10 ways to sweeten food without sugar

Posted on October 25th, 2011

Well, my I Quit Sugar ebook has been on sale now for 3 weeks. So, there’s a bunch of you who’ve already seen results.

Here’s some of what you’ve been saying:

“I can’t believe how many tasty foods there are that don’t have any sugar!” Kerry

“I’m in week 3 of I Quit Sugar – feeling really good and skin is clearer and brighter, whoo!” Jasmine

“I have been sugar free for five days now. I am starting to experience that clarity that you and so many others have talked about, and it is a nice place to be – instead of thinking about chocolate and biscuits all the time!” Sally

One of the main tricks I share for quitting sugar is to get used to using other sweeteners (but only healthy ones). In I Quit Sugar, I share recipes and supply a shopping list of things to keep in your cupboard. Funnily, Huffington Post recently ran a list of simiilar sweeteners, some of which I’ve included here…

  • crushed berries…instead of jam. Crush some fresh or frozen berries (perhaps with a little stevia; I find frozen ones work) and spread on toast.
  • vanilla powder… with yoghurt instead of icecream. In my ebook I share other tips, including where to buy the stuff.
  • cinnamon…instead of sugar in your coffee. Try adding a dash of it to coffee as it brews. Toss it into the french press or coffee maker and let it infuse into the grinds.
  • coconut flesh and flakes...to sweeten porridge.
  • licorice root tea…in chocolate treats and baked things. A small teaspoon of the root (ie not after it’s made up into tea) adds instant sweetness.
  • almond milk. The bought stuff is usually full of added sugar. Which is dumb because it really doesn’t need it. “Because of their sweet tasting oil (almonds) can trick our taste buds into thinking sugar’s present. Add it to tea as well as smoothies and you’ll likely use far less sweetener.” Oh, here’s how to make your own.

If you haven’t checked out the I Quit Sugar ebook…you can buy it here:

  • coconut oil.…as a snack after lunch. As Huffington Post writes, the mind makes such a strong “sweet” association with the scent of coconut, that even when there is no sugar present (like in the coconut oil) the mouth senses “sweet”. Look for the pure, virgin kind sold at most health oriented stores. I literally scoop it straight from the jar for an after lunch treat. I’ll post on this in the future. (see below for Huff Post’s spinach and sweet potato recipe cooked with coconut oil)
  • cook onion…to sweeten pasta sauces. I love this tip: Many savory foods have loads of sugar added. This is especially true for foods with a tomato base due to tomato’s acidity. Sweeten with LOTS of cooked onion instead. Let them caramelize on the stove top until they’re deeply golden, their sugar oozing out…
  • apple sauce...to sweeten muffins. Apples still contain fructose, but in moderation they’re fine and can substitute for sugar in muffins etc. Huff Post advises cutting back a little on the liquid, and/or add a few minutes to the baking time, and go 1:1 with the sugar to apple sauce substitution.
  • roast vegetables...instead of dessert. Eat the roasted vegs at the end of the meal and you will be far less in need of a sweet. The most dessert-like ones: sweet potato, squash, beets and carrots.

Spinach, Chickpeas and Sweet Potato

  • Sweet potato (Roasted)
  • Coconut oil
  • 2  large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 tin of chickpeas
  • Fresh spinach (Frozen if it’s hard to get your hands on fresh)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (You barely notice the coconut milk since it’s really just an accent, but you could always use broth if you’re not into coconut or if want it to be even lighter.)
  • Harissa spice** (A dash of Cajun spice will also do, which then makes it Springtime in New Orleans)
  • Salt

Chop up and roast a whole sweet potato. If you’re doing it on the stove top, dice it fairly finely so it will cook quickly (do not remove the skin). Heat the oil and when it’s very hot, add the sweet potato. Once it’s nicely browned (the oil must be very hot so it will brown), turn the heat way down, cover it and let it cook about 10 minutes. (Use this basic technique for roasting ALL vegs on the stove top). Remove from pan.  In same pan sautee the garlic and onion adding a little more oil as necessary. Add chickpeas and with a fork, in the pan, crush most of the chickpeas leaving only a few whole. Then add the coconut milk, then spinach (don’t skimp here as it wilts down to nothing), spices and salt. Stir just until the spinach has wilted. Add the sweet potato back in.  It will keep for several days, so make lots.

