Me sarah wilson

Sarah Wilson I Quit Sugar for Life Book review

So a few weeks ago I was very honoured to meet the wonderful Sarah Wilson at her London I Quit Sugar for Life book review. I was in awe, I was a little starstruck and I’m delighted to share my thoughts on her book with you after utterly devouring it.

Me sarah wilson

Firstly, Sarah has been an incredible inspiration for me over the past 18 months in a number of ways. She’s certainly helped me along my own sugar-free journey with delicious recipes and great tips, but she’s also been a role model for me in helping me develop Happy Sugar Habits and pursuing this as a line of work I can dedicate myself to in a bid to spread a message I really believe in and live by. She’s continued to motivate me to inspire others with my own story and speak out in my own way about something (sugar & sugar ‘addiction’) that gets a fair bit of pushback at times.

 I Quit Sugar for Life

So what do I think of the book? Well, I quite simply love it. It’s pitched as ‘Your fad-free wholefoods wellness code’ and that’s really what it is. It’s a health bible that can support a balanced and super nutritious healthy lifestyle rather than a regimented totally ‘sugar-free’ diet – which I certainly don’t live these days.

What do I particularly love?

Tips & tricks for everyone – even if you’re not sugar-free or don’t want to go sugar-free, there’s enough other health busting knowledge in this book to make some very positive changes that will help you keep full, keep nourished and keep happy. I don’t think anyone can do any harm adding more green to their diet right?

A focus on leftovers and efficiency – Admittedly I’m a bit (probably an understatement) particular about this too. I have been known to eat some very strange things just because I’m trying to eat things up. Sarah provides some very very clever ideas to help you do your part on reducing food waste which I love. Herbs frozen in stock cubes ready to use…genius!

Simple recipes – Whilst the occasional recipe does have an ingredients list that’s rather long (there’s a layer cake recipe that would take me a whole weekend), most of the recipes are with fewer ingredients and with less ‘faff’ than many other recipe books. This makes sugar-free living accessible to many and practical. Some of the ingredients are a bit specialist, where you can’t find it all in your local Tesco. However, the specialist ingredients are used throughout the book so you’re going to use it up if you cook the recipes often.

Sarah wilson signed book (please re-size)

Things to note

Sarah doesn’t really align to vegan and is quite strong on her view on the nutritional benefit of animal protein. She actually answered this question directly at the book launch. Similarly like me, she is also fine with dairy (make sure it’s good quality and full fat!). I think this is a personal thing for everyone, but important to be aware of before you buy (in case you’re intolerant or very anti-animal products).

If you’re a fish lover rather than a meat lover like me, there aren’t loads of fish recipes. Just something I noticed because salmon, which is one of my favourite foods, doesn’t feature much.

There’s quite a heavy use of rice malt syrup in the ‘sweet recipes’. Because rice malt syrup is so low in fructose, you have to use quite a bit of it. I don’t like to rely or swing too heavily when it comes to one sugar substitute (read why here). I imagine I’ll mix these recipes up a bit with other substitutes or keep them for every now and then rather than weekly.

Note: If you’re churning through rice malt syrup like no tomorrow thinking all the recipes are ‘healthy’ then I would say it’s time to check in where you are with cravings etc. As Sarah does re-iterate, it’s important to note that the ‘sweet’ recipes are still a treat. In that sense I think it’s also OK to have coconut sugar, raw honey and higher fructose things like bananas on occasion too, but just to not go mental and to make sure you feel in control with it all.


Many of Sarah’s principles I completely and utterly align with – maximising nutrition, saving waste, cooking efficiently, eating protein & fat with all meals and having fun with it. There are some things I do a bit differently, so I pick what I like and blend it into my very own ‘wellness code’. I’m pretty sure that’s what Sarah wants you to do with this book.

The recipes, pictures, writing style, structure and layout of the book are for me also what makes this such a beautiful health resource. It’s a pleasure to browse through, it makes you excited about health and it inspires you to get in the kitchen cooking up you own wholefood world of goodness. It makes it all fun and pretty – thank you Sarah!

