I subscribe to a very healthy way of eating. Since embarking on Sarah Wilsons I Quit Sugar program in 2011, I have cut processed sugar and other junk out of my diet completely. In the last few months, I have also given away dairy products, not because I like restricting food groups from my diet but because I have found that eating a diet free of dairy products has substantially eased my digestive issues, my skin troubles (if they arise) and generally makes me feel more healthy, less sluggish and better all round.
While I subscribe to this way of eating 99.9% of the time, very occasionally I make the deliberate decision to deviate from this path and to indulge in a treat I wouldn’t ordinarily eat. I have a summer head cold at the moment and my throat is as dry as the Sahara. With the warm weather and a sore throat, last night my irrational mind led me to believe that these were the perfect conditions in which I should eat gelato. Off to Eately I went, with my boyfriend, ready to experience the delight of the frozen dessert slide down my sore, dry throat.
I didn’t have to venture further than the first small taste of my chocolate and coconut gelato to remember the exact reason why I had given up these delicacies in the first place – the confectionary was so sweet, it was sickening. I almost threw it in the bin right then and there, despite its exorbitant cost and time it had taken to walk there. I was determined to press on, feeling as though I had ‘earned’ this treat. Each mouthful was like a sugar injection direct to my brain. My body was zinging with an unnatural level of energy. I was back on that rollercoaster and, while I was at that moment riding high, I knew the inevitable crash would shortly follow.
The ridiculous sweetness wasn’t the last of it though. The gelato was the first dairy I had eaten in months. My stomach groaned under the weight of the Italian dessert. It disagreed with every turn, even as I forced more into my mouth. Finally, the poor thing gave up and publicly displayed its objection – it blew out into the size of a balloon. Yes, my bloating was back. Big time. As was the gurgling, dissatisfied feeling that grumbled away inside of me all night.
Walking home, I reflected on this. Initially I was angry – how had I let myself be this stupid? I was well aware of what would happen. But after a while, I began to view the experience in a different light. It had served as a very important reminder as to the reason I no longer ate foods like this. It reinforced to me that I had been right in saying no to dessert each time while dining out with friends in restaurants. It let me know that I hadn’t been missing out all those times, when friends and family members gorged themselves on what looked like delicious icy treat on hot days. In the end, I was almost glad for the experience. It had served a powerful reminder.