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I Quit Sugar – Week 8 – DONE

Woohoo! I did it peeps! Week 8 is done, fini, fatto, erledigt!

I gave myself a pat on the back, a toast and a big fat chocolate cake.

Just kidding.

I did not have a big fat chocolate cake.

But….

I did have a bite of a Betty Crocker Choc Fudge Brownie just to see if I’m cured.

I know I know, how could I eat a highly processed, fructose-full pre-mix cake, full of preservative, additives, and all the rest of it. Well,  I bought this way back pre-IQS and it was an easy way to please the boyfriend when he got his chocolate brownie craving. Since I made it, why not try it. You can’t not taste your own cake right? Right.

So am I cured?

Well, I’d be lying if I said that the brownie tasted awful and that I was repulsed by its sweet taste. Sarah Wilson said she was repulsed by the taste of sugar after being on this program. I, on the other hand, do not. The brownie tasted good to me. Although, admittedly, I added 3 tablespoon of pure unsweetened cocoa and added walnuts in the mix to reduce the sweetness of the cake and gave it a nice crunchy texture. It probably would have been way too sweet otherwise but still…

Bottom-line is, I still like the taste of sugar.  I don’t think I’d be able to dislike it. I also don’t think that it’s even biologically possible to ‘hate’ or be repulsed by the sweet taste of sugar unless you had too much of it.

Nevertheless, here’s where I recognise a change in my approach to sweet stuff.

As much as I enjoyed eating the brownie, I was able to stop from stuffing myself silly with the thing. In fact, far from it. It tasted too sweet for me to finish a whole slice so I stopped after a couple of bites. This was something I wouldn’t have been able to do 8 weeks ago.

So, I guess I’m sort of cured.

hi tea

I remember eating these during a high tea event – this was my third plate.

It has been a long and challenging 8 weeks.

I have learned so much about food, health and myself through this program and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

It’s amazing once you start paying attention on one thing – it opens your eyes to so many other things that you’ve never paid attention to before. For example, when you pay attention to sugar in food, you start paying attention to other things like carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamin and minerals in food. It’s incredible.

Things I learned

1. It is not impossible. You are actually not quitting sugar in its entirety - you’re quitting fructose. You can still enjoy natural sweetness like lactose (sugar in milk) and glucose (sugar from carb) in moderation.

2. You will slip up. Either accidentally or even intentionally (unless you eat at home all the time and super duper strict with it). It’s ok. It’s how we get ‘better’ with time that matters.

3. It is very easy to binge on fat. Took me the whole 8 weeks to finally cut down on the amount of fat I was consuming to replace my sugary snacks. I was eating 3-4 times the amount of fat recommended for my body size (I was eating at least 100 gram of nuts and 300g of cheese and full fat yogurt daily!).

4. Expect prejudice. Some people won’t get it and they might pass judgment. But who cares right? The way I see it, I’m doing this for me, not them.

5. It works. At least for me. I am happy to say that although I’m back to eating fruits and tasting sweet stuff again I don’t have bad sugar cravings any more. I sleep better at night and I feel healthier than before. Please note that I didn’t lose any weight (I gained) but it could be due to a few factors which I mentioned in my IQS Week 4 post.

Things I discovered

1. Health Foods. Wow, the world of health foods….I never knew there’re so many healthy ‘alternatives’ to things, ancient ‘superfoods’, extracts, concentrates, etc.

2.The Incredible Coconut. Consume anything that comes out of this fruit and you might live forever. I got close and personal with coconut since it is a staple for IQS diet and used in many of the IQS recipes to provide sweetness, richness and density to food. I was surprised to find out that coconut has so much health, nutritional and medicinal benefits. Did you know that the Pacific Islanders call the coconut palm ‘The Tree of Life’ because of its incredible nutritional and healing properties? Amazing stuff!

3. Cutting down on sugar also means cutting down on fat , preservatives, additives and other ‘bad things’ that usually comes with sugar. This is because you automatically cut down on processed and packaged food as most them have added sugar and fructose.

4. You don’t have to give up chocolate. Hallelujah! There’re cacao nibs, cacao powder, and chocolate with natural sweetener (stevia) you can have in place of regular chocolate. Happy Days!

5. Organic Food is where it’s at! Yes. It took me a while to accept this whole organic movement, mainly because of the unregulated use of the word ‘organic’ in Australia. How do you know they’re for real, right?

However, now, with the existence of Organic Food standard (working in Quality I love my standards) you can be more comfortable spending $$ on ‘certified’ organic food products. Just make sure they’re certified by a listed Organic Certifier – click here for the list of Organic Certifiers in Australia.

By the way, ‘Organic-certified produce’ means the food was grown, harvested, stored and transported without the use of synthetic chemicals, irradiation or fumigants – in case you’re wondering.

Happy Lab

Still Happy without Happy Lab

Where to go from here

Well, I will continue to eat less sugar whenever I can, cutting back on processed food and anything with added sugar.

However, there’re some food that play a strong role in defining our culture and tradition that are completely full or sugar.  I believe that we should be respecting and preserving these traditions so I will make an exception to these food (if they’re no suitable replacement) during an event or a special occasion. Plus, I don’t think I’d be able to find a sugar-less mooncake for the mooncake festival that’s coming up.

I will be experimenting in the kitchen with alternative ingredients to sugar and all other unique ingredients I discovered from this experience like Coconut Flour, Coconut oil, Macadamia oil, raw Cacao, Nutritional Yeast, Maca, etc.

I now have a brand new outlook on life, sugar and being healthy. 

I like it. It feels right.

Until the next challenge…..