A couple of weeks ago I met an old friend in our usual coffee shop and was very much looking forward to our obligatory huge slabs of cake.
‘I’m sugar free now,’ she said.
‘Why?’ I tried to ignore the stabbing pain of betrayal as I gazed longingly at the desserts behind the counter.
‘You know why.’ She gave me the look. Pretty much the same one our tutor gave us when we first met on a nutritional therapy course fifteen years ago.
Sugar is bad. We all know that and yet we continue to eat it.
‘But sugar tastes so good!’ I said.
‘I’ve just read Sweet Poison by David Gillespie and it explains everything so well. All that stuff we were taught but we choose to ignore nowadays. Buy the book.’ She said
‘I don’t want to.’
‘Honestly, Louise. You have so much pain and inflammation it could really help you. Plus you don’t sleep well. Buy the book.’
‘It’s too big a lifestyle change.’ I protested.
‘You can still drink wine, she said.
I bought the book.
The next day Amazon delivered the book, along with some sugar free recipe ones I’d also ordered and as I unpacked them I realised I didn’t really want to go sugar free but I’d been swept away by my friend’s passion and enthusiasm. Nevertheless that evening found me curled on the sofa with a large glass of wine and a big bar of fruit and nut flicking through the pages. As I read, everything I’d previously learned came flooding back. How our body’s can’t recognise fructose and never realise we are full when we eat it. The massive part sugar plays in inflammation. The way the sugar spikes can affect our mental health. Interfere with our sleep patterns. Suddenly the mouthful of chocolate I’d been chewing didn’t taste quite so good.
My diet has gradually deteriorated since signing a book deal. Long hours spent at my computer has seen our meals, once lovingly prepared from scratch, now frantically purchased from M&S. And I felt sick. Sick of feeling sick. Sick of feeling tired. In pain. Falling into bed exhausted at the end of each day knowing I’d spend half the night lying awake. What was I doing to my poor body which has already been through so much?
I’ve spent the last few days reading. There’s so much information out there and much of it conflicting. I’ve planned meals, shopped, mentally prepared and today is the first day of my 14 day sugar free experiment. I’m not expecting miracles and I’m not expecting it to be easy but I’m feeling excited about what lies ahead. I’ll let you know how it goes!