Monday, 9 January 2017

I Quit Sugar Cleanse

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and NYE! As of January 1st I'm going on an 8 week sugar cleanse. I ate and drank a little bit too much over the festive season but honestly have kind of fallen off the healthy (ish) wagon since going to Australia in November. Before that I had been quite good with keeping healthy eating habit and regular exercise but like all routines, once you're out of them for a while they're gone :(
I'm determined to lose my post pregnancy weight (baby is 10 months old now so no excuses - plus I'm going to have to chase around a toddler soon) and get healthy in 2017! And I'm sick to death of wearing maternity clothes!! I'm usually not one for resolutions but this year I wanted to start fresh and try to quit sugar (and fit back into my regular clothes). My exercise goal is just 30 minutes of moving a day, usually a walk with the baby but yoga and pilates certainly counts!

I'm getting all my guidance from "I Quit Sugar" by Sarah Wilson. The idea is that it takes 8 weeks to cleanse yourself of sugar (fructose being the main culprit) and then after that you can introduce back in natural sugars such as fruit and brown rice syrup. As an adult I have to say I'm more a salt addict than a sugar one but I do realise now that I was consuming sugar in places that were hidden like sauces and "health foods". In the old days sugar was a treat and you would have only consumed less than 8 teaspoons of sugar a day which is still the recommendation today. Most people exceed this ten times just by the hidden sugar that lurks in everything under difference names and guises. Most of us don't even realise how much we are consuming, which is pretty scary when you think of the terrible health issues attributed to sugar consumption. I also found "That Sugar Film" a real wake up call too!

So my goal is to cleanse myself from sugar over the next 8 weeks and then start fresh by attempting to consume 8 teaspoons (or less, preferably none) of sugar daily. I'm hoping to even lose some weight as a side effect ;)
Lots of vegan sugar-free recipes on the IQS website!

Week 1

Did pretty well the first day! Didn't really miss sugar at all. Had natural peanut butter on toast for band black coffee for breakfast and then had homemade hummus and celery/fennel sticks for mid morning snack and then had a wonderful vegan New Year southern feast at my BFfs house and she made sure there was no sugar :)

Boiled collard greens, black eyed peas ain vegetable stock, cornbread and sweet potato.


Second day had grits for breakfast, kale pesto (from the book recipe) and GF pasta for lunch.
Felt like something sweet after dinner so I had a cup of chai rooibos tea.

Kale Pesto


I made roasted chickpeas for snacks. Garam Masala ones from the book recipe and ones from my previously used recipe.


Third day I had avocado on toast and black coffee for breakfast. Left over collard greens and corn bread for lunch. Dandelion pesto with celery/fennel for snack. Lentil soup for dinner.

The rest of the week I made recipes from the book such as...

Summer Quinoa Tabouleh


Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Seed Hash


Baked Polenta with Miyoko's Kitchen Sundried Tomato Nut Cheese, green onions, sage and thyme.


Pasta using dandelion or kale pesto (recipe from the book. Using the Parmesan cheese below...



Nut cheeses (sugar free!) with crackers is great for a dessert or a snack.
There is a recipe for homemade seed crackers in the book too.


This first week is more about cutting down sugar and substituting to get ready for the full quit in week 2-3 but I actually went the entire week completely sugar free with a cheat on the last day of a glass of red wine (which doesn't contain fructose so I should still be on the right track!).

Week 2

Doing pretty well so far, not craving sweets as much as I thought. Standard breakfast is toast with nut cheese, hommus or avocado and black coffee.

I made a few different recipes from the book, freezing some of the soup recipes,so I have plenty of variety in the fridge for lunches and dinners. I really loved the Cooling Avocado Soup, Foolproof Fennel Soup & Roasted Cauliflower Soup .I have the roasted chickpeas and hummus with veggies as snacks as well. I'm trying to drink lots of water but I also found mineral water and La Croix water to be helpful when you don't feel like water.

Cooling Avocado Soup


Week 3

Nearly at the end of week three and I'm down to 150lbs which is nice. I was starting to wonder if I'd lose anything!
Had virtually no sugar this week. a couple of things tripped me up just because I didn't realise the sugar content until it was too late but it wasn't more than 2 teaspoons total so I'm not too worried.

On the menu this week was Spiced Almonds, which were delicious and really great when you feel like something sweet.


The Fennel Soup was delicious!

I made the satay tempeh from the IQS website and had it with romaine leaves one night and rice another night. 

I made my stuffed acorn squash recipe but omitted the apple.


The broad beans and avocado on rice cakes ecipe was good, I used lima beans because I had them.
This was from the IQS website.




This Sweet Potato Soup was pretty good, I didn't have any red lentils so I omitted but wished I'd had them!


Herb Black Quinoa Muffins - from the IQS website (Although I used red quinoa...shhh)


Week 4

Week 4 didn't start well unfortunately,  of the sugar but because I thought I broke my toe :(
Needless to say I've been rendered more or less immobile in terms of exercise which is driving me crazy but I'm determined to finish this cleanse! I wouldn't say I've cheated at all but I have had the occasional thing that contained very small amount of sugar, like vegan meat or homemade ketchup. I've only lost 2 lbs so far and without exercise I fear I won't lose much more. Meanwhile my BFF started a "no processed food cleanse" a couple of weeks ago and has already lost 14lbs!!! I think that will be my next one lol
Here's some of the foods I ate.