I’d strongly recommend I Quit Sugar for Life and Sarah’s other books for anyone looking to start out in the world of sugar-free. You can also read my similar reviews of her 8-week programme book and her chocolate cookbook.

Where to buy them?

All the ebook versions can be bought on the I Quit Sugar website and downloaded instantly. You can buy the print versions of I Quit Sugar (£7.00 + delivery) and I Quit Sugar for Life (£10.00 +delivery) both on Amazon.

Sarah wilson books banner

Note: I am an affiliate of Sarah’s so I do get a little something when you click these links which helps me bring more Happy Sugar Habits stuff to you!


I quit sugar for life

Sarah has kindly donated three printed books as a giveaway. If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning, just comment below and tell me about where you are with sugar at the moment (I will reply to everyone!). For extra entries you can like the Happy Sugar Habits Facebook page and/or tweet the following:

I just entered the Happy Sugar Habits competition with @lauraj_thomas to win a copy of @_sarahwilson_ #IQSforlife

WIN a copy of @_sarahwilson_ #IQSforlife with the Happy Sugar Habits competition @lauraj_thomas. Enter here

Competition closes on the 26th May 2014 and winners will be chosen at random. Good luck!

Aside from the competition, have any of you already got the book? What do you think of Sarah Wilson and the IQS books? Leave a comment and let me know :)

Laura x

I quit sugar chocolate cookbook review

Review: Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Chocolate Cookbook

Love chocolate? Attempting to get on the low sugar train? These two things don’t tend to go hand in hand, do they? Fear not my chocoholic friend, help is at hand. Sarah Wilson has gone and made a completely sugar-free (and fructose-free) Chocolate Cookbook. I’ve purchased, read and road tested a recipe. So it’s only fair that I share my thoughts……

The book in a nutshell

  • A whopping 89 pages!
  • 74 recipes, although some are variations taken from other Sarah Wilson I Quit Sugar books.
  • Lots of extra and detailed information on things like the difference between cocoa and raw cacao.
  • Pictures, prettiness and pure salivating material.

I quit sugar chocolate cookbook review

My favourite bits

  • Substitution is easy (& encouraged). I don’t often have all of the random ingredients, and I like the fact that Sarah appreciates this and offers practical substitution options.
  • Sarah emphasises that these are treats and because they still taste sweet, they’re not appropriate whilst you’re on a formal sugar detox. I am in complete agreement, so this is possibly a better buy later on in your sugar-free journey.
  • Some combinations are brilliant. They’re creative and unusual, and I am thankful that they have been discovered!
  • Apparently you can have some of these chocolatey things for breakfast. Coco Pops you’d better watch out!

Sarah Wilson I quit sugar chocolate cookbook review

Know this

  • Recipes are generally made sweet tasting with rice malt syrup, stevia and coconut, so you’ll have to perhaps buy a few things. I will also add that fruit does not feature in any of the recipes.
  • Lots of the recipes involve coconut oil or butter so you will certainly need to get over any fat fear (if it’s still lurking).
  • Some recipes are what I would deem a bit ‘faffy’, but others are super easy and quick, so simple souls like me are well catered for.

I quit sugar chocolate cookbook reviewAll in all, I think it’s a good shout, especially if you’re at the point of being more or less safely off sugar, and you’re looking for a dessert alternative to natural yoghurt. You can buy and instantly download the Chocolate Cookbook for $16 which worked out just over £10. Some of these recipes are also great if you’re a serial baker or you want to impress some guests without a complete sugar blowout.

Here’s a picture of me with my adapted version of the Sweet Potato Fudge. I used walnuts and I didn’t add enough cocoa (whoops!). But they still turned out well and tasted mighty fine, hence the Happy Sugar Habits smile…

 I quit sugar chocolate cookbook review

Note: If you decide you want to purchase and you click through one of my links, I am an affiliate for Sarah and I get a small thank you. I’ve given my honest opinion on the book and am purely reviewing it because I genuinely think it’s good stuff for those on a sugar-free journey. All proceeds go to support the continuation of this blog. 

