Prompted by nobody, a little over a month ago, I consciously decided to start limiting my sugar intake for the rest of my life on Earth (Who knows how long that may be? I guess nobody). I started by reducing how much sugar I put in my cup of tea or coffee.
For as long as I can remember, my cup of tea/coffee has always had two teaspoons of sugar. Occasionally, two and a half teaspoons of sugar. I grew up in what was then generally considered a sugar belt – Western Kenya. So, there’s that. But it’s also entirely possible that I have a sweet tooth lodged somewhere in my buccal cavity.
Anyway, about a month or so ago, I reduced that amount to one teaspoon per cup of tea/coffee. Then yesterday, I had a cup of coffee without sugar. Ealier today I had a cup of tea without sugar. In short, my sugarless tea/coffee journey is off to a good start.
Growing up in Kochogo village, tea without sugar was referred to as dubia and was a sign of economic deprivation. Because for the most part, only folks who couldn’t afford sugar had their tea without sugar. Although at one point in the 1990s artificial sugar shortage (mainly attributed to hoarding and price speculation) led most people in Kochogo – just like their other Kenyan counterparts – to drink dubia not because of poverty, but because of market forces beyond their reach.
So, why have I taken to drinking dubia in this day and age. Economic hardship? Frugality? Not really.
I’m in that stage of life where personal health (much like personal finance) occupies a significant part of my daily thoughts. Don’t know if this is a common middle age phenomenon, but here I am. Anyway, back to the main reason for writing this post.
During this period I have made two interesting anecdotal observations worth sharing with those who may be contemplating a similar change in their lives as follows.
(1) Sugar is addictive. So, you are likely to have withdrawal syndrome the way I did. I specifically struggled with limiting sugar to one teaspoon per cup often having to consciously fend off strong psychological push to add more sugar in my tea/coffee. Therefore, be prepared for a certain degree of withdrawal syndrome. Hopefully when you experience withdrawal syndrome, your resolve to bring change to your life triumphs over the intrinsic and strong desire for continuity.
(2) Contrary to popular belief, one can actually drink coffee/tea without sugar and enjoy it. From my personal experience, preference for sugared tea/coffee over sugarless tea/coffee seems to be more of a psychological thing than anything else. That said, I have to note here that I do add milk to my cup of tea or coffee without sugar.
Obviously, I still have numerous other sources of sugar, which I am working towards limiting albeit gradually. My resolve is limitation of sugar intake not elimination of sugar intake. I am convicted that doing this will have a positive effect on my personal health. Wish me luck.
Thoughts/comments are welcome. Thank you.