This Hurt's Ham Been chilli was surprisingly good! I added extra canned tomatoes and a bay leaf but besides that it was all included! All the Ham Been flavor sachets are also vegan and GF! I also made a sugar free corn bread :)




This is a simple dish, marinated tempeh (soy sauce, sesame oil, liquid smoke) fried with some kale and topped with Chinese Five Spice.


This was definitely my cheat day was Australia Day! I finally made vegan GF meat pies which I've been meaning to since I went vegan. The only sugar was in the vegan meat (Gardein beef crumble) and in the BBQ sauce and ketchup which you add to the filling. I made my own using brown rice syrup.


 I roasted some pumpkin but it was so bitter! I tried it on a wrap (my wrap bread had a small amount of sugar) but eventually made it into a sweet potato/pumpkin mash which was good.



Burger using one of Dr. Praegers vegan patties, Follow Your Heart cheese and a GF bun. None of this had sugar.


Made this vegan Pho from the IQS website, I added mushrooms and carrots.


Week 5

Had some good news in that my toe wasn't broken, only severely bruised so it should heal up fast and I should be back into my walking and yoga soon! Still hovering between 150-152lbs everyday so I'm hoping to see some better results by the end of week 8. This week I really felt it. Between having my period, being sick and having a sore foot I needed comfort bad! I tried to make cookies from the book but they were not sweet at all and disappointed me! I made the "Nutella" from the book and had it on rice crackers for breakfast and that hit the spot. 

Needed some wine this week and I found this vegan wine Santa Julia Organic Cab Sav.


Made a simple brothy soup using homemade stock!


Made one of my favourite comfort foods...Agedashi Tofu. Instead of mirin I used brown rice syrup.


Made this "get well" chickpea soup from The Great Vegan Bean Cookbook by Kathy HEster.


Made Carrots & Tofu, another Japanese treat I love. Again I used brown rice syrup in place of sugar.


I use the Winter Truffle Nut Cheese by Miyoko's Creamery to make a pasta dish - other ingredients were a bit of unsweetened almond milk, splash of wine wine and salt.


Made this delish Creamy Thai Carrot Soup.


I made these cookies from the IQS book but I had a slight fail. Instead of stevia I used brown rice syrup and they were not sweet at all, in fact they were salty. The rest of the family loved them but I needed something sweet so that's when I made the "Nutella" from the book and that was pretty good.



Week 6

I had a slight breakthrough half way during the week, I was down to 149lbs! I hadn't been in the 140's since before I was well into my pregnancy so I was pretty excited about that!
Now that my toe has been feeling better I've been doing my normal exercise regime again (30-45mins walking with baby, 20mins yoga and 10 mins weights). I was craving sugar kind of bad this week so I tried to make vegan Bailey's but only had bourbon and no Irish whiskey. Needless to say it was awful - never use bourbon in Baileys! I've also had the occasional glass of red wine but other than that I've been pretty good. Occasionally adding brown rice syrup in place of sugar in meals if it was necessary.
I made the IQS Kimchee recipe a week ago and so this week was able to finally eat it! I think I added too much salt but I made a Kimchee Soup (I used miso paste instead of sugar) with it and didn't need to add any salt to the stock so it was delicious!!





For Superbowl Sunday I made Buffalo Bites but I used Tempeh and substituted the sugar for brown rice syrup. Used the leftovers to make this wrap (sugar free, vegan and GF!)



Kids wanted pancakes on Saturday and I really did too. I tried the IQS recipe from the book but it turned out awful, wouldn't cook and kept sticking to the pan. Eventually I gave up and redid the mix with Instant Pancake Mix but left out the sugar. The berry sauce from the book was good though - a bit too tart for the kids.


Week 7

So I had a slight cheat on Saturday because it was my son's first birthday and I wanted to tastes ome things that I had made, yes they had refined sugar in them. I know I'm very naughty but I didn't eat much and I felt horrible the next day. Other than that I've still be hovering round 148-150lb. Although I'm sick of feeling restricted I don't actually feel like sugar if I'm honest. Hopefully that will continue after I finish the detox. I made the Kimchee soup again because that was amazing! I'v had some vegan grilled cheese sandwiches more out of convenience than anything else and I made a batch of my grandma's Three Bean Soup. Also had Insalata Caprese Crackers when I really felt like a snack.

Made this Jap Chae which was delicious and only used 1Tbls brown rice syrup.


Week 8

Last week! Nearly four months after having a pain in my foot they finally figured out I had a fractured sesamoid, so now I'm in a boot for the next 6 weeks which obviously is making exercise slightly more difficult. Yoga is completely out 😭😭😭



Brown rice noodles with carrot, onion and spinach with a peanut sauce. Recipe here, I used some brown rice sugar and sambal olak instead of sweet chilli sauce.


Tempeh marinated in Tamari, sesame oil and liquid smoke, sauteed with shredded carrot and served on romaine leaves.


So after 8 weeks I'm only down 2lbs which was a little disappointing but at least I didn't gain weight, right?? I am looking forward to getting stuck into some sugar just to appease my craving but honestly I think this cleanse was good for a couple of reasons. Firstly I know a lot more about sugar now and how to read the food labels with regards to converting to teaspoons, secondly I have felt better, especially my psoriasis has so I think I will continue to live with the philosophy of 8 teaspoons or less of sugar daily, with the occasional treat. ;)

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