Forbidden Fruit

31/03/2023 | 0 comments


My daughter came home from school, kicked off her shoes and announced that she was going to cut out refined sugar for a month… hmmm, interesting! 

​I felt this was an excellent ambition and definitely one to be embraced. I decided I should hop on this particular band wagon (far better than getting a tattoo, shaving your head or having a bucket of ice dumped on your head). 

​“I’ll do it with you”, I chimed enthusiastically, and put the chocolate bar back in the cupboard.

my usual cravings…

​I had noticed that my need for sweetness had been reaching unprecedented levels. I would finish eating a meal and immediately crave chocolate. I was almost unable to walk past a bakery without popping in for a sugar-encrusted something and I wondered if I could reset my taste buds. Self-control is not something I’m known for, so I was interested to see how this would pan out.


It was unfortunate that this gauntlet had been thrown down on the Monday before Shrove Tuesday. Our pancake day was different to usual. My son (who had no intention of joining us on our sugar deprivation journey) enjoyed liberal application of treacle to his pancake, topped with extra sugar and the merest hint of lemon juice…just for balance. In fact, over the coming month, his sugar intake probably doubled as he took joy in unwrapping chocolate bars under our noses and licking ice creams in our paths.


​Our pancakes received their toppings of fruit and plain yoghurt in silence. No oohs and aahs or slapping of lips and no pleading for seconds. The month stretched ahead of us.

​Usually when something is forbidden, you crave it more. Tell me I can’t make a noise and I immediately have a desperate urge to shout. Tell me I mustn’t scratch and the itch becomes ferocious. Tell me not to touch the fruit of that particular tree and I am back in the Garden of Eden reaching for that apple.

​But that was ok … apples were allowed.

​And it was fruit that saved me. Knowing that chocolate was a no-no made me look to alternatives. My fruit bowl became my friend. I looked forward to my banana at breakfast and an apple as an afternoon snack. Grapes were suddenly my not-so-guilty pleasure. I stopped opening the snack cupboard when I got a bit bored and opened the fridge instead. Even a cherry tomato was seen disappearing into my mouth when I felt I needed “a little something”.


​My taste buds have definitely been reset but so have my habits. With the ease of the snack cupboard banished from my day, looking for alternatives has proven to be rather wonderful. It takes two minutes longer to peel and chop a carrot than it does to open a bag of doughnuts and the colour and the crunch is beautifully rewarding (it IS…try it!).  


​I am six weeks on and I’m still going strong.  This week sees rhubarb on the shelves and soon we will see our farm shops stocking pears, early raspberries and strawberries and I’m positively excited about all my fruity options. 

​And my daughter? How did she get on?
​She was elbow-deep in the snack cupboard after two days!

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