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Sugar Free Vegan Series (7/31)

Yesterday was Nikolaus here in Germany, a day where Santa comes to the kids to give little presents to the good boys and girls and Santa’s buddy Krampus sticks the bad kids in his burlap sack and carries them off. But enough of our charming local traditions.

Nikolaus day kicks off the Christmas season for real and I used it as an excuse to forget all about healthy eating. I stuck to my sugar goal (13gram total for the day) but I ate an entire mountain of fried foods.

This whole thing is about my health, but I seem to have a real knack for finding the worst choice on the menu.
I’m struggling.
And I don’t even know why!
On paper my first week has been great. I hit below my sugar target six days out of seven. I got through detox symptoms and I feel good. After breaking out at the beginning of the week, now my skin is clear and luminous to an extend that I haven’t seen without the intervention of a cosmetician.
I get out of bed much easier in the mornings and I feel like I have more energy. So much energy in fact that I’ve started working off my “to-do list of personal admin and self improvement” (snappy title, right?) I signed up for a half marathon in September and I went for a first training run this morning. It was more of an energetic shuffle, but that’s not the point.
The changes I’ve made clearly put me on the right track.
Why do I feel like I’m not doing enough? Is that just who I am as a person? Never satisfied, that’s not who I want to be. It doesn’t sound much fun.
From tomorrow on I’ll be a positive person with a sunny disposition. You just watch. I’ll unfuck my head. I’ve kicked the chocolate habit, I can lift my outlook. I’ll be so delightful, chipper and cheerful.
Oh yes. That sounds like a pleasant change.
Welcome to the sunny side of the road.
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Sugar Free Vegan Series (5/31) – THE RETURN!!

I know I disappeared for two days, but it was for the best. Between work stress and lack of sleep my brain stopped working properly and it’s been two days of constant car alarms in my head. That’s no fun to read.

Now I’ve had a good night’s sleep and I feel like a functioning person again.
Speaking of function (and this is the point where I advise the squeamish among you to skip the next three paragraphs) my bowels are a battle field.
Have you ever made changes to your diet and it had… effects? There’s a certain… acceleration in proceedings between stomach and …the exit? Sorry to go there, but it’s foremost on my mind today.
I’m hoping it’ll clear up quickly. I got through the headaches I’ll get through this. Not as quickly as my food gets through me. Ba-dum-tish
I think the sugar detox that is progressing head down. It started with headaches, next was a face full of zits, followed by shaking hands (though that might be caused by lack of sleep. I can’t be sure since I’m lacking a control group) and now it’s my digestion.
If things continue along these lines it’ll hit my knees by Monday.
Yesterday I was close to throwing in the towel. With everything that was going on at work, it felt overwhelming to deal with a fairly restrictive change in diet as well.
Just then my mother -who is either psychic or the head of a sophisticated surveillance network- came to the rescue. Because she knows me better than I know myself, she sensed I was struggling and decided to give me an early Christmas present.
I am now the proud owner of a brand new juicer. It’s beautiful and I love it so much.
Today I had a cucumber, apple and ginger juice for breakfast and a carrot cucumber celery juice for lunch.
Chewing is for suckers.
The lack of solids also seems to help with the other issue.
On the other hand the apples in my breakfast juice pushed my sugar intake up a bit to 33 gram. According to the app anyways.
Much, much better than giving up and falling face first into a pile of truffles anyways.
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Sugar Free Vegan (2/31) – The Hardest Part

It’s only the second day and I should keep this light and fun. You guys reading this are still deciding whether this is worth your time. (thanks for reading, by the way)

One the other hand this is all about honesty and honestly, I’m going out of my tiny mind. The sugar cravings are so bad. My body is going through some symptoms as well, but the headaches I’ve had all day aren’t half as bad as that constant nagging voice at the back of my mind whispering: chocolate.

It’ll pass. It’ll pass.

Right?

Sure.

Today I went to the supermarket and bought one of every type of hummus they carry. For dinner I’ll conduct a taste test to determine which I like best.

I’m trying to educate my palate in the pleasures of sugar free snacking.

As I was walking along the shelves in the store, I passed a display of vegan chocolate spread (think Nutella, but not as nice).

I passed it.

I walked back.

I walked away again. And returned.

I picked up the jar, looked at it and put it back. I kept looking at it. I wanted it. I wanted it so bad. I wanted that tiny jar of chocolate more than I ever wanted any lover.

Finally I walked away… And then returned after a big loop around the periphery of the store.

In the end the only thing that saved me was the store employee, who had noticed my strange antics and kept looking at me with one eyebrow raised.

Don’t judge me, store employee, I’m going through withdrawal.

I left with hummus, pita, a lot of fresh vegetables and a big jar of peanut butter. I felt like a hero going through those doors, having beaten my cravings and walking victorious off into the sunset.

In total I had 9 grams of sugar today.

I feel accomplished mentally and defeated physically.

Can’t wait for tomorrow.

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Sugar Free Vegan Series (1/31) – Introduction

My name is Michaela and I’m a sugar addict
 
I switched to a vegan diet and it might be making me sick.
Shocking, right? I know it took me a while to get used to the idea.
Over the past months I started feeling more and more run down. I had no energy, I was always tired, but I couldn’t get to sleep. I couldn’t concentrate and my skin was breaking out. In my thirties, this shouldn’t be happening anymore. To the best of my knowledge then, I was living a healthy lifestyle. I didn’t know what to do to feel better. Then I took a hard look at my diet.
While nosing around the Internet, I found a couple of articles about sugar addiction and going by the symptoms, I’m a 5/5, gold star, poster child for sugar addiction. Looking back now, I’m surprised it took me so long to realize. (What? Not everyone walks to the store at three in the morning to buy cookies?)
I’m a very lucky vegan. There’s 3 independent whole food shops and a weekly farmers market within ten minutes walking distance of my house. My city even has a dedicated vegan supermarket and a number of restaurants that are either vegan or have vegan options.
I’ve got it all.
But I made no use of it. Instead I indulged in vegan convenience foods. Chocolate (so much chocolate), granola, sorbets, apple crisps, cookies, cakes, fruit bars and an Olympic standard pool’s worth of pre-packed smoothies.
After logging my food on one of those apps for two weeks, I found out my daily sugar intake is between 120 and 170 grams… The NHS recommends no more than 30g per day for an adult.
Um. Oops?
Drastic changes need to happen and you get to read all the gory details.
From today until the end of the month, I’ll be living low sugar. After my first day on the new diet I’m nervous, I’m not going to lie.
For breakfast I had celery sticks dipped in peanut butter, because I had no other ideas. My usual breakfast of granola, soya yoghurt and dried fruits has a total sugar contend of 60g all by itself. So celery it was.
I drank my coffee black instead of with agave nectar. It felt like drinking a cup of sadness and misery.
In the afternoon I bust out the cookbooks and marked all recipes that either conformed to my new diet or could be easily converted. I found some delicious sounding dishes and I’m hoping tomorrow will go better.
My app informed me that today I had – drumroll, please- 16g of sugar. Nice.
That’s literally a tenth of what I had yesterday.
Day 1 of 31 is officially a success (I can’t stop thinking about cookies)
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