I love cooking good healthy meals. I menu plan from Jamie Oliver’s cook books to make sure my family is eating right. Imagine my surprise when the doctor told me the pain in my side was a fatty liver.
“But I make really good meals and I don’t drink ” I protested .
He leaned forward with a one word question “chocolate?”
“Well yes I love it.” I replied ” it’s the only junk food I have .”
“Give it up Belinda.” Was all he said .
My husbands a nurse so I have heard all the stories about people who got advice from a doctor and did nothing about it. It was not going to be me so I went cold turkey. No chocolate, no Tim Tams, no home made ice coffee with two sugars.
After the initial day in bed with caffeine withdrawal I thought never again am I going to get hooked on chocolate.
Apart from feeling better I noticed people were stopping me at work and asking for diet tips.
I wasn’t on a diet, I eat good food and I just gave up chocolate ,coffee and biscuits. In three months I had lost 10 kg and more importantly I kept it off. I even sent my doctor a thank you card.
Now we all know life gives us bumps in the road, at the end of the year I had three funerals one after the other plus Christmas. I started to let things slide and put on 3kg.
New year. Back to healthy eating.
I was following Damon Gameau’s Facebook page about sugar. The one fact about sugar that stuck in my head was, 80% of processed food has hidden sugar. 80%!
I was so shaken by this I thought well why eat any process foods? So I started what I call the “nothing out of the box diet”. I wasn’t going to stand in the shops trying to work out the good food from the bad food .
Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, beautiful herbs and lean meat are the only things on my plate. Water with lemon wedges or mint leaves and the odd cup of tea with no sugar. Day fourteen, I have lost 3 kg I put on over Christmas. I have a lot more energy and feel really healthy.
At first I was going to give up all processed food for a month, however I feel so good it’s going to be a way of life for me now.
Looking forward to That Sugar Film. I will be there with my packet of blueberries and bottle of water.
My sugar story began in my late 20’s. The poor eating habits I’d developed as a student had followed me long after I finished uni and eventually caught up with me on the outside, as visible body fat, and also on the inside. I failed a medical for a scuba diving certification due to high blood pressure and this came as a shock and an embarrassment and I couldn’t believe I was that unhealthy.
After some research and good advice, I became aware of the effects of sugar and realised I’d been getting it all wrong. I used to skull a big glass of juice almost every night before bed, not realising it contained more sugar than a can of coke. Similarly I’d often eat tubs of fruity yoghurt believing it was healthy, but the benefits would have been far outweighed by all the added sugar. In an effort to regain control; I gave up sugar and carbs and started to think more about the food I ate.
It felt awkward at times having to make special requests at restaurants and getting mocked by mates for not being normal. But I was proud that I wasn’t ‘normal’, because normal was actually pretty messed up and no one had a clue.
I don’t quite remember when I first noticed changes, but after 8 months of no sugar and some exercise to go with it, I had become lean and toned and felt great. Some of my mates just shook their heads and couldn’t believe what a change I had been through.
I have actually come to learn now that I probably did a little too much exercise and I also fell for the low fat myth. Since then I’ve introduced lots of good natural products like Greek yoghurt, coconut oil and avo’s.
I exercise a bit and certainly get moving everyday, but I don’t push myself as much and my body and mood haven’t changed much at all.
I think that is an important message for people to understand. Changing your eating habits and losing weight doesn’t need to be hard and it doesn’t mean giving up all the good stuff and eating boring food. There are so many tasty foods out there that are also great for your body and you can eat until you are full.
These days my girlfriend and I love trying out new recipes and we are finding so many awesome dishes. What a great feeling to finish a delicious meal and know that everything you just ate is good for you!