Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My life without Aspartame

So many people in my life, especially my family, become passsionate about something. I did too, about breasfeeding (but haven't written much about it here). And now my new passion is: avoiding aspartame (Nutra Sweet, tm).

I quit aspartame in early May, just about the time I got pregnant. Alas, I lost that baby, but as a frequent miscarrier (I'll save that for another blog) I wasn't in terrible shape about it. I quit because I knew, deep down, that aspartame was probably not a good idea for me. I had a stock of Diet Dr Pepper (no mean feat because I have to order it from the UK) and decided that if I didn't like quitting, I could always go back.

Well, I liked quitting. I found that my eyesight problems diminished, and I all but lost my tendancy for headaches, regardless of the time in my cycle. After 3 days, I didn't want to go back. So that was quite a victory. I lost 2 kilos in the ten days following my quitting (which I gained back with the baby and have subsequently lost... sigh...). And I quit having cravings for food, so I cut back, naturally on food.

I didn't continue to lose weight, so I decided to attack things a bit more aggressively. This is easy to do in France because weight loss and looking good are incredible big business here. So I signed up for a series of massages, saunas and a diet (high protein... another thing I never thought I'd do!). So far, I have lost (again) nearly 2 kilos. I think these are my expendable kilos so I'll probably keep those off but not get smaller.

But all this brings me back to the aspartame. In looking for more natural protein supplements, low in carbs, I found it nearly impossible to find one without artificial sweetners (read aspartame, acesulfamine K, etc). I found one! And it was pretty low in carbs too! But... it was based on mostly soy protein. Sigh. I know soy protein isn't good for a woman who wants another baby (there is lots of controversy on how soy can affect a woman's hormonal balance... whether you believe it or not, I am not taking any risks). So the search was on for another protein powder, this time with low carbs AND no artificial sweetners AND one I could get in the EC.

I found one (Natural Whey by Reflex), but it wasn't easy. Who knows if I'll like it. I may have to hide it in some serious stuff to make it stay down. I liked my Spiru-tein, too bad that.

So after quitting aspartame, and starting a high protein low carb induction phase (only 9 more days to go)... what have I learned? That I have the potential for more energy than I ever thought possible. Who'd have thought that those Atkins nuts (I say that in the nicest possible way) were right about increasing protein and decreasing bad carbs. I don't feel hungry. I have lost weight (no doubt some water weight there, but it is water weight I don't need).

My next phase is going to be low GI, but with an emphasis on good carbs (thankfully, I love fruit... and I miss it right now...). Watch this space because I might continue to proselytize about all this weight stuff too, not just breastfeeding, birth and aspartame.

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