As you know, I had made three goals for Dragon Month this year. Dragon Month ended on Tuesday, 23rd April - St George's Day - which was two days ago, and I have been thinking about how I've been doing.
1. Cutting Down on Sugar
I was getting rather despondent about this because my chocolate addiction has been dogging every step. Originally we decided to stop eating chocolate, but I just couldn't manage it. Our regular habit has been to have some chocolate after our evening meal, and we have been enjoying Ritter Sport mint bars, which are dark chocolate squares filled with a white minty fondant. But it occurred to me that there was probably far more sugar in the fondant than there would be in squares of standard 70% cocoa mass dark chocolate, so we have switched over to that.
Doing this has also made me think about the hidden sugars that I consume. I do drink squash, Ocean Spray Cranberry and Raspberry cordial to be precise, but its very sweet, so I have been consciously trying to cut down that, only having a glass with my lunch and supper, instead of drinking it in between meals.
I am also shocked by the amount of sugar in the various sauces I use for cooking. I try to make our main meals from scratch, so that I know what goes into them, but really I am amazed by the amount of sugar and sugar derivatives that go into the odd extras I put in, so I am trying to keep a careful eye on that.
As far as cakes and biscuits go, its a real success story for me! I haven't bought any, and although we did have some lovely gluten free cake to take home from a dinner party the other night - huge thanks, Jasmin, it was delicious - I am definitely winning on this one.
2. Eating More Veggies
The other day, The Beast arrived.
My dear friend M offered to lend us her juicer. She mentioned that it was rather complicated, but I didn't expect it to be, well, I can't think of a better word than industrial.
Its so impressive I may have to write it a special blog post to do it proper justice.
We have been eating more vegetables, I have to say. I have been making soups for lunch, which is a great way to get fresh veg and nutrients inside you in easily digestible form. I have also been meal planning to take account of eating less pasta and rice (we really don't eat potatoes at all), and it really has made a difference.
One evening, we 'fell off the waggon' and had a chinese takeaway. Not good. Up all night with tummy ache. That was a pretty good incentive to strive for a healthier diet.
I've also been very strict about the gluten-free side of my diet, which I had allowed to slip. I am not supposed to eat gluten becuase of my IBS, and yes, it does cause me problems. Now I am off it, I am amazed at how much low grade but constant discomfort I was tolerating just for the sake of a few cakes and doughnuts every now and again. It isn't worth it, and I intend to keep reminding myself of that in future.
3. Getting More Exercise
You won't be surprised to hear that this has been my graveyard. My ME intervened - first I had my period, which always exacerbates syptoms, and leaves me in bed for a couple of days. Then I had some dental work done, and the injections always leave me feeling weak. And then my hayfever came on, and like an idiot I took antihistamines, which I had forgotten make me feel like death. These all sound like excuses, and they are, but ME is what it is, and you can't force yourself to move when there is just no energy in your muscles. So not much bouncing or stretching has been achieved around here lately. But I am working on it. Even if I have to bounce up and down, spraying snot everywhere, for the next three months until my hayfever abates, I am NOT taking those tablets again!
I feel like I have made a big difference so far, even if I haven't done exactly what I set out to do. My diigestive system is back in good working order again, and that alone has been worth the effort. It is a sound foundation on which to build. And I intend to stick with these goals because I think they are the way forward to a healthier future. I'll keep you posted!