Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Simple pleasures

When I quit drinking 58 days ago, I didn't realise that it would have ramifications on pretty much every aspect of my life.

One thing that has totally changed is my relationship with breakfast.

Back in the smoking-like-a-chimney and drinking-like-a-fish years which characterised my twenties, my standard breakfast was two or three Marlboro Lights and a jug of strong coffee, accompanied by a hacking cough. Nice.

Then I gave up smoking, ramped up the drinking, and rediscovered a love of food. I gained at least a stone (that's fourteen pounds to you Americans, and about 7 kilos for the continentals).

For the last few years my standard breakfast has been a boiled egg with toast (how British is that?). Pretty healthy. A good start to the day. But I was never terribly excited by it. Apart from anything else, it's hard to be enthusiastic about anything much with a constant low level hangover.

But now, not only do I wake up feeling perky, I wake up ravenously hungry. If you think about it, BS (before sober) I would consume, on top of my supper, a bottle of wine containing at least 500 calories. Then, having drowned out any willpower, I'd probably have raided the children's snack drawer for kit kats. No wonder I wasn't hungry at breakfast time!

Oddly, my favourite breakfast of old - the egg - is no longer at all appealing. It's just not sweet enough. Many of us crave sugar when we quit - apparently it has a similar effect on the dopamine (happy hormone) levels as alcohol. Alcohol is, after all, another form of sugar and grain, just in liquid form. It's very common for alcoholics to use sugar as a coping mechanism in the same way as they used alcohol. Oh God, will it never end?

So now I find that the best way to keep the sugar cravings at bay is to have a 'healthy' sugar hit at the beginning of the day. Move on you boring old oeuf, and hello 'SoberMummy's Sunrise Suprise' (the suprise being OMG no hangover!).

How to make 'SoberMummy's Sunrise Suprise':

Take 3 big spoons of plain Greek yoghurt. Throw in a handful of fresh berries (I like raspberries and blackberries best), and sprinkle with a really good quality granola.

(Note: for those children of the 1970s (like myself), do not confuse granola with that horrible, dusty muesli that our mothers tried (in vain) to get us to eat instead of Golden Nuggets or Coco Pops. Granola is way more yummy. And crunchy).

This breakfast is my new addiction. All the major food groups represented: good fats, low GI carbs, fibre, calcium, omega acids and vitamins. And it's seriously yummy.

Now I know why they say breakfast is the best meal of the day.

Huge congrats to Kags, one of my first readers, who made day 50 yesterday. She has a really sweet tooth, so this post was in her honour.

Love SM x


  1. mmmm. sounds lovely.
    I love big bits of granola all stuck together.
    Too sweet a tooth too.

  2. Well, I can relate to so much of that too. I am eating a regular breakfast for the first time in years without that horrible sick feeling, and guess what it is? Yep, it is that dusty old Museli, Swiss Alpen actually with milk and soft brown sugar. I just love it!! x

    1. Aaargghhh! Rabbit food! Gives me heebie jeebies just thinking about it ;-)

  3. My taste for breakfast has also changed. No more alka seltzer and Advil.

    I'm not sure where you got that stat about wine, but it is wrong. Unless you were drinking dessert wine white wine actually is pretty low in sugar and red is even lower.

    A bottle of white has about 20 g of carbs (sugar). It is actually very low in sugar.

    I used to be on an extreme low carb diet for years. Wine fit into it fine.

    Beer, mixed sweet drinks, etc. are different. Buy wine was not a source of sugar for us wine drinkers.

    The alcohol did provide quick energy, however. Maybe we ar looking for that from simple sugars.


    1. Hi Anne - Thanks for your comment - I got the sugar figure from a website, but have checked several others and you are quite right. It's actually less than 2 spoons of sugar! I'm going to correct it. Thanks again. x

  4. Not only am I a child of the 70s but I am a victim of my mother's home-made muesli!! However, this sounds lovely. I will give it a go. Flossie x

  5. Thanks sm that sounds amazing I'm definitely off to the supermarket for granola tomorrow is there a brand you recommend ? ( my memories of 70s muesli was a brand called country store with disgusting dried raisins in it !!) thanks for the support over the last 51 days I absolutely would not be saying that if I hadn't had this lifeline of lovely people here x here's to the next 50 x

    1. It was a brand I found in Switzerland that gave me the bug. Sadly not sold here. I tried Jordan's but it wasn't so great, so I now buy it from Marks and Spencer. Hugs x

  6. I'm ashamed to this but chocolate spread on toast is my breakfast of choice these days.... (Followed by a run may I add) The old me would of freaked at this. Simple pleasures. I'm going to try your new found recipe SM. Thanks x

  7. Lidl do a good granola. They do a range. My fav is the green box. When does the sugar addiction stop? I haven't lost any weight (its almost been 9 wks now) because of my biscuit and chocolate intake. Grrr x

    1. I don't know! I'm going to read up on the topic! It has to be the lesser of two evils though.....

  8. Dear SM,
    I now eat breakfast, too and wake up hungry!
    Now I have to have breakfast! Funny isn't it?
    I haven't gone nuts on the sugar thing, but I do need to eat something every 4 hours.
    If I don't eat soon enough or only carbs, I get weak!