As promised, today’s post is a wrap up of weeks one and two of the I Quit Sugar 8 week programme. In my last post here I gave you the low down on the facts and figures of the programme but today I’m giving you the ‘behind the scenes’ details about what I’m eating, how I’m feeling and what’s going on generally as the weeks unfold.
The first thing you’re probably wondering is what have I eaten? Well, week one is fairly gentle and there are no strict rules about completely cutting out sugar. You are strongly encouraged to start reducing the sweet stuff (and you have lots of information available on the site and forums to help you become more mindful of where the sugar is coming from in your diet) but it’s not until week two when the sugar ban comes into force.
Week one definitely eases you into the programme. You receive your meal plans nice and early, there are lots of interesting articles and blog posts you are directed towards to start reading up on sugar; and if I’m honest as someone who doesn’t eat a huge amount of sugar week to week, week one didn’t feel like a particularly stretching one. This is not to say that for others this won’t be a hard week because it might be the first time that you’re confronting how much sugar you’re eating and where it’s been coming from.
One of the main bonuses of the programme for me (aside from the health benefits) is always the food – the meal plans are so well thought out and all the food tastes good. Week one for me was all about the carrot and cauliflower pureé. It was on the Sunday cook up menu and despite being a pumpkin and sweet potato pureé fan (there’s always some in my freezer) this new combo was fairly revolutionary for me. It was used in curries, soups, stews, smoothies and muffins – it was really the standout star of the week for me.
What was on the meal plan?
Breakfasts: Feta and carrot savoury muffins, folded golden eggs, cauli toast and eggs. Each of these are alternated so you don’t get bored and eat the same thing two days in a row (unless you want to, in which case you can simply swap things around).
Lunches and dinners (you cook once and eat these twice, using the leftovers up for lunch the next day): Pumpkin and green bean risotto, Roasted pear, feta and sweet potato salad, chickpea coconut curry, sumac halloumi bowl, curried carrot and cauliflower soup, paprika pulled mushroom subs, roasted caponata with polenta chips
What dish(es) surprised me the most? The pulled mushroom subs or the roasted pear salad. I’m not a big fan of pears or mushrooms but both of these recipes were outstanding. The mushrooms were in a paprika sauce so they felt like a really decedent treat and the roasted pear just brought something extra to the table.
What can’t I wait to cook again? Either the polenta chips or the mushroom subs. Both were very quick and easy but the flavour pay off tasted like I’d spent at least an hour in the kitchen each time. I’d even make the polenta chips to eat on their own as a snack in future
What would I pass on next time? The curried carrot and cauliflower soup. Nothing about this dish was bad, per se, it just wasn’t as exciting as some of the other meals. Plus I have about a million soup recipes so this isn’t anything out of the ordinary to what I would usually cook.
Moving on to week two it gets a little stricter. Weeks two to six are sugar free completely – and that includes fruit too. It can be a scary concept if you’ve not done this before but speaking from experience I know that the idea was worse than the actual doing. There is plenty of food to eat so you don’t miss fruit but you do start to see and feel sugar cravings and detox symptoms come through around this time.
What was on the meal plan?
Breakfasts: Cauli toast and eggs, supercharged broccoli bread, scrambled egg pita pockets, chunky salsa on sourdough toast.
Lunches and dinners: Roasted greens with lentils and halloumi, fennel and eggplant soup with crispy croutons, turmeric tempeh and Indian rice, cheesy mushroom and buckwheat risotto, carrot and spinach pasta bake lentil pizza crust and leftovers topping, creamy spinach polenta mash with caramelised mushrooms and fennel.
What dish(es) surprised me the most? The supercharged broccoli bread. Packed full of spinach and broccoli it was one of my most liked and discussed posts on Instagram this year. I loved being able to eat a healthy bread that gets some veg in too (plus it tastes delicious).
What can’t I wait to cook again? The pasta bake was genius. Seven servings of veggies and it took under 30 minutes to cook. Most of the hard work of the sauce was taken out by using the carrot and cauliflower pureé as a base mixed with soft cheese. It’s one of those meals that would fool children or the veggie sceptical who usually avoid ‘healthy’ food.
What would I pass on next time? The tempeh with Indian rice. Again, there was nothing bad about this recipe it just didn’t get me as excited as the others- although I can thank the Programme for introducing me to tempeh.
How have I felt? So far it’s not been too bad but I’ve still experienced some cravings and detox symptoms which were unexpected. In particular I’ve had lethargy and sugar cravings after most meals since the middle of week two. I’ll keep you updated as to when they disappear but rest assured that even the ‘healthiest’ of eaters out there are still susceptible, which means even we are probably consuming more sugar then we should.
Next week is more of the same – no sugars and no fruit. The meal plan looks interesting, probably my favourite so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing how my body changes this next week – usually week three is when detox gets the worst but the best changes start happening (better sleep, clearer skin etc.) I’ll be doing a daily IQS food show and tell over on Instagram so if you can’t wait until next week’s update head on over and see what I’m up to (and eating!)
If you have any questions about the Programme, the food I’m eating or how I’m feeling then pop them in the comments below. Until next week…