You know what has sugar in it? Everything. And I'm barely exaggerating.
Chicken stock, sugar. Gourmet high cocoa content chocolate bars, sugar. Hot sauce, sugar. Rice noodles, sugar. Sausages, sugar. Soy milk, sugar.
I knew this was going to hard but I wasn't expecting this level of frustration before the project had officially begun. The fella and I spent seeming eternities in each aisle trying to find things that were free of sugar and all other sweeteners. Seems we are going to have to start making even more things from scratch than we already had been.
Adding to the frustration were the odd ingredients neither of us had ever used before and were having a hard time locating but were major flavors in the recipes we had found to cook this week. Celery root and endive weren't exactly sitting out in the open waiting to be snatched up. It was an adventure.
We've also stopped eating meat and dairy products with hormones and preservatives added to them which means a huge added cost and a trip to Whole Foods in addition to the regular locally owned warehouse grocery store. The dairy and meat alone cost almost as much as a full produce heavy grocery run. As the fella said as we looked at each other exhausted from nearly two hours of dread inducing shopping, “This is not going to be a cheap diet.” I had to keep reminding myself that keeping him alive for a long long time was worth all this cost and effort. Diabetes is a serious issue and taking care of it isn't going to be easy.
The finally eating restriction in the endless puzzle called “can I eat this?” was the fact I stopped eating any and all preservatives over a year ago in an effort to improve what seemed to be a food allergy. Eating whole unprocessed foods made me feel a thousand times better so I'm sticking to that. However it did add a final layer of impossibility to selecting food. If it was sugar free it seemed to have a lurking sulfate or nitrate and many of the preservative free foods we had come to know as safe over the last year had sugar hiding in them.
My mood was improved upon coming home and pulling it all on the counter; fruit, vegetables, and the free range meat. It was a beautiful site. I'm excited about cooking new foods with ingredients I've never tasted before, from a cuisine I know so little about. It feels good to be proactive with our health instead of waiting for it to become a problem. And in a time when so many others are struggling to pay the rent I felt very fortunate to have the means to buy such luxurious food and someone so special to me to go on this journey with.