“…you are my Candy girl, and you got me wanting you!” This 60s song by the Archies while intended to be about a person is actually eerily appropriate to describe my relationship with the sweet stuff. Total obsession.
Many years ago I knew something was up when anything with sugar in it would make me hoover the whole packet, box, bar, block, whatever. I would think about, plan, plot and scheme how I could get more and have another ‘hit.’ It would plague me, like a broken record in my head, over and over. Must have, must have.
I would even look at the dessert menus first in restaurants and while in the thick of it all, I slowly ate more and more sugary food in place of any other food. Total addiction.
My poor mother would receive a lovely box of chocolates for her birthday or Christmas and would hide them around the house because she knew if she left them in sight or easy access, they would be gone within a day or so. Logically I knew it was mean to eat someone’s present and not leave any for them, but I couldn’t help it. Really I couldn’t. Needless to say the hiding didn’t help as I found them all and ate them anyway. My poor mother.
And yet the world claimed it was just a lack of willpower, discipline, determination and they mostly still do. I can hear the motivational crew cry, “If you want something bad enough, you will make it happen.” “Have one, just don’t have six of them.” Which was impossible for me.
But something is changing now, more people are realising that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to refined sugar. It is actually an addictive substance for some people and willpower has nothing to do with it. Please see article below…
I knew it! I knew it wasn’t me, despite what anyone else said and my remedy way back then was to cut it out cold turkey. Harsh some may be thinking, and I can hear the collective gasp, “Oh no, I couldn’t do that.”
But a strange thing happened, when there was a ‘no’ in my head regarding sugar or anything with sugar in it. It was actually easier. It was easier to stay away completely and not be tempted at all. When I tried to ‘manage’ or temper the consumption to acceptable levels, the opening of the door a tiny crack, just a little bit, would eventually lead to full on over-eating and binging with increasing intensity and regularity. It would just about run me over.
Interestingly the option of stopping eating sugar all together has been debated a lot recently in the mainstream media with ‘stop sugar’ followers agreeing that it completely changed their life, mood, eating habits, clarity of mind, weight loss abilities and a host of other benefits.
This wave of people feeling better without sugar has increased demand for products that match their new ‘feeling fantastic’ lifestyle and brand Well Naturally is leading this sugarless charge. Clearly labelled with ‘No Sugar Added’ it is apparent that this issue is important to an increasing number of people.
I was offered the chance to test out their chocolate share block range, (free chocolate! Life just became a little more magical!) And when I opened the packets, the smell reminded me of childhood Easter time! Yummo!
Sweetened with stevia these blocks certainly tick many of the right boxes for me. The taste was smooth and creamy in the milk chocolate varieties and the dark chocolate reminded me of every other dark chocolate I have tried, in that it takes a little longer to melt in the mouth, which is why I sip a cup of tea at the same time to help it along and release that smoothness a little quicker. Nice.
The low level of sweetness is just perfect for me as I have been sugar free for about five years now, so any regular sugar chocolate would just blow my head off.
So if you are in the transition to less sugar, just allow yourself an adjustment period where your taste buds stop being dive bombed by sugar and allow you to taste more natural flavours and where subtle sweetness becomes enough.
Some people have complained of a strange aftertaste with Stevia however with the type I put in my tea and in these Well Naturally blocks, it didn’t happen to me.
One ingredient that I must mention is erythritol. This is another sweetener, which is a sugar alcohol, and it’s low calorie benefits lie in the fact that it is mostly indigestible. However for some it may not be compatible with their body and may cause gas and bloating. Even on the packet itself it says ‘excess consumption may have a laxative effect.’ Now this may be an added benefit if you have issues in that department, (cheeky grin), however as I always advise everyone, do what works for you; just test it out and see what happens. I know in my own family I love camomile tea but my sister and mother can’t drink it as it gives them headaches. So it doesn’t necessarily mean camomile is bad, it’s just not right for them. Same, same.
So this is one of the ways I have been able to stay sugar free all this time, finding alternatives that taste just as amazing to me but don’t have the ‘need to eat it all’ effect or the instant headache, crazy high for 30 minutes then ‘fall asleep’ tired effect. And after testing the Well Naturally chocolate blocks and thoroughly enjoying them, it’s all thumbs up in the feeling good department and I can happily eat just three small pieces and save the rest for when I feel like more. Now that’s a real food reaction.
In the experience of hundreds, maybe millions of people like me where sugar plays extraordinary havoc in your body and life, the acknowledgement that sugar may be an addictive substance and you are not just a lazy, fat git with no willpower is unbelievably powerful. Many just wouldn’t understand what this means; when sugar doesn’t affect you in that crazy, out of control way, how can you possibly know what it means? It’s no wonder many think the whole idea of cutting sugar out is unnecessary and crazy.
In all things though, it will suit some people and be the holy grail of their lives and for others, have no effect what so ever. Does it mean the concept is wrong? Not at all, just selectively appropriate for some and not others.
So when investigating whether sugar is right or very wrong for you, have a think about this…
- – refined sugar is not a food group
- – fruit and veges contain natural sugars, so additional sugar is not actually necessary
- – how do you feel around sugar? Can you eat just the one chocolate and put the rest away for another day and forget about it?
- – How do you physically feel after eating sugar?
- – Are you easily at the weight you want to be with sugar in your diet?
- – Have you experimented with other natural sweeteners and how do they feel for you?
So if you are still overeating, or can’t stick to your healthy diet plan, maybe take a look at the sugar in your diet and see what effect it has on you, it may not be you after all!!!!
And while you are making these discoveries and changes around sugar, have substitutes around like the Well Naturally chocolate blocks so it becomes an easy transition to good food rather than restriction and pain. Thousands of others have forged the way for you, meaning the alternatives are more readily available, even in your local supermarket. So there’s never been a better time to reduce sugar in your life and start feeling amazing!
What are you waiting for?
PS: I’ve just had another bit and the Milk Fruit and Nut block was my favourite. Yummo!