Week 2: Operation Eat Fat

Our mantra this week, according to Sarah, was “Replace sugar with Fat”.  Right, ok!?  I must admit to being pretty skeptical at this point.  Surely this is contrary all the healthy eating info out there?  You want me to eat lots of fat this week?  Really?

Apparently the science here is that wholesome, unprocessed fats and quality proteins such as eggs, cheese, nuts and coconuts will fill you up quickly and give you a satisfied feeling (you are not feeling deprived of the food comfort you crave).

Well, turns out it is true.  I experienced feeling full for the first time in ages for most of this week.  By Thursday I even skipped dinner, still full from lunch….. seriously.  I cannot remember skipping a meal voluntarily since high school.

An added bonus for me this week I have definitely trimmed down a few centimetres around the middle.  In 2 weeks.  And after a week concentrating on increasing my fat intake.  Go figure.

We cooked with butter and coconut oil.  We embraced animal fat and whole dairy, whole eggs and ate quite a lot of cheese and nuts.  Blissfully yummy really.

I wouldn’t say my sister and I feel completely different.  We still feel pretty tired in the mornings as well as being our usual exhausted selves after long days of work and family.  And it does take a lot of extra time and thinking to plan all these different meals.  But we do think there has been enough change to intrigue us as to the possibilities of continuing our experiment.

Intrigued.  That is where we are in this process.  Since embarking on this quitting sugar gig it seems everywhere we look is the “sugar is bad” message.

Did you catch Nigel Latta’s take on sugar last week on TV?  Apparently he has now thrown his weight behind the campaign to tax sugary drinks in NZ.  And since going sugar free himself he has lost 8kgs.

Friends, family and acquaintances around the world seem to be sharing their stories too  through the social media grapevine and the message is similar – overwhelming change in health after quitting sugar.

So, delicious recipes tried and enjoyed this week:

And one from Dr Libby’s Real Food Kitchen book (page 181) that we adapted:

beef, ginger and tamari stirfry
We can do trendy food pics too 🙂

Intrigued and enthused we head into week 3 simply entitled “Quit!”.  Guessing this week won’t be as much fun as replacing sugar with fat has been…..

Week 1: Start to cut back

So this first week has been one of easing into the whole “no more sugar” idea.

We spent last Sunday planning – rejigging the weekly shopping list and planning everyday’s meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). We also included a 6am wake-up to exercise for 20 minutes Monday to Thursday.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain. I live with my sister, her husband and my two precious nephews (aged 7 and 4).

All the adults work as well as run around after our “full-on and fabulous” little boys. They eat different meals from us and dinner is pretty early in the evening. The adults often feel the need to grab comfort snacks later in the evening! We either eat with them, everyone at the table for quality family time over a meal or sometimes we will eat later when they are in bed.

Anyway, suffice to say managing 5 people’s meals in this household requires some planning, especially when we are trying to break some old, bad habits.

So, step one was plan, plan and plan some more, right down to snacks. Sarah’s book really helped us here. This week we tried the Chia Puddings (page 80), the Coco-Nutty Granola (page 76) and the Potato Skins (page 152). All of these we will definitely use again – delicious, filling and comforting.

Coco-Nutty Granola
Coco-Nutty Granola

My favourite meal this week was my sister’s adaptation of a Dr Libby Weaver recipe from her book Real Food Kitchen – the roast vege salad (page 201). This is a great combination of kumara, carrot, capsicum, mushrooms, garlic, red onion, eggplant, zucchini and sausage meat all roasted in coconut oil with fresh thyme, flat leaf parsley, salt and pepper. When cooked toss through fresh baby spinach leafs, chopped up almonds and a little apple cider vinegar. Delicious! And that is what I’m having for lunch tomorrow. We have planned most dinners that way, with leftovers for lunch the next day.
When we looked at Sarah’s “rules” for week one we found that we were doing most of this already, or rather we knew we SHOULD be doing all this already. For us it was a week commitment to stay away from sugary, fizzy drinks, chocolates, lollies, baked goodies, as much processed food as possible and no high fructose fruit.

Discussing how we feel after this first week, nothing earth shattering to report. We definitely craved our comforts – mine being chocolate and ice cream, my sister’s being dried fruits and Coca Cola. But because we weren’t calorie counting or depriving ourselves we found there were other goodies to snack on. Cheese after dinner instead of dessert, lots of tea and popcorn are some examples.

It was tough getting up in the morning to workout even just to stumble down to the lounge, stick in a DVD, push play and jig around for a bit. However, we think on the whole we do feel better for it. So same again next week.

We have both struggled with feeling unwell this week but we are not sure we can put that down to detoxing? Being both of us quite hormonal at present and my sister with a streaming cold has meant we found it hard to figure out what was making us feel a bit blah.

Right, so week two begins. Our planning is complete, the shopping done. I’m about to head into the kitchen to try making a few snacks for the week ahead.

Our mantra this week is “replace sugar with fat”….. Let’s see how that turns out.

We quit sugar

My sister and I are tired of being tired, a little too round and just generally feeling unwell. Food has quite the psychological hold over us; we turn to it for comfort. We have tried every diet extreme over the years. Now in our mid-30s, our poor bodies are so confused from all the time of mixed messages….. And, well, it seems we are about to succumb to the next, great health and wellness message – Sugar is Poison!

Before you complain that that last sentence may smack slightly of jaded cynicism, I have genuinely been inspired by the Sugar is Poison message and believe we may just have stumbled onto something here. In particular, Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar” books and website have inspired me to approach health and wellbeing in a gentle manner. And so we here we are on the threshold of our gentle experiment: if we follow Sarah’s 8 Week Sugar Detox programme, try her recipes and see how we go.

So, no scales, no measuring, no calorie counting, no major restrictions other than the phasing out of the sugar. We will check in once a week and let you know how it’s going.