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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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?