The I Quit Sugar program: time to choose (week 8)

Two months. No sugar. It’s out of your system. Hoorah! Now it’s over to you. Do you feel you want to stay off sugar, or do you want to go back to the way things were? Do you want to reintroduce a bit of fructose or be a nah-a-skerrick-pass-thy-lips proponent?

Personally, I say do what you like. The point being, of course, now you’re in a position to choose. And THAT has been my point all along. We can’t choose when we eat too much of it because we’re hooked on it. We can choose when we’re clean, we can moderate when we’re clean, we can back off and recalibrate quickly when we’re clean.

247346204504320632 yRKI3y6c f The I Quit Sugar program: time to choose (week 8)
image via Food and Other Kitchen Obsessions

Some quick housekeeping

  • my final IQS webinar is on Monday 27th February, at 8pm (requests for a later start noted!).  Sign up here. And BIG apologies for losing the recording of the last one…a “fumble with the right button” malfunction.
  • I’m the keynote speaker at The Conscious Club THIS Wednesday night in Sydney. I’m talking 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…I’d love to meet people from this blog there. Come! A few tickets left.
  • I’ll be continuing with the giveaways, offers and information geared at no-sugar eaters. To have a limb in the running, make sure you’re signed up to the I Quit Sugar newsletter and I Quit Sugar Facebook page.
  • I promised a chocolate post as well as a post on whether it’s good to quit grains/carbs after quitting sugar. Oh, and a post with a rundown of what I eat most days. These are coming…

And a video…

Did you see this on Friday on Seven’s Today Tonight? I feature in it…and have a very tabloid moment where I gaze out to the distance, pensively. Please try not to laugh…And WHAT’S with my lisp? It’s a shame they didn’t quite get the fructose explanation right. And the nutritionist dude didn’t quite explain that our brains need glucose not “sugar” (the kind he’s referring to). But…

A final note from me….

You’ve probably noticed of late…quitting sugar has attracted a lot of attention…and flak. I explain why I think this happens in the book. As you know. It’s also a VERY politically charged issue. And commercially charged. [I’m doing a podcast with David Gillespie on this in a few days.]

Plus, I admit, there are some extremists out there who ruin it for the rest of us. They scare the nutritionists and the columnists into thinking this is some militant diet.

But I guess I just keep going back to this point: it ain’t going to hurt anyone to go sugar-free for two months. Gently, curiously.

And this: moderation is just not possible when you’re addicted. The science proves that sugar is addictive, that it messes with our natural appetite control systems and our hormones. Which means most of us are too attached to it, too tangled up with it, to know what is the right amount to eat.

I’ve been off sugar 12 months now.

I now eat a little bit of sugar. I’m able to choose moderation. And I’m able to listen to my body. I couldn’t before because I was addicted and unaware.

I now eat 4-5 serves of fruit/week. I prefer vegetables. Always have. I eat a lot of vegetables.

I’ve had to back off from the amount of fat I eat. I got a bit too excited for a while there. But I have saturated fat with every meal to help with residual sugar cravings.

Sometimes I eat chocolate. I love chocolate. I CHOOSE chocolate as my sugar indulgence over, say, fruit juice or a pasta sauce. But I’m aware it’s an indulgence and monitor myself closely.

I still “grab” towards sugar. A few bites of chocolate and I want MORE. I have to grab back to myself. Recalibrate. And get gentle again.

Sometimes I have a mouthful of a dessert or I deal with the fact my burger comes with sauce or I eat a Japanese soup that clearly has Mirin in it. Whatever. I’m cool. I’m aware. I’m not precious. I just make choices where I can.

I kept losing weight…since I first wrote the book. My body feels quite good.

I still slip up and I know I’ll have my sugar addiction for a very long time. When it’s grabbing at me, I try to pull away from the sweet substitutes, too. The taste and associations…they’re part of my old addiction. I try to recalibrate with vegetables and, I don’t know, doing something else. I try.

I’m sticking with this above approach because it works for me. And I’ll keep experimenting – not militantly, just gently.

Time to ask yourself, what works for you? What’s do-able? What choices do you want to make? No one is telling you what to do, but you’re simply informed and can choose better. At least I hope so….

a new product to try

TRUFFLES The I Quit Sugar program: time to choose (week 8)On the chocolate note…these Naked Treaties Superfood Truffles are beyond luscious. So too the Minties balls. Jemma has become a friend. We connected over conscious eating and living. She handmakes her balls using 100% raw products. She also blesses her products each morning before she starts “cooking”. I like this. I also like that each ball contains one gram of fructose (I’m guessing less than 1/3 tsp of sugar). They are my indulgence of choice at the moment. You can buy them direct from her shop here or online here.


some stand out contributions from readers

As we come to our last week of this IQS program, I thought I’d share some stand out contributions I’ve spotted over the past eight weeks. Thanks to everyone who has been tweeting on the IQS hashtag, adding tips and tricks on facebook, and sharing their knowledge and recipes on this blog. I’ve loved seeing this little community grow.