What do you do to sweeten up your foods? Any tips you’d like to share?

 

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  • http://www.scandifoodie.blogspot.com Maria @ Scandifoodie

    Unsweetened coconut in all forms has become my favourite natural sweetener. Warm spices, like cinnamon are perfect too. Thank you for the inspiration Sarah, I’m on week 4 sugar-free and feeling great! xx

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  • http://celebrantsays.blogspot.com/ Ann Penhallow

    Hi Sarah,
    I’m in Week 4 as well, and one of the things I’ve noticed is my obsessive “where-can-I-get-sweet/what-can-I-substitute” cravings are diminishing.
    My point is, once I stopped eating sugar, I stopped craving it, and therefore I now find myself looking at tips to sweeten food without much interest or excitement. This is a very good thing!

    I’d also like to say the Face the Demons chapter in your book has been incredibly useful. I cannot believe the number of people who’ve “argued” with me over my efforts to give up sugar. Although my sugar-free lifestyle has no impact on them whatsoever, they still question my food choices. It’s very handy to have answers ready to roll off my tongue!

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  • Josy

    Day 4 without sugar, although nearly failed on Day 2 when I was about to have Dijon mustard and didn’t realise there was sugar in it!? I had fooled myself into believing that if I was breastfeeding I “needed” sugar – I actually feel great without it, not guilty at hiding chocolate blocks around the house and don’t know if it’s just a coincidence but since I started my 5 month old baby is also sleeping a lot better too. If she’ll sleep better because I don’t eat sugar… all the more reason to stay off it! Really enjoy your blog Sarah.

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    Rebecca Reply:

    Hi josy,

    I too have a 5 month old who is starting to show some new sleeping patterns that don’t fit in with me!!! I have not started the no sugar thing yet but have cut down considerably. Can you explain in a bit more detail some of the benefits you think your experiencing with your bub re sleeping since going sugar free.

    Do you consume caffeine?

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    Vivette Reply:

    I quit sugar a few months ago started with weaning myself off sugar, bread, white flour, fruits etc….I also have a 5 month old baby who sleeps well at night. What I have noticed is he hardly gets nappy rash since I quit sugar, and when I eat some it flares up so I reckon there is a link with the breast feeding. I do feel better but still adjusting to no sugar And the hidden sugars in foods I love bananas so hard to give them up. I have decaf coffee a few mornings butq even finding going off taste of that. Not ready to give up my Madura tea or go to herbal teas.
    Vivette

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  • Pingback: Sweet Relief! « sugariffic

  • http://www.sighswhispers.blogspot.com laurakitty

    I feel like a failure- I read the ebook (and have read many more before) but seem totally unable to give it up. I have cut out all sugar except the worst of it- chocolate and haribo- but when I try to give that up I have horrible withdrawal symptoms and then I end up binging on any other food I can get my hands on.

    How are you all managing to get past the first few days? I’m planning on restarting again tomorrow but I’m just not sure I can get past a day!

    [Reply]

    AJ Reply:

    Me too :-(

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    Lindsey Reply:

    you just have to REALLY want to do it :)) just remember, “you are stronger than you think” – that is what helped me!

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    MIndy Reply:

    laurakitty,

    Have you heard of a book called Potatoes Not Prozac? It’s all about giving up sugar, but it does it is a series of steps aimed at balancing your blood sugar and brain chemistry before you actually give up sugar for good. It is an excellent book and there is a website called radiantrecovery.com with a lot of resources as well.

    Good luck!

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    Elle G Reply:

    I would suggest you stock up well with alternatives to your normal snacks. Don’t deprive yourself. I followed Sarah’s ideas and stocked with up fresh coconut, shredded coconut, cacao nibs, haloumi etc. After 10 days I haven’t openend some of my supplies, but have found the process of not eating sugar fairly easy. My main sugar hits were fructose, so even berries are out for the time being. Weight loss 1.8 kgs the first week!

