Since about November last year I made the decision to stop eating sugar. By sugar I mean added sugar in foods and overly dense fructose fruits. It was tough I’m not gonna lie but it wasn’t anywhere near as hard as it could have been. To be fair I’m not into sweet foods all that much so giving up chocolate and shit wasn’t exactly that hard for me. What was challenging was pre-made sauces like pasta sauces, tomato sauce, and most pre-made curry sauces. Over the past 8 months I have been trying hard to iron out the creases and shit moments of actually quitting sugar.
First off I decided on changing my diet and lifestyle when I reached a plateau in my exercising and gym routine. I’m sure a lot of you ladies out there feel me when I say there’s only so much lifting weights and doing cardio will do for you. I really needed my diet to match my workout pace. Usually by mid afternoon I would be flat lining in my energy. I was bloated and just couldn’t budge any of the fat around my stomach and thighs. When I workout I work every part of my body so there comes a point when no amount of exercise can make up for a bad lifestyle. That’s when I found Sarah Wilson. Obvi most Australians know who this wonderful woman is, she is the founder of the ‘I Quit Sugar’ program. It started out as a book which outlined an 8 week sugar quitting program, now she has an empire and community and online program for people to sign up for.
Although I follow her philosophy on food and diet I decided to just take it at my own pace and use her program and books as a guideline. The first book I ever purchased was ‘Simplicious’ which is amazing and is still my favourite cook book ever. Simplicious promotes a very sustainable, minimal waste food lifestyle and attitude. I hate food waste so this was a no brainer. The other two books ‘I Quit Sugar’ and ‘I Quit Sugar for Life’ are also amazing and filled with wonderfully simple recipes to help with quitting that sweet shit.
For anyone with a sweet tooth you’ll find the lifestyle shift challenging. You’re basically giving up sugar in your coffee/tea, soft drinks, juices, lollies and chocolate, cake, and a lot of very sweet fruits. I found the easiest way to make the transition was adding a tiny bit of Stevia into my coffee or tea just to ween me off sweeter drinks. As for soft drink and juice, well I gave that up cold turkey and I definitely noticed mood swings for a couple of weeks afterwards.
The biggest challenge for me was being prepared enough in my food preparation to eliminate unnecessary food purchases at work or uni. If I’ve been lazy and haven’t made dinner or left overs then I always make sure I have a simple little dish I can take to uni or work. My favourite simple meals are; brown rice (easy microwave cups, plain) with tuna (usually chilli, lemon and pepper or vinaigrette, any canned tuna without sugar); corn thins with avocado, vegemite (I’m Aussie give me a break) and cheese; quinoa salad (this can keep for at least a week and is great if you add some protein); natural Greek yoghurt (full fat as there is a lot less sugar and it fills you up faster) with either blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, OR plain; and homemade muesli bars (courtesy of Sarah Wilson who has created sugar free packet mixes identical to her recipes in her books). As for cooking I use virgin coconut oil, not only cus it adds a little something to your meat but also cus it’s environmentally friendly and eco conscious. I tried my darnedest to be eco conscious and make an effort to try and source products I can use instead.
The only thing I can honestly say is don’t limit yourself too much. If you’re giving up sugar then don’t automatically give up carbs and protein, your body actually needs those. Just try and match your food intake to you energy output, I mean Doctors have been pushing this idea for decades so how about we actually listen?
I have never more healthy or comfortable with myself than I do now and I think that’s what we need to realise. That our healthiest version of ourselves if the self that is happy and energetic.