So, I tried this 'thing' a few weeks back and I thought I'd share. Plus, I have a few friends who've been wanting to know more. Firstly, let's introduce a good friend of mine...
|image via here|
When I get stressed I get constipated. Enough said. Obviously the whole moving overseas/waiting a crazy-long time for the paperwork thing was stressful. I started using good old Metamucil daily around that time. The thing is, after the stress was gone and I'd changed my diet to include an enormous amount of fibre and water and increased my exercise dramatically, I was still constipated. I still needed the Metamucil to 'go'.
I'd been reading and talking to people about sugar and what it can do to your digestion for a while and I just had a hunch that my problem might lie in this area.
I didn't think I was a big sugar eater, my cravings lie in the crunchy carby direction. But when I stopped eating all sugar and fructose my system underwent a complete transformation. I lost that puffy, bloated feeling almost immediately. I STOPPED using Metamucil straight away. And another biggy, brain fog was gone! That's another big thing for me, the cranky feeling that you're wading your way through a cloud inside your head. I get so frustrated with that.
So, I did a little experiment. I found Sarah Wilson's blog and Ebook and followed her 8 week programme.
Sarah is a big anti-sugar gal in Australia but she is more accessible than most. She talks about 'experimenting', not 'dieting', she is very clear on being gentle with yourself and on acknowledging that you alone, and not a single other entity on this planet, are responsible for what goes into your mouth. You have to own that, no blaming it on stress, laziness, no time. No blame at all, just acceptance. If you have a chocolate bar that is because you CHOSE to have a chocolate bar. And it's ok to have a chocolate bar, as long as you do it consciously. Full stop. I like that approach, and it was exactly what I needed to hear.
For the first few weeks I slowed down my sugar intake (removing all processed and hidden sugars) and then I gave up fructose too. Yup, no fruit. Ok, fruit is lovely and full of fibre, but it's also full of sugar. I found that I was turning to vegetables (remember them?) to snack on and get my daily fibre intake. And for me, no sugar was actually a walk in the park. If you truly accept that your body doesn't NEED that chocolate, or even that punnet of strawberries. If you replace your snacks with fatty ones, proteiny ones or carby ones, the afternoon slump is gone. Gone I tell you!
And you actually feel like exercising because you feel so damn good and want to continue that way.
After about 6 weeks, I started eating a little fruit again (you see, it's an experiment not a 'cleanse' or a 'diet') to see how my body would cope. Two things. If I have too much I am most definitely in need of my friend Metamucil again. But more importantly, I could actually TASTE the sweetness, the amazing deliciousness of fruit which I had complete taken for granted. It was, and is a sheer delight to eat some apple or banana. Watermelon is just insanely decadent and sweet. And that's actually enough for me, I don't want to complicate my newly found pallette with cake and cookies and chocolate. Of course, I'll eat those from time to time but no more than that. Which is exactly how it's meant to be, isn't it?
So, I didn't want to bog this post down with science and information (though there's plenty of that available!) just share my own experience. This low-sugar way of life is just the bomb and I have no intention of going back.
Sarah's blog can be found here. David Gillespie's book info is here. This is a very interesting article at the Guardian. This is one about sugar addiction. Robert Lustig's incredible lecture is here (long but this is where the science is at). And Alec Baldwin (who is now sugar-free and dropped 30 pounds!) interviews the Dr here.
So, there's your linkage. Take it or leave it, but it's enough for me that my relationship with Metamucil is on the out. The other health benefits are huge and I'm going to continue on this path for the forseeable future. I'm not interested in preaching, just wanted to share. You can keep eating those M&Ms if you want to, but I'm choosing not to.