Lately I’ve been feeling like I eat too much sweet stuff, and I know I have a problem with it. Sugar is highly addictive and over time can cause a myriad of health problems, from infertility to mineral deficiencies and can even be linked to some cancers (Source: I Quit Sugar, pg 17). I recently had the opportunity to read and review I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson.
There were a lot of things I liked about the book and a few I didn’t like. One of the things that really resonated with me was her introduction where she says “I was a sugar addict. I didn’t look like one. I didn’t drink Coke or put sugar in my coffee. I was a covert addict. I hid behind ‘healthy sugars’.” I can totally relate to that statement! I try to eat very little processed foods anyway, but I always look at the sugar content when Ido. In fact, the first things I always look at on a nutrition label are the ingredients list, sugar content, and the amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates. I try really hard to avoid refined sugar as much as possible. But I wasn’t taking into account all the “good” sugar I consumed, like raw honey, real maple syrup, and fruit. That still adds up to be a lot of sweetener!
Sarah mentions how on a conservative day, she would consume around 25 teaspoons of sweetener. This included three pieces of fruit, a handful of dried fruit, raw honey in tea, a small bar of dark chocolate, honey drizzled on yogurt, and dessert if out to eat. That sounded a lot like what I was eating. I love fruit and I especially love dark chocolate. I noticed that every evening, I felt like I needed a little treat. I always justified it by saying that it was just a few squares of dark chocolate and I had earned it after a long day chasing my toddler around. These are all excuses that you find yourself making when addicted to sugar.
Let me break down my thoughts on the book. Did you know in the past 150 years that the average person has gone from consuming 0 pounds of sugar a year to around 130 pounds per year?! That’s insane! That’s more sugar than my entire body weight. Sugar is a drug that reacts with our brain’s pleasure centers. I stumbled on another great quote from Sarah on page 35. “For many, a moderate amount of sugar is not achievable because just a taste sets off a desire for more. I personally can’t eat one chocolate chip cookie. I’m more like Miranda in that scene in Sex and the City where she has to put the cake in the trash then douse it with water so she won’t eat anymore.”
From a biological point of view, we’re only designed to be able to handle the sugar contained in two pieces of fruit. That’s right, TWO pieces! Cutting emotional ties to sugar is huge, as well as changing a few lifestyle habits. How many times in society do we “celebrate” and reward ourselves with something sweet? Birthdays, graduations, holidays, anniversaries, just because…I could go on. Everything seems to revolve around sweets. That will have to change for you to really break free of sugar.
- How she talks about the science of sugar and how our bodies and brains react to it
- How even eating natural sugar adds up
- Tips for quitting and the reality of detox (this won’t be a walk in the park)
- Simple swaps and replacements
- Replacing sugar with fat (you can see why I love fat here)
- Fat Myths and government involvement
- Breaking down nutrition labels
- 9 C’s of Goodness (with the exception of the deli meat suggestion)
- Sweet Distractions
- Tips for Battling Detox
- Recommending artificial sweetener, even if only temporary. While I think consuming too much of any sweetener isn’t great, I’d much rather have a real one than a fake one!
- Instead of just a few suggestions for each week, I would love a step by step meal plan
- I don’t care for the use of brown rice syrup and especially not stevia (As a side note, did you know stevia can act as birth control? Something to consider if you’re trying to conceive)
- Many recipes didn’t seem filling enough for me
I have to admit that some of the recipes flat out didn’t appeal to me. I did find a good variety that I wanted to try and I’ve been happy with everything I made so far. One of my favorite recipes was the Easy-Peasy Zucchini Blinis (which I share below). She lists it as a breakfast recipe but we had it for dinner one night and loved it. Even Nora gobbled it up! I also made the kale pesto which I used in her Green Eggs and Ham recipe. We had leftover scalloped potatoes from dinner so I scrambled some eggs with the potatoes and ham, then added the pesto. It was delightful! So what do you think…will you quit sugar? I’m still not totally free of sugar, although I’m always finding ways to cut back. While I liked the book overall, I found that there were a few recipes I kept coming back to and others I wasn’t interested in. I’ll continue to use recipes from this book and utilize her tips for cutting out the sweet stuff. I hope you enjoy this recipe for delicious Zucchini Blinis!
Easy Peasy Zucchini Blinis
from I Quit Sugar (with my notes below)
2-3 large zucchini
1 tablespoon coconut flour
3 pastured eggs
salt and pepper
coconut oil or butter for frying
cream cheese (she lists a recipe in the book for making your own)
chopped chives, optional
Grate the zucchini using a box grater or food processor. You’ll need about 2 cups of shredded zucchini. Sift the coconut flour into the eggs and beat them until smooth. Mix in the zucchini, salt, and pepper. Heat oil or butter in a frying pan and spoon in dollops of batter. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve warm with cream cheese and chives on top.
**I found that by the time I cooked about half of the batter, the other half was extremely watery and I had to add more coconut flour. You can solve this by allowing a little extra time to prepare this recipe. Shred your zucchini and salt it really well, then put it in a strainer in your sink. The salt will help draw the moisture out of the zucchini, allowing you to squeeze out the excess. I didn’t have cream cheese (or time to drain yogurt to make cream cheese) so I just put a dollop of yogurt on top. We also melted a little grassfed organic cheddar cheese on top. Mmm!
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