Now, how DID I do it last time? Well, in case you are new here, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in March 2009 (before you ask, yes that is the same cancer that Delta Goodrem had) and after the initial shock, I researched. From what I understand, cancer cells are abnormal cells in the body and don't work the same way as normal cells. Normal cells are aerobic, meaning they need oxygen to survive, while abnormal cells do not.
"Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar." -- Dr. Otto H. Warburg (1931 Nobel Prize Winner)
So to me cutting out sugar, the very thing that feeds cancer cells, was imperative. I also cut out all animal products, including dairy, which has been linked with various cancers over and over again.
Before all of this, I was a massive sweet tooth. I needed my 3pm choccy bar or I would struggle big time. I simply could not function without it!
So, to cope with cutting out sugar, I substituted. Normal chocolate for sugar-free dark chocolate and any sweets with sugar in them for sweets with agave nectar and dates. In fact, I became a pro at making raw cakes filled with organic cacao powder and cups and cups of agave nectar. I also had lots of sweet fruit smoothies. I thought I was killin' it!
Then I saw a fantastic holistic doctor - you can revisit this post here. He pointed out that I
hadn't really cut sugar out at all, rather substituted white processed sugar with natural forms of it. This was not good enough.
He introduced me to Gabriel Cousens' work and put me on a very strict diet, which included:
Green leafy veggies
Green juices and smoothies
Other Veggies (except carrots, beets, pumpkin, potato, mushrooms)
Non sweet fruits including tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, lemons, limes. (that's it!!)
Nuts and seeds
Olives and olive oil
Superfoods including blue green algae, spirulina, wheatgrass juice, raw cacao beans
Legumes including sprouted lentils and mung beans
And that's it! Seriously.
Quite surprisingly, I felt amazing. So full of energy and the healthiest I'd ever felt - bazaar when you think I was supposed to have a potentially life-threatening disease. Once I got through the first week or so, it was smooth sailing. I had so much fun finding recipes that would fit into my new regime and loved the challenge of creating new ones. I was also lucky that my partner, Dave, did it all with me. I think it would have been almost impossible with forbidden foods in the house.
The great thing was that after a while, I went back to try a bit of chocolate and totally flipped out. Once you cut it out, your body LOVES you for it and does not want to go back.
For me, the hardest part is dealing with the little monkey in your mind who is constantly trying to disrupt you. I found that when my little monkey was getting out of control, it was easier to give him a little banana (or a very small amount of dark choccy) to shut him up and then keep going. If I tried hard to simply ignore him, after a while I would crack and want to binge.
Of course doing anything like this will be different for everyone. You have to listen to your own body and do what feels right for you.
1. Decide exactly what you'd like to achieve and what you are going to eliminate from your diet.
2. Get rid of all the naughty products in your house. Waiting until they are all gone and then starting never works for me!
3. Make sure you have lots of healthy and yummy alternatives so you are not looking for your old favourites.
4. Find things that work for you. For example, something as simple as cleaning my teeth straight after dinner is enough to deter me from wanting dessert.
5. Focus on the present. I found that thinking too far into the future freaked me out - just take one day at a time and don't be too hard on yourself.I hope this will help you get started on a sugar-free diet! I'll let you know how I go this time...