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.

Overall

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!

Competition

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 http://happysugarhabits.com/?p=3169

WIN a copy of @_sarahwilson_ #IQSforlife with the Happy Sugar Habits competition @lauraj_thomas. Enter here http://happysugarhabits.com/?p=3169

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.

i-quit-sugar image

Review: Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program and Cookbook (halfway through)

So this has been my most recent purchase, specifically targeted to a sugar reduction charge in full force. I was pointed in Sarah’s direction by a friend over twitter and fell in love with Sarah’s mixed bag blog instantly.

An Australian journalist, ex editor of Cosmopolitan (have I mentioned I love Cosmopolitan) and gorgeous brunette with style, perception and wit, I couldn’t resist Sarah’s bundle package of her I Quit Sugar Cookbook and 8 Week Plan.

The I Quit Sugar 8 Week Plan says it all really – Sarah quit sugar, bigtime and for good. Impressive eh? My absolute favourite quote from the whole book at Week 8:

“There’s an assumption – and I certainly started out this way – that living sugar-free would remain a battle forever. It just isn’t. The enemy just leaves the battlefield”

It leaves the battlefield? Wow so you just don’t bother thinking about it anymore? Despite having reduced my cravings from strong addiction a few years ago, I still get them on a lesser more controlled degree. Reading this book I became curious to see if I could really kick them for good, I mean not going to my Grandma’s and loosing control at the first piece of fudge…interesting.

So I decided for the first time ever to try and follow something, motivated mostly by my desire to experiment with ‘recallibrating’ the taste buds to taste sugar more intensely (you need less and fruit tastes better apparently). I also wanted to see if the health benefit of going cold turkey on sugar is a marked up difference from my apparent energetic healthiness I currently enjoy. Basically is it worth it?

Click here to view more details

Making a start – Weeks 1-4

Ouch… “When you quit sugar, you quit ALL of it. Fruit, fruit juice, agave and honey included” Sarah states. I have never before and would never recommend cutting fruit, it’s super healthy. I’ve literally gobbled in so many blueberries over the last year someone’s going to go out of business if I do this. However, like Sarah I’m curious and her quirky quotes pull me back “Treat quitting sugar as an experiment. Not a life sentence. You don’t have to stick with it. But you might just choose to.”

Facing the harsh reality and with the thought that it’s just for a few weeks where fruit is introduced back in Week 6, I commit to get started.

Week 1 is really about switching good sugars for bad (easy) and Week 2 is about upping your fat intake (think more cheese – nice!) so the hard bit really only starts in Week 3.

The first pain comes when I go shopping and only just manage not to put any fruit in the trolley, replacing instead with avocados, courgettes the largest box of eggs ever. Somewhat impressed that I got that far. However, the next week I picked up a banana and strawberries, put them back, picked them up again then put them back. Slightly ridiculous I know, is low sugar making me go mad?

Breakfast is by far the hardest meal of the day. Eggs are the obvious option but I exhaust my tolerance to them pretty quickly and wake up thinking please no more eggs. Scrambled, poached, a frittata –  I can’t help thinking if you don’t like eggs, you’re rather stuck on this regime.

My coconut flakes finally arrive in the post and I make up a batch of Sarah’s Coconutty Granola whilst eating a load from the packet because they taste sweetly divine. This with some Total yoghurt does make for a nicer breakfast but my gosh am I missing my berries.

I also found post morning run recovery hard where Banana was my fuel of choice. I quickly get some toast, eggs and tinned tomatoes down to avoid feeling faint, unsure if I am really allowed the brown bread but not really caring at that point.

Sarah claims ‘Go Gently. Diets don’t work, forcing doesn’t work’. I align with this philosophy and strangely it does make the whole thing easier where I know I make my own choices. A previous daily dark chocolate habit seems to have evaporated with minimal pain and I definitely find the egg breakfasts keep me going longer till lunch i.e. I don’t get ravenous.

Friday night hits and whilst Sarah says a glass or two of wine is allowed, I think I consume a fair bit more than that, but I do try and stick to wine on the most part. Someone buys me a Jagerbomb and I feel guilty for not eating fruit all day and bailing by injecting a load of sugar in its worst form. Oh well, lapses happen and there’s a whole chapter on lapses so I’m confident I can be back on the bandwagon the next day despite a slight hangover.

The hungover munchies do attack the following day but I go for salty over sweet and succeed until very late when a small packet of chocolate buttons is unthoughtfully consumed. I feel sick, they were too sweet and gross and I didn’t enjoy at all. Maybe this is working after all.

So here I am in the middle of the program and highly motivated just to keep this ridiculously detailed diary. From what I’ve noticed I have been sleeping very well and despite upping my fat in the form of cheese and nuts, I have woken up feeling slimmer on a few days. I am still craving but I’m enjoying my herbal teas, the haloumi cheese and cashew nuts that seem to be a good distraction.

Next installment to come soon…

Here are links if you are interested in either the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program or the I Quit Sugar Cookbook or you can buy them both in a bundle and they are instantly downloadable.

Click here to view more details of the Cook Book
Click here to view more details of the bundle where you buy both the I Quit Sugar book and Cookbook together as I did