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

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

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/

Food, Nutrition, Self development

My ideas on cultivating a healthy relationship with food

Following on from this post I’ve been thinking about food and the complicated relationship that comes with it.  As well as sharing my thoughts with you I thought it might be helpful to share some practical ideas and steps that I used (and still use on a daily basis) to help me develop a positive and holistic relationship with food.

Let me pre-fix this by saying, as with anything, I can’t guarantee that any of these ideas will work for you.  Every body is different and what works for some won’t work for others but if you are interested in making some positive changes and don’t know where to start, maybe try some of these?

Continue reading “My ideas on cultivating a healthy relationship with food”

Food, Nutrition, Self development

My relationship with food

This is a bit of a contemplative post today based on some recent feedback I’ve had on my eating habits.  Buckle up, this might get deep…

Diet, regime, balance, strategy; there are many ways we can talk about food and how we interact with it.  The term I prefer is relationship; because relationships are two way streets, as I believe your diet should be.  But just like being in a relationship with another person, this can take work.  Ultimately in a relationship both sides should be bringing good stuff to the (metaphorical and sometimes literal) table most of the time.

This post came about after two people in the same week independently commented that I have a healthy relationship with food.  A colleague (after watching me devour a brownie) said to me ‘I love your relationship with food, it’s so healthy and positive’ and another made a comment on an Instagram post I had done about eating out and how I find balance.  Up until this week I genuinely hadn’t thought of myself as having a balanced relationship with food.  Generally I try to stick to the 80/20 rule, eat lots of veggies on a good day, limit my meat and sugar intake and eat organically where possible but I don’t always manage this.  I’m human and sometimes I really want cake.  Or wine.  Or both at the same time.

Continue reading “My relationship with food”