The first thing I have to say is that ‘Damn this sugar giving up lark is not easy’. Not only have I had to resist the hundreds of chocolate eggs (given to my boys by well meaning relations) that still litter my house from Easter but just trying to buy any food product in a supermarket that doesn’t contain sugar is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Let me just clarify what I mean by sugar; I’m talking about refined, added sugar which includes glucose, sucrose and any other ‘ose’s but which doesn’t include fruit sugars because they are counteracted by the other nutrients, apparently.
In a bid to feel less of an outsider I’ve also partially roped in my husband and two little boys on my no sugar quest – that’s no easy task either, I hear you shout. No you’re absolutely right, it’s not but my husband being the supportive type (except when it comes to bacon, but that’s ok because bacon doesn’t contain sugar), and my boys being only two and three years old and therefore having no real choice in the matter, it’s not actually as difficult as you might imagine. So, off we go to the supermarket, shopping list (and discount vouchers) in pocket.
Ok, first up fruit and veg; that’s easy, fruit has only natural sugars so I stock up to the gills with fruit, as a pre-emptive strike against those sugar cravings. Meat, only unprocessed contains no sugar. This will be a doddle, yes? Milk, butter, cream, cheese no problems. Yogurt – well now it gets a bit tricky. After looking at every product in the aisle I can find nothing in the way of yogurt that doesn’t contain sugar, except of course natural yogurt. I’ll have to be a bit creative here as my boys love Petit Filous and I can use it as a kind of bribe to make them eat their dinner. So, it will have to be natural yogurt mixed with honey for them, fruit for me. I think honey would have the same effect as refined sugar on my ears.
Onwards down the aisle I come across ham, nothing without sugar. I buy corned beef instead. Pasta and curry sauces all contain sugar. I stock up on the tinned tomatoes and decide to make my own sauces – oh how virtuous I feel. But I need stock cubes. Low and behold if stock cubes don’t contain sugar too. There’s not a hope in hell of finding cereal that doesn’t contain sugar. I opt for oats and resolve to make porridge every morning. Hmm I wonder how the boys will like that. Snack foods – well other than dried fruit and nuts, and even then most will have some kind of sugar related coating, there’s not much choice. Alcohol – sugar, sugar, sugar. Toast spreads, ditto – I opt for peanut butter, the really expensive kind that doesn’t contain sugar, and Marmite (thank the lord). Bread, that all important staple that my boys would perish without. Could I find one single loaf of bread that doesn’t contain sugar – could I heck.
I think you get my drift here. This no sugar quest is going to be hard work but will my boys become mutinous and demand sugar engorged treats? And more importantly will it stop my ears itching? Watch this space.