So I’m now into the second month of IQS, and I am taking one day and one week at a time. Week 5 was probably the hardest week for me, it was the last week of what I would call the extreme week. No fruit, no condiments with sugar or anything that listed sugar in the ingredients list – it has been an eye opener in many ways and I’ve begun to realise just where sugar hides itself.
I used to kid myself and thought my only sugar was in my afternoon chocolate, but now I realise how much sugar I was consuming in dips, sauces, fruit juices, a teaspoon of honey or sugar in my tea, in my flavoured yoghurts which might as well have been chocolate bars.
After a month of being sugar free, I’m starting to feel it is now a habit to simply not eat sugar every day. That was the real goal for me, not to quit sugar for the rest of my life, but to stop with the daily dependance of sugar. Before I read Sarah’s book, the idea of giving up sugar was terrifying and I couldn’t imagine committing to it.
It almost makes me angry that I had been eating so much sugar without even realising it, that I’d been duped so much into the ‘low fat’ con that I chose to eat low fat yoghurt when the full fat version would have been so much better for me. Now it’s so hard to even find dairy products in their full fat version, even Yoplait’s ‘natural’ yoghurt had 12grams of sugar in it per serve!
As I entered week 6, Sarah’s program says its okay to let some sweetness back in. When she says sweetness she means a few pieces of fruit a week, but to avoid high fructose fruits like cherries, apples and bananas.
Here is where I am going to disagree with Sarah slightly, I believe in taking on new ideas with an open and critical mind. I find a lot of her stuff great, and a lot of her health philosophy is inspiring but I don’t need to agree with everything she says. She says she eats about 4-5 serves of fruit a week, and doesn’t really eat high-fructose fruits like bananas, mangoes and cherries. She mainly eats berries and kiwi fruit.
If this works for her than great – I have no judgement. But during week 5 I started to feel my body really needed to eat fruit again, it wasn’t a craving for sweetness – I felt I was slightly constipated during week 5, especially on a day that I hadn’t eaten a lot of vegetables (to be fair on the days I had eaten a lot of veg, I didn’t feel any constipation). There is also a history of bowel cancer in my family, so I feel it’s important for me to eat fruit everyday. Finally, I believe in eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, because different colours provide different nutrients for us and it’s important to consume a wide variety of nutrients for optimal health.
After this program, I will be sticking to eating 7-10 pieces of whole, fresh fruit a week. Sarah’s convinced me about the fruit juice and dried fruit thing, but my body needs more fruit than hers to feel like it’s functioning properly.
As for Week 6, I did slide off the band wagon slightly. I ate two pears during the week (not sure where they sit on the fructose scale) but I also went to a dinner party where dinner was hamburgers and apple pie with ice cream for dessert. I felt it just wasn’t practical for me to say ‘sorry I won’t be having the dessert even though you cooked for me’. I ate my hamburger with a teaspoon of tomato sauce (my first taste of it in over a month) and enjoyed my serving of pie and ice cream.
I didn’t find the taste artificial or overly sweet, but I noticed that I felt one small serve was more than enough and I didn’t feel that instant ‘I want more’ feeling after finishing it. Maybe this is a sign that my body has started to break the fructose addiction? Or becoming aware of it more?
I also had a picnic on the weekend and indulged in cherries, strawberries, grapes and black current fruit juice. I know the juice was the worst bit, but I felt it was so refreshing and ideal for a picnic. I did bring some fructose free chocolate dipping sauce, which everyone loved (especially my friend who is diabetic) and were surprised that there was no sugar in it.
Now I have 2 and 1/2 weeks to go, I’d really like to make more of Sarah’s recipes to keep me inspired. Her pumpkin pie looks amazing!