Tuesday, September 10

trying hard things: five weeks fructose free


Day 1 and Day 2 I was wandering around the kitchen like a nomad, peeking at the dates in the pantry and opening the fridge over and over in dismay. I felt an unquenchable thirst for sweetness. It was overwhelming to realise that when I reached an energy and emotional low, I couldn’t pick myself up with a hit of dates, fruit, lindt or caffine. I was surprised to realise how real my addiction was. I was flat as a pancake.

Just as I was settling in for prolonged misery, I quite suddenly stopped craving things. It was bizarre how abruptly it ended.

 Ben bought jars and jars of Rice Malt Syrup, the fructose-free sweetener of my choice. He has always been a fabulously caring husband, and this was no exception. He did all the cooking, and baked for me so that my nightly tea {herbal now} wasn’t lonesome. Soon though, I was well enough to do my own baking, and that is something I haven’t done in months.

Here’s the strangest thing of all: I have never really enjoyed vegetables overly much, apart from sweet potatoes and corn -  and potatoes in the fries version. Now, I’m desiring green vegetables, even over grains. I walk into the veggie mart (yes, walk in, that’s right) and want to buy greens and eat greens. I honestly think I have broken the sugar addiction after nearly 23 years. I still wonder if this is the honeymoon period, or if I truly want healthy food now? Is my body saying, ‘FINALLY! You ended my complicated relationship with sugar. Thank you!”

The month I left off fructose, I was struggling to keep my eyes open, unable to drive because I felt blank to the very back of my head, and dreading getting off the couch to get a cup of tea. Things had been pretty wretched since moving. Now days I’m not up and down throughout the day with sugar hits and energy lows. I am driving with a clear head, not needing afternoon sleeps 90% of the time, recovering more quickly from exertion and generally experiencing a radical reduction in symptoms.

The results are worth the sacrifice many times over. And to think I put this off for four years, because I was scared it would be too hard – but, like so many things (apart from coming of antidepressants), it was easier in reality.

Today someone posted this article about fructose being very unhealthy en masse. And until a few months ago, I thought orange juice was good for me. Thank-you myths and supermarket promotions.

-        Summer might be tricky, because I love watermelon and mangoes on hot days. 

-        Going out just isn’t the same when you can’t order chai tea with honey. And no ciders or wines on special occassions. {it is worth it, it is worth it, it is worth it.}

-        Smelling Ben’s fresh brownies makes me drool, and waver in my resolution, but I will not give in.

-        I am eating ALL vegetables – including onion, tomatoes and garlic, but deliberately limiting these ones. If I hadn’t seen such a radical result, I might have eliminated these too but for now I’m content.

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