), but somehow... I seem to always get a hold of a box of chocolate or two..

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  76. I'm trying to ween myself off sugar too. Now when I eat it, like white bread or something naughty like a Hot Cross Bun my gut feels it. I'm trying to substitute it for other things, natural peanut butter has been my savour.

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  77. I'm in!! I have been trying to quit sugar for a while now.

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  78. Having a crappy breakout for ages! Could be numerous things including sugar but I just love it so much and I don't know if I have the willpower!

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