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    Josy Reply:

    Yep I agree – my cupboards and fridge are full – I have cooked chicken ready to use in salads or as a snack, shaved turkey, haloumi, olives, avocados, different types of nuts, yoghurt, cacao nibs, cinnamon to add to yoghurt, chia seeds – I put all the pantry stuff in cool jars so when I open the cupboard it’s like a shop! I also have different cheese like feta, ricotta and cheddar to chop up and put in salads, I’m even marinating my own feta instead of paying $13 a jar. When I open the fridge they are all there ready for me to eat as are crudites of radishes, carrots, celery, capsicum, mushrooms. I chop them up and put them on a nice white platter with a little bowl of homemade hummous in the middle (can of chick peas, garlic clove, tablespoon of tahini, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice…blend) so before I can even think “I need sugar” I have them in my mouth. Eggs are a godsend, I make a frittata with whatever veges I have and a bit of bacon or smoked salmon or turkey and about 5 eggs and it’s something I can have for lunch or snacks for two days.
    I also try and keep busy, my house has never been cleaner! Sometimes it’s like my hands need food to hold so I’ll play playdough with my kids or in the sandpit – again it’s keeping busy and your mind off food.
    After all that I should admit, it’s only Day 4 for me!!!!!

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    Josy Reply:

    I should add that it’s only day 4 but that the day before I started I was eating a block of chocolate a day so I was hardcore sugarholic…. If I can do this so can you!

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    You guys are prepared! That’s great.

    mel Reply:

    hey laura, i was a serious junk-a-holic for everything processed and sweet and it was seriously huge. I’m talking biggest loser greedy. the first three days are the definers. do it on three days where u know u won’t be going anywhere u will be around sweets. keep busy. enjoy the ritual of tea/clean food and i say eat as much other non crap food u want such as meat/chicken with skin on etc until your cravings go. seriously it doesn’t take long and as Anne said above, that constant thinking of where your next sweet is , just stops. beautiful. good luck. feel fabulous thanks sarah for the push.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Laura, are you eating plenty of good fats and protein?
    I’ts really key.

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    Sally Reply:

    Don’t feel like a failure! You have spent your whole life addicted. It’s going to be hard. I am nearly a year sugar free so I know you can do it. What helped me through those horrible first few weeks (I gave up coffee at the same time) was eating as much as I wanted of all those foods we have been taught not to eat. So I had a lovely time eating hot chips, bread, lasagne (my own made with no sugar in the sauces), carbs carbs carbs carbs. It got me through. After the withdrawal, which is what you are going through, I just didn’t want to eat the carbs so much anymore. Or the amount of food for that matter. I also found soda water was very good at calming the craving I seemed to have for the foods I had grown up on. At first I could only drink it with lemon, now I drink it plain, and it actually tastes quite sweet now.
    It’s hard, yeah, but it’s doable. And trust me, so so worth it!

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    Grace Reply:

    @Laurakitty
    I have been sugar free for years and love this blog mostly for the recipes – thanks Sara! I still have my chocolate thou. :) I buy organic, 100% cocoa bars (in the baking section of my health food store) and then dip the squares into fresh almond butter that I buy at my local health food store. The almond butter will start to tast really sweet once you’ve been off sugar a while, and you are still able to get the benefits (and the buzz :) from the dark, high-quality chocolate.

    Good luck! Hang in there, and remember that the withdrawal may be bad (I read somewhere years ago: the more addicted you are to sugar, the worse your withdrawal symptoms will be – mine were HORRIBLE!), but the results will be worth it. This way, at least you don’t have to give up sugar AND chocolate at the same time. :)

    Godspeed

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  • Miss Jodi

    I haven’t bought the book yet so I’m not sure if this counts or not. I don’t normally eat sugar in it’s usual or hidden forms as the big 3 for me are honey, agave nectar and maple syrup. Really keen to check out the book.

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  • http://Www.theheartyheart.com Emma

    I have two suggestions! I chill a tart tea (like cranberry, raspberry or pomegranate) & then add this instead of juice to smoothies, or in baked items like pancakes.

    I also really like steeping goji berries & then pulsing in a food processor. It makes a great addition to salad dressings, and makes your greens feel like dessert!

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  • Mia

    I find a glass of milk works if I am craving sweetness. I dont know why, but it seems (much like coconut oil) to taste sweet without being sugary.

    Other than that, my favourite thing at the moment is a coconut juice & natural yoghurt smoothie with berries and cocoa powder in! The berries sweeten it up just enough so the cocoa tastes chocolatey. Yuuuum.

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    Anne-Marie Reply:

    Mia, I found to my horror that some milk has a lot of sugar…so check out the milk you are using.

