May 20, 2012

My Sugar-Free Journey + A Giveaway!

My sugar-free journey so far

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while may remember that back in October 2011, I was inspired by this book to quit sugar. The challenge for me was not as dramatic as it may sound - it basically meant no fruit (for about 4 months), no more dark chocolate and baking with rice syrup instead of raw sugar or honey which I had done in the past. It's been over 8 months since I went sugar-free and although I now eat fruit daily, I haven't got back to eating dark chocolate and when I do bake, I use either a couple of tablespoons of rice syrup or just fresh fruit as a sweetener.

Sprouted quinoa and coconut crisp

What changes did I experience after quitting sugar?

Contrary to many testimonies of the sugar-free diet, I didn't actually loose any weight. I like to think of this as a good result as it indicated that I wasn't actually eating a lot of sugar to begin with. I did, however, stop craving for sweet things, especially after meals and I noticed my palate became much 'cleaner'. I don't eat as much fruit as I used to eat and I tend to stick to apples, unless I'm baking with fruit (like bananas). When I eat out I don't order desserts, but this is not just because of sugar, but also because it's almost impossible to find vegan desserts at "main stream" restaurants.

Why should you go sugar-free?

I do recommend people to first become aware of the amount of sugar they are consuming daily and then adjusting their diet accordingly. I don't really think you should get so hung up on whether or not you should eat fruit, but I would instead encourage you to look at all the processed foods (including processed white sugar) you may be consuming and cutting down on those. As a tip, and this goes for going vegan too by the way, I would suggest that you change your way of thinking. Instead of thinking that you are "missing out" on something if you don't eat sugar, processed foods, etc. try to think about what else is available and how much you will gain in terms of better health, cleaner skin and more energy.

Toasted Super Muesli
Chocolate-blueberry pudding, persimmon brownies and banana and walnut bread (all vegan, low-sugar)

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook by Sarah Wilson

I am so excited to announce that earlier this week, Sarah published another great e-book titled "I Quit Sugar Cookbook". This book is full of sugar-free and low-sugar recipes from Sarah and many others including Aran, Maggie, Gwyneth and myself. Needless to say I feel utterly honoured to be amongst the contributors for this book. You will find 4 of my recipes included in the I Quit Sugar Cookbook and I am so smitten to be featured.

Since I'm on the topic, if you are in Australia, you may want to pick up a copy of the latest Wellbeing Magazine, as well. Sarah's e-book and my recipes are featured there, along with my photos. Thank you Sarah and Wellbeing Magazine for the features! 
Photography by Marija Ivkovic

I am so pleased to let you know that Sarah has kindly offered three I Quit Sugar Cookbooks to give away to Scandi Foodie readers! The competition is open to all readers, in Australia and overseas, and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment below answering this simple question "Why do I want to quit sugar?" This competition ends May 31, 2012.

If you have any comments or questions about my sugar-free journey (or my vegan journey, for that matter!), please don't hesitate to email me at scandifoodie [at] gmail [dot] com or leave a comment below. You can also find me on Twitter @ScandiFoodie.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you and good luck!