#3 Round 2 of I Quit Sugar: Weeks Five and Six in Review

I need to start this review with a confession: I’ve completely fallen off the Movement Plan wagon. The wagon is not moving. After the challenging caffeine withdrawals in Week 4, which were followed by a gastro bug, I never really picked the movement plan back up. I have the worst excuse too – I don’t have time. The oldest excuse in the book! Except… that’s it’s true (I know everyone says that too!). I am really struggling to create time for this at the moment, knowing that it would be at the expense of something equally or more important in my life. Like sleep, of which I also get too little. For the time being, I’m just trying to incorporate activity into my daily life more. Walking the kids up to the park instead of driving. Getting out with the family to the local pool more often. Spending more time outside. Climbing on the playground at the national arboretum with my son, instead of just sitting and watching. I do find I have energy to burn, at the strangest of times, and sometimes I find myself doing push-ups or squats in the kitchen while I’m waiting for water to boil.

In January I wrote about the disease of being busy, and seeking a simpler life. That’s not going so well at the moment, although I did expect it, as I added study back into the mix this last fortnight. It’s definitely a relief to have all my meals planned out for me through the program, as otherwise it can seem like I spend hours planning the family menu (a complicated task when dealing with shift work), writing grocery lists, shopping and cooking!

In my last post, I wrote about the surprising effect that giving up caffeine had on me. After some unpleasant withdrawals, I felt calmer and slept better. A fortnight on, I am enjoying coffee again – but I’ve cut way back. I drank about six or seven coffees during weeks 5 and 6, instead of the twenty I would have had previously (plus additional cups of tea). Not having coffee every day has made me notice the specific effect that it does have on me. After I drank my first coffee post week 4, I felt a bit anxious, jittery and restless. I often feel this way, and I just assumed that I am naturally a high-strung, anxious person; but this marked difference made me wonder whether caffeine has been further emphasising these feelings.

I’ve also noticed that on the days I don’t drink coffee, I don’t suffer from hypoglycaemic issues (low blood sugar). I have struggled with low blood sugar for years, and always have to snack between meals to maintain a steady level. On the days that I don’t drink coffee, I don’t seem to have a problem with it, and can manage fine on my three solid meals. It’s a totally bizarre side-effect that I wasn’t expecting at all – but I’m excited about it! I’ve always found managing my blood sugar to be very frustrating, and feel like I’m constantly eating. I’m thrilled to have potentially found a solution. My sleep quality has improved too – I fall asleep easier, and sleep deeply. Until one of the children starts crying, at least.

In Week 6, we reintroduced some low-fructose raspberries and blueberries, and fructose-free sweeteners, including rice malt syrup. After four weeks of no fruit or sweetness, they taste amazing, and many participants have reported that their taste buds have changed. Our meal plan included a recipe for raspberry chia jam, which I found sweet enough just from the raspberries, without adding any extra rice malt syrup. I also made the incredible ‘molten peanut butter ‘n’ jelly brownies’ from the new IQS chocolate eBook… Which I’m now drooling about again (pic below). They are the ultimate answer to those who think that living a low-sugar, real food lifestyle is about self-deprivation! My favourite meals from the meal plan this fortnight included the fish en papilotte, which I made with salmon; Persian slow-cooked lamb with herb and pistachio pilaf, the buckwheat toast with ricotta and raspberry jam; the reuben sandwich and yellow roast chicken curry.

I was delighted to be invited to become an IQS Ambassador this fortnight; to help out other sugar-quitters in the IQS8WP forums and on social media with their own journeys, and to hear about their experiences, challenges and wins. It’s a wonderful privilege, great fun, and I am thoroughly enjoying being part of the team. πŸ˜€

And most importantly, here is the FOOOOOOD:

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

9 Comments

  1. anitaklich says:

    Wow! All of this look so yummy! Healthy food, in my opinion, can be much tastier than junk food. And there’s no doubt it’s more beneficial for the organism. Congrats on your caffeine cut-down! I’m still a bit addicted.

    • Erin says:

      Thank-you Anita! I really appreciate it. I’m definitely still a bit addicted to the caffeine – but it does feel better to have cut down on it! πŸ™‚

  2. kamillej2014 says:

    I found that my taste buds really did change and, once the agony of sugar addiction passed, I appreciated real flavour again. But I have one coffee a day and I Will Not Give It Up.
    I also have one banana a day. I think this compromise works for me. I think small meals often(5-6 a day) is better on the digestion that 3x big meals.
    Giving up sugar has really made a huge positive difference to my life.
    I love your food pics!

    • Erin says:

      Thanks Kamille! πŸ™‚ It’s great that you’ve found what works for you – at the end of the day we are all different, and I’m not at all suggesting that anyone should give up coffee. Or sugar for that matter – I only reflect on my own experience and what has worked for our family. I don’t think I could give up coffee completely either! Cheers, Erin

  3. Well done, Erin! I think you are doing awesome (not that what I think matters, but still!) Oh my gosh- the movement plan! I have not been able to keep up at all- what with a string of illnesses and snow storms to contend with… it just hasn’t gone my way. Still, we do what we can πŸ˜‰ Best wishes to you, lovely! xx

  4. shenANNAgans says:

    Im totally addicted to caffeine, so think that will be the most difficult to give up, but WOW… Look at all the amazingness you have created. Food we prepare is always tastier and more fulfilling than rubbish junk foods. Good on ya sticking with it. Just forwarded your posts onto my mom so we can nut out our plan of attack to going sugar free and getting our health on. πŸ™‚

    • Erin says:

      Oh wow, that makes me so happy! πŸ˜€ I didn’t give up caffeine when I did the program last year (it just felt like too much at once), so that was something I decided to do this time round, as the sugar is less of an issue. But it was still an unexpected surprise to permanently cut down on coffee – I have about three a week now (instead of 10). Next round of IQS starts in June if you’re interested! πŸ˜‰

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