Tag Archives: restaurants

The 21-day sugar detox? I must be nuts!


Ohhhhh boy. What was I thinking?

Today I began 21 days of no sugar and no carbs – read: pretty much no comfort food of any kind – and I did it voluntarily. In winter. For twenty-one days!


Day 1 and I feel a bit lost, really.

Me without sugar is like a sunflower without the sun. I run on sugar! Sweet treats are my staple source of glee. At restaurants I peruse the menus backwards, starting with the desserts. And in winter I gravitate towards breads, pastas, grains and rich sauces.

I guess that’s exactly why this detox is a good idea for me 😛

I was introduced to it by a friend at work and we’re tackling it together, so I’ll have support. This is her second time on the detox, which is a good sign: she survived the first one!

The basic premise of the program is that our bodies are clogged up with an overload of unnatural, refined, processed carbs and sugars and that this lifestyle is bringing on mood swings, tummy troubles, weight gain and a host of other unpleasant effects. As the author of the program, Diane Sanfilippo, puts it, ‘Somewhere along the way, we stopped eating real food.’

All things considered, I’ve coped with the first day better than I expected to. Here’s what I’ve nibbled so far:

  • One semi-ripe banana with lashings of full-cream Greek yoghurt, mixed with vanilla essence, pumpkin seeds, coconut and cinnamon
  • Celery sticks with cheddar cheese
  • A carrot
  • Two cups of unsweetened herbal tea
  • A serving of savoury mince with mushrooms and tomato
  • A handful of salted pistachio nuts

That’s a lot of nibbling. And I haven’t even got to dinner yet.

But I am still so hungry! Clearly I’ll have to increase my portion sizes of the allowed foods…

The nice thing about this detox is that dairy is allowed – as long as it’s full cream. Proteins are allowed too, and so are most veggies. The only things I’m cutting down/out are grains, starchy vegetables, fruit and sweet treats. In other words, it’s not total deprivation.

I’ll let you know how it goes :mrgreen:

Vegetarianism: take two


Last week a friend treated me to brunch at a lovely restaurant called Gingko (yes, check off another one for Goal #70).

Gingko: The second restaurant for Goal #70

Of course, I used it as an opportunity to work on Goal #42 as well, and eat something I’d never tried before. I ordered a shrimp, avo and ricotta frittata (shrimp being the novel ingredient for me). Here it is:

Shrimp, avo and ricotta frittata

Shrimp, avo and ricotta frittata

Gingko is a lovely restaurant with seating outdoors in a leafy garden. It was a beautiful spot for catching up on some girl talk over a good meal. The food is mainly organic and mostly vegetarian or vegan, although they do cater for carnivores too.

Seeing the amazing menu, I started thinking about my weak attempt at vegetarian eating. And I think I can see why I failed at meeting my goal of going vegetarian this past month.

It’s because I didn’t remind myself of the reasons I had for putting such a goal on my 101 list in the first place.

People choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for many different reasons; it could be for religion, better health, animal rights, saving the planet or just saving the ozone from all those noxious bovine gases!

My reasons for wanting to try out a relatively meatless diet are simple and personal:

  1. I believe taking a break from meat for a month would be a good detox for my body.
  2. I need a push to improve our diet coz I don’t think Ninja and I are meeting our 5-a-day quota for veggies and fruit.
  3. While I’m still learning more about the treatment of animals raised for food, I want to distance myself from known cruelty as much as possible.
  4. I’ve got about 4 extra sticky kilos that I just can’t seem to shift, so I’m hoping reducing meat will help with weight loss.
  5. I want to try vegetarianism in order to challenge myself to experiment with new recipes and ingredients.

If I’d kept these points in mind, I might not have given up on this goal before the month was out.

Another reason I think I failed to stick to the plan was that it was too strict. From some articles I’ve been reading online, it seems that many vegetarians eventually turn back to include some form of meat in their diets – mainly for health reasons. I certainly don’t want to become anaemic or anything, and I need to be careful because I have low blood pressure as it is. So instead of cutting off everything at once, perhaps I’d have more success if I revised the rules a bit.

I’d like to try for Goal #36 again in the month ahead, but here’s how I’ll play it next time:

  • Include chicken and fish, but only free-range chicken and wild-caught, eco-friendly fish. That way hopefully I’m only choosing creatures that had a fairly healthy and stress-free life.
  • Eat no pork, beef, lamb or other red meat.
  • Include eggs and dairy as before.

It’s easier for me if my ‘month of vegetarianism’ runs from one grocery shopping date to the next, i.e. the 25th March to 25th April. So I’m starting it today.

Off I go now to do grocery shopping and fill my basket with more goodness for the greater good 🙂