Giving Sugar the Shove!

Giving Sugar the Shove!

Giving Sugar the Shove!

The summer seems to bring a relaxation of normal family behaviour and we somehow manage to meet up and celebrate birthdays and host visits from abroad. Our family are a bit far flung; some of us reside in Bali, which couldn’t be further away from Herefordshire if it tried. Others are in Australia and some are in Saudi Arabia. Wherever we live, we stay in touch, sometimes through the dreaded Facebook, emails and old fashioned though it may be the odd airmail letter.

Our gatherings always happen around the kitchen table, with children racing around the living room and upstairs to hide in cupboards from each other. I always find my wardrobe in disarray, my bed clothes in chaos, and sweet papers in rubbish bins. At least they throw them away! Our latest gathering produced a debate about Sugar, and how we really must try to stop the children devouring sweets. (To prove a point, we discuss how excited they become after a bout of sugar eating!) I am, apparently, the worst offending adult in the world. Because I love them, and love to see them, I buy them ‘Treats’ and they have come to expect it. And who wouldn’t treat them? They are so gorgeous.

Well, it seems that I have to stop! I am told the fact that I am eating low fat may possibly be adding to my high intake of sugar. Apparently, even low fat yogurt is a sinner; sugar is added to some brands to make it more palatable. I am told that few of us are consuming sugar in recommended moderate amounts and most of us are eating tons of it. In fact, on average we are consuming about 500 extra calories a day from sugar! That’s just about what you would need to consume if you wanted to gain a pound a week. My ears really prick up at this point – my recent battle with my waist line can stand testament to the possibility that the amount of low fat yogurt I consume is extremely sweet. Low in fat, high in sugar. I am beginning to see sense.

Sugar will give you the calories, but not the feeling that you’ve had enough. That’s why you can have an entire king-size bag of Bassets Liquorice Allsorts (my weakness) with its sky high glycaemic index at the cinema (or concealed in the front pocket of your car, – handy when driving…) and still consume a three course dinner in the evening.

As we talk on (and children become more and more active and vocal) I see the light. I vow there and then to make a conscious effort to cut down on my sugar intake. No more chocolate bars with just one or two squares with my nightly cup of tea. No more biscuits. Fresh fruit with natural yogurt, some almonds to snack on when hungry, this, I am told, is the way to go.

And so I start… It isn’t easy. There are times when I could murder a chocolate mousse, devour a chocolate bar, gobble Snickers…but I persevere. And now I can tell you, it is becoming easier. And I am feeling less bloated, less… shall we say tightly wrapped. My recent conversion (like St Paul on the road to Damascus) has led me to research my diet, and to possibly cut down on the amount of meat that I consume on a weekly basis. I am surprised to find just how many truly delicious recipes are out there, waiting to be tried and tested.

Here is one – One Pot Mexican Quinoa; it has the added benefit of being concocted in the blink of an eye, so there is really no excuse. Give it a try, something wonderful may begin to happen. Your waistline may make a miraculous re-appearance (mine is threatening to return but we are not quite there yet) and your shopping bill may reduce as a result. It beats buying another bag of sugar!