Aussie mum Antoinette joined the 8-Week Program with the hopes of combatting her sugar addiction and unhealthy lifestyle to set herself and her family up for long-term success. She shares how the program ignited her passion for cooking and helped her little ones get the best start in life.
Embarking on the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program straight after welcoming her second child, Antoinette's transformative journey is a testament to the power of making healthy choices, even in the midst of chaos. Her story unfolds with a candid look at her pre-program lifestyle, dominated by carb-heavy meals and sugary indulgences. Antoinette's decision to join the program was fuelled by a desire for change, driven by a recognition of the nutritional gaps in her diet.
Antoinette's preparation for the program began strategically, gradually reducing sugar intake before officially starting. Juggling the demands of a newborn, she navigated the initial stages with determination. Reflecting on her pre-program days, where vegetables were a rare sight on her plate, Antoinette appreciated the eye-opening experience the program provided about the nutritional content of her meals.
"Having the meals planned for me eliminated any margin for error (or, accidental sugar consumption) and made my life much easier not having to come up with meal ideas myself," Antoinette says.
The structured meal plans offered by the 8-Week Program became Antoinette's guiding light, eliminating room for error and simplifying her life as a new mom. The informative resources on the website opened her eyes to the pervasive presence of sugar in various foods, contributing to her newfound knowledge about mindful eating. That’s right, you don’t have to buy exotic ingredients or splash your cash on new appliances; every tool you need, you’ve likely already got, and our ingredients are easily found at your local grocer. Because we know how challenging it can be to make a change in your life, and it’s the little things that make it that much easier (and fun!). Take a look at some of the exciting recipes members enjoy:
- Kale + Cauliflower Curry Puffs
- Raspberry Breakfast Muffins
- Prawn + Mango Tacos
- Swede + Cannellini Bean Soup
- Minty Salmon Brain-Boosting Bowl
- Savoury Crepes
- Spiced Sicilian Stew
Despite the challenges of sleep deprivation and caring for a newborn, Antoinette began noticing positive changes. Engaging with the Movement Plan included in the program, she proudly achieved her pre-baby weight, embracing a healthier and more active lifestyle.
“I’ve noticed my skin is glowing, I have more energy and my moods are stable.”
You might be wondering if it’s safe to join the program when pregnant or breastfeeding, and the answer is yes! Not only is it safe, but it’s beneficial too. Here’s why – it’s essential to have a balanced diet rich in protein, folate, iodine, iron, calcium and a host of other nutrients during the breastfeeding stage – but there is an ingredient that can reduce the benefits of these nutrients. That ingredient is – you guessed it – added sugar. This is because it’s been found to irritate our gut lining, resulting in digestive dysfunction, which jeopardises our ability to absorb all those essential nutrients that are even more important while breastfeeding. It also throws our gut microbiome into chaos, which poses further risk to the baby – this is because nutrients in breast milk are essential for helping build up a baby’s gut microbiome, which will be essential in fighting infections. In fact, one such bacterium in breast milk, known as Bifidobacterium longum infantis, protects newborns from pathogens and strengthens their gut lining. A low-sugar, healthy diet is the key to keeping a healthy gut microbiome, and therefore producing more nutritious breast milk. There are a few other things to keep in mind:
- Steer clear of crash dieting: Here on the 8-Week Program we’re not about deprivation or restrictive diets, rather the goal is to learn how to eat to meet our bodies’ needs. This means more nourishing, nutritious and satisfying foods – including healthy fats. We enjoy a range of tasty, flavoursome and well-balanced meals during the program, and that’s because eating healthily doesn’t have to be boring, restrictive or a chore.
- Drink enough water: Your hydration needs rise along with your caloric needs during the breastfeeding stage, so don’t forget to keep your fluid levels up during the program. We use a range of hydrating foods in our recipes like cucumber, watermelon and berries, so you’ll get a good dose of aqua from our recipes alone, but drinking extra water will be important too.
- Steer clear of alcohol and caffeine: During the program, we occasionally indulge in a glass or red with dinner or a morning coffee, but you may want to skip out on these beverages if you’re breastfeeding. This is because excess intake can cause adverse health effects in babies.
That’s where we come in – we help you prioritise whole foods, eat a balanced diet and manage stress. And we don’t restrict here – the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating outlines the importance of consuming a variety of healthy foods – and getting an adequate amount! Just because you’re cutting sugar out, it doesn’t mean you should be restricting calories – on the contrary. Take a look at some of the basic recommendations for staying healthy during the breastfeeding stage:
- Get around 5 to 7 serves of whole grains: This could be bread, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat or other grains of choice.
- Consume around 7 serves of veggies and legumes: Vegetables are a significant source of our daily vitamins and minerals – from vitamin A and C to folate, magnesium and potassium, all of which are essential for breastfeeding health.
- Get 5 serves of fruit: Fruit provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, along with keeping you hydrated.
- Aim for 2 serves of dairy or non-dairy alternatives: Milk, cheese and yoghurt all provide protein, calcium and vitamin K.
- Aim for 2 serves of meat, fish, eggs, nuts or legumes: These are essential for iron, protein and B vitamins. They’re also especially satiating for when you’re struggling with sugar cravings.
As always, your individual health needs may vary depending on your health – both mental and physical, and, as such, it’s best to check in with your doctor before making any dietary changes.
Antoinette says the program has encouraged her to get creative in the kitchen, igniting a passion for cooking she didn’t know she had.
"I made a sugar-free cake for my first son’s second birthday and he loved it!"
Post-program, Antoinette's commitment to a sugar-free life remains steadfast, while acknowledging occasional indulgences – that’s completely okay, we’re all about learning how to enjoy those treats without falling back into addictive habits, and we’ll show you how! – she is dedicated to finding creative ways to incorporate healthy eating into her family’s life.
Antoinette's journey serves as an inspiration for busy parents, showing that a gut-healthy lifestyle is achievable, even amidst the demands of motherhood. Her story highlights the positive ripple effect of embracing the 8-Week Program, not only on individual health but on the overall wellbeing of a growing family. As she continues to master recipes from the I Quit Sugar cookbooks, Antoinette exemplifies the sustained impact of making informed, health-conscious choices. The Aussie mum says she’s keen to continue polishing her culinary skills with her newfound passion for cooking
“The Program made me a better cook too, so instead of relying on store-bought sauces to flavour meals, I’ve found myself automatically using healthier (and tastier) real food,” she says. “And, I’ve become that person who adds kale to everything!”
We hear you, Antoinette! Our Cauliflower + Kale Curry Puffs are a defining moment for many of our program members, turning many of the anti-kale crowd into fans.
We’ve put in the hard yards so you can enjoy the benefits of an extensive, wholistic program that covers everything from learning how to manage nutrition and mental health to social situations. When you join us for the 8-Week Program you’ll have exclusive access to expert guidance, nutritional planning and support every step of the way. Take a peek at what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- A range of exclusive recipes, including sugar-free desserts, snacks and all the old favourites.
- Community forums to share and discuss your experience.
- Expert support to guide you through each week – from world-renowned chef Sarah Glover to yoga teachers, nutritionists and naturopaths.
Don’t wait, JOIN NOW!