I am about to embark along with a whole lot of other people on 21 days without bread or sugar. Read more about the initiative here. I think perhaps one of the only ways I might actually do this is if I blog about it here. I’ll be blogging as a very ordinary human being who is 44, a mother to 4 and leads a fairly busy, moderately healthy(?) lifestyle.
The challenge has come at a favourable time for me as I had been exploring the Real Food/ Tim Noakes/ Banting/ LCHF way of eating and whilst I accept and laud the broad strokes (lots more veg, less refined stuff) I find it hard, nearly impossible in terms of time, money and taste, to follow it legalistically. So this challenge which focusses on just sugar and wheat seems much more do-able. I don’t have to stress about whether butternut is orange or green (banting joke).
Also I find 21 days do-able. Of course I know the goal is to change my habits and to feel so wonderful that I will turn my back on sugar and wheat and become a born-again bantist baking all sorts of yummy xylitol and coconut flour treats (another banting joke). But I sort of like the idea that after 21 days I could also ditch it and go, “You know what? I tried it, it did nothing for me.” And then go and make myself a large peanut butter and honey sandwich on white bread.
My last reason for embarking on this now is that I tried to donate blood last week and was turned away (again) due to low iron levels. This is a recurring theme with me and I take supplements on and off (the good ones are very pricey) but clearly I need a lot more meat, nuts and leafy greens in my diet. The idea of downing large quantities of biltong is not unappealing.
Here are my issues:
· I would love to have more energy.
· I could lose 5-10kgs.
· I drink about 6 cups of coffee per day with sugar. (Sweetners taste awful)
· I love bread. I love coffee and rusks. I love… food in general.
I also can’t stand anecdotal evidence. It’s just so subjective. So coming to the end of 21 days and saying, I feel so much better! Just won’t cut it with me. I might be feeling better because I remembered to take my iron pills, or because it’s spring, or because it rained, or because I got a new pair of shoes or…. No, I’m going to need hard evidence.
So, I’ll be doing weight and tummy measurements. I’ll also check my cholesterol levels before and after. Energy levels are always going to be subjective, but perhaps by blogging regularly I’ll have a more accurate idea.
In my favour:
· We already eat a healthy evening meal which is low carb or can be tweaked slightly to make it so.
· I hardly ever drink fizzy drinks or eat sweets and chocolates, so no loss there.
· I love vegetables.
· I don’t smoke and I'm a once-a-week-glass-of-wine drinker.
· I go to pilates once a week and my work has me standing a lot of the time.
Some of my family may join me on this journey. Some, like my 7 year old are going to actively tempt me away from my goals as I will have to continue making peanut butter and honey sandwiches for him which will be torture.
I think it’s going to be awful. If you’re interested in seeing just how bad it gets….