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We’ve had a long weekend in this part of NZ and we went to stay with relatives, hence my lack of postings.

Friday night D and I went to a dinner party to catch up with some lovely friends who have just returned from living in the UK.  It was a wonderful night, and I drank faaaar too much – as I seldom drink alcohol, a couple of glasses of wine gets me quite happy.  I paid for it the next day of course!

Our hostess knew that D and I were ‘off sugar’ as she had recently been to our house.  We’d talked to her about it, and she was quite keen to give it a go herself in the future.

Dinner was superb, as our friend is an amazing cook.  Unfortunately for dessert she made Eton Mess.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a traditional English dessert made up of strawberries, cream, and pieces of meringue.

I did not want to make a fuss, so I ate a small bowl of it.  I know party food is for parties, but I really wanted to avoid eating anything like that until I have withdrawn from sugar completely.  Just for the record, it is delicious.

Photo credit

The next day I didn’t notice any effects (probably due to my slight hangover…will not be drinking more than a glass of wine at a time again!) but yesterday, oh boy did I binge.  My parents hosted a big family dinner, as D and I don’t live in the same town as them, and I ate a ton of roast chicken and potatoes.  I was unable to stop myself, no matter that I wasn’t actually hungry.  Gah!  I felt like such a pig.  This is exactly the reason that I wanted to go fructose free in the first place.

The whole weekend was difficult, and really brought home to me what life is like for people who are on special diets, or are even just vegetarians!  I felt like a total pain in the butt for our poor relatives.  The average person does not get what being fructose-free means.  I still got offered lots of fruit juice (you may as well pour a cup of sugar down your throat instead) and copious amounts of fruit.  I probably went slightly over my fruit quota yesterday simply because I didn’t want to be rude and refuse fruit salad.  My well-meaning mother is making a birthday cake for D’s 30th birthday bash in a few weeks, and she had made a trial run of the cake for him to try.  D of course was far too polite to say no.  I was able to get away with not having any.

Today I haven’t felt too hungry, so I’m hoping that I’m stabilising again.

What I’ve learned:

  • If you are going to stay with friends or family, you need to educate them in advance.  Telling them you are sugar-free is not enough.  You need to explain the ins and outs of the withdrawal process – what fructose does to our bodies, what the health benefits are, that you can only eat a small amount of fruit for now, and no you can’t have greek yoghurt with honey or your favourite brand of tomato sauce.
  • Avoid going away!  At least for the first two or three weeks you are withdrawing, if this is at all possible.  That way you don’t have to feel mean for refusing Great Aunt Ida’s famous strawberry cheesecake.
  • Get back on the wagon as soon as possible.  I’m dreading getting on the scales tomorrow morning.  It’s pretty certain my withdrawal is now set back a bit thanks to that bowl of Eton Mess, but it’s not the end of the world.   I can live fructose-free, I managed to go for almost 3 weeks without it, so there’s no reason I can’t just carry on.
  • Be prepared for dinner parties and special occasions while you are withdrawing, otherwise your progress may stall like mine did.  Offer to bring dessert.  For D’s birthday bash, I am making sure that there are plenty of savoury treats that I can have.
  • Be kind to yourself.  Sometimes you just have to eat what’s put in front of you.