I Did Something From “The BIG List”

Despite being very tired (and getting a surprise diagnosis of gestational diabetes – these two things may be related!) I have done something from the BIG LIST.


Daffodils from our orchard.

It wasn’t something big – but I’ll take any wins I can get right now.

I finally made some more Vanilla Extract.  It won’t be ready for 3-6 months which is bad timing on my part.  I think I have maybe a tablespoon of the last batch left although it’s taken us about a year to get through 750ml at a cost of £10.  Which is really good!


Very young and very almost-all-gone Vanilla Extract.

Only now I have to wait to use my new stuff and it would be really useful now I’m off the Sugar (refined sugar – nothing else seems to be affecting me at the moment). Actually I’m grateful that we cook so much from scratch.  It has made my GD diet very easy because I don’t eat any hidden sugar; the sugar I DO eat is absolutely upfront about where it is.

Although the Zero Waste Chef is my usual go-to-person for DIY foods and she has a vanilla recipe here – I actually took my instructions from Mommy Emu for this one.

Funny thing about diagnosis… I had been toying with giving up refined sugar for ages.  I’ve read so many articles, books and reports about (refined) sugar and I know how rubbish it makes me feel. But to be honest I just didn’t think I could give it up – it feels ubiquitous and I fight a daily internal battle on how much to give to R. I don’t want him to feel left out (and goodness knows we are already skating on thin ice as embarrassing counter-cultural parents) but I don’t want to pump him full of something which makes me uncomfortable.

So I’ve had a useful push me to doing something I was thinking I should do anyway.

However the annoying timing of this (aka Easter) is not lost on me.

P.S. I also realised that I ticked a second item off my list – taking some items to the local dump/recycling centre which are genuinely beyond repair.  But there were no good photos of that (you’ll be surprised to hear.)



2 thoughts on “I Did Something From “The BIG List”

  1. LizzieL

    Hello – I’m a fairly new reader of your blog. This post re sugar was interesting to me, as I have been thinking about how it would be good for me to give up refined sugar – again. I did it once many years ago for about 2 months, in order to see if I could get rid of the thrush I had at the time, without resorting to prescribed anti-fungals (again – I’d had thrush several times before). It did go away, although I also took some probiotics and something else as well (can’t remember what). I didn’t find it that hard to avoid sugar – it just mainly meant having no cake or biscuits or chocolate, which we didn’t have lot of in our diet anyway. I also had another period quite a long time after that of only having refined sugar for rare “treats”, due to having very little money and simply not being able to afford to waste money on sugary things like cake and biscuits and chocolate. On both occasions I felt much better, and that’s why I want to do it again. When I gave it up because of the thrush, it was coming up to Christmas…….. and yes, as soon as I ate sugary things again during this period the thrush came back. And then I gave in and did resort to the prescribed anti-fungals.

    So your post has inspired me to have another go! And I very much hope that you continue to be counter-cultural parents! Speaking as a mother of four and now new grandmother, I always tried to give our children a good diet and to teach them about their food, and in other ways was perhaps counter-cultural too, but it’s very hard in the face of opposition (often from your own children) but I often wish now that I had had the guts to be even more so!!! One daughter did not want to invite her friends to tea because she was embarrassed about the fact that we always had brown bread!

    So stick with it!!

    1. Becky A Post author

      Hi LizzieL

      Thanks for the comment – I’ve only recently resurrected the blog so you’ve got great timing 🙂

      I really hope that giving up sugar works out for you. It sounds like it is causing you health problems. I plan to be refined sugar free from now until I give birth (since I’m already a week in and not finding it too much of a struggle) after that I’m not sure. I like the idea of giving it up permanently barring the occasional treat once in a while but a couple of things are concerning me. Firstly making preserves, cakes and puddings is something I love to do and I would be sad to give it up. But it would feel weird making all that stuff and then not eating it myself. Secondly I think that an occasional treat would creep to a regular treat and I’d be back to square one. But there is no sense borrowing trouble from tomorrow. So I shan’t swell on it further.

      In this day and age of climate change awareness it saddens me that Raffi will probably think his parents are cranks. Mending clothes, cooking from scratch, buying things second hand was normal when I was a child and now that is seen as counter cultural because of the messages to ‘consume’ at all costs we are now bombarded with.

      Thanks for the support anyway – R is raised on homemade wholemeal bread and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon 🙂


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