Lollipops and NO SUGAR! #613

Daily painting #613 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

Lollipop ....remnants of a kitchen clean up! 
At the beginning of the month I decided to put my passion for 'Paintings in the post' on hold and completely submerge my full attention into a bit of 'Kindness in the kitchen' instead, which is why you haven't heard from me in a while (hope you missed me... ha!). I deserted my paintbrushes and closed my studio door. If you will bare with me I will tell you why...

At birth my daughter developed a lung infection and was given only 24 hours to survive. Thanks to a much prayed for miracle, she is still with us today and is a beautiful 12 year old! However over the years she has often needed cortisone treatment to open her lungs. Cortisone (I have recently found out) can play havoc with your blood sugar and insulin levels over time and after blood tests we discovered that Amy's insulin levels were way too high and she was probably on the road to diabetes! My grandfather was a serious diabetic and I have so many childhood memories of him in and out of hospital, wounds that wouldn't heal, amputations and the constant fight with him over what he should or shouldn't be eating. It scared me to relive those memories! I tried hard to cut out as much sugar as I could from Amy's diet but after a week of reading food labels and being conscious of sugar (and all the hidden names it goes by), I began to realize that although I love to cook and we eat what I would call a healthy diet, sugar is in EVERTHING...and it is frightening just how much hidden sugar we consume (and I am not talking about sweets, biscuits (cookies), cakes or treats!). When my children are putting tomato sauce(ketchup) on their egg  at breakfast, they can be putting up to 3 teaspoons of sugar just on their egg! ALARMING if one wants to cut out sugar.....and I felt overwhelmed!

I realized a few things VERY fast.... 
  • I love to cook, but clearly needed to change some things in my kitchen. 
  • This type of eating would benefit my whole family not just Amy. 
  • I needed to familiarize myself with new ingredients (many of them I had never heard of before) 
  • I needed to have a big kitchen clean-up to get rid of all the sugar laden products sitting in my grocery cupboard and fridge (many of them I had never realized contained so much sugar)
  • trying to eat as sugar free as possible depended on ME....MOM...WIFE...COOK...it all started with the food that I bought and prepared for my family and I really needed to educate them
  • And lastly if I was ever going to survive and make this happen I had to have some reliable recipes and regulars under my belt so that this did not all seem too daunting( I was feeling overwhelmed to say the least)
So before I could educate my family or do any of the above, I had to educate myself and I had to do it fast...with nothing to distract me. I reluctantly closed my studio door and focussed on bringing some sugar free kindness into my kitchen instead of paintings in the post. For the first few days I felt resentful and desperate to paint, but cooking has always been another creative outlet for me...if you follow Paintings in the post you will know that what is in my kitchen will often end up on my canvas!
I soon settled into testing new recipes, finding awesome blogs and web pages to follow and educating myself on how this was going to be a sustainable way of living. My family were bombarded with new things to try and taste and maybe I will eventually share a few recipes with you. I am finally finding the confidence to 'play' with new ingredients and making up my own sugar free interesting meals. I cannot stress enough the changes we have all noticed from sleeping better, improved energy, clear glowing skin, weight loss and just generally feeling so much better! Lollipops, like the one above, are definitely not going to be in my treat box any more!

Each day I am learning new things and I am so grateful I took time out to do this. I knew it was the only way our lifestyle was going to change. The irony is that when I returned to my studio this weekend to dust, clean up and gather myself again....I was TERRIFIED to paint! Doing a little painting everyday has really been such a beneficial studio practice and here I was terrified to pick up that brush. But as soon as I squeezed out the paint, my senses prickled and 40 minutes later....I had a little daily painting, painting #613. I guess much of life is about the habits we form, be it at work, in the studio, in our kitchens or just in our daily approach to life in general! 

It's good to be back!

My Beautiful Amy Rebecca.....love this girl!

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  1. Whoa ... good for you Heidi. I've been trying to do this for years (avoid the "hidden" sugar in the country that invented the stuff) and it's so much harder than it should be! An Aussie guy recently made a film about this exact problem - the hidden sugar in so-called "healthy" foods. Not sweets. Not cake. All the other stuff. I haven't seen it yet, but the preview alone is interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uaWekLrilY

    1. "That sugar movie" is brilliant and you must try to see it.....it really solidified so much info that I had been reading about and made me even more determined to try make this a lifestyle change.

  2. Way to go, Heidi. I also need to do this. xx

  3. Go Di!!! It all really seems quite daunting at first and its really easy to give in but if you persevere and find some good "go to" meals when things are hectic then it soon becomes more habit and less chore....clear your cupboard and stock your fridge! More fresh and no processed....best advice for change....good luck x


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