Sugar

The I Quit Sugar Programme is no more

For those of you who have been reading this/ following me on Instagram for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been a member of the I Quit Sugar community for the past few years.  Since my first programme in February 2016 I’ve since completed three rounds of the structured 8 week course and undertake my own 8 week programme (using the recipes) whenever I feel like my sugar habit has been spinning out of control.

So it was a sad day when I heard that Sarah Wilson, the founder of the IQS movement, announced that she was closing down the programme and the site.  You can read the full announcement here, to focus on her mental health and food activism work instead.

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Sarah has since announced that although the site will close and the programmes will be no more, Sam Wood will be hosting the free recipes over on his site here and that the paid programme material can also be accessed there too (it’s currently being integrated into Sam’s programme and the money he receives from the paid IQS content is going to charity.  You can read all about it here.)

I couldn’t let the end of the site go without writing something about how I felt and signing posting you to the resources if you’ve ever been curious about the programme but didn’t want to pay the full fee (I’ve also written about this myself here).

It’s a bittersweet feeling for me knowing that there will never be another opportunity to just ‘do another round’ when I’m feeling a bit off centre – meaning I shall have to take responsibility for giving my diet a motivational kick up the arse myself (although for the sake of full transparency that’s going to be re-visiting the old programme menus I’ve saved) and I will forever be grateful for the amazing connections I’ve made through the programme.

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To that end, if you don’t already read Rani’s wonderful blog then you should check her out here, Sarah is an ex-UKer living in Aus now and has another great blog here; Angie is a fit mum who is really inspiring and has a no BS approach to food and life, you can find her here ,not to mention the many other lovely others (too many to mention) whose Instagram accounts are worth a nosey if you want your food healthy, low sugar (mostly) but definitely not boring: Mel is a gorgeous crafter and foodie, Rowena is a herbal medicine student who gives me lunchbox envy and Bonni is a UK based fellow foodie fan and all round great lady (she gave me my first SCOBY and has since been responsible for my kombucha obsession.)

They (amongst hundreds of others) have been super supportive throughout my own sugar quitting experiment and so to them and Sarah Wilson (I know she will not read this but I want to put it out there in the universe, just humour me please) I say a huge thank you. Thank you for tearing down the BS ideas I thought I knew about food, health and nutrition back in my ‘low fat’ days, and for being the reason I became so interested in food and health which has now led on to this amazing studying path and subsequent career change.  Sarah will never know how much it has meant to but you guys do and I’m grateful that you keep reading and wanting learn more with me.

So here’s to continuing on what IQS help me start.  See you Sunday.

Katie x

Sugar

The IQS 8wp weeks 1+2 roundup

Hi everyone,

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.

Continue reading “The IQS 8wp weeks 1+2 roundup”

Sugar

The I Quit Sugar Programme – the details

Hi friends,

After enrolling on the I Quit Sugar 8 week programme at the start of the month I wasn’t sure whether I would share a weekly progress update on here (because I wasn’t sure if you’d be interested) but after an overwhelmingly positive response to my posts over on Instagram (here btw, if you don’t follow me already) plus number of people asking me a whole range of questions these past two weeks I thought each week I’d do a little wrap up of how it’s going and give you guys a space to ask me anything you want to know about the Programme.

So, as I’m moving into week three here’s some basic programme information to help you decide whether it’s for you and on Wednesday I’ll do a full run down on weeks one and two.

Continue reading “The I Quit Sugar Programme – the details”

Sugar

I’m quitting sugar (again) – the 8 week programme

Hi everyone,

How’s your week going?  This week has flown past for me – how are we on the 17th January already?  If you read my post about new year’s intentions here you’ll know that I’m all about some general healthy commitments throughout the year.

Moving every day was one of them, and I’m happy to report I’m managing to stick to that (walking and yoga, it’s all been very sedate so far.)  If you want a great little yoga challenge to ease you into the new year I can highly recommend the True series by Adriene here.  I’m half way through and it’s been so wonderful to escape to my mat every day for 30 minutes of quiet time.  Even when I’ve been tired or not in the mood to workout I’ve never regretted it once – it’s true what they say, the only workout you regret is the one you didn’t do.

