Today I celebrate one year since I stopped eating sugar.
I don’t eat cane sugar, maple syrup, agave, honey, or coconut sugar. The only sugar I eat is in fruit and coconut water, and the occasional glass of organic wine.
It’s definitely challenging to be a chef who doesn’t eat sugar, but it encourages me to get creative in the kitchen. (I’m also lucky that my business partner at The Source is an amazing baker, and I don’t have to be making sweets all the time!) My cooking is always evolving based on what my body wants me to eat. I love to find new ways to make treats that are sugar free so I can feel satisfied instead of deprived.
Honestly, I didn’t think it would be possible to kick the sugar addiction that has been plaguing me since a very young age. For a long time, I couldn’t go two days without a sugary treat. Even if my treats were healthy, I would overdo it. There’s a lot of story behind this, and I’m excited to share it with you. I think I will write a cookbook based on my sugar story. But for now let’s just say that eventually I reached a point where I saw that my sugar habit, like any bad habit, was stealing me from my potential.
I became sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was fed up. I had too much stress, not enough sleep, and I was binging on sugar, all of which led to me facing serious health challenges. I wanted to feel better. I knew I wasn’t treating my body with love and respect. I wasn’t treating or feeding myself like I would treat or feed someone I love. Sugar was my comfort, my scapegoat, my friend, my reward, and my go-to when I was sick, tired or stressed. It was ruling my life. Any occasion or any mood called for a treat.
So, how did I kick my sugar addiction? Well, really it’s how do I kick it. It’s an ongoing spiritual process, which I take one day at a time.
I have always been a spiritual person. I believe in a higher power and I believe that the universe has my back as long as I ask for and am willing to receive help. I definitely couldn’t do this alone, so I decided to surrender my control and accept that this is a journey I am taking with my higher power, not by myself.
What are some of my tools?
I believe in routine and planning. I plan my meals daily. When I am so busy cooking for others all day, (or even just busy all day!) sometimes it’s challenging to make good decisions on the fly. Knowing what I am eating for the whole day cuts down on impulsive decisions and making choices while emotional, sick, tired, or stressed. I also meal prep on Sunday for the week. This makes my daily meal planning much easier.
I also have a strong morning routine which includes quiet time for myself with prayer, meditation, journaling, reading. I would be lost during the day without my mornings to center myself and ask the Universe for help for the day. If I am working a 6am shift at the Source, I am up at 4:30 so that I can have my morning. It’s that important to me.
When I go out to eat, I occasionally will have a glass of wine, which does have sugar, but I consume it in moderation and it’s not a triggering taste that makes me want to go after more sugar. If I’m at a restaurant and I get a savory dish has sugar in, that’s fine too. But I do not order things that are clearly sweetened like maple glazed carrots or honey bbq chicken, and I stay away from any desserts.
I am so grateful to be feeling better, to have increased energy, and to have NO sugar cravings. I am losing weight, gaining clarity, and loving myself more and more every day. I am more present with my friends, my family, and my work. I know that if I go back to sugar, I will be sick and unhappy again, and it’s just not worth it to me. I stay on my path by remembering how unhappy and unhealthy I was before I quit sugar. I feel happy, joyful, and healthy now. This is my journey, one day at a time, to love myself and trust that the universe has my back.