Monday, October 31, 2011

Why I'm doing No Sugar in November

If you're on twitter and follow certain blogs or weight loss groups, you've probably come across the mini craze that is NoSugarVember (or #NoSugarVember as it's known in online circles). Although I still maintain that sugar is not poison, I agree that refined sugar is not something that our bodies need and certainly not something nature intended for us to eat (in fact, a lot of the things people are putting in their bodies is starting to deeply disturb me, but let's stay on topic). But, despite this belief and general nod in agreement, it may shock you to learn I too am human therefore recognise the extreme tastiness that is Lindt, Double Coated Tim Tams and Maggie Beer Ice Cream.

Taste buds aside, sugar is bad for me (and you). There is nothing good about refined sugar - no fats, no minerals, no nutrients, no protein - nothing! Just a whole heap of empty calories that give you an addictive spike-y high, followed by a low. If you don't feel the low of sugar, then you're probably already consuming too much. But that is, of course, only my opinion - it's your body.

So why did I join No Sugar Vember and not just stop eating sugar all together the second I realised sugar is terrible for you, when I was like, 2? (OK, probably more like 19). Pretty much for the same reason smokers keep smoking, drinkers keep drinking and massage receivers keep... getting massaged. Not because I am addicted! Because it feels good.

But you know what feels better than feeling good from sugar? Feeling good all the time, which is how I feel without the refined stuff and how I believe you'd feel.

So apart from my daily servings of fruit, sugar will be gone from The Natalie Diet for the next month, at least. I am excited because I know that in 30 days, like every other time I've decided to say no to sugar, I will feel amazing.

This isn't a craze, it is a choice. It is not a test, it is a task. It's not a diet, it's a healthful way of living. The No Sugar Vember title is just a gentle love-tap in the direction I've been meaning to go for the past month (dear Port Douglas, I love you and your ice cream shop).

If you are interested in reading more, have a look at Natalie Carter's Blog, or the tweets for #NoSugarVember on twitter.

Another great little read is Sarah Wilson's post on 10 Ways to Sweeten Food Without Sugar. My favourite is cinnamon - I use it on everything when I am cutting my sugar intake, and unlike sugar it does have benefits like, among others, helping to cut LDL cholesterol, helping to prevent blood clots and, ironically, regulating blood sugar.

It should be said that when I talk about sugar being bad for you, I mean the refined stuff and it's modified versions (like corn syrup, or fruit juice concentrate..). I do not believe that fruit is bad for us, nor do I believe milk or sweet vegetables, like onions or sweet potatoes are bad for us. Just the man-made stuff, it just ain't right.

As always, it's your (hopefully) informed choice. I want everyone to know what the effects of the things they put in their body are, but I will never judge you for the choices you make with the knowledge.

Will you try out No Sugar Vember? Or maybe just try not eating sugar tomorrow to see how it feels?

Stay well,
Nat x

all photos from flickr

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Summer Treats; Iced Coffee

Forgot the lashings of cream, ice cream and sugar!
Why would you when you can have 5 of these instead?

Get a tall glass, (it feels more special), stir some coffee powder in the bottom with a smidge of warm water until it forms a paste, add a hand full of ice cubes, and a cup (250mls) of low fat milk then top with cold water. Drink through a straw and voila! Iced coffee in 100 calories!
If you like your iced coffee a little sweeter, add 2 teaspoons of sugar when making the paste to bring it to 130ish calories. Not that I count calories, but plenty of people around me are at the moment.
You can try it with cocoa and sugar as well...
Who needs ice cream, cream & grated chocolate? Surely no one enjoys anything that heavy on a warm day?
Stay well,
Nat x