I have been contemplating joining Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program (IQS 8WP) for a couple of years now. That’s an awful lot of contemplation. And procrastination.
I even have some of Sarah’s I Quit Sugar cookbooks (four of them, actually) and have been quite successful at massively reducing the amount of refined sugar I consume over the last year or so after having completed another healthy eating plan as part of a 30 Day Challenge.
I have such a sweet tooth (always have) that I guess I have just been too frightened to give it a go. Will I go crazy? How will I do it? What if I fail?
Because whilst I no longer inhale a family pack of snakes during the 3 minute journey home from the supermarket, for example, I do still eat a LOT of natural sugars. Bliss balls, homemade chocolate, health-store chocolate, healthy cookies, fruit muffins, banana bread etc.
And I mean a lot. Several times a day. And whilst the sugar is not refined and the foods are not processed (so infinitely better than the stuff in wrappers from the shops), sugar is still sugar to the body. And I still eat too much.
So at the end of last week, I made a bit of a snap decision to just do it. I signed up online, got the welcome email the next day and set about my Sunday Cook-Up to prepare myself for the first week.
For those interested in how it affects someone who could possibly hold the world record for sugar intake, I will do a few updates along the way to let you know how it’s going.
The first thing you should consider is why you need to quit sugar and what you hope to gain from it. If you’re mindful of this at the outset, then sticking to the plan to achieve your goals should be easier.
My QSGs (Quitting Sugar Goals)
1. Recalibrate my tastebuds
My cravings are ALWAYS for sweet things. For breakfast, lunch, dinner and (way too many) snacks.
At lunchtime, I’ll grab a couple of bliss balls to munch on whilst I prepare the main course. I’ve been known to eat paleo caramel slice for breakfast. I like to crack open a bottle of wine when I’m cooking dinner.
My main goal is to stop these cravings so that I reach for a healthier non-sugar option when I’m hungry.
2. Cut down on the snacks
As I mentioned, I have several snacks a day, most of which I probably don’t need. I want to get into the habit of not eating for the sake of eating just because something yummy is available.
3. Reduce the overall amount I eat
As well as all those snacks, I think my portion control is, well, out of control.
And I’m hoping the net result of these achievements will mean that I feel better. Healthier, more energised, lighter.
There are other benefits that I know I’m going to enjoy…
I know that when I completed my last food challenge, well over a year ago, it changed the way that I, and my family, will eat forever (thanks Danielle from Food to Nourish!). One of the great things I gained from that plan was a bunch of recipes that I still cook week in, week out that I know are nutrient-dense, easy and delicious.
I’m looking forward to a new bunch of recipes to add to my repertoire (because I only have 54 cookbooks haha), and so far (from Week 1’s Meal Plan) so freaking good!
So why did I choose I Quit Sugar over another eating plan (because let’s face it, there are plenty around)? First and foremost, because I think (I know) I have a problem with sugar (see above). Second, you can drink coffee. And red wine. ‘Nuff said.
First impressions of I Quit Sugar… The Good
It’s almost as if they’ve thought of everything. Look how each week pans out on the program…. you instantly know where you are, what’s coming next, what you need to do.
- It’s really well-designed in terms of usability. There’s so much content on the website (some of it locked for IQS 8WP participants) and lots of handy links to take you to the info you’re after.
- Plus you can download the shopping lists, meal plans, recipes etc super-easily so that if you’re a bit anal and organised like me (when I put my mind to it) you can collate it all in one folder – I’m literally ‘making’ my 55th cookbook. I’m IQS scrapbooking!
- You can choose summer or winter menus, and there’s a vegetarian option.
- There’s a whole community around the program that you can turn to for support – from the participants and ambassadors (already discovered a few on insta), to the team at head office, to the panel of experts… someone will answer your questions and give you advice when you need it.
- You get a whole load of yummy inspo from the site and instagram
- Lunches are often leftovers from last night’s dinner, so that makes things a bit easier if you’re on the go or at work.
- The food looks delicious. Seriously delicious.
… The Bad
The volume of food is a lot smaller than what I usually eat so I’m worried I’ll be hungry. Time to bust out a little extra cooking for some sugar-free snacks I think. Or perhaps it will re-train my tummy and my brain to be satisfied with less. Let’s see.
- I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so cooking from scratch is not new or a problem. The thing is, sometimes, when the kids have after-school sports (so you’re home late) and you’ve had a busy day with work or whatever, the absolute best thing in the world is being able to pull out some spag bol or a chorizo stew from the freezer so you have a night off cooking.
Seriously, I’m in love with those days. So 8 weeks without one of those days is bringing on a case of kitchen fatigue… watch this space. Perhaps I’ll substitute a couple of days by whipping up a big batch of the yummy Vietnamese chicken curry from the I Quit Sugar Slow Cooker Book…
And The Ugly
- It’s Pancake Day during the program! ARGH!
- AND… I’ve heard a rumour (yet to be confirmed) that at some point in the program we have to forego coffee altogether. For a week. Say it isn’t so, Sarah, say it isn’t so! (I know, I know, it’s gotta be done but hey, come near me at your own peril that week).
So, everyone, as I embark on this sugar-free journey, wish me luck.
Because the program has already started, it’s too late to sign up for this round, but you can register your interest here (you’ll be sent emails when the next round opens up – I’ve been getting them for the 2 years since I first registered my interest haha). Or you can buy the original I Quit Sugar cookbook and DIY at home.
Right now, I’m off to get my lunch – Crispy Satay Chicken with Carrot and Cucumber Noodle Salad. Yum!
PS. Just so you know, if you click through to the I Quit Sugar site from my blog and buy a book from them, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you (so if you do, thank you thank you!!).
But in no way is this a sponsored post (they don’t know I’m writing it) nor have I been given anything by IQS – I bought all my books and paid for the program, just like everyone else. I thought you should know anyway, in the interest of being upfront and honest.
You know I wouldn’t recommend anything unless I truly loved it. Thanks guys. X