Thursday, 28 November 2013

Chocolate really ISN'T the boss of me

But it definitely used to be.  I love it! (A rare trait in a woman, I know.)  I thought I NEEDED it during the afternoon lull, during monthly hormone rampages, or whenever it was present within a 50 meter radius. 

While mindful eating is NOT about dieting or using willpower to restrict food choices, I have found that seriously cutting back on processed sugar helped reset my brain and body so that I could take control of my relationship with the beloved chocolate.  For the first time in my entire life, chocolate has a lifespan in my home.  I've had a bag of dark chocolate squares in my kitchen for a month, and there are still at least 10 left.  In fact, the bag's sitting next to me right now, and it's not even calling my name.

If you, too, have been a slave to chocolate, you will appreciate what a coup this is.  In university I had a skinny roommate, German Nat, who used to leave half a chocolate bar (of the good German variety) sitting in the fridge for days at a time.  My normal roommates and I were astonished, infuriated, and tortured by this bizarre behaviour.  Now *I* am German Nat, and I'm so pleased with myself.

There's not one particular mindful eating practice that has caused this miraculous transformation, but breaking my sugar addiction was key.  I am convinced that processed sugar is an addictive, toxic substance.  You will be too if you check out this and this.  And I'm not even getting into the environmental implications of how it's produced.  

After not having it at all for a few weeks, I now try to have less than 6.5 teaspoons or 26 grams of added sugar per day, as recommended in Nutrition Action.  It's really not that hard once you try it.  I've done a lot of cleanses where you can't have sugar, fruit, alcohol, wheat, honey, or fun.  That's hard.  Saying no to treats and processed foods isn't so bad.  I did find that increasing my fruit intake helped.  So did eating a few chips once in a while, actually.  Our bodies do need fat, and chips don't hold the same addictive allure for me.  Taking this approach wipes your palate and endocrine system clean, letting you set a new baseline for your tastebuds.

I can't be too annoyingly smug here though - there is still Bufala Maple Yogourt. Best to keep that out of the house for now...

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