If it’s easy it’s not much of a challenge, right?
I don’t have any doubt that I’ll make it through July without knowingly consuming anything that contains added sugars.
However, the last two weeks haven’t been all fun all the time.
Fortunately, I didn’t experience any withdrawal symptoms like I had feared I was going to: no headaches and no (initial) insatiable cravings.
It came more slowly and hit me full on during our beautiful hike to Hochiss: All of a sudden I was totally down. I felt like sitting down and throwing a massive tantrum at 2,000m above sea level. I knew that a chocolate bar would have given me the kick out of this little hole of mine but there was no way I was going to give it.
So I sulked and complained – while my wonderful Mr A kept encouraging me that it was only a few more turns until we were going to reach the summit.
Despite being fully aware that all I lacked was chocolate (specifically chocolate, not sugar, I had eaten enough dried fruit and bars to keep me going) there was nothing I could do to feel better besides go to bed early that day.
Other than that – knock on wood – I have been rather happy with my decision. I’m used to reading labels for hidden ingredients of animal origin. And similar to where I’ve found animal products it amazes me and not in a good way how many products have added different kinds of sugar in a meek effort to enhance their taste: ketchup, mustard, vegetable spreads, hummus – almost every food that has been processed in some way.
This is what my days have been like
- Day 1 – Easy. Naturally, I was very optimistic and full of motivation on my first day of Sugar-Free July.
- Day 2 – First challenge: We had friends over for a barbecue. Instead of mustard and tomato sauce I used the plum chutney we’d received as a guest favour on a wedding we recently attended and made a delicious white bean dip.
- Day 3 – Easy.
- Day 4 – Ok. We drove to Achensee in Tirol and I had a possibly boredon-driven craving for gummi bears.
- Day 5 – Really hard. The above-mentioned mental meltdown happened at roughly 2,000m above sea level.
- Day 6 – Fine.
- Day 7 – Great. We completed this year’s first via ferrata and I was full of energy.
- Day 8 – Hard. I was craving chocolate really bad, ate fruit and kale chips instead. Who puts sugar in soy sauce?!
- Day 9 – Meh. We had falafel for dinner which made me happy.
- Day 10 – Great. After a beautiful day-long hike we feasted on pasta.
- Day 11 – Once more great.
- Day 12 – Fine.
- Day 13 – Fine. Back in Vienna, back at work. There wasn’t much at home in terms of food to I ate whatever sugar-free I found in the fridge and pantry. .
- Day 14 – Fine. Dinner out with a good friend. Don’t think there was added sugar anywhere and the food was fantastic.
- Day 15 – I took a few hours of leave from Sugar-Free July as I was invited to attend a spice-focussed cooking class with Sonnentor that obviously ended in dessert – a scrumptious chocolate-banana soufflé.