I Quit Sugar
Yep, it's true! I downloaded the I Quit Sugar eBooks from Sarah Wilson's website back in October last year. I am a huge fan of Sarah Wilson - for those of you who don't know who she is, she was an editor of Australian's women's magazines, and then hosted the first series of Masterchef Australia. She now writes her blog and books about quitting sugar. She is one of those people that are really hard not to like. She comes across on TV as really natural, friendly and passionate. Her blog is addictive - I've been reading it for over a year and is really inspiring. I have found a lot of great things on her blog - how to make cream cheese being the most recent one (watch for a post about that soon).
I had been reading about her I Quit Sugar journey on her blog, and had the initial reaction that most people do - "huh, that's stupid". But I read more and more about it anyway. This was around the time I was thinking about October Unprocessed, and generally eating better. I started playing roller derby with Glasgow Roller Derby and was really taken with the idea of being fit and strong but most of all, healthy. I don't talk about it on this blog, but I also have Crohn's Disease which has caused me a lot of health problems over the last 10 years.
I had quit sugar before - I used to be hugely addicted to coca-cola (think 2-3 litres per day) and went cold turkey. This ended up making me quite sick, I think my body couldn't handle the shock. It was pretty scary! I used to wake up in the morning and feel like I really, really needed a coke. I hated that feeling of being addicted to something I knew wasn't good for me.
I started the I Quit Sugar programme in October 2012. Sarah takes a quite gentle approach - it's not cold turkey, it's being aware of the sugar you're consuming. Over the 8 weeks you follow the programme, up your intake of good fats (avocado, full fat dairy, bacon, animal fats etc) and gradually cut out all sugar. Including fruit. This was the part I found hard to reconcile, but it isn't forever. It's a short term thing, and then you can reintroduce fruit. I now eat a couple of pieces of fruit a day - 1/2 a banana and a kiwi fruit, or berries, for example.
I found it really easy. Probably one of the easiest things I've ever done. We were at the stage we didn't eat a whole heap of processed food anyway, so it was just a matter of checking anything with a label for the sugar content. I would happily eat anything with under 6 grams of sugar per 100 grams. Anything over that, I'd have a think about it. Did I really want it? Was it going to be good for me? Probably not. And I'd find something else to eat.
Of course there were days I had sugar. You can see this just from reading this blog! I ate cheesecake, I ate dessert while I was out, I had cocktails etc. All of that is ok. Because I was conscious of doing it, and noted how my body felt afterwards. I am perfectly ok with eating some sugar now - for example, sharing a dessert when I'm out. But that is a rare occasion. Generally, in the house on a day to day basis I have barely any sugar. And I feel really good for it.
I wanted to share this post, even though it was hard to write. I think quitting sugar is a good thing. It definitely isn't doing you any good! And if you read the news, it seems like a lot of people are getting on board with the idea that it isn't fat that is what is causing people to put on weight, it's actually sugar. This article from the Guardian is really good, and there are many more.
I'm going to post again this week with some examples of the kinds of things you can make from the IQS book (you'll need to buy it for the recipes though!) and I'll also blog some IQS recipes of my own! There is a great IQS community out there, you can find a lot of posts on instagram for example using the #IQS hashtag. If you have any questions about IQS, why don't you let me know?