For my birthday this year I decided to buy Sarah Wilson’s book, I Quit Sugar. Honestly, I never really thought anything of the amount of sugar I was eating because let’s be honest, the white refined crap wasn’t in my diet in the first place. I had no idea what I was getting into and what it really entailed. Little did I know, sugar is lurking EVERYWHERE. Okay, I actually knew that sugar is hidden in everything, what I didn’t know what the culprit was fructose. No…not high fructose corn syrup (which is an abomination, but we knew that already).
I had no idea that all the fruit and some of those awesome healthy treats (you know, bananas and raw honey- YUM) I was eating was actually keeping me sluggish, moody and tired. But of course I didn’t realize this until I decided to give it up for 8 weeks, which ultimately turned into an 80 day cleanse.
Before I go into detail about my journey, let me tell you I decided to start this challenge a few days after my birthday so I was detoxing BIG time off of the cakes, treats, chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Did I mention that I LOVE chocolate? For heaven’s sake, my boyfriend baked me a double chocolate double layered cake. I was so dedicated to this challenge I didn’t even have a second slice. Needless to say, Matthew was not too thrilled. Sorry babe!
The way Sarah Wilson’s program works is it starts with awareness and a ton of information.
I have to admit, the first week, which included cutting down sugar (I mean fructose) was hard. I LOVE fruit. Absolutely could not see myself without it. I was drinking a green smoothie for breakfast almost every morning. I really had no idea that I was basically living off of fructose. Fruit for breakfast, raisins for a snack, a nibble of dark chocolate here and there and sweetened almond milk in my tea or coffee. Cutting out was hard. But one of the principles that I learned while studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition was that you must crowd out the bad stuff with good stuff.
I started to introduce more hearty breakfasts into the mix (since that’s a favorite for me) and started to find alternative snacks. I would start my day with rice millet toast with avocado, a drizzle of olive oil, Herbamare, red chili flakes, garlic powder, and turmeric. I was surprisingly full after one piece of toast but if I would have a green smoothie for breakfast I would be hungry almost instantaneously (and that is RIDICULOUS).
After realizing that I can actually survive and feel light, fit, clear and healthy with a piece of avocado toast for breakfast I started to really dive deeper into this journey. My body started to speak to me. How weird is that?! Yes! I said SPEAK to me. I have been vegan for 2 years and a lifelong vegetarian but once I started to pay closer attention to the sugar I was consuming I started to feel the urge to eat dairy. How weird is that?!
Our body’s are much smarter than we are. We just need to take a moment to listen and feel. You will be surprised how beneficial it is to tune in to what your body really wants.
After a few weeks, recognizing how different I felt without sugar was simple. I actually didn’t miss it. Okay, maybe I missed chocolate but other than that I was able to really, truly recognize what is was my body REALLY wanted. I needed more grounding foods, some dairy here and there and to actually eat more wholesome foods.
So what’s my point?
1. Sugar is in everything. But the main culprit is fructose (surprisingly in fruit). Read more here. We should only really be consuming under 25g a day. Did you know one soy chai latte at Starbucks can have about 46g of sugar per serving?!
2. Fruit is not the culprit but there are some fruits that have higher fructose than others (bananas and mangoes, dried fruit)
3. Your brain is less foggy, your skin is clear, you become more energetic. Without over consuming fruits and sweeteners you can actually do wonders for your energy, your skin and your overall well-being.
4. You may begin to recognize what your body truly needs. For me, I really needed to add a little bit of dairy (full fat greek yogurt, full fat cheese on occasion) and adding more healthy fats to my diet.
5. Your tastebuds will be extremely sensitive and that’s a good thing. I can taste almost every single flavor in my food now which makes it that much more of an enjoyable experience. I LOVE cooking and eating so it’s truly important to SAVOR every last bit.
I have since allowed a little sweetness in my life. I really missed pineapple, bananas and various fruits but I am more aware than ever.
Have you tried to quit sugar? I’d love to hear about your journey!
Peace, love, and no beef!