If you’ve been following my IQS journey, you’ll recall that I gave up sugar on New Year’s Day 2012. I’ve lost count how long ago that was, but an update is overdue. Well, overdue. Let me be up front and disclose that around the middle of May I completely lost my shit and fell off the wagon for about 8 weeks, but now I’m back baby! Over those two months, while I shoved in sweet cakes, takeaway and beer I realised that while I’d achieved a lot in my initial IQS journey, I hadn’t dealt with the biggest underlying problem I had. Yup, I’m an emotional eater. Stressed? Cake. Tired? Chocolate. Angry? Cake. Overwhelmed? Beer. Followed by takeaway. With a cake chaser.
All of this, not surprisingly, brought me back to square one and I was, again, being strangled by my underwear. Coupled with the fact that Spring was approaching and my hayfever was off the charts I knew I had to clean up what I ate and get back on the wagon. Stat. Because back when I was eating very clean I had no hayfever problems at, all. Zero. This was the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE this had happened and I wanted to be free from a zombie existence that the relentless sneezing, medication that doesn’t work and no sleep was gifting to me.
So where am I now? Well, I’m eating a shit tonne of greens, I’ve cut out beer (sadly) but swapped it for red wine (huzzah!), I’m eating way more protein and dairy, experimenting with some of Sarah Wilson’s sugar free recipes and weaning myself off cake. So far I’m down from a daily habit to just a little bit every 2-3 weeks, and I might stay that way for a bit. I’m not militarist about following IQS, but I just know that my life is sweeter when it’s not too heavily biased toward sugar. For me the measure of eating well is as follows:
- A regular glass of red wine, for me this is a one-glass-with-dinner-to-unwind kind of thing. I’m a total booze lightweight so it’s rare that I drink more than that. I keep the beer to a freezing cold one on boiling hot days only, and even then not that often.
- At least 1 cup, but preferably 2 cups, of greens per day. Without a doubt, my cooking mojo wanes. Majorly. I make sure I set myself up for success though and have lazy food on hand so that I have no excuse but to reach for the right thing. For me my lazy meals are:
- a serve of 5 Macro organic meatballs (microwaved for 2 mins, yes, really), goats cheese, rocket, crumbed walnut and chia salad dressed with flaxseed oil
- cheddar cheese on rice crackers (and a glass of red)
- shredded coconut, activated almonds, chia seeds, hazelnut meal and organic cacao nibs in organic yoghurt (the bulk of which is in the mix to disguise how bad cacao nibs taste)
- chicken mince stir fried with lentils (the canned variety, rinsed and drained), lemon, thyme and garlic, served on rocket
- guacamole and corn chips
- almond paste and organic blue corn chips
- a decaf coffee and a piece of raspberry ripe or a piece of lemon cheesecake slice (I always have one of these on hand as a sweet treat). Yes, you read that right, sweet treats.
- More dairy (organic pref), lots of meat (protein), lots of legumes (fibre and protein) and handfuls of rocket (my lazy version of greens).
- Moving more. When the weather is nicer I’m more inclined to be more active. That’ not science, it’s just fact. So with the days getting longer I’ve been taking the dogs to the park more than once a week (we walk around the block twice a day, but it’s not far) AND I’ve started running again. More on that later, but I’m loving being back to that. I like in Sarah Wilson’s recent ‘Another (Surprising) Reason to Exercise‘ post she summed up a process quoted from author Haruki Murakami, and for me it’s also about the repetition and going in to a zone where you switch to being mesmerised. Running is a great stress relief and I run to feel the wind in my hair, and nothing more complicated than that.
Note, this is what feels right FOR ME. It might not work for you, and that’s cool too. Just experiment, find your groove and stick with it. Nothing good ever came from not doing the work!
- Inspired, with jazz hands!
- Motivated, like riding a unicorn!
- Like I need a nap
- Indifferent, like butter vs margarine
- Less words, more pictures/ interpretive dance