#2 Round 2 of I Quit Sugar: Weeks Three and Four in Review

Halfway through the IQS8WP, it seems to be whizzing by. I could happily live on this program all year round, like those retirees who live on back-to-back cruise holidays.

Having said that, this last fortnight – Week 4 in particular – was very challenging.

Never have I been so obsessed with coffee, than during weeks 3 and 4 of the IQS8WP. Week 4 of the program was ‘clean week’, in which participants are encouraged to give up alcohol, caffeine and gluten for five days, just to ‘see how they feel’. When I first did the program, with a six-month old baby who was still not sleeping more than a couple of hours at a time, giving up coffee was not an option. So I thought I’d give it a bash this time round.

Week 3 felt like a coffee countdown. I was tempted to up my daily intake, to ‘get my fix’ before it was gone, but knew that would only make it harder to quit! I cherished my last coffee on that final Sunday morning like it was my last meal. Then I had another last coffee that same afternoon…

I’ve always figured that my relationship to coffee was more psychological than physical. I treasured my morning coffee routine, as something my husband and I did together most mornings – 10 minutes of quiet in an otherwise chaotic morning with the kids. I anticipated missing the routine more than the caffeine. I do tend to get a headache if I don’t have a morning coffee, so I thought this five days would be a good opportunity, not necessarily to give it up, but to reduce my dependence on it.

On day 1 of no coffee, I trotted off to work feeling pretty okay, and thinking it would be easier than I’d thought. It was around midday that my body realised the coffee wasn’t coming, and a dull headache settled in, which didn’t go away until the following morning. I was tired. For three days, I was absolutely exhausted, and in a fog. I vaguely stared and nodded at my colleagues, and one evening fell asleep at the dinner table. This started to ease up on day 4, and was replaced by aching kidneys. I’d heard about this symptom of detox, but hadn’t actually expected it. I lost a few nights of sleep due to the pain. Needless to say, I spent the entire week hanging out for a Saturday morning coffee. Unfortunately on the Saturday I came down with a gastro bug, and wasn’t able to stomach any. I’m choosing to see the silver lining in this – it gave me another couple of days to allow my aches to go away – and I felt so ill I didn’t want coffee anyway!

The reaction that my body had to giving up caffeine really disturbed me. I didn’t think I consumed that much:Β  1 – 2 coffees a day, supplemented with the odd cup of black tea. But my body clearly expected me to have it, every day, and was obviously affecting me more than I knew. Green smoothies featured heavily in the program during no-coffee week, and although I thought they would make me miss the coffee more, they actually helped a lot – they were refreshing, nutritious, and being a ‘drink’ made me miss my coffee routine a little less. I started to store them in half-serve jars in the fridge, to serve as a veggie-boosting snack for me and my 3 year old son, who loves them (give him a plate of spinach and avocado and he’d have a tantrum – smoothify them and he loves it!).

In a nutshell, coffee is still an open-ended question for me. Once the aches, pain and exhaustion went away I felt quite calm and level. And I slept better! Easier, and deeper. But I’ll talk more about this in my next fortnight’s review, once I’ve had a bit more time to monitor it.

On the Movement Plan front – Week 3 went well – but it all completely fell apart in Week 4. Between my exhaustion, aches and pains and then the gastro, I just couldn’t handle it. I decided that was ok, and will pick it up again when I’m feeling better.

So, on to the food, because that’s what it’s all about… My favourite meals included the coconutty granola, paleo chicken schnitzel, the turkey san choy bow, and the corned beef with spring vegetables and cauliflower mash. The corned beef was a pleasant surprise – I hadn’t eaten this since I was a child (bad memories of corned beef hash), but I really enjoyed it. I have noticed on Instagram that everyone is getting really nifty with their leftovers, which is encouraged and supported by IQS. Everyone is creating new recipes and #mishmash meals, using their freezers better, and generally wasting less. It’s good stuff.

Click here to view all posts related to my experience with the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program.

6 Comments

  1. hayley says:

    The meals look amazing. You make it sound so easy. I have the books and read them, just need to take the plunge. Can I ask if you have noticed any weight loss so far? Thanks

    • Erin says:

      Thanks Hayley πŸ™‚ I did the program for other health reasons, not weight loss. My husband however has lost a lot of weight since we started the program the first time round (last June).

  2. Veronika says:

    Erin your photos are fantastic. You’ve obviously been practising a lot!! Well done, great write up πŸ™‚

  3. shenANNAgans says:

    You’ve totally inspired me to give up sugar, and to really kick my mind, body and spirit into gear. Sounds like you are reaping great rewards. Well done! πŸ™‚

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