It is Day 3 and I am still standing strong without my other half, sugar. In the last two days, I’ve tried my best to find replacements for this white goodness, and ways to beat the cravings. I’ve stayed strong, not cheating on my diet, but deep inside, my heart is eagerly waiting for the eighth day to arrive, when I can finally grab a dense chocolate cake and bury my face in it.
The search for my cup of tea
After my experience with milk without sugar the first day of the challenge, I decided to not repeat the experience. I had to find a different morning cuppa. Five years ago, my mother was diagnosed with diabetes. Ever since, she has given up her morning sugary tea. Looking at her, I got a shot of motivation and I decided to try her cup of tea. Right after the first sip, I felt like saluting her determination. How could she have this bitter beverage the first thing in the morning! How?
We have various other flavours of tea at work, and on recommendation by my colleagues, I opted for ginger tea with no milk and sugar. It wasn’t bad, and I had finally discovered my cup of tea which is healthy and flavoursome! I went back to my seat and looked up the benefits of ginger tea and I was amazed to see the endless list. Here are some, It is good for digestion, soothes menstrual cramps and aids blood circulation. Wow! I love my cuppa ginger tea!
The Carrot-cake Indulgence
After witnessing my dedication, my colleagues at work have stopped trying to lure me with sweets, chocolates, cakes or anything that has added sweetness. As I was bored of atta rotis, my mom packed some rajgira (Amaranth) rotis for lunch which I could enjoy with plain curd. Also, its high fibre and protein content keeps one’s tummy full for a longer period of time. Take that, cravings!
In the evening, my BFF decided to visit my home to seek help in baking a carrot cake. That wasn’t just the problem, unaware of my challenge, she had also packed some vada pav on her way to my home, from of the best vada pav stalls in Mulund, especially for me. To her disappointment, neither could I have that vada pav nor would I be able to help her bake the cake.
Then something struck my sugar-deprived brain. The list of natural sugar which the nutritionist, Ritika Samaddar had shared with me. She’s given honey the go-ahead, and that’s how I could bake and eat the cake too. Though there was a difference in the flavour, but I was happy pampering my taste buds with a no-sugar-yet-sweet carrot cake.
What I Learnt?
If you are off refined sugar, be warned that breads and other bakes that have yeast, also have a small amount of sugar to activate this yeast. Also, though honey is a natural sugar and an excellent substitute for refined sugar, it has almost the same level of calories but just a little more nutrients. For natural sources of sugar, chief dietician at Max Healthcare, Ritika Samaddar suggests, “Fruits are the best substitute, as it has low calories. Apart from honey and jaggery, maple syrups (not those made of high fructose corn syrup) is a good option.” Then again, do read the labels to know the ingredients!
Illustraions: Vartika Pahuja