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    Mia Reply:

    Absolutely Anne-Marie, you are right! Full cream is generally best for this as lower fat and soy milk is often sweetened. I have the free range stuff also. xx

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    mel Reply:

    i made my own almond milk, so easy and lovely, then put the pulp into those chocolate nut balls sarah posted about. i couldn’t stand wasting it.

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    remember that 4.7g /100g of “sugar” in milk is lactose, which is fructose-free.

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    Sharai Reply:

    so does that mean milk is sort of good for you?! Im buying the IQS ebook as soon as pay day arrives! Im trying to get as much info as i can about it while I cant actually buy it yet!

  • http://thecleanbeautyblog.tumblr.com The Clean Beauty Blog

    I’ve replaced dried fruit in my porridge with a spoonful of coconut oil, pinch of cinnamon & chia seeds – so delicious and healthy!

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    Jasmin Reply:

    Ohhh that sounds yum, might have that for breakie tomorrow! :)

    Sarah the afternoon cups of chai have been amazing, usually around 3-4pm I would get bad sugar cravings and now I look forward to having my chai but in the last few days I’m starting not to miss sugar or feel like I need it which is a pretty cool place to be and also the nut balls you posted about are so delish, I seriously can’t eat more than two now they fill me up nicely and go great with the aforementioned chai xx

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    anne Reply:

    Hi Jasmin, I agree, the arvo cup of Chai has been great. Its like my little ‘treat’ and I try to make a point of actually sitting down (unheard of usually) and reading while I enjoy it. I must have a go at making the nut balls now :)

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    Jasmin Reply:

    Hi Anne,

    Yeah I find sitting down in a quiet place(if that’s possible) is really nice and calming and yes make the nut balls they are sooooo good! :)

    Bell Reply:

    Hi Jasmin,
    How do you make your chai tea? Are you at work??

    Bell

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    Jasmin Reply:

    Hi Bell,

    I just buy the loose leaf chai from the farmers market or health food shop, different brands taste slightly different my fave is The Green Tea Frog Company! :)

    Bell Reply:

    Thanks Jasmin!

  • toni

    The funny thing is that, after being sugar-free for 11 weeks, so much food with little or no sugar tastes sweet to me now…for instance a squeeze of lemon or lime juice in a dressing sets my tastebuds quivering, my organic beef chilli with a touch of cinnamon and cocoa powder almost tastes like dessert, coconut water (YUM!), corn fritters with harissa and barambah yoghurt on top, the list goes on! It’s amazing how sharp and refined your tastebuds become, just like your mental clarity really.

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  • melanie

    Hi Sarah, I just wanted to thank you so much for opening my eyes about sugar. I love the ebook, it is written like a friend giving me advice, I love how you have an eight week program that seems easy to follow. I am addicted to sugar, it got to the point wear I was eating so much cake, chocolate and lollies I was getting a bit jittery and I was eating it all the time, even sneaking packets of lollies in my desk at work and eating them throughout the day. To be honest I was really embarrassed at the amoutn of junk I seemed to be eating and not being able to stop! So I knew I needed to empower myself and it seems I found you! I have also read the Sweet Poison Quit book you recommended and it is all coming together. I am only four days in but I have noticed a change already, I feel lighter and no longer bloated and most importantly not sneaking around shoving sugar into my mouth any chance I got. I feel like I am making a positive change for myself and my 16mth daughter. I am still having a few equals in my coffee and if I am really craving sugar I am having a pear and I feel ok. Im also drinking heaps of water as I have had a few headaches.
    Anyway I havent offered any advice on how to sweeten your food without sugar but I had to write and say thank-you!

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  • http://www.mikewilde.com mike wilde

    Have bought the book but am too lazy to start on the sugar thing right now.
    Am experimenting with more protein in the mornings, which is definitely working for me.
    My question is about coconut oil, which I bought some of yesterday. Quite expensive and I’m wondering whether there are any benefits over sunflower or grape seed oil. Is it merely a taste thing ?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    i;ll be posting on coconut oil soon. And, yes, soooo many benefits.

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  • http://www.lavidahealth.com.au Kaye

    All great tips. Another thing to remember is that your taste buds will adjust to having less/no sugar and then if you taste something that you used to have regularly, it will taste horribly sweet. For example, give someone who has cut sugar out or down in their coffee, a coffee with sugar in it by mistake and they struggle to drink it. So, persist and give your taste buds a chance to adapt.

