Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Inside Out


Is it Tuesday? School holidays don't follow our usual daily pattern, so I get lost sometimes.

We went to the movies this morning, firstly doing a lap inside the shopping centre as a bit of a walk. We saw "Inside Out" which was really good. Luckily kids' movies these days tend to appeal to parents as well, because I rarely see anything else!

We went to a Thai restaurant for lunch and ordered two dishes between the three of us, one served with rice and one served with rice noodles. I didn't eat any of the starches, sticking to chicken and vegetables (and yummy sauces of course). I had a chocolate bar in the movie.

Then we did some grocery shopping and came home.

I've been feeling pretty depressed, last night and today. Part of it is thinking about dad's death, and partly these persistent germs (I have a sore throat again) but partly it is FogDog's fault! He is the latest of the bloggers I follow to give up sugar and suddenly lose weight (13 pounds in 13 days) with no cravings after the first few days -- not just no cravings for sugar but for any food. We used to be on the same page about the whole sugar thing, but now he writes:

"I've read a lot of literature on the evils of sugar. I've always held the belief that anything is OK as long as it is in moderation. I'm not so sure about that belief anymore."

I guess I don't want to believe this is true for me. I mean, I don't eat that much sugar, right? I just looked up that the average for someone from the US is 76.7 grams of added sugar per day, not including juice. Since my treats are usually savoury and I cook nearly all meals from scratch; most days I would have 10-20 grams of added sugar, primarily in my tea and  in chocolate. I've already given up all the yummy starches that I love. You want me to give up tea and chocolate as well! So unfair.

But it seems to work for so many people. And nothing I try does.

I have tried giving up sugar a couple of times; last year along with dairy, alcohol, soy and grains, for Whole 30. I didn't make it to 30 days. I felt depressed for eight days and much better when I gave up and ate a few chocolate chips, so make of that what you will. I always feel horrible when I go low-carb, so it's hard to separate out the effect of withdrawal from processed sugar.

... I left it there instead of continuing a rant about how much life sucked and why was everyone being mean to me by giving up sugar. About an hour later I suddenly connected several of my sentences together.
"I've been feeling pretty depressed, last night and today."
"I've already given up all the yummy starches that I love."
"I always feel horrible when I go low carb."

Seeing any connection?!

When I had this epiphany I was already feeling quite a lot better, oddly enough after eating a couple of tablespoons of All Bran as recommended by the Glycaemic Load book guy to keep fibre levels up. Hmm, any relevance there? You think?!

I felt an immediate huge emotional relief on top of already feeling less depressed after the All Bran. I wasn't just randomly miserable, it was my well established inability to handle low carb diets! (NB, it was nothing to do with sugar as I was still having my usual amount of sugar -- how I feel without sugar specifically is yet to be established.)

Clearly I need to be vigilant about getting enough carbohydrate while I cut out starches. It's tricky. I'm not allowed the most carbohydrate-rich foods and I don't like pumpkin or sweet potato, so I need to keep up the levels of other vegetables and fruit. And All Bran. Otherwise I'll be turning to more sugar and caffeine to prop up my mood.

Report card:
Diet: Ok. A bit too much chocolate (I think to combat depression).
          Breakfast: Bacon. Orange. Tea. It was a fairly small serve of bacon, two short rashers, but I shouldn't have it more than once a week (my doctor said once a year!). But I struggled with breakfast already and now I've cut out toast and all cereals it doesn't leave much that I want to eat first thing. I don't want eggs every day, I need to make sure I have some leftover meat available at least some mornings.
          Morning: Toblerone chocolate bar. Cheese.
          Lunch: Thai chicken and vegetables in peanut sauce.
          Afternoon: All Bran. One square of dark chocolate (melted over the All Bran to make it edible, it was pretty good actually, like a little chocolate and fibre cookie). Tea.
          Dinner: Bolognaise with zoodles (zucchini noodles) and cheese.
Exercise: Ok. A short walk.
Water: Good.
Sleep: Poor.
Mental health: Poor.


  1. I've become a believer in biochemical individuality. What works for others may not work for you. All we can do is pay attention to our bodies and our health and be ready to try new things and persevere if we get stuck!

    1. Yes agree, not everyone is the same. Problem is I know I lose weight if I go low carb - but I feel awful! Hard choice.

  2. I think there is a truth what Lori Ann said above, every body is individual and their biochemical reactions are different. So what works for someone else, might not work for you.
    BTW, I have replaced sugar with honey in my coffee and tea. Honey has lower glycaemic index and taste is divine in cappucino. At least two teaspoons less added sugar per day.

    1. I might try that. Honey in tea sound a bit weird, but you never know.

  3. I've started Whole30 3 different times and didn't finish. That said, I DO feel better when I cut out sugar and grains. The only sugar I'm eating now is a small amount in my cup of Greek yogurt. It does make a big difference.

    1. I've never got to a feeling better stage. I went very low carb for six weeks before my wedding and felt (and acted) horrible the whole time so I don't know if I would ever get to that point. Trying to keep amounts low though.

  4. I think sugar and flour are highly addictive. I personally struggle with these foods, doing much better when I don't eat them at all. I tend to end up back with them at times, and I try to abstain all over again. As I explained -- highly addictive. :-P

    1. There seems to be a lot of science behind this now. Sugar lights up the same areas in the brain as heroin etc. Physical addiction aside, I have a big mental block about the idea of giving up all those things forever. No cake ever again? But if you give in, as you say you have to start all over again. At the moment I'm trying for small amounts of starchy foods, cutting right down but not eliminating altogether.