I’ve come to the conclusion that I have some amazing people around me. In the wake of my sugar detox decision, friends and family have been supportive (the boy has even started to drastically cut back too). There have been many questions about the reasons behind my latest life choice, yet I haven’t come across someone who is strongly against my decision. (Side note; having said this there continues to be a murmur of confusion. People seem baffled at the idea of what I can eat if I am cutting out sugar. They seem fixated on the list of no-go foods and blind to the variety I actually consume, they think I’m living on a diet of steamed veggies. Believe me confused ones, there is a lot more on my dinner plate than that.) Over a rather lovely girlie catch up the other night, my dear friend Ally, who has chosen to take this journey with me, told me of her first experience of and hater. Someone who effectively told her off for her choices, simply because they didn’t agree. By the sounds of Ally’s accounts, this hater didn’t even come from a place of education and was blindly wading into an argument without having read the books or done the research Ally had. Well that’s just kind of like doing a university project without and references – instant fail. It is also kind of like a pretty crap move on the friend front.
Luckily, Sarah Wilson (author of I Quit Sugar) has an entire chapter on what to do when you come across a creature like this. She writes rebuts to the most common arguments like “but sugar is natural” (she suggests we come back with “indeed it is, but so is petroleum and arsenic”). Or “cutting out fruit? That’s ridiculous” with arguments like “fruit contains fructose. And fructose is fructose no matter what package it comes in”. It’s also worth noting that fruit is not demonized by Sarah, it is merely avoided in the detox period to help you and your body re-balance, and also to remind yourself that, although nutritious, fruit does contain sugar and should be munched on mindfully.
The argument that most people have being “we need sugar” is a little hard to retort with a one liner. But what I will say is this; Make sure you know what sugar you’re talking about. Table sugar is made up of 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Glucose is in everything we eat. It’s pretty much energy. It is what our body and brain run off. We clearly need that, and as long as we are eating we are getting it in some form or another. The sugar being avoided in this detox is fructose. It is found in a lot of things, but most notably in table sugar, HFCS (mostly in America), agave, honey and fruit to name a few.
The truth is, as with everything, moderation is the key. But the unfortunate reality is that we are not being moderate with our fructose intake. We are over consuming by the bucket load. It’s fine to have a small hit of fructose as much as everyday, but modern foods don’t give us that. Look at that label on your cereal/porridge/tea/tinned tomatoes/stock/everything you eat in a day. Seriously look at it. And before those numbers fade into your brain, absorb that 4.2g grams of sugar is 1 teaspoon. Visualize it. Count up through out the day how much sugar you are consuming. And yes the teaspoons in that orange juice counts just as much as the in that coke. Moderation is the key and it is why I (and many others) am starting to take the control, the moderating, into my own hands. If we want to eat sugar, we want it to be on our terms, with our knowledge and to be 100% aware that it’s occurring, so we can stand up and count it. We don’t want it to be sneaking in the side door cloaked with words like “all natural”.
Sure this detox is extreme, and I won’t pretend it isn’t. But surely the fact that sugar in our diet has increased drastically in the last 100 years (the average person in the US consumes 150 pounds of sugar per year–compared to just 7 ½ pounds consumed on average in the year 1700. That’s 20 times as much) is far more extreme.
Basically this post is a rant, a rant to people who think that the best way to approach other I Quit Sugar peeps, attempting to make steps to a healthier life, is to put them down.
So, mostly for the haters, but also a little for the confusers who only hear the cant’s and ignore the cans, I’m going to document everything I eat this week. In fact, I declare next week – food week! I will give you the inside scoop on how I like to pre-plan, what goes into my weekly trolley and what wonderfully scrumptious meals I get to eat.
I can, hand on heart, say that I’ve never eaten so well, so varied and so creatively. With the boundaries I’ve set, and the experiments I’ve started to do with my diet in the last few months, it has really challenged me to think outside the square. To push my go-to dishes and to create wholesome and nutritious food. And I’m loving it.
I dare you to look at my diet over the next seven days and tell me it’s unhealthy!
I also dare you to put down my friends, *insert head wiggle and finger snaps* “don’t you go dissin’ ma gurl Ally”.
Mothers around the world warn “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. Or, you can take my fathers life motto and add this little gem to the end of that sentiment, “unless you have a damn good argument to back it up”.