    As for the cravings/withdrawal symptoms that may be the sign of a nutritional deficiency or an issue with your gut. Perhaps see a health professional to have that investigated.

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  • http://holistichealingandcfs.wordpress.com/ amy

    Totally agree with above comments, now that I have been sugar free for a year or so roasted pumpkin, sweet potato tastes like lollies!! I am literally scraping every bit of caramelization off the baking pan. It is so refreshing and liberating not being controlled by cravings and it seems so foreign to be able to eat 3 lovely nourishing meals a day and feel completely satisfied. Getting off the sugar addiction is HARD, some say like coming off drugs ‘apparently’. Coconut oil is a very different food compared to sunflower and grape seed oil. Mostly saturated fat made of mostly short and medium chain fatty acid. It is highly stable, does not turn rancid and become a bottle of damaging free radicals. It is extremely high in lauric acid, caprilic acid, anti microbial, bacterial, immune system boosting goodness. And it is barely acted on by bile salts so basically diverts digestion and absorbed straight up not stored as fat as some may be told. It not fattening, nor does it clog your arteries. Other oils are a lot higher in pro imflammatory omega 6. Coconut oil quite anti imflammatory…I’m sure others can fill you in on the many benefits!!?

    [Reply]

    Mia Reply:

    My understanding was also that is hard to find grapeseed oil that is uncontaminated, as the process of making the oil can leave trace nasties and heavy metals? Would love if someone could confirm or deny as this is only anecdotal.

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    mike wilde Reply:

    Thanks for the info Amy .. sounds like it is very healthy stuff.
    My next project is chia seeds.
    I’m going to do something with them.
    I don’t know what yet.
    A colleague today told me that her husband refers to her goji berries as ‘ gucci ‘ berries.
    I found this amusing.

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  • V

    I just moved to the Middle East and we have an abundance of cheap coconut oil, but it’s liquid at room temperature. Is this the same coconut oil you guys are using back in Aus? Is the liquid version still good for you? Please say yes!! I have no idea where I’d find the other kind!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Yep, the “butter” becomes an oil at warm temps. Put it in the fridge!

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    V Reply:

    Perfecto! Thanks Sarah.

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  • Mel

    Yes

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  • Liesbeth

    Hi Sarah, not sure if you saw my comment on your last post – I’ve purchase I quit sugar but been unable to download using my phone. I have emailed details to your info email address – hopefully you can let me know what I need to do because I can’t wait to read it! Thanks, liesbeth

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Hey, Jo will be in touch…she’s been on leave a few days.

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  • http://www.parentwellbeing.com Jodie Benveniste @ Parent Wellbeing

    I’m onto week 3 of the I Quit Sugar program. My main goal was to curb the after dinner sweet cravings, and it’s working! Just one question: Are sugarless carob buds that you can buy from the health food shop okay to eat or do they have hidden sugar of some sort?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    they’re fine, but they do contain other bits and pieces, like emulsifiers from memory. You don’t want to get too carried away by them.

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    Jemma Reply:

    I found most of the carob buds are also made with vegetable oil (as well as emulsifiers), which is no good. It’s a shame because I LOVE carob buds! If anyone finds any made with a better quality oil, please let me know.

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  • http://www.soulintelligencemethod.com/ Stacey

    Stevia is great too. Love it in my steel cut oats!

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  • Claire

    My big tip is: Artisana Coconut Butter – this is not the same as coconut oil, it is a whole food made from the whole coconut, so includes the flesh. It is the most heavenly, divine, rich, delicious creation ever. And so satisfying because it contains so much (good) fat. There are some blogs that have recipes using it as an ingredient, but I just eat it off a spoon. Perfect afternoon snack to replace a line of chocolate squares :)

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    mel Reply:

    really! it has nothing else in it? if so i shall be trying it asap.

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    Claire Reply:

    Nothing else! 100% raw organic coconut. Bliss!

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    Jemma Reply:

    I’ve just discovered this stuff too – AMAZING! Hellooo dessert. I just have to try and ration myself- I could gobble the stuff.

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    Mel Reply:

    I’m trying to find where to get it. Hard to locate stockists on google. Know anywhere in eastern suburbs of Sydney?

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    Nat W Reply:

    You can buy it at health food stores such as About Life. Also buy online through Bioliving.
    I buy it in the pre portioned sachets to ration myself! It really is über delicious!

