The #1 thing I thought I would struggle with the most? I cannot eat sugar. Well, it's not that I can't eat any sugar, just that I can't eat any sweets. You know what I mean: cakes, pies, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, candy, sweetened breads, etc . . . I also stay away from natural sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup and all artificial sweeteners.
The main reason that my nutritionist is against sugar is that it is addictive. Like cocaine-quality addictive. I think most people know this. The more sugar you eat, the more your body craves it and the more damage you do to your endocrine system. Your body is forced to churn out insulin to keep you from going into a diabetic coma and it causes your blood sugar to fluctuate like a speeding car on a roller coaster. Besides the fact that sugar has a direct effect on triglycerides, part of what makes up cholesterol, and I'm trying to get those numbers down!
So no sweets includes sweetened drinks and fruit. Now granted, fruit is healthy, and this is just a partial ban since there will be a time I'll be allowed to eat a small amount of fruit, but since I am eating so many vegetables, she assures me that my body is getting all those anti-oxidants that fruit growers crow about.
I can't have milk, but I can eat cheese.
Probably harder than the sweets thing was the fact that I would have to give up caffeine and even de-caf drinks. Now I hadn't been addicted to caffeine for almost a year when I started this diet, but I do enjoy an occasional coffee and a trip to Starbucks is one of my favorite treats. But I'm committed, so I gave it all up.
The strangest thing on the list? Perfume and perfumed products. There are many sites on the Internet talking about how dangerous the chemicals are in our modern cleaning and bathing supplies, but Karen's issue is more about our adrenal glands constantly being stimulated by smells. Fragrance Free shampoo and conditioner, lotion, deodorant and soap have been easy - it's the hand soap and hair products that are hard, and I must admit I've not given up my Aveda Be Sleek hair straightener. I feel like a *little* fragrance doesn't hurt, right?!
That is the meat of what I've done without over the past 6 months, although there have been a few occasions that some sweet was too hard to resist. But for the most part, I have found that giving up sweets has been easier than I thought. Partly because there is so much I have to eat already, I don't have a lot of room for more and also because once I got the massive amounts of sugar out of my diet, I found I didn't crave it like before.
Next post I'll tell you about some of the benefits of this diet.