In light of Sugar Awareness Week, I Quit Sugar author, Sarah Wilson tells us why we should be giving up the sweet stuff
Interview Helen Brown
Learn how to eat real, good-for-you food with Sarah Wilson, entrepreneur and best-selling author of I Quit Sugar. She teaches us how to cut out the sugary processed demons that are destroying our healthy eating. It’s all about cooking with real food that you and your body will love.
By eliminating sugar you recalibrate your taste buds and reset your appetite. This means you’re no longer a slave to those sweet cravings. Sound daunting? It’s really not that hard. Sarah Wilson tells us what giving up the sweet stuff can do for you…
What got you started on your sugar-free journey?
About five years ago I got very sick with an autoimmune disease. I had to pull back and stop working. I needed to get well and had been told for years I should quit sugar. Autoimmune is all about inflammation, and sugar is all inflammation. I decided to experiment with the idea and quit for two weeks. I wrote about it for the newspaper column I was writing at the time. It felt so good, so right – I lost weight immediately and had much better energy – that I just kept going. And going.
What benefits can be gained from reducing sugar intake?
Short term, you get more energy, your skin clears and you lose weight (weight loss generally kicks in after just a few weeks). Long term, you keep the weight off (unlike most diets) and you can reverse all kinds of chronic “modern” diseases, such as high cholesterol and diabetes. I’ve seen this reported many times.
Giving up sugar completely is a daunting prospect, where do you suggest people start?
There are three foods you can stop eating right now: fruit juice (there’s the same amount of sugar in a glass of apple juice as a glass of cola), low-fat dairy (they replace the fat with sugar in most cases) and packaged sauces (barbeque sauce is 50% sugar)
What are your tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle during a busy work day and on the go?
A morning routine is crucial. It creates the pivot point from which your day can leap. It means you can get out of bed and start your day in a considered and well way. The other thing would be walking. Walking is my form of transport. It means I get my exercise done, but it also ensures I have pockets in my day – when I walk to the post office, my office, to a meeting – where there is some time to think clearly and recalibrate. Most of us don’t need big slabs of time to recalibrate, just ten-fifteen minutes here and there throughout the day is enough to stay on track.
And what about when entertaining or during special occasions?
If I’m out at dinner, I’ll order a cheese platter for dessert. Or a big pot of tea (which I can fiddle with to distract me from others eating chocolate mousse). If I’m going to someone’s place for a dinner, I’ll offer to cook one of my sugar-free desserts!
Do you have advice for someone who’s fallen off the wagon and succumbed to a sugar craving?
I relapse all the time! It’s normal, and I would suggest doing something similar to what I do. Firstly, I don’t beat myself up. I just turn to my Recalibrating Pork Meal (you’ll find it in my book Simplicious). A pork chop, stacks of veggies and a dignified glass of preservative-free red wine. And then start afresh the next day!