I owe you guys a very belated blog on why I chose to start with the I Quit Sugar program and have heavily based my recipes on sugar free, clean eating, and raw/plant based foods.
When I first heard about I Quit Sugar I must admit I thought it sounded really hard and unrealistic, probably like you are right now. After Simon and I had done our Anti-Inflammatory diet over the summer of 12/13 it seemed less daunting as other than fruit and yoghurt (both containing naturally occurring sugars) we didn't have any sugar during this time. The weird thing about that is that only occurred to me two weeks ago, without even realising it we had gone on a healthy eating regime for the sole purpose of inflammatory improvements and therefore didn't focus on the "what we can't eat".
I'm just going to interrupt here to say that I hate the word diet due to the way society, family, and doctors have for my whole life implied that 'diet' is a way to lose weight/restrict yourself, but not to gain health/wellness. The etymology of the word diet comes from the 13th century old French and Greek meaning: "regular food or prescribed way of life". Using the word diet should be either stopped until society changes its meaning, or used only if someone genuinely means it in its original form.
But I digress. The reason I chose to do I Quit Sugar?
It made sense to me. I was 33, overweight (higher than normal) and I have PCOS. Sufferers of PCOS are sitting on the cusp of pre-diabetes. I already had enough health problems that I knew I needed to do something about without risking diabetes, too. So I figured I'd get "the hard stuff out of the way", reset my system, learn to listen to my body and work my way from there.
Why are a lot of my recipes based on clean eating, raw/plant based foods?
This has a lot to do with my love of Slow Food, fresh local, preferably organic produce, and an awareness that I needed to eat more quality fruit and vegetables, especially green ones in my day to day life. It is also driven by my PCOS and my stupid stomach post-gastric-band removal. My stomach does not tolerate large amounts of processed carbohydrates or large meaty meals. So again it made sense to find daily recipes that limited both of these without losing quality or flavour.
What can I tell you so far about the "experiment" side of it?
Well, the two or three times I've had processed/refined sugar since starting to follow the no sugar diet one of the following things has happened: I've had a major sugar crash and felt like I needed to sleep (I was a complete zombie), I've had that horrible fluffy teeth and tongue feeling, or I've felt heavy in the stomach (and/or guts).
When we've had too many processed carbohydrates, I've also had that heavy stomach and/or guts feeling. I think to a lesser degree so has my husband. I've also noticed that I will be starving again later which I normally wouldn't be if I had not eaten it.
One of the things we have both noted specifically about processed/refined sugar is how fake it tastes. Or how overly, now sickeningly, sweet it is. That horrible plastic flavour/consistency that food full of processed/refined sugar has.
I now, more than ever, understand the full meaning of this;
Sure, we might be struggling a little to stick to a food budget over here, especially while we transition to a healthier lifestyle, and while we set up a new house pantry. But it is so worth it! The money we save on our health in the long term, just feeling better every day and giving our bodies a little bit of kindness every day, is more valuable right now than feeding ourselves poorly and suffering later in life.
Life is too short not to enjoy simple pleasures. Fresh tasty food made with love is just one of the pleasures you can give to yourself every day. There is room for dessert and sweet treats too! Trust me! Let food be your medicine. xxoo