From @taliacarbis: this Sugar-Free Lamington Recipe

Lamingtons have three parts: sponge, chocolate icing, and coconut. None of these are optional. But they can be sugarfree.

How to make the sponge:

• 6 eggs
• 3/4 cup dextrose
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 cup plain flour
• 1/2 cup SR flour
• 75g melted butter

Preheat oven to 180 C. Spray a lamington tin with spray oil, baking paper as well.
Combine the eggs, dextrose and vanilla in a heatproof bowl. Microwave on 50% (for about 30 seconds) to disolve the dextrose. Beat in a mixer until pale, thick and doubled in size.
Gently fold in the sifted flours, and the cooled melted butter. Mix until just combined and there is no flour.
Spread the mix into the tin. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until firm to touch. With this lamington sponge, it’s best to cook until it’s firmer then a normal sponge. Leave it to cool.

How to make the icing:

• 3/4 cup dextrose
• 2 tbs water
• 2 egg whites
• 80-100g butter
• 2 1/2 tbs cocoa

Heat the dextrose and water in a pan (you could also use a saucepan) until it enters ‘soft ball’ stage.
Beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Trickle the dextrose mixtrure into the egg whites while still beating, until combined.
Beat the butter in a separate bowl so it’s light and thoroughly mixed. Mix the two together in a bowl with the cocoa.
Once lamingtons have been dipped in icing, roll in desiccated coconut.

Scandi Foodie’s vegan sugar-free challenge

I posted about Maria’s challenge here – amazing vegan/vego sugarfree suggestions. I’m not vegan and so my ebook tends to be quite meat and dairy focused. Maria’s contribution, I know, has been invaluable to many of you.

Crash Test Mummy’s ‘sugar crash’ journey

Laney blogs at Crash Test Mummy, and blogged her ‘sugar crash’ journey over the IQS program. Loved your enthusiasm Laney.

Melbourne Maharini 

I added one of Melbourne Maharini’s recipes in a recent sugar free recipes post, and I love her ‘ten things I’ve learnt about quitting sugar’ post.

Nat’s tapioca treat!

The gorgeous Nat at The Pagoda Tree blogged this tropical tapioca recipe on Friday. It looks delicious! Nat is an acupuncturist, herbalist, natural fertility educator, and natural health expert and has been amazing with answering your questions on blogs and via the IQS hashtag. Blessings to you, my friend.

Special thanks to Naz Kovacs

For all of her raw, honest contributions over the past eight weeks. You’re seen, and appreciated!

A few great testimonies:

I got a lovely rush from some of these…they might inspire you, too.

Matt:  thank you for this brilliant program. I’ve lost 11kgs to date, now am at a perfect weight for my height and eat as ‘much’ (quantity-wise) as I used to but am now eating the right things. Really important difference, as I’ve discovered. I’m bouncy, have clear, glowing skin and am just generally enjoying life without the lethargic, dark cloud that was sugar hanging over me constantly. When I read posts on this blog, I [thought] Oh, they must have exercised while quitting sugar, done something else etc. Other than lifting the occasional 20kg dumbbell in my backyard (which I have always done, mind you) I’ve exercised no more than usual. I started at 98kg in November last year, am now at 87kg as of this morning. Living this experiment has just opened me up to a whole new way of living life.

Jane:  I was diagnosed with cancer a little more than a year ago at the age of 42.  I was a very healthy, happy lawyer, writer and mother of two young children. Two major operations, 6 months of chemo and 12 months of Herceptin has been a shattering jolt to me and everyone around me, but I am hopeful I have made a full recovery.  I have quit sugar (thanks to you) and it has solved all my fatigue.

Jon: When you originally spoke about quitting sugar early this year in the Sunday paper I had, “had enough” of being overweight (113kg), on BP medication for nearly 30 years (I’m not yet 50!!), anti-depressants, thyroid drugs (from a tumour, so I think I have to stay on them), so I thought I’d give it a try. Over this last year, I have dropped 20kg through diet alone, I’ve now joined a gym and getting ‘ripped’ (?!?!), I’ve just weaned myself of the anti-depressants, I’m now dropping the BP meds due to dizzy spells and LOW BP, due to the meds; my skin has cleared up (been bad since high school), people are saying I look 10 years younger and I feel like I want to do things and get on with life again.

extra reading

As you venture off to choose and eat haloumi and read the back of your yoghurt label, these links might help.

This one shows how to calculate the amount of fructose in your fruit. A very interesting read. Remember that fruit contains sugar (1/2 fructose) plus extra fructose. This link explain all.

Some good images of how much sugar is in some everyday breakfast foods.

And this oldie-but-goodie: how much sugar in apple juice and soft drink and the rest.

This read is slightly problematic in its understanding of the fact…but does also outline sugar content in everyday stuff.

For more of this kinda thing…stay tuned to my I Quit Sugar Facebook page.

And, of course, if you’ve got any further questions…post below for the final webinar Feb 28th. Sign up here. And do let me know what you did and didn’t like about this program that started in January…should I do it again down the track? In Spring?





Share this post