Continue reading “I’m quitting sugar (again) – the 8 week programme”

Food hacks

Back to work (or school) health hacks

Hi everyone, how are we doing now we are ‘properly’ back into January? I’m feeling fairly fresh and energised (which I’m attributing to some newly implemented habits) but if you’re not then this post might come at the right time for you.

Today I am sharing some quick and easy things you can do help keep your healthy habits on track and your wellbeing a priority as the day to day routines settle back in and the year rolls on.

If your good intentions are starting to slump and your motivation is waning then read on for some easy ways to inject some goodness into your January – without investing in a new gym membership or embarking on a crazy diet.

Continue reading “Back to work (or school) health hacks”

Christmas

The Christmas fallow – what now?

Hi everyone,

How was your Christmas Day?  Are we all feel sprightly and bright or did we overindulge and feeling in a bit of a festive fug?  Well, hopefully you’re somewhere in between and had a great time, however you celebrated.  If you did indulge more than you originally intended, please don’t beat yourself up about it.  It happens, today is another day and another chance to have a fresh start.

This period between Christmas and the New Year (the Christmas Fallow) can leave you feeling a little ‘what now?’ as it is that strange time when some are back to work, others are not and there’s usually lots of leftover Christmas food to eat – but we’re all starting to feel mighty sick of the excess chocolates and cheeses.  With this in mind I thought I’d share some easy ways to use up leftovers in-case you are in the mood to start re-introducing veggies back into your diet and you’re feeling a bit ‘now what?’

Continue reading “The Christmas fallow – what now?”

Christmas

Christmas Eve wisdom for surviving tomorrow

Happy Christmas Eve everyone.  In this shorter instalment of ‘surviving the festive season’ series I’m here to give you some festive cheer and some sensible tips for surviving tomorrow.  Whether you’re chief present giver, head chef or in charge of keeping the children entertained whilst others get on with making the day run smoothly this post has something for everyone.

I know that from the minute the house wakes on Christmas Day to the minute we go to bed that night it can be go, go, go and tensions can run high – especially when families get together and spend protracted periods of time in each other’s company.  It’s common to find yourself reverting back to stroppy teenage behaviour too easily when Aunty Gladys asks again why you don’t have a ‘lovely boyfriend’ or Uncle Bob makes a snide comment about vegan diets.  So how do you deal with it?

Continue reading “Christmas Eve wisdom for surviving tomorrow”

Christmas

Beat the Christmas bulge

Hi everyone,

Today’s post is another post in the ‘festive season survival’ series and it comes curtesy of the lovely Melissa Pierson.

Melissa is the founder of Roots & Shoots Nutrition, and is a UK registered nutritional therapist practising in central and SW London. She aims to bring her clients health and wellbeing back into balance and helps them to maintain optimal health by using a range of tools to assess and identify nutritional imbalances. She uses the Functional Medicine approach of nutrition science in her clinic to ensure the most up to date and effective nutritional practices are available for her clients.

She is passionate about inspiring, motivating and educating others to lead healthier and more balanced lives. She does this by offering private consultations, workshops, seminars, events, and other nutrition services.

If you want to find out or to book a consultation with Melissa more you can visit her site here or her Instagram here.

Without further ado, here we go…

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Don’t get me wrong…I love Christmas as much as the next person. The endless eating, presents, movie marathons and the Christmas parties and drinks! However, I’m also aware of that gloomy feeling come January when you feel far from healthy and spry!

It’s not surprising to know that the average person puts on 6lb of weight over the Christmas period, and roughly 6000 calories are consumed on Christmas day alone (this is 3 times the recommended daily consumption for women, and 2.4 times the amount for men)!

First things first, my food philosophy is one of balance and still being able to enjoy what you want to…. for me it’s about everything in moderation. Christmas should very much be a time for celebration and relaxation.

So, I thought it would be good to share my top tips for beating the Christmas bulge AND still being able to enjoy the festive period!