Any other good sugar-free resources you know about? Feel free to comment and by doing so you’ll be sharing the love with all who read this post.

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Review: Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar 8 week program and cookbook

Are you thinking about buying the Sarah Wilson I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program and cookbooks? Want to know if they’ll work for you and your stubborn sugar habits? Here I share my thoughts on the books and programmes – which I have purchased and used myself over the years.

The I Quit Sugar hardback book & cookbook

A few years ago I first bought the digital copy and then I got the hardback when it came out. When I was first getting into low sugar and getting into things, Sarah’s book was one of the early ones I referred to often and I started cooking many of her recipes in it. Quite simply, she’s been a massive inspiration to me and I will forever thank her for the work she’s done in this area.

My loves

There’s no doubt about it, Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar is a fantastic resource to kick off your low sugar journey. Sarah researches well and then conveys information clearly in a easy to digest fashion. Sarah takes you through 8 weeks step by step – although really for me things started in Week 2 (as week one reduced refined sugar and I wasn’t actually eating that much of it).

Many of the recipes are easy and practical, with limited ingredients. I like this simplicity. The coconutty granola, like many others, I loved. The book also gave me some great savoury breakfast ideas and really got me started on this track which is a very important part of changing your tastebuds. Sarah opened me up to cooking a lot more things I usually wouldn’t have.

I love the gentle approach Sarah offers and this much aligns to my approach when coaching. Similarly I’d encourage you to try low sugar without trying to do everything ‘perfectly’.

Read my separate reviews of Sarah’s I Quit Sugar for Life book and the I Quit Sugar Chocolate Cookbook.

Things to note

Obviously because Sarah is based in Australia, some references are Australian. Courgettes are zucchinis, pumpkin seeds are pepitas and there are some other local references. This didn’t bother me so much but something just to note. I found it’s more prominent in her online programme which runs throughout the year e.g they reference seasons (which are going to be out of sync).

Sarah is a strong advocate of two sugar substitutes: stevia and brown rice syrup. Whilst these two are valid sugar substitutes that are fructose free, sometimes I feel they are used a little too heavily in the books, programmes and recipes – sometimes in quite large quantities. On occasion, I felt that instead of ½ cup of rice syrup, you’d be better off with a banana – yes a bit more fructose, but natural and more nutrient dense.

I’m also in the view that you should focus on the frequency of your sugar substitute use rather than which one i.e. if it’s only once a month, then really you could even have real sugar because that is moderation.  

Read: Why I don’t stand by one single sugar substitute.

When you are shifting to lower sugar, you are shifting to more savoury overall – not just trying to eat more ‘sugar-free’ treats and bakes. For this reason, I wasn’t a big fan of the second Chocolate cookbook – I just didn’t cook much from it very often. On the other hand the I Quit Sugar Slow Cook Meals book I used heaps. Loads of time saving savoury practical day to day feasts :)

The recipes, the practicality and the factual information in the I Quit Sugar resources are great but I’m not a fan of the ‘Quit Sugar’ name.

Don’t underestimate the bigger picture where you want to really trust yourself with sugar rather than ‘quit it’. Beware not to get caught up in sugar grams detail of focus too much on ‘perfect’ nutrition. There is some mention of habits, social sugar and emotionally using sweetness in the I Quit Sugar resources, but not loads. This really is the bigger piece here in long term healthy behavioural change.

Read: Why you need to build trust with sugar rather than quitting it

Know that Sarah’s resources and programmes will help you get started, but you’re going to need to also self reflect, overcome emotional eating in a healthy holistic way, find a way to hold yourself accountable and manage some social awkwardness if you really want this as a long term lifestyle shift.  

In summary

The I Quit Sugar website, resources, books and programmes are fantastic in my opinion, they really are. They are a great place to start your low sugar journey. Just be mindful of a few things – the Australian references, the strong promotion of two sugar substitutes and the fact the primary focus is on what you’re eating rather than what you’re feeling (where the latter is very likely more important in your change efforts).

Have you got any of Sarah Wilson’s books or completed her programme? What did you love about them?