This week I quit sugar (part 1)
* Dear reader, most of you have read my “I quit sugar” posts over the past few weeks and are probably wondering ‘why’s she going over this again’? Well, this should give you an insight into the turn-around times in publishing. I wrote this Sunday Life column at the same time as my first post. It just takes this long for it to be subbed, fact-checked, laid out, printed and distributed. It’s a nice little refresher for those of you who’ve been following things on this blog…If you’re new to this blog, you can catch up on other “I quit sugar” posts my interview with David Gillespie is here, the reasons why sugar makes us fat here, how I quit sugar here and some breakfast ideas here.
It’s not that I’m a sugar junkie. I’m just wedded to the stuff in a tortured, forever-self-moderating way. As a kid, growing up in a drought-ravaged backwater as part of a social experiment in subsistence living (which largely consisted of skirting the breadline and tending goats), we didn’t eat much sugar. Sometimes, though, Dad, in a scene reminiscent of Charlie Bucket with his gold-foiled slither of chocolate, would bring home a Chokito bar and split it between us. Invariably we’d wind up spinning the ceiling. And so it was I got a highly attached taste for the stuff and its maximum (!) fun times (!) effects.
As I say, I don’t eat a lot of sugar. But it’s a struggle not to. I do seductive things like convince myself that a slug of honey on yoghurt every night is wholesomely Nigella Lawson-ish – annoyingly cloying, but not harmful per se. But the trouble is, if I get even a wafer-thin taste of sugar, something wild and wooly comes over me and I have to eat the whole damn upside-down almond meal and pineapple loaf. Sugar does that; it makes us demented and we turn into Mirandas, as one friend said. Remember that Sex and The City scene when she dumps a cake in the bin, then douses it in water so she won’t keep eating it?
I’ve avoided quitting sugar for ages. Mostly because I’ve known it means never touching it again. One French study found it’s more addictive than cocaine. And must be treated as such. But lately it’s made me crankier, puffier, foggier, sicker and more attached than normal. I’ve reached saturation point; it’s time to become a nice person again.
But why quit, you might ask? Sugar’s natural. Well, yes. But so is petroleum. And surely you don’t mean fruit and honey? Yes, yes, I do.