IQS – Week 5, Day 32

We’re going downhill! (Meaning we are over halfway through the programme.) There was a small setback last week when Husband and I were very kindly invited to dinner at someone’s home, where we thoroughly enjoyed the food, but we drank some elderflower pressé before eating, and within minutes, my head felt awful. It’s amazing to think how quickly the sugar can affect the body! There were sultanas in the lovely salad we had with the main, and a cheesecake with strawberries for our dessert. I had a very small piece of the cheesecake as I didn’t want to decline and appear rude, and although it was tasty, I actually felt as though I could take just one bite and be done. I wasn’t tempted by it at all. I did go ahead and eat it all, including the strawberries, again so that I wouldn’t appear rude. Not having any sugar of any sort to suddenly having so much in one evening was really a shock to my system. Despite the nice food, I felt bloated and a bit gross. Afterward, we all took a walk around their beautiful land, which was in preparation for the Eisteddfod (for anyone completely foreign to Welsh, it’s pronounced roughly “eye-STETH-vod”). From that evening, I’ve recognised a desire to get moving when I feel a bit “ick.” Taking a walk post dinner that evening felt so great; it was a cool evening and I loved hearing the noises of the night all around us. They reminded me of the crickets chirping away on a hot summer night back home in Missouri. I got a little nostalgic. Maybe it was that nostalgia that helped to put me in the frame of mind to exercise. I used to go jogging most afternoons after school when I was a teenager, and I always found it therapeutic. I’m not sure why I ever stopped, but I can say now, five weeks into the program, I’ve had a renewed desire to be more active. I’ve logged time on the cross trainer, and indulged in a new Windsor Pilates DVD set with Pilates circle, which has become my new favorite thing! It appears to be simple and low-impact at first, until a sore set of abs greets you upon waking the next morning! I really want to jump start my weight loss since it was clearly impacted by the inflammation of our sugar spree.

The amazing food has continued! We made Sarah’s Sugar-free Barbeque Pulled Pork a week ago, and I’m still looking forward to eating it again. Husband wasn’t so impressed by it, but I loved the combination of the pork and pickled chilli cucumber ribbons with homemade slaw, wrapped in a corn tortilla. I didn’t get a snap of the finished product, (it didn’t last very long!) but I did get one of the pork shoulder before I seared it.

Sugar-free Barbeque Pulled Pork 

It was a lot of work, but it did feed us both at least twice.

Our food creativity has still been pretty high, preferring to just throw together what we have, rather than seeking recipes. We did find a recipe on Pinterest because we wanted to use up some cannellini beans, which resulted in this yumminess:

White Beans with Spinach and Sausage 

 But mostly our meals have looked a little like this:

Just some sautéed asparagus with fresh mozzarella and a simple salad. Nice.

But one of our most favorite recipes, however, (pre-IQS even!) is Tarka Dal. Lentils, tomatoes, white beans, spices, chilli, ginger, garlic, coriander (US cilantro)…you can’t go wrong! I would happily choose this over a take-away version any day.

Tarka Dal 

One more fantastic side effect of quitting sugar has been my skin. It’s much smoother and clearer than when I started, and I’m wearing much less make up as a result.

Seeing my journey so far, do you think you could quit sugar, too? What do you think would be the hardest part for you? Remember, this lifestyle isn’t about deprivation. It’s ultimately about learning to listen to your body and treat it well.

As well as Facebook, I’m also on Instagram, Pinterest, and on Twitter as @ttbakermom if you want to follow! I appreciate all of the support I have had so far – it really helps to have people rooting for you!


I(‘m) Quit(ting) Sugar

Looks like my baking adventures will take a backseat for a while. I don’t say that sadly, though. I am thoroughly excited for this new adventure, and in the right mindset. Husband happened upon a book called I Quit Sugar by Australian, Sarah Wilson. She suffers from the same autoimmune disorder as I do (Hashimoto’s). It has only been since the birth of my daughter that I have truly had a problem with my disorder, which has brought on Hypothyroidism. Through struggling to find a GP that would actually listen to my problems, despite only a slightly abnormal reading on paper, to finally receiving a diagnosis after demanding further (probably expensive so therefore deemed “unnecessary” by the NHS) testing, I have since been placed on thyroid hormone, only to feel not a great deal improved. I’ve been referred to a specialist, but in the meantime, I’ve developed a desire to take back my health. So for the last few weeks, we have been researching the effects of sugar in the body and specifically in those who suffer from thyroid autoimmune disorders. You can read more about that here.

We bought two of Wilson’s books, I Quit Sugar and I Quit Sugar for Life. Technically, day one of our 8 week challenge begins Monday, but we have been experimenting the last few days with her recipes, namely her Coco-nutty Granola, Carrot Cake Porridge Whip, and Perfect Omlette with Baked Mushrooms.

Coco-nutty Granola.

I added some sesame seeds and sunflower seeds to mine and used 95g coconut oil. I also omitted the rice malt syrup as we just ordered ours from Amazon yesterday.

I’ve been a little coco-nutty myself, lately! I can’t seem to get enough coconut, which bodes well with this lifestyle. Wilson uses different forms of coconut in her recipes A LOT.

Hopefully blogging about our journey will help us be more accountable and track our progress. Another benefit (but certainly not the most important factor) of this journey is the amazing weight loss achieved by participants, remarking that they don’t miss the sugar at all! Their skin glows, energy soars, and their bodies feel like new. It is important to note that sugar isn’t “banned.” That’s not what it’s about. The 8 week initial cleanse is about recalibrating the body and killing the sugar cravings, then slowly reintroducing the better alternatives (I.e. fruit), enabling you to make better choices.

I’ve avoided using the word “diet” because it simply isn’t one. It’s a major lifestyle change. One that will, hopefully, transform this body more than just aesthetically.