Saturday, December 03, 2005

No Sugar at Christmas?

Since Billy and I are hypoglycemic, we had to give up sugar and sweets long ago. For several years I just substituted honey or fructose because they both raise your blood sugar more slowly, but even they made me crazy. And I mean crazy. Sugar affects me (and I'm sure lots of other people) not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.

Most of the time skipping sweets doesn't bother me. I do miss my mom's chocolate dump cake and fudge brownies. But I honestly reached a point where I would so much rather be well and stable that sweets don't usually tempt me.

People ask me all the time how I do it. I'm not obsessive. If something doesn't taste sweet I eat it, even if sugar is listed in the ingredients list. I also satisfy a craving for sweets with fresh fruit.

I made the change fairly gradually. I had experimented a lot with "healthier" desserts before I discovered that I was hypoglycemic. Another good thing to remember is that desserts made without sugar are not going to taste like the sugar dessert they are replacing. I think keeping that in mind keeps disappointment at bay. For example, I use carob instead of chocolate, but I don't expect carob to taste like chocolate. Billy and I have had to be patient with ourselves and acquire a taste for some foods over time. Also, I had to reassign the place food, and especially dessert, had in my life. It had to take a place of less importance. I had to learn not to care so much about sweets. That was hard, because I have an insufferable sweet tooth. But the less sugar I eat, the less I crave, and the easier it is to replace dessert with other nice things, like tea and a magazine. It's a fine line, because on one hand I have to think *more* about what I eat, make wise choices when I eat out, and so forth...But I have to *care* less about food. It's something that I do imperfectly and I'm sure I always will, but it goes a long way in managing my diet.

It's hardest around the holidays. However, I've come up with a few recipes that are good alternatives (I think). I splurge a bit this time of year and eat a little honey. As long as I behave myself most of the time and eat in moderation when I do splurge, it seems to be OK. I also make fruit juice sweetened desserts that I actually tolerate much better. I'll be posting a few of these over the next week or two. Unfortunately most of them are high in fat, but they are easier on blood sugar levels. Remember, moderation in all things, even "healthy" desserts!


Pastor Steve said...

I understand this love/hate relationship with sugar! I love it and I hate that I do. She is a wicked temptress, and all to often I fall prey to her seductive call...especially anytime it is combined with something creamy. I admire your dedication, I salute you...actually, I think I will toast of those dark chocolate truffles sitting on the counter...ugghhh, I know I am weak.

Charity Grace said...