40 days without sugar

14 April 2020

With easter my 40 days without sugar are over. Officially i can cherish myself again with milk chocolate or a bred with jam for breakfast. But, do I really want do that again?  

Last year my boyfriend abstained from refined sugar for 40 days. I found his approach too drastic and I didn’t want to castigate myself in that way. This year i thought, when he could manage, a man who loves chocolate and soda pop, i can do that for sure too. Generally i am not eating much chocolate, sweets or drink soda pop in my daily life. But i love cakes and Viennoiserie. So this year i wanted to face the challenge. 

40 days without refined sugar

Thinking about precooking and baking for 40 days without refined sugar stressed me a lot. That’s why i started into this experiment completely unprepared. Well, I was not choosing the real extreme way of avoiding sugar. That means I allowed myself maple sirup, honey, dates and coconut blossom sugar. As well, I was allowed to eat foods that contain less than 7 grams of sugar per 100 grams. And I allowed myself to have a sweet cheat treat once a week. I found this a very liberal approach and I thought it will be super easy to implement it into my daily life. 

The plan was to cook and bake all of my food myself to control the sugar content, as I know many foods contain sugar as a preserving agent.

I bought 2 books by Amy Chaplin, who not only cooks and bakes sugar-free but also vegan and gluten-free. The flood of great information, new opportunities, my tightly structured daily schedule and my constant traveling back and forth in town for work were too overwhelming. If i didn’t want that my sugar-free plan was leading me towards a lack of sleep, overwork or too much stress, I had to throw my strict plan of just eating what i cooked for myself overboard. From that moment on I went  for lunch in a restaurant or I got myself a hearty whole-grain bun to not stress myself unnecessarily. However, I kept my focus on avoiding white sugar.

Résumé after 40 days without sugar 

Finding myself in front of the TV with chocolate, wine gum and ice cream was barely happening in my life. That’s why i cannot report on huge changes after 40 days without sugar. I haven’t lost weight and my mood, skin and digestion haven’t changed in any specific way. But I noticed that my taste buds have become more sensitive. I don’t like how sweet industrially produced milk chocolate, ice cream and jam taste. Certainly, a more radical sugar free approach could have brought bigger changes.

What I noticed during the 40 days was, that I got an eye migraine more often than before. I have low blood pressure and apparently I need a regular dose of sugar. During the challenge that was just possible by eat dates.

My résumé after 40 days of sugar fasting is, that I want to continue living with a reduced consumption of white sugar. For the future, I would like to find a way to produce my own jam, ice cream and cake without refined sugar. I like a more conscious way of using food in general and I want to use natural sweeteners that still contain nutrients instead of white sugar. From now on I will bake with Mascobado whole cane sugar, because refined white sugar has just become too dominant and sweet for my taste buds.

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