Friday, January 28, 2011

Sugar-Free Challenges!

A very busy few days! Work has been very full on and Courts and I have been working as much as possible to save for Europe. I even went and did a Market Research interview in my lunch break on Thursday for a quick $60. Yesterday was also my sister’s 22nd birthday and boy was that an exercise in sugar related self-control!

We went to a Mexican restaurant in Mission Bay, Dos Amigos, which is walking distance from my Mum’s house and therefore a regular dining spot. Of course Mexican was a well received choice by me as Mexican food is on my Bliss List, it’s my absolute favourite! The challenge was remaining sugar free. I had a Chicken Tostada, in which the only ingredients that could possibly have had sugar in them were the tortilla and the salsa, and we confirmed with the chef (who knows my Mum) that the salsa at least, was sugar free. While Chili Beer was passed around the table and Margaritas were shared from jugs, I stuck with water. I could have gone for a Coke Zero, but I don’t want to rely too heavily on artificial sweeteners, and sticking with water certainly didn’t hurt my budget.

The real kicker was the cake. Mum surprised my sister with a Chocolate Mud Cake from Eve’s Pantry. All of my senses were in heaven! Except, of course, taste. I tell you what, that was hard to restrain from! I wouldn’t even let Courts kiss me because he tasted like chocolate and it was just too difficult to have a taste and not have a plate. I guess anyone out there without a sweet tooth will be wondering how it could possibly be that hard, but it was, and I was proud to overcome it.

In other sugar-related news, I mentioned a few days ago that I’ve been drinking milk to stave off cravings for refined sugar. A few people had told me that this could be a bad idea as Lactose-intolerance is a natural state for humans and Lactose-tolerance is not, especially in adults. Well, when I went off sugar the first time (March 2010) I did so with the help of a wonderful nutritionist (awaiting her permission before I add a link for you). I lasted until June when I went through a hard time personally, and chocolate screamed out to me. However, my Nutritionist was great, and is very happy for me to keep emailing her with questions, so I asked her about milk.

The response was that milk isn’t necessarily bad for you, but of course doesn’t suit everyone. If I were lactose intolerant I would know by digestion issues or eczema type rashes, so I must be fine. She recommended that 1 cup a day is enough for most people if they are also having some yoghurt and maybe some cheese, but that of course everyone’s food requirements are different. Generally speaking, as long as it's getting me away from refined sugar (we're talking about plain, trim milk, not flavoured), it's certainly an improvement. 

Of course lactose is a form of sugar (as is maltose, fructose and glucose) so the Nutritionist advised that it is best eaten with something else, or alternatively I could have something like yoghurt and fruit together. She recommended a new yoghurt from Meadow Fresh called Live Lite which has low sugar and no artificial sweeteners, and is instead sweetened with Stevia and Apple Juice.

I'm not a huge yoghurt fan but it's definitely worth a try! I use milk more as a drink (hot chocolate/Milo/coke zero) replacement than a food substitute and it makes the air con at work a little more cosy, so for now I have started diluting it with water. At first I hated the idea, but I figured I make my Milos with both water and milk, and to be honest its not bad. We'll see how it goes!