It’s amazing how fast time flies, I can hardly believe that our 8 weeks is finished, it has now been about 10 weeks since we started Sarah Wilson’s ‘I Quit Sugar’ program. For the first 6 weeks we stuck fast to the plan, and although it was a challenge at times it was an excellent learning experience that I would highly recommend.
Though our diet is typically pretty healthy, I was shocked when I realised how much sugar I was consuming on a daily basis (with most sugar coming from ‘natural’ products and hidden sources). I have never been a massive sweet tooth but it is amazing how it just sneaks into everything from the obvious ones like sweet chilli sauce all the way to things I thought were healthy like balsamic vinegar.
We have been feeling pretty good, despite being struck down with the flu mid-way through the program, and have both had comments that we have lost weight (even though we haven’t noticed it ourselves). A baby shower and kid’s party meant I had a massive sugar binge at the end of week 6, and after so long of avoiding sugar, I ended up with a massive headache after overindulging and realised that sugar does not make me feel good!
Getting back on the sugar-free bandwagon and consuming a few berries instead of my usual banana/berries/honey on my breakfast, we survived the final 2 weeks, and started reflecting on what worked for us and what we plan to continue now that we have finished the 8 week program.
Things we have learned:
- Low fat does not = healthy
- Natural sugars are still sugars
- There is such thing as too much fruit
- If you want to avoid sugar, avoid processed foods
Little changes we will be taking forward:
- Starting the day with a healthy breakfast – with no added sugar
- Reducing fruit intake to 1-2 pieces per day, rather than 4-5
- Reducing the use of commercial sauces (eg. ketchup, sweet chilli and stir fry sauces)
- Switching balsamic vinegar for red wine, white wine or apple cider vinegar
- Continue reducing our intake of refined carbs (eg. bread, wraps, pasta)
- Continue reducing our intake of processed foods in general
- Keeping sweets for special occasions – I will continue indulging in beautiful little sweets at a baby shower, a piece of cake for a celebration or a dessert at an indulgent dinner, but get rid of the need for sweets on a daily basis
- Full fat natural yoghurt, cheese and milk, coconut cream and fresh coconuts
As we move forward from our 8 week experiment, I plan to continue to reduce our intake of processed foods and refined flour products, replacing them with whole foods, cooked ‘from scratch’ sauces and ingredients and plenty of vegetables and leafy greens.
Based on that style of eating, here is a little recipe to a lunch I whipped up the other day:
Sauteed kale, avocado and poached egg, topped with sweet potato slivers
- 1/2 small sweet potato, slivered with potato peeler
- bunch of kale or spinach
- pesto or garlic and herbs
- squeeze of lemon
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 egg
Lay slivers of sweet potato (include peel) in a single layer on a baking tray, spray with oil and put under the grill.
Boil a pot of water, add a splash of white vinegar.
Meanwhile, saute your kale/spinach/leafy greens in a bit of coconut oil, when it has wilted add a spoonful of pesto or some crushed garlic and assorted herbs. Take off the heat and sqeeze lemon over the top.
Check sweet potato to ensure that they are cooking but not burning and remove when they are cooked and slightly crispy.
Lower boiling water to a slight simmer, crack your egg into the water and cook until desired consistency (I like the centre runny so tend to go for around 2-3 min), remove with a slotted spoon onto a piece of paper towel.
Layer your kale and sliced avocado in a bowl or plate, top with poached egg and crispy sweet potato. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!