  • Eat breakfast – Start your day the right way –  it sounds pretty simple however if we start as we mean to go on we are much more likely to continue good habits throughout the day. It has been shown that people who eat breakfast regularly have a more balanced weight than those who do not. Make sure your choice of breakfast is a protein rich one which will satiate you and keep you fuller for longer. Foods like eggs, porridge and greek yoghurt are all good examples.
  • Maintain your blood sugar balance – what does this mean? Eating what we call low glycaemic load (GL) foods (which are complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta) take longer to break down once consumed compared to simple, refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta etc. and they release sugars more slowly into your bloodstream. This means that you don’t get a sugar spike and energy release is more stable throughout the day. Also, adding protein and a small amount of good fat to each meal will also help with appetite control.
  • Be mindful of your sugar intake – often foods have a traffic light diagram on the bottom right hand corner of the label – you may be surprised at some of the foods that are in the red categories, and these are the ones that should be avoided or consumed at a minimum.
  • Choose wisely when it comes to alcohol – its highly likely that your alcohol intake will increase over Christmas. This in itself will contribute significantly to your calorie intake as alcohol provides you with 7 calories per gram, second only to fat which gives us 9 calories per gram. The key here is to stick to clear spirits or drinks that aren’t full of added sugar. Spirits like vodka, gin etc. (with sparkling or soda water) are a better choice over wine, beer and cocktails.
  • Eat before any Christmas parties – this will give you more control over the food you eat at parties. Canapes alone can contain 100 calories each and don’t tend to be hugely filling. Eating fibre rich foods will ensure you stay fuller for longer and help to suppress any sugar cravings.
  • Practice mindful eating – again this sounds pretty simple however in reality we can sit in front of the TV and eat for hours without really feeling full. Being fully aware of what you’re eating with no distractions (sitting at a dining table and not in front of the TV, properly chewing each bite etc.) can help your body to tell you when its full and when you should stop eating.
  • Be mindful of portion size – eating off smaller plates can be a huge help in not overeating throughout the Christmas period. Top up your plate full of fibre rich vegetables and lean protein (turkey being a great example) and eat these first, leaving less room for more dense and calorific foods.
  • Make sleep a priority – lack of sleep can increase our cortisol and adrenaline levels, which can in turn increase our appetite. Some studies show that sleep deprivation can cause people to overeat on the following day, choosing high sugar and high salt foods over fruits and vegetables. Use this time to reduce any sleep debt you may have by getting a good night’s kip (min 7-8 hours per night).

I hope some of the above will be useful, and that you have a great festive period with your loved ones!

A huge thank you to Melissa for sharing her words of wisdom as we get closer to Christmas day and the challenge to stay healthy becomes even harder (or is it just my total lack of willpower at the moment?!) . I will definitely be keeping her tips in mind as I know that I can let some of these good habits slide as the festive pressure increases.

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend. I will be back on Wednesday with another festive post.

Katie x

*This post originally appeared on http://rootsandshootsnutrition.com/

Christmas

Surviving the Christmas party scene

Hi everyone,

For the second instalment in my ‘how to survive the festive season’ series today I am focusing on providing you with some practical (but enjoyable) ways you can survive the (often numerous) festive parties.  As I don’t know about you but I seem to have something planned in my calendar everyday between now and Christmas Eve.

So, today I’m talking through how you can survive those social occasions with grace and still enjoy yourself at the same time.  I know how at this time of year even the most dedicated of healthy eaters can lose their willpower when faced with a Christmas buffet (me included).

First things first

Be prepared!

Continue reading “Surviving the Christmas party scene”

Self development

How to have a merry mindful Christmas

Hi everyone,

I’m currently ‘out of the office’ as it’s my birthday weekend & I’ve been put on an enforced no social media ban. Whilst I take some time out the lovely Alexandra is kicking us off in the first of my new series about how to navigate the festive season without losing your head or eating everything in sight – but also still having fun (it is Christmas after all).

Alexandra is a qualified and accredited Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist Coach who works within a therapeutic counselling framework. She coaches her clients on a one-to-one basis to help them discover what they truly want to achieve. She has experience of working with a range of different issues, including anxiety, low self-confidence and debilitating habits. Regardless of the problem, her clients always realise their full potential and get a new energy for life to start living their dreams after working with her.

I’m so happy to have her here on the blog and I hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I did. Without further ado, here we go…

Continue reading “How to have a merry mindful Christmas”