As a recap, on the 30th May I made a bit of an impulse decision, after watching That Sugar Film, to participate in Junk Free June. My only issue was what to do about my booking at Louis Sargeant’s French eatery in Wellington, and the compromise was a dispensation for that one outing. I stayed true to that and a day later at lunch at an italian restaurant sat and watched five people eat desserts around me!
My goal was to only eat between 6 tsp – 10 tsp of sugar a day. These amounts came from the WHO’s recommendations of intake for women (6) and men (10). They have downgraded their recommendations to 4tsps recently. As a regular consumer of anything sweet, particularly chocolate and ice-cream, it was easy for me to eat 25tsp sugar a day without thinking! My only saving grace was that I do cook from scratch and I eat a lot of vegetables, so my sugars were mainly from snacks. I don’t drink fizz very regularly either, nor do I do drink juice. I had given up my 2tsp sugar per cup of tea about 18 months ago. I drink 4-5 cups of tea a day (it helps restrict my iron absorption) so I was probably consuming close to 40 tsp sugar when I had it in my tea!
So, how am I doing, 18 days later?
Pretty well, if I may say so. in the 17 days recorded (on my dispensation day I only ate 3 tsp sugar outside the high tea but I’m not recording it due to not knowing the total for the day), only 3 days have I exceeded the 6tsp recommended for women. My highest day was 8 tsp just two days ago. Therefore I remained within my target range. The extra sugar on the 8tsp day came from fruit, as I have a head cold and was wanting some vitamin C. I was also aware the the sugar in a whole piece of fruit is better than any added or hidden sugar, as in its original form it comes with the fibre and nutrients the fruit has.
So my average intake of sugar in 17 days has been just under 5 tsp of sugar – hopefully I can get that average down a little bit by the end of the month to the 4tsp of the new WHO recommendation!
And you know what? I’ve even managed to have a wee treat occasionally:-
Normally, a 100gm block of this chocolate would last two days max in my house. 1 square = 1 tsp of sugar. I have only had chocolate when I was at low amounts, as I didn’t want the treat pushing me up too far! So the irony is I’ve had chocolate on my lowest sugar days! I have only eaten half this block all month.
Interestingly the one thing I have really struggled with – and it took 11 days before I could get around it – was missing a hot chocolate. As I don’t drink coffee, hot chocolate is my go to hot drink when I don’t drink tea. It took until June 11th to get a sugar-free version (sweetened with stevia) and the first cuppa was bliss! I was probably having a hot chocolate every couple of days at work (so easy when you have cafes at hand). I now really appreciate it as a treat, not an everyday event!
The positives from 18 days – I’ve raised $79 so far for Cancer Society – I hope to raise more – and I’ve lost 2.3kg!
It’s been a little tough the last couple of days with a head cold (I want to eat when I’m sick!!!) but I’ve stuck to healthy snacks. My saviour so far is being organised with snacks to take to work. Carrots, hummus, cheese, nuts, celery & peanut butter … they’re all quite tasty too! It’s not that I don’t like healthy food, it’s just I’ve gotten into really bad habits eating sugary treats, scones, muffins, slices, chocolate and ice-cream.
Here’s to the last 12 days.
If you wish to donate, you can via Junk Free June – Susan