I am a huge fan of Australian media personality and blogger Sarah Wilson. Her posts are insightful, thought provoking, moving and inspiring. To me, Sarah’s word is gospel! When she jumped on the no sugar bandwagon, as many people currently have, I was there.
In 2012, Sarah released an 8-week “I Quit Sugar” program that guides its reader through eight simple weeks of cutting back on and eventually removing all sugar from your diet.
The thing I like most about Sarah’s program is that she takes a slow, considered approach to cutting back. She doesn’t rant about cutting sugar cold turkey. She doesn’t dictate how many calories to eat and when. It is not preachy, it is simply gentle. She uses it as an experiment – to see how your body reacts when you remove the white stuff from your diet.
Secondly, Sarah’s book is an educational tool. It provides tips and tricks for avoiding sugar and includes ingredients to stock up on when out grocery shopping. She even provides alternative food suggestions for when you’re craving something sweet. It’s easy to follow and best of all, it makes sense.
I followed the 8-week program to a tee and felt amazing afterwards. Eating a piece of fruit for the first time after a long while certainly opened my eyes to how sweet it is. It changed my taste buds, and for the better.
Sarah has since followed up with an I Quit Sugar cookbook, which contains
dozens of her favourite no-sugar recipes including breakfast ideas, main meals,
desserts and even things that children would stomach and enjoy. As with the
8-week program, the recipes aren’t difficult to follow and they don’t require a
thousand ingredients. Although some staple ingredients can be difficult to find
at times, once they’re in your pantry, they will be used over and over again.
So what did quitting sugar do to me? First of all, it completely changed my taste buds. Going without fruit for 8 weeks can be challenging (not to mention going without chocolate!) but the first time I bit into a pear, it felt like my mouth was burning. It was so sweet and intense that it tasted like a lolly. Secondly, it re-set my cravings. I no longer salivate at the thought of desserts and gelati. I used to be the biggest sweet tooth around but these days I much prefer the thought of an amazing cheese platter to finish my meal than a bowl of ice cream or a sticky cake. Thirdly, I don't feel as hungry and don't reach for the sweet stuff as a pick-me-up. I eat more fat (loads of nuts, avocados, even the fat on meat) and feel completely satiated for hours afterwards. I don't feel as though I am missing out on anything and in fact feel I have way more control over what and when I eat. All in all, it has made my life a lot easier.
Of course I haven't completely ruled the stuff out of my life. I still indulge in the occasional chocolate or treat, but within reason. I only ever eat treats I enjoy, instead of wasting empty calories on desserts and cakes I don't like. I am so much more at peace with my food choices now as a result.
If you do anything health-wise for yourself this year, I highly recommend cutting sugar out of your diet. With Sarah Wilson’s program and cookbook to guide you along the way, you can’t go wrong.
You can buy Sarah's book from her website at www.sarahwilson.com.au