Thursday, January 5, 2012

If not sugar then what?

When I tell people that I have quit sugar, it is surprising how many respond with "well, what do you eat then?". Clearly, people are aware how prevalent sugar exists in our western diets. Most are aware that sugar isn't good for us. But very few can contemplate cutting it out. Possibly due to that question alone - what would one consume if it weren't for sugar?

Carbon NYC
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

So, as boring as it may seem I thought I'd give you a bit of a snap shot of my day to day culinary delights:

Breakfast: I almost always start the morning with a lemon tea (slice of lemon in hot water). Then what used to be a breakfast of muesli, fruit and flavoured yoghurt has now been replaced with rolled oats (cooked on stove) in full cream milk, topped with natural yoghurt (I'm loving Barambah Organics at the moment) and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. I often follow this with a slice of Aussie Farmers Direct multigrain sourdough, with a smear of coconut oil. (Of which there are many, but so far my choice is Niulife - it's extra virgin, organic, unrefined and just damn tasty.)

Midmorning: As a mum of young children, mothers group morning teas, shopping centre trips and cafe stops for mental sanity are rife. So my mid morning snack would have once been anything in the field of a chia latte, hot chocolate, black tea with sugar along with a muffin, sweet slices or biscuits (NB: plural... I never stopped at one). These days, mid morning will often pass without hanger pangs. On occasion, I might grab a "Cheds" biscuit (less sugar than their first cousin the Country Cheese) with the kids  and with much gratitude, my mothers group has been retrained to put out a plate of saladas with cheese or vegemite. It doesn't showcase our 'housewifeyness' quite as well, but it does do our waistline wonders.

Lunch: Thankfully quitting sugar for me coincided with the warmer months, so it worked well with my usual lunch time salad. I make a colourful mix of spinach leaves, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, celery, radish (give or take any number of these things) with a tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar, then topped with shaved turkey, danish feta and the new addition of chia seeds. (I've blogged about the benefits of these here). In the past this would have been frantically followed with chocolate, a sweet biscuit, or meringues (basically I'd rummage around for the sweetest thing in my pantry). Nowadays, it's a much more civilised (and delightfully sweet) licorice root tea. 

Mid arvo: I'm normally hungry come 4 o'clockish, so that's when I reach for a rice cake or two with a smear of almond spread. Otherwise I might have a slice or two of cheese.

Dinner: Well, like anyone, this can vary. But I avoid packaged sauces (so for example if I make a chicken parma I'll crush fresh tomatoes for the sauce). My all time love, sweet chilli sauce, has been turfed (almost 50% sugar) so pasta dishes usually have a light dressing of lemon juice and maybe some oil. I'm yet to use Tamari, but come winter time this will be the best option for my beloved stir fries. If I make a pizza, I'll use passata instead of the higher sugared tomato paste, or depending on the toppings, I might use oil or pesto. I use a lot more herbs than ever before and lemon and garlic seem to make their way into most dinner dishes I make. 

Over and above this, for Christmas I "arranged" for myself (and by "arranged" I mean that I bought it, gave it to my husband and instructed him to give it to me Christmas morning) a copy of Lee Holmes' Supercharged Foods. As a result, all of the above has been invigorated over the past week with things such as Tropical Blueberry Smoothie (a breakfast, lunch or snack option), a Green Renewal Juice and Super Seeded Bread. I'm absolutely loving the book (great present, thanks husband) as it is inspiring me to fine tune my diet even further with vitamin rich, wholesome, body loving, SUPERCHARGED foods!

So there you have it. A day in the life of my tummy. Goes to show how one can survive without sugar really quite merrily!


  1. It does hide everywhere. I slipped this week because I only realised stock cubes had sugar in after they had gone in my soup. Strangely low salt cubes don't - makes you wonder why they put so much salt in something that they have to balance it with sugar. Strange indeed.

  2. stock cubes!! Really? I guess the salt is there to act as a preservative. The more I move away from sugar, the more stuff I have that goes out of date quickly. It's less convenient, but healthier! :)

  3. Does this mean the infamous 'justins pasta' is outski?

  4. Yes indeed Justin's pasta has been ditched (Justin has been duly informed). Now weekly pasta dish is chicken breast roasted in sweet paprika and chilli flakes, mixed with spaghetti, bacon, and dressing of lemon rind and juice, tossed with rocket (thanks Donna Hay). Thankfully kids happy with the switch.