  • Miranda

    Hi Sarah,

    Over the past few weeks I have taken on some really positive changes in my eating and it is amazing how much it has helped my IBS etc. As I have the whole guantlet of issues – fructose malabsportion, lactose intolerance, wheat/gluten intolerance, eating is very difficult. I have eliminated all dairy, I have reduced my fruit load to only 1 serve a day, and am working on the paleo approach. I must admit that I have not yet taken the ‘leap’ of taking out rice cakes – but I am working on that. (As a runner/fitness nut I do find that those few starchy carbs help. All has worked really well – my skin looks great and I am controlling my IBS like I have never been able to before.
    Now I am eliminating nightshades – the only nightshade in my diet is tomato, however I have read that blueberries have some connection and given that I only have a serve of fruit a day, often it is blueberries.
    Does anyone have any thoughts on this as I am happy to eliminate them too just to see if that makes a difference. I am trying to see if by taking out fruit altogether might make a difference too – but it can’t all happen at once – i’ll have nothing left to eat!
    Thoughts most welcomed

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  • mel

    sarah i would be so interested in hearing about your paleo stuff. i have started on it the past two weeks and feel fabulous. no bloating, never hungry and yet a dramatic weightloss. i can’t believe its so easy. Just with vegies and dairy i find it a bit confusing. so much info out there it is overwhelming. Need it simplified which i find you are great at. Also i feel evil eating animal fat and butter but i know thats what is making me satisfied. still is like to hear what you have to see if I’m eating to much. thanks

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Yep, stick with me. I’ll be interviewing Nora in person in a few weeks. Don’t feel evil about animal fat. In small quantities (which is all you need), it’s fine. Buy organic and grass fed…do it properly and breath easy.

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    mel Reply:

    Im going for Spring Hill beef. its grass fed.

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    Jess Reply:

    I too am doing Paleo but i thought it was no Carbs, sugar or dairy? i guess there are some variations out there but i like to keep it simple so i dont get carried away with always thinking about what i can and cannot eat.

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  • Jessica Rabbit

    I made the ‘Spinach, Chickpeas and Sweet Potato’ meal last night it was so freakin good, i have it for lunch today as well !
    Thanks for posting the recipe Sarah :)

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  • Jemma

    My fave treat at the moment is mixing big dollops of Barambah Organic yoghurt (the 97% one) with a little stevia, some cinnamon and vanilla powder when craving something rich and sweet -it’s soooo delish. I’m also having a couple of teaspoons of coconut butter for dessert which I find more satisfying than 85% dark choc….it’s divine!

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  • Shalome

    So excited! My man and I are starting the 8-week program on the 1st if Nov so that we cruise into Xmas feeling refreshed and revitalized! It is so encouraging to read so much positive and supportive feedback in these posts. Like an army of sugar-free munchkins striding forth – I love it! x

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    I love it, too. We’re all in the same pain!!! Hopefully more voices will get the Nestle’s etc to see there’s DEMAND for less sugar!

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  • http://www.gdaybeautiful.blogspot.com tania

    I’m on week 3 and loving the freedom from sugar, no climbing the walls in the afternoon when the flat spot used to hit. Just eating to refuel and carry on with more important things. Bloat free and feeling great.

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  • angela

    hi sarah

    i may have missed this somewhere, but is the e-book a rigid plan to follow for 8 weeks or just a more general approach? i have tried and failed to quit sugar many times before when left to my own devices, and thinking that an actual “follow to the letter” plan might work for me

    cheers

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Not rigid, but I have devised it so it worsk with your body’s natural detox processes. I researched for months and found the pace I set out best. There are three main stages of cutting back and changing the way your body metabolises…so the cravings and taste go away. It’s certainly not rigid, though. But that’s part of my plan!!

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  • http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com Alejandra

    I came across this wonderful blog post by Jennifer Louden that I thought I’d share. It’s her mindful tips for avoiding sugar. My absolute favorite tip is this one: “10: Turn it Over to Service

    Every time you must have sugar, do something for someone else. Tweet someone’s blog post, call your friend getting a divorce, write a check to a charity, fill up your beloved’s car, doesn’t matter what you do as long as it feels good to you and helps someone else.

    Do: Take action on another’s behalf. Do not overthink, just do.”

    Her entire post is here: http://jenniferlