The I Quit Sugar program: week 7

Today I’m keeping it simple and just giving a bit of an update on things…and answering a few questions ahead of tonight’s webinar (where we can chat in more depth about all things sugar).

advicetosinkinslowly18 The I Quit Sugar program: week 7
Illo by Owen Davey via advice to sink in slowly

So some news and housekeeping

  • The IQS webinar is on tonight, at 6pm. Sign up here. Some of you have requested a later timeslot…duly noted. My next webinar will be at 8pm (date TBC). But remember, you can also access the webinars afterwards, on my Ustream channel. I will also post a link on the IQS facebook page.
  • A quick little giveaway… register for the webinar, and then post a question on the IQS facebook page. (You’ll need to “like” it first). We’ll pick three great questions, and the winners will each receive

a pack of three tins of Aphroditea – Clarity, Vitality and Tranquility worth $66.

You can post a question any time before 6pm.

  • Big news. I’m the keynote speaker at The Conscious Club gathering in Sydney February 22. I talk about Stuff I Learned From Chats with The Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Branson et al, we meditate, chat and then eat food by Madam Char Char. Basically, it’s about doing something a bit different…and consciously so. I’ve written about it here…please do join us! PS. A great outing idea for anyone doing Febfast this year.

When: Wednesday 22nd February
Time: 6pm sharp
Venue: Bondi Pavillion Theatre Room (upstairs)
Cost: $40 before. $45 at the door.

  • Speaking of which (Febfast…). Giving is good. I’ll make it easy for you: click here and you can simply donate a small amount to the charity (team password is sarahw).

your questions answered

This week naturopath Angela Hywood, nutritionist Lola Berry, and my good self have answered some of your questions.

Eskimojo says: I quit sugar about ten months ago but occasionally now will have 1 – 2 sugar treats a day. But I find after a few days I develop really bad gas. Like, have to leave the room bad. It stops once I cut sugar out again, so it’s obviously related?

Sarah: Yep. Understand. And, yep, sugar…and the stuff you eat with sugar (this is important)… is probably causing it. Basically, the body does not digest and absorb a lot of carbohydrates, including sugar, in the small intestine because we don’t have the enzymes. So the sugar (and the wheat, oats etc that you eat with sugar) passes into the large intestine to be broken down where the digestive process causes gas. Most foods that contain carbohydrates can cause gas. By contrast, fats and proteins cause little gas (they’re broken down by the appropriate enzymes in the small intestine). Add to this, if your gut’s bacterial balance is out of whack, sugar feeds the bad bacteria, fermenting, bubbling…which is where the stinkiness comes into play. Candida could also be an issue for you.

Nicole asks: I have about 23 grams of sugar a day. Should I be trying to get it much lower than this?

Sarah: That’s about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. Very good! Perfect actually and what we should all aim for. Of course, if you’re getting that amount from fruits and vegetables alone, even better.

Comptess asks: I seem to have developed some crazy hormonal in-balance. From 2 weeks in to the program my periods have been all over the show and the physical PMS symptoms are absolutely awful.  I wonder if this could be a sugar-oestrogen problem?

Angela: It is quite unlikely that removing sugar from your diet will aggravate PMS and “cause” hormonal imbalances (i.e. period irregularity). As a matter of fact, when I treat women for period irregularity and PMS, I advise a sugar free diet. Here are some points to take into consideration:

  • If you have significantly increased your fats intake, and they are not of organic origin, this may be disruption your oestrogen/progesterone balance- make sure your fats are healthy & organic. Non organic dietary fats can contain xeno oestrogens (oestrogen mimicking chemicals).
  • Are your Omega 3: Omega 6 balance out of kilts? Try adding Evening Primrose oil into your daily routine 2g per day often helps physical symptoms of PMS.
  • Have you lost weight by going sugar free – this may account for your PMS & period irregularities. Women with <20% body fat can suffer with lowered oestrogen and this will make PMS worse.
  • Do you need B6?- B6 is terrific for reducing the severity of PMS Symptoms.

Hannah asks: I can usually stay on track with my healthy-eating goals until 8 or 9 at night. Then all bets are off…Advice?

Lola: night time is hard, especially when you get into the routine of having a sweet something. it’s about changing the habit or swapping that sweet treat for something super healthy, if i’m hungry at night i have a bowl of frozen blueberries with cinnamon (to balance blood sugar levels) and coconut oil (to speed up the thyroid) and it becomes a guilt free treat! Having a herbal tea at night is quite satisfying and jam packed full of health benefits. It fills you up too!

Sophie says:  I seem to have a coffee-sugar link, but wondering if I am setting myself and my family up for serious “cranky mummy” if I give up both together! 

Lola: it sounds like you’re on the right track, in moderation, coffee is fine, it’s not something you need to cut out all together. I think it’s about enjoying the experience and trying not to rely on it too heavily. then you’re enjoying it for what it is as opposed to relying on it to get through your day. It’s a great metabolic booster and one a day is completely fine! 🙂

Xpansion reiki asks: I have type one diabetes, and use sugar to treat hypo. What can I use instead of sugar which all doctors seem to recommend as the only thing that works?

Angela: Given that you are Diabetic Type 1,  as you know, hypoglycemic episodes can be very dangerous. You actually need to consume sugar to bring you out and back to a level of blood sugar stability. Sugar is literally acting as “drug” in these circumstance for Diabetics there IS nothing else that can quickly recue you from these hypo episodes.

Given your Type 1 Diabetes,  your everyday eating plan should be focused on wholefoods, loads of greens, low GI with the addition of legumes and a few wholegrain, preferably gluten free. Examples are Quinoea, Wild Rice, Brown Rice and Buckwheat. Try to avoid sugar during the time when your blood sugar levels are well managed with your insulin (medication) and diet.

Anna says: could you suggest a particular brand of Chai tea, as all the ones I have looked at have sugar added.

Sarah: Yep, the Byron Chai one is great (and not just because I live here). Try the green and dandelion versions for caffeine-free fun. I generally find that when it says “masala chai”, sugar or honey’s been added.

PocketRocket asks: I LOVE tomatoes, are 2 per day ok? Also should pumpkin, corn and sweet potato be avoided?

Sarah: I covered this a little last week. Two tomatoes is about 200g, which equates to 10g (2.5 teaspoons) of sugar. So not a huge deal. Don’t avoid any veggies. Yes, beetroot and carrots and peas have almost as much sugar/100g as some of the low-sugar fruits (eg kiwi), but generally veggies are higher in fibre than a lot of fruits. Just don’t juice your beets or carrots (green veggies are fine, though) because you end up consuming 300-500g at a time, without the fibre. FYI: Your BEST veggie bet is the avocado. Pretty much zero sugar and double the fibre of most veggies.

See you on Ustream at 6pm! And don’t forget to post your questions below and on the Facebook page to win the Aphroditea.


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