Monday, 11 August 2014
Book Review: I Quit Sugar
I've been interested in the concept of giving up sugar for years... ten years, to be precise. I know that I have a real issue with the amount of sugar in my diet; I know I need to do something about that, sooner rather than later.
I follow Sarah Wilson on Instagram and through her found the I Quit Sugar account. After a while of seeing these tasty, sugar-free meals on my timeline I decided to buy the book.
Sarah Wilson is Australian; she used to have some medical issues, a thyroid problem and what have you. She gave up eating sugar as a New-Year experiment four years ago, and has gone from strength to strength. In fact, you might have seen her recently in the UK press; she's done a lot of interviews in food magazines about this crazy idea of giving up sugar. She eats around 6-8 teaspoons of sugar per day now - the equivalent of a couple of pieces of fruit or a can of fizzy drink.
This book is an 8-week plan for quitting sugar, as well as a recipe book. What I like about it is that it's something Wilson figured out for herself, through trial and error and through actually giving up sugar herself. The eight week plan doesn't just expect that you should give up all sugar on day one - a surefire way to guarantee failure. Instead, it starts off with paring back on sugar gradually: herbal tea or soda water instead of juice and soft drinks; halving the sugar in hot drinks and increasing the milk instead; swapping to diet soft drinks as a short-term measure.
Each week the book suggests some recipes for you to try and gives you useful information about your diet: where sugar hides; why you should eat "good" fats and where you can find them; swaps you can make in your diet; how to figure out how much sugar is actually in the foods you buy.
The recipes in this book are not rigid, strict lists of exact measurements; they're hard to get wrong in that respect. Although they do call for ingredients you might not have bought before, and there are likely to be a few trips to the health food shop where you're scratching your head and asking for help - but it's not one of those ridiculous things where you're spending a fortune on a bag of weird beans for one recipe that only calls for ten of them. Although some of the ingredients are a bit odd, they're limited to a few staples that are called for time and again in the book.
My favourite recipe in the book so far is the Coco-Nutty Granola. I saw this in a magazine article, and it was making this simple recipe that convinced me to buy the book. It's really tasty, but also simple to make and used mostly ingredients I already had in the house. You can make up a big batch and store it in a pot, and then just throw some over a yogurt and maybe some avocado in the morning. I'm all for simple breakfasts!
I've not had the nerve to actually start the eight week plan yet; I've gone through the book and made a few of the recipes from it though. The last few days though, I've been suffering with really bad headaches that are no doubt linked to my diet (it has been truly awful where I've been so stressed and ill for the last month). I feel like I really want to try it though; this book is really inspiring!