Poor little blog! So much I want to write, and no time to write it.
Here's a quick post for you:
Starting last weekend, I decided to stop eating sugar to see how I would feel. I've been reading so much lately about how terrible sugar is, how it's more correlated with obesity and obesity-related diseases than fat, etc. I'm surprised at how confused people have been by this concept. My American friends are saying that it's not possible, but luckily, I live in a country where cheese is just cheese, yogurt is just yogurt, and spices are just spices. Very few things have extra sugar added to them if they are not obviously desserts. People also keep assuming that I'm substituting sugar with fake sweeteners and stuff. Yes, I know they're bad, and sometimes worse, so no, I'm not doing that! I am eating fruit and honey. I'm also eating Brazilian french bread from the bakery, which probably has a little bit of sugar in it. BUT I HAVE NOT HAD A CHOCOLATE PASTEL IN 8 DAYS.
I'm just trying to say that this lack of sugar should be easy to understand -- not necessarily easy to do, in terms of will-power! The hardest things for me are checkout lines and Pinterest. I do feel cravings for sugar and sweets, especially in the afternoons. I've been more irritable than usual this week, despite a full night's sleep every night.
But to give you an idea of how possible this is, here is a typical day of meals for me from this week:
A smoothie with milk, yogurt, bananas, and strawberries (sometimes I switch out a dairy for coconut milk)
Whole wheat pasta with chicken breast, tomatoes, olive oil, roasted squash, and Parmesan cheese
A few bites of queijo minas padrão (cheese)
A Middle Eastern salad with arugula, chickpeas, chopped up and sauteed kale, and a beef marinated in Middle Eastern spices and topped with lime juice and olive oil
I'm just trying to cut out unnecessary sugars and sweeteners. I'm not cutting out fructose. I'm not cutting out carbs that will turn into sugars. I'm just trying to be instinctive about it. Fruit = fine; milkshake/suspiros/cake = unnecessary.
I'd like to take this opportunity to plug a wonderful e-cookbook that I recently bought. It has lots of light, healthy, Brazil-friendly meals in it. It's from Jules at Stone Soup and it's called 30 Dinners in 30 Days. She gives you tips on how to make cooking at home easier, and she gives useful alternatives to recipes (for ex, how to make them vegetarian, or how to substitute rare ingredients). It's been helping me a lot this week. That's where I got the salad idea from.
I cook a lot on the weekends and freeze meals; I roast things late at night for the next couple of days; I don't mind spending a little extra for cheese that's already grated or arugula that's already been cleaned, because I know I'll be more likely to eat it.
Hooray for Brazil for making healthy eating easy!
I'll write more blog posts soon, I promise!