A good tip for alcohol-free days and staying sugar-free while on holiday

Ah, the pros and cons of trying a different dietary lifestyle while on holiday… On the plus side, you’re not at home being taunted by a pantry and fridge full of temptation. On the downside, holiday destinations are jam-packed with luring treats. We’re on Victoria’s surf coast, staying at the township of Lorne – an idyllic spot nestled among mountainous hinterland encompassing Erskine Falls and the Great Ocean Road, about two hours out of Melbourne.

Lorne beach today

Lorne beach today

Like most holiday spots, Lorne is also over-flowing with enticements, begging me to abandon this crazy, sugar-free mission. There’s al fresco dining along the main shopping strip, quirky cafes, humming beach kiosks and even the pumping local pub screaming at me to sample their wares. And let’s not even TALK about the ice-cream parlours.

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea in Sydney last year


That was always a regular family treat on a hot day – an afternoon cone with two gourmet scoops. Or what about a splash-out afternoon tea where we all get a different piece of cake smothered in whipped cream and share? Not this week, sunshine.



Although last night I relented when Tom pleaded for a tub of Ben and Jerry’s chocolate ice-cream so he could feast away while we watched a DVD at home. Of course, on my sugar-free challenge, I went without.

Drinking alcohol has also definitely been a regular part of enjoying our holiday experience. It’s an indulgence – part of relaxing and having fun with friends. With no work to prepare for the next day, why not have fun? But my sugar-free goal is to have at least three alcohol-free days a week. Last night was one. Here’s my tip to make those nights when you feel like a drink, a tad more bearable while still remaining sugar-free.

Licorice Legs Tea from T2

Licorice Legs Tea from T2

The idea is to think of SPECIAL TEA as a specialty drink!!! (sorry, corny…) Okay, it might take a bit of self-convincing but it can be done. First of all, you buy the tea from one of those trendy tea shops where everything is packaged beautifully and comes in pretty boxes with fancy names. The best sugar substitute tea is LIQUORICE TEA. Some say it also works as an appetite suppressant. I love it because it tastes sweet and fulfils my sugar craving without making a sinner of me.


Another tip – it’s best to make a pot so you can refill your mug several times while watching something on the tele. That will fill you up too!

Today was Day Three of the ONE LINE RULE diet and here’s how it’s gone so far:

Breakfast – like yesterday, The Muesli, with 1/2 cup of Pura Lite Start Millk (5% sugar) and two dollops of Gippsland Dairy natural organic yoghurt and a dozen blueberries. I piece of toast with Vegemite. (which was probably a bit much but I was starving!)

Snack – Handful of raw pistachio nuts. Another handful of blueberries to complete my fruit quota for the day.

Lunch – Half a Mediterranean roasted vegetable Baguette. I checked the sugar content of roasted Mediterranean vegetables on the web and generally they’re about 4.6% sugar so I think I’m in the clear there. And the baguette is 1.6% sugar, so all good.

Snack – 1 Cafe Latte with Equal sweetener.


Dinner is yet to come. I’m thinking it will be another alcohol free day as they’re usually easier early on in the week, but we will see… I’ll report in tomorrow.



Sugar-free food update – a surprise revelation!

DAY TWO of the sugar-free ONE LINE RULE diet, and I’m doing okay. Just to recap, if you’re not up to speed with this challenge – the idea is to only eat food that contains less than 5 % sugar. So it means checking the nutrition labels on all food packaging and only eating that which meets the criteria. Once you start checking the labels on processed foods, you’ll be amazed at how much sugar is out there!

Here’s how today panned out, including one very surprising revelation!

Uncle Toby's Antioxidant cereal

Uncle Toby’s Antioxidant cereal


Breakfast: The Muesli (97% sugar free) with half a cup of skim milk, two dollops of Gippsland Organic Natural Yoghurt and a dozen fresh raspberries. I’m allowed one serving of fresh fruit per day, so my raspberry intake was equivalent to half a piece of fruit.

Sadly, I can no longer enjoy my favoured Uncle Toby’s Anti-Oxidant cereal as it’s packed with TWENTY-TWO per cent sugar!!!

Morning Snack – Handful of raw pistachio nuts


Drive down to Lorne – I did well, drinking only water and keeping the mouth busy with sugar-free gum. We stopped along the way for Tom to buy a home-made bakery meat pie. I resisted, but the mouth-watering aroma in the car as we continued along our way had me breaking out in a cold sweat. Now I might have been able to eat that meat pie, but the bakery staff couldn’t assure me of the sugar content, so sorry, that means the pie gets a big fat cross. Who knows what sugar content was in the pastry or the sauce? Unlikely to be more than five per cent, but you never know…

Sambel Olek

Sambel Olek


I waited till we unpacked and then had a can of tuna – and you must buy SIrena – so much nicer than other brands (I usually opt for the basil infused flavour) – and a couple of Cruskits.(3.4% sugar)  In the past, I’ve also added a dollop of my favourite Sweet Chilli sauce, but after discovering it’s full of more than FORTY PER CENT sugar, I’ve had to find an alternative. And here it is! Sambel Olek is fantastic for those of us who love a bit of spice in our food – a great chilli flavour and ZERO sugar content – YIPPEE!!!



Afternoon tea – half a cup of blueberries

Dinner – Now we’re on holidays in Lorne, it’s going to be tricky to stick to the three alcohol-free days a week rule, but I’m going to give it a shot. Tom and I had dinner at Kosta’s Greek restaurant in Lorne tonight and the food was sensational. My grilled barramundi was top class and Tom’s lamb souvlaki was superb. Guess what I drank? WATER!!! Yes, water – can you believe that? Damn, a chardonnay would have been great with the fish, but I did it…

Kostas Restaurant - Lorne

Kostas Restaurant – Lorne

My surprise revelation today came from two readers who commented on yesterday’s blog (thank you ladies!) who reminded me to check the sugar content of the milk I use.

MILK? Are you kidding?

Seriously, I must be dumb but I’d never even considered milk having ANY sugar content – but yep, you check out your brand. Some low-fat varieties are actually MORE THAN five per cent sugar!! Thankfully our brand is spot on five per cent, so I could breathe a sigh of relief, but it’s definitely a fact worth taking on board for those of you who are also keen to stick to the ONE LINE RULE.

Milk – who’d have thought ???