on 26 November 2015
Cutting out sugar is not easy for a sugar/chocolate lover but this book is inspiring enough to have a go. I have had no sugar for three weeks now and the craving is over (although watching my husband eating puddings and ice cream is still a bit of a torture) the up side is that I feel so much better and all sorts of little niggly 'symptoms' have gone away, I have more energy and even enjoy long walks with my dog whereas before I was beginning to think that at 74 I was getting too old for such exercise.
on 6 April 2014
This book has seriously changed my life, I bought it at the beginning of January as part of my 'get fit and lose weight' New Years resolution, as with every other year the exercise and motivation had fizzled out by February but this, was a different story.
First off I will say you actually need to read the bit at the beginning of the book, I never usually bother but I think hearing some home truths about my excessive sugar consumption and how bad it really is for us is one of the things that helped me stay focused with this new lifestyle.
I was consuming probably double the amount of recommended sugar a day, and felt lethargic and tired all the time, I had a nap every afternoon and struggled to get up for work in the mornings. Since cutting a lot of sugar out my life, I feel like a new person, I have much more energy and actually feel like exercising. As a result, I have lost two stone since mid January and the pounds are still dropping off.
At first this book was about helping me lose weight but seeing the positive impact it has on my health, that's not my main goal anymore, and I see this as more of a lifestyle change than a diet.
The recipes themselves are delicious.
Although Sarah is Australian and at first I found myself thinking 'What the heck are half these ingredients?!' I soon noticed a pattern in the book, that she keeps the ingredients to a limited amount using the same ones in a lot of recipes so once you've bought them, you can use them for a multitude of things and they won't go to waste collecting dust at the back of your cupboard.
I found most of the ingredients, which there is a list of in the book, either here on Amazon or in my local supermarket/health shops. They weren't as foreign as I thought, and most are relatively cheap.
The important thing I learnt is if you don't have something, there is usually a just as healthy alternative you do have/or can easily get, which still works and is sugar free.
I love her meal ideals, especially breakfast, I used to skip breakfast because I was so late for work by the time I got up, now I find only getting up 15 mins earlier gives me time to make a tasty recipe such as her bacon and egg cupcakes which are amazing and so quick to make.
I've also enjoyed making some of her sweet treats. I think when you tell someone you have quit sugar they think it means you can't eat sweet stuff ever again. So not true!
I have an extremely sweet tooth and have recently made healthy sugar free versions of things like Reese's peanut buttercups and chocolate raspberry ripple and cheesecake. All which have been just as delicious as the real deal. Once you get your head around the fact they are not going to be artificially sweet like ones you can buy in a shop, they are much more enjoyable! If it works for me and satisfies my cravings it will work for anyone!
Last thing I have to say, is a bit of a confession. I will hold my hands up and say, since starting to use the book, I have still had my fair share of cakes, brownies etc that have definitely NOT been sugar free. Even though I see this as a lifestyle change I'm not going to deny myself of someone's birthday cake etc because it has sugar in it, that's ridiculous and not a way to live your life. I don't know if Sarah Wilson herself NEVER eats sugar, hats off to her if she manages not too, but I am human and you only live once, so if I want it I will have it, just in moderation obviously and the rest of the time, I am a sugar free girl! I find now, when I have sugar I don't want more and more like I used too, my body isn't programmed like that anymore and I usually feel full up or sick if I eat more than I should.
So to wrap it up, I would totally recommend this book to anyone looking for a lifestyle change, and to give their health a boost. I can promise you you won't feel restricted in anyway and can still have the kinds of foods you enjoy, just versions that make you feel good afterwards not guilty!
If you are still unsure about purchasing I would recommend trying the 'I quit sugar' website for recipe ideas before, just so you can see for yourself how good this lifestyle is!
on 3 May 2016
The title is totally misleading. It should read, How I replaced sugar with a sweet substitute. I was expecting recipes that used food ingredients that did not need a sweetener. There wasn't a single recipe I could use. Not vegan friendly. The strong point of the book is that it is beautifully produced.
on 15 March 2014
Was given this by my sister, who has been diagnosed with diabetes so is really watching her health now. Loved the casual, conversation style writing but originally felt it was very light in content - like others, I was expecting a full on weekly meal plan like other diet type books.
However as I liked the principles and have seen a lot of scientific research that backs up the sugar issues (so don't understand how others are saying this lacks scientific evidence!) I thought I would give it a go and give up sugar.
When I re-read the book and started taking notes on what to avoid, what to swap out and started writing down breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner ideas and assessing what I could drink, I suddenly found I had loads of written notes and actually this book holds everything you need to do a detox. It just doesn't force you down some prescribed meal plan - you have to think about what you eat already, consider what is high in sugar, look at labels and then use Sarah's advice to swap things around.
This detox completely changed my life - I lost 10kgs in around 6 weeks and am still consistently losing weight each week - without even thinking about it and still enjoying food. The tips around swapping out sweet treats for fats are excellent - as someone who was a total chocolate addict, I now snack on yoghurt, nuts and the occasional piece of 90% dark chocolate, and most of the time I don't even feel the need to snack. I sleep better, I have more energy and no longer feel fatigued all the time, and I am inspired to look at other blogs and books on healthy eating - including raw, vegan and vegetarian options.
I found that I did have to purchase a whole new selection of ingredients - most of which I can get from Holland & Barrett or (surprisingly) Ocado as part of my normal food shop, occasionally I do have to just order something online (rice malt syrup - but you can swap this out for maple syrup or honey (reduce the quantities) - but they are less healthy options). Yes, these ingredients are more expensive than white sugar, but I am now eating so much healthier, have started baking healthy chocolately treats with raw cacao (Sarah has a chocolate e-cookbook as well) and am saving money in no longer buying junk food all day long, so I feel it is worth it. The high price of organic, natural sweet options has made me realise these should be a once in a while treat and not an everyday item.
What I liked the most about giving up sugar was how easy it was - every other diet feels like you are depriving yourself - with this, I could still go to the pub and eat a burger, I just needed to put wholegrain mustard on it instead of tomato sauce, I could still have a drink, I just had soda water with lime or lemon, and if I really needed a sweet treat, I'd bake something with cacao and rice malt syrup. And it feels permanent - this isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle change, I will keep this approach to my eating forever.
Make sure you try the chocolate/coconut/nutty granola (can't remember if this was in this book or the chocolate cookbook) - but I eat it every day with natural yoghurt, I have a glass jar of it at work, it is amazing.
on 1 June 2014
I really wanted to like this book, it is really very pretty. The marketing behind it is great. That is about as far as my praise can go. The science of why is iffy at best. I don't think we should eat sugar, but I finished this book feeling unconvinced by the authors reasoning.
The most difficult part for me is that the recipes rely heavily on rice syrup. Which to me is just a slightly less bad sugar. Plus its expensive and hard to find. It's also fairly inconsistent. Don't eat fruit, but have a fruit smoothie? In my mind its better to have an occasional piece of fruit than to make a highly processed dessert with added sugar (albeit sugar from rice).
I agree with the general concept, we eat way too much sugar and that is bad. But in my mind trading one type of sugar for another is not helping. Sugar is sugar is sugar. Rice malt syrup still has a sweet taste that causes you to release the hormones etc. so keeping it in your diet is only going to create the same cravings. Additionally it still creates an insulin response, feeds candida and many other negative sugar issues. I just don't feel like you can say you quit sugar if you are still consuming something that is so clearly just another sugar.
on 25 November 2015
The book is amazing! After 8 weeks without sugar I felt better (even over fact in first two weeks I was craving sweets!!), I am not tired at all and simply don't miss that sugar. I can just highly recommend, at least like a book of opinion about fructose etc.
on 29 November 2015
Inspiring, helpful, realistic up to a point: Still haven't used the Chai Seeds I bought a couple of months ago. Sarah Wilson acknowledges that she hasn't completely quit sugar. But what she has managed to do has improved her quality of life.
on 29 May 2016
I bought this book several weeks ago as I am a self confessed sugar addict. I decided one day after a sugar binge that enough was really enough and I needed to cut down for the sake of my health.
The 8 week plan is great and really structured and that's what's helped me to get through it. I find I often start health kicks and give up by week 3 as I get bored. By setting this in little mini week goals I found the motivation to keep going rather than it seeming endless and not knowing where to start.
The only reason I don't give 5 stars is there are a lot of sugar substitution recipes in this book which aren't suitable when on the 8 week plan and I found it difficult to find decent lunch ideas that didn't mean eating the same things over and over. That being said I've lost 3kg so far and feel better than I have done in a long time. My energy levels have massively increased, I have less mood swings. All my family and friends have noticed I seem happier so that's definitely worth it!!!
on 1 July 2016
The recipes are fun and innovative and tasty, but the format is quite inflexible. I would have preferred there to also be more simple reference sections, like "avoid these" and "substitute these". There's a couple of pages like this but they are very brief. Explanations in the recipes would have been nice too, so that you can understand why ingredients have been chosen and what else you could try instead. The way it's written is very linear, you really have to follow it through in order, and I'm just not capable of following orders for 8 weeks. The book is very nicely designed and very pretty but this does make it hard to flip back and forth or to use as a reference - again, it really wants you to just read it one page at a time.
As there are now quite a few low sugar / low carb / low gi diets out there, maybe a future edition should address the differences.
on 25 December 2015
My understanding is that Sarah Wilson's real issue is with fructose not all sugars. This may go some way to explain the confusion some people feel over stevia and rice malt syrup etc. Personally I didn't bother with those. Stevia is repellent and rice malt syrup is difficult to find.
What the book actually tells you, other than recipes, could be covered in a few lines.
Weeks 1-2 - cut out extraneous sugar
Weeks 3-6 - cut out nearly all sugar and up fat intake
Weeks 7-8 - reintroduce some sugars if you like. Try to stay under 20ish g total sugars a day.
At least that's what I did. I feel so much better: improved mental ability, uninterrupted sleep, consistent energy and 20lbs lighter.
I liked it. Yes the science appears muddled in places. I read scientific books for that information.