Emmabelle Blogs

Emma's thoughts

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My secret late night helpers in quitting sugar

It’s a lovely moment every night. One baby tucked up in bed (I say baby but he’s actually two) and the youngest snuggled up on my, or my husband’s lap. The day is over and it’s time to unwind.

At this point it would be really tempting to reach for chocolate or ice cream. But I’m being very serious about cutting out sugar. So for about two years now - since just after my eldest was born I’ve been enjoying cocoa without sugar.

Everyone should try it. Milk contains lactose which is slightly sweet. Cocoa tastes delicious (and makes us happy) and we’re programmed to associate sugar with indulgent sugariness.

I really think this simple drink has quashed my cravings. Just cocoa (I did use cacao for a while but for now I’m just using cocoa powder) and milk whisked up (usually by my lovely husband) and heated in the microwave.


I’ve also recently discovered another more decadent treat for the odd night when I fancy something fancier - recipe to follow.

Filed under iqs iquitsugar Sugarfree

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Over a week on this sugar free lark…

I’ll post about other stuff too - I promise. But I’m proud to be over a week sugar free. Not just refined sugar but “healthy” sugars too. So no dried fruit (apart from 3 dates a week ago), no honey, no juice. And it’s all good. I’m not chewing my arms off. There’s chocolate in the house but I’ve not touched it. I’ve been out. I’ve been offered cake. And ice cream. But, knowing how bad sugar could be for me is putting me right off it!

I’ve been following Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar program. She explains everything so well and the cookbooks are amazing. Her passion for simple living also means the recipes are straightforward and low waste.

I’ve got a total girl crush on Sarah I really want to be her when I grow up. So many of the things she’s been investigating and writing about are familiar to me (like traditional nutrition and Weston A Price) and we seem to have very similar approaches.

Why am I doing this? To be healthier. Living with a chronic illness is tough. My particular illness: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) manifests itself throughout the body. Not in everyone who has the condition. But in some of us it can be very hard. Not everyone who has EDS is badly affected but it can cause serious problems. I’ve been worse lately so am trying my best to stop it getting any worse.

And fructose is rubbish news for collagen. And most sugar is fructose. So I’m on a low fructose diet. There are also a host of other benefits. I’m looking forward to experiencing more of them over the next few weeks and months.

For now I’m just proud of myself for managing over a week. In another post I’ll let you know my secret helper for going sugar free.

Filed under ehlers danlos syndrome ehlers-danlos EDS i quit sugar iqs nourishing traditions weston a price sarah wilson

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3 days and going well

It’s been 3 days since my last sugar fix and I’m feeling quite pleased with myself. My only glitch was eating a couple of dates. I’ve been trying to be very low fructose as well as refined sugar free. My body doesn’t care if my sugar is from dried fruit or jelly babies it will still have many of the same bad effects.
Anyway, I won’t beat myself up over a couple of dates.  Otherwise, it’s been pleasantly straightforward.  Just not eating sugar.

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Controversial opinion: I disapprove of Orange is the New Black

I’m meant to love Orange is the New Black (OITNB). I’m spot on for the demographic. I should be binge-watching it on Netflix.

I watched the first few episodes and found it engaging, entertaining and moving. But the show makes me really uncomfortable.

Let me try and explain why.

Prisons are a necessary evil in a civilized society where some people will need to be incarcerated - either to protect others or as part of punishment and, hopefully, rehabilitation.

But prisons are horrible. They are often horrendous places to be. American women’s prisons are nasty.

I know some people like to say that OITNB explores these issues but the show’s compassionate treatment of them is my problem.

Essentially, OITNB is a TV show and, by it’s nature, it can never show the true and appalling conditions in women’s prisons. The same goes for other shows like Wentworth, Bad Girls and Porridge. I’m giving Oz a pass as I think that did show how horrifying prisons can be - even if the special Emerald City/M Wing was a bit of a fantasy.

Fans of the show say OITNB does try to show the realities and surely that’s better than nothing. So why does it matter?

Because it’s not bad enough. People see shows like OITNB and think they understand. But they don’t. And if people believe prison is like the sanitised version they see on TV they are less likely to be motivated to campaign for the much needed reform.

Enjoy OITNB. But, if you can, try and educate yourself about what women’s prisons are really like.

And enjoy John Oliver on prisons.

Filed under women oitnb orange is the new black penal reform prison prison reform

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Quitting sugar (again)

My last attempt at totally quitting sugar was foiled by pregnancy. My digestive system didn’t take too kindly to the hormones so I was advised to eat what I could. And thanks to going into ketosis (essentially starvation mode) I was told to eat sugar.

All my hard work quitting sugar went to waste!

But now I really need to get back to being sugar free. As before I’m using Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar as my sugar-free guru. And I’m sticking to gluten free as well.

Although everyone can benefit from cutting down on sugar this is mostly down to my plan to do everything possible to slow down the progress of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

So, I’m going to be tracking my progress here. Not just the sugar but my bodywork, relaxation and (hopefully) my progress.

Filed under diet Sugarfree iquitsugar ehlers danlos syndrome glutenfree