When Natalie's suggestion of NoSugarVember popped up on Twitter, I was already four weeks into a no-sugar experiment. In October I had decided to avoid sugar and sweeteners of every kind, including fruit. I had been reading a lot about sugar over the past six months and becoming more and more convinced about the merits of quitting sugar. October had not gone well, though, since I had been sick for two long weeks, spent a week on holiday, and celebrated my birthday. I felt no regret about eating sugar on my birthday, obviously, but the other slip-ups were demotivating.
Discovering #NoSugarVember on Twitter encouraged me to get back to my sugar-free experiment. (I didn't follow Natalie's guidelines exactly since I already had a routine established, however broken. For example, I did not eat any fruit, but did allow myself milk and vegetables such as sweet potatoes and corn, which have some sugar.) It was a month of great success, for the most part.
For my birthday this year I got the most amazing present - a sunrise breakfast with my husband as part of our holiday to Bali, Indoneisa. We were staying at a hotel with beautiful beach frontage, and he arranged for us to have a sunrise breakfast on the last day of our stay. The day before it happened, I found myself wondering, What would be served at an intimate table for two at sunrise?
I like to give small gifts to my colleagues at Christmas. I usually want to thank about 40 or 50 people at work who have contributed to my year - fellow maths teachers, office staff, and friendly colleagues. I'm on a budget, so 40 bottles of wine is ruled out as a gift idea! But handmade gifts are usually reasonably cheap to make. They involve a bit more time, though. And people are grateful for something handmade because they realise that it took time to make.
The more I read about sugar, the more convinced I am that I should give up sugar. So I decided I would during October and November, as an experiment. I wanted to see if I would have more energy and fewer cravings. Don't dismiss the idea of quitting sugar! Read on to find out more.
I recently accompanied a school trip to Yangshuo, a town in an agricultural area of southwest China in the Guangxi province. Together with 48 students and three other staff, I climbed, biked, hiked, and kayaked through the gorgeous rural scenery and walked through bustling, dusty chaos of the town. One highlight for me was a visit to the Qi Xian Feng Peak tea plantation, on a hilltop outside the town. We had a tour, picked tea, and drank tea in the traditional way. I even got to pour the tea for the group!