I am not a dietician, I work part time and my husband works away from home. My kids are fussy but are slowly embracing and enjoying this lifestyle. I don't spend any time plating up my meals so that my photos look good, because who's got time to do that, when the kids are screaming for their meals and eating cold food doesn't do anything for me. However I'm still 107 days Fructose Free and I've done this my way.
I have had quite a few people message me, asking what plan did I follow to start off with?
My journey started the day I walked down the book isle of Kmart and saw "That Sugar Book" by Damon Gameau and decided that I might give it a read. The cover jumped out at me and for some reason I put it in my trolly (this was before the movie had gone mainstream and people were aware of it).
I got home and could not put the book down. Then and there I decided that I wanted to go Sugar Free. I walked out to the lounge room and told my husband that I was going to quit sugar. He was like "thats cool, when?" I did the calculations in my head and decided a week from that day (enough time to eat my easter eggs but not enough time to change my mind)
STEP ONE MAKE A TIME FRAME
I knew that I needed a week to mentally prepare myself. If I was going to do this properly, I had to make sure I knew what I could and couldn't do and this was going to require research. I knew that it wasn't going to be as easy as knowing what foods I could eat but being prepared for the whole "detox" that my body would go through whilst giving up sugar. I also needed time to get my pantry ready and buy ingredients to get me through this. From being an avid dieter and one who has tried almost every diet under the sun. I knew that I couldn't have any temptations around me, if I was serious about giving this whole thing a proper shot. I also knew that I needed to give myself a short time frame to indulge and enjoy all things sugar before I gave them away!
I also timed it to start the first week of the school holidays because I knew that my husband and 7 year old would be away for 9 days camping and I wouldn't have them in my face whilst I was detoxing and also trying to get my head around the whole process.
I was quite clueless when I begin this whole endeavour. I had read one book and decided to read it again and take notes. I needed to find out
*What sugars were good and bad
*How many gms of sugar I could have in a product
*How do I read a label
*Foods that I could and couldn't have
*What was going to happen to me when I detoxed.
STEP TWO RESEARCH
I went back to Kmart and the only two books I could see that were about quitting sugar were from Sarah Wilson. One was called "I quit Sugar for life" with 148 recipes and meal plans and the other was "I quit Sugar" your complete 8 week detox program and cookbook (there is no program in this book….). This was my first introduction to Sarah Wilson, who little did I know, was the Queen of the Quitting Sugar empire. I read both of these books from cover to cover and by the time I was finished with them, there was hundreds of little sticky notes hanging off the pages. These two books, gave me the knowledge to set my own path. They didn't contain meal plans for me to follow (there was an example one, but it was never going to work for my family). After reading these two books and armed with Damon Gameau's book, I thought I had the basis to begin my journey.
From my research, I knew what I could and couldn't eat and that I was not to have any fruit for the first 8 weeks, until I was fully detoxed. I still had questions and was still unsure of a few things and that is where the internet became my best friend. I stalked other blogs but the most prominent was the IQS website (Sarah Wilson). Every time I typed the words "quitting sugar" into a search engine, her site would come up 9 times out of 10.
When I look back at my first 3 weeks of meal planning and recipes, they were all from her website and ebooks. It wasn't until week 3 that my husband bought me a Mothers Day present that pretty much changed everything for me. He gave me the book "Sweet Poison" by David Gillespie. This book was like the holy bible of fructose free. Every single question I ever had, was answered in this book and in a way that the average person without a PHD in Science could follow. I read this book 3 times and once again by the third time, it was full of sticky notes. Apparently this book also comes in a version that has a quit plan in it ( I did not have this version). I quickly purchased his "Eat Real Food" book and this pushed me in the direction of becoming a member of his website. I didn't hesitate to pay the $36 to become a member. Here I found a wealth of untapped resources. A forum of people who like me, had no idea what they were doing and the questions they asked were ones that I too had wanted to know. I stalked the shit out of this site!
I now knew what I needed to do and my meal plans could reflect this knowledge.
I know that not everyone has time to research and some people just want a plan given to them that they can follow, that they don't need to think about. There are plans done up for you, if you want to pay the big $$ or you could just follow someone like me, who puts it all out there for free and take what you need from it.
STEP THREE - GO HARD OR GO HOME DETOX WEEK
I had researched the symptoms of sugar withdrawal and knew that it was not going to be easy. I can honestly say the first 72 hours are the most critical. This is where you put on your big girl panties and suck it up. I found that my body struggled with giving up soft drink more than actual chocolates etc. Every hour I was opening the fridge wanting soft drink and that was the hardest thing for me to ignore. During the first week, my head was pounding, I was tired and I definitely craved sugar. There were multiple times I could have given in and perhaps started again. However, when you put yourself out there on social media, it makes you feel a little more accountable and I wasn't going to fail for that reason alone.
Once you get through the first week, it's a piece of piss. YOU MUST NOT give up in the first week. Use every ounce of will power you have because anything worth it, is never easy. If you mentally prepare yourself, you have more chance of succeeding. I went cold turkey and I know that some people suggest easing into the whole giving up sugar concept but for me, I knew it was all or nothing and it worked!
STEP FOUR - EATING
When planning my meals I made sure that all my ingredients were under 2gms per 100gms of sugar for week 1- 4. Then I upped it to under 3gms per 100gms of sugar. (Except for dairy which contains lactose) I stuck to recipes from the internet that were tried, tested and trusted. There was no way in hell I was going to start getting creative. I knew that sticking to fats, meats and vegetables were my safest bets and I did this. I didn't have any fruit up until week 7 and I still limit my fruit intake to one piece, but not daily.
I knew that when I was dining out, I would have to be prepared and I did this by either sticking to the meat and vege with no sauce or just asking if it had sugar in it.
I found that all meals were extremely filling. For the first couple of weeks I still wanted something sweet but tried to replace it with some sweet treats from the IQS website, but they were all horrible and turned me off anything sweet ha!
(at this stage my tastebuds were not coping with the coconut oil in the sweets, now I can eat them and enjoy them)
STEP FIVE - INTRODUCING RICE MALT SYRUP AND DEXTROSE
It wasn't until I reached week 6 that I started really using Rice Malt Syrup because I was worried it would make something in my brain click and I would want sweet stuff again. Lucky for me, that was never the case. Once you hit week 6 to 8 you can start adding in Rice Malt Syrup and Dextrose. Once you get to this stage you have nailed it because every sweet recipe you love, you can still have it by replacing sugar with dextrose and syrup/honeys with Rice Malt Syrup. Bam!! You no longer are missing out on the sweet things in life.
These should still be seen as "sometimes" treats, as they do still raise your blood sugar and you will crave them, but every now and then, they really hit the spot. Once you are at the point to add in these substitutes, you really have broken the sugar cycle and you will find you don't want nor crave things like you used to anyway.
As I say to all my friends and family, if you can get through the detox, then this is the best, most fulfilling, easiest diet/ lifestyle that you will ever undertake. If I can do it, then you can do it! I mean that with every ounce of my being!! You don't need to pay money for a plan. Knowledge is power, if you equip yourself with the knowledge, then you have no choice but to succeed. You can't make excuses when you know exactly what your doing. To anyone abut to begin this journey, don't over think it. You have one job to do, so get out there and do it! Success will lead to a life better than you ever expected, 1 week of doing it hard compared to a lifetime of no more sugar cravings.