Before I quit sugar, I thought that I was fairly educated when it came to nutrition – but I actually had no idea just how much sugar I was consuming.
In early 2015, I was recovering from a neck and shoulder injury which flared up intermittently whenever I tried various forms of exercise. That, coupled with a desk job, saw me put on a lot of weight and I soon reached 67kg (after previously weighing around 57kg).
And, while my approach to food wasn’t necessarily unhealthy, I definitely needed to school myself on hidden sugars and portion sizes.
I was also in the habit of drinking two – sometimes three – glasses of champagne or wine a day. So, clearly my sugar intake from alcohol was in excess but I really didn’t know about fructose at the time!
My journey began when my hairdresser – who had quit sugar – recommended I read a book that was all about sugar.
After reading that, I decided to do some more research online and that’s when I discovered Sarah Wilson and I promptly sought out the Simplicious cookbook. To put it simply, this book changed my life and my perception about healthy living.
Following this discovery, I was able to cut out all sugary condiments, sauces, marinades and processed foods from my diet.
Simplicious made me want to know what was in my food! Once I learnt to read the nutritional labels on food there was no stopping me. Our pantry is now stocked with tamari, mustard and rice malt syrup, while I make my own peanut butter and stock to have on hand.
To be honest, I didn’t really experience any symptoms of sugar withdrawals, but food definitely tastes better after quitting sugar.
I can now really taste every element in my food and appreciate it mindfully. What I did find difficult, however, was watching my portion sizes and cutting back alcohol to 150ml per day. This was a real game changer for me!
While Simplicious really was my main tool for quitting sugar, I also referred to other I Quit Sugar books as well.
The Simplicious book supported me and was my reference guide for everything from fermentation to baking. But most importantly, it helped me educate myself on how to remove fructose from my diet while also gaining a wealth of knowledge on sustainable living.
I soon discovered my love of fermented foods and I’m now an avid fermenter!
I’m so passionate about fermenting and good gut health – I make my own kombucha, kefir, yoghurt and use excess veggies from the garden to make kimchi and sauerkraut. We also regrow various veggies after learning that the root ends of celery, spring onions and bok choy will sprout new growth!
How am I feeling now? Amazing!
I have way more energy and vitality. I now weigh 50kg – that’s a loss of 17kg – and I definitely don’t look the same, my whole body has changed. I think this change was also thanks to my regular Pilates practice, which I started at the same time as quitting sugar. Pilates has helped me tone my body and strengthen my neck and shoulder.
Since quitting sugar too, my general health and wellbeing has improved immensely.
My gut health has been boosted, I’m able to maintain a healthy weight and I’ve also noticed I’ve got increased energy, vitality and endurance. My previously high cholesterol has also stabilised since changing my diet.
For me, the combination of Pilates, the I Quit Sugar Program and the knowledge I’ve gained throughout this journey has changed my life.
More importantly, I know this is only just the beginning and as I try to educate others and continue to further my own knowledge in this area, I am confident my wellbeing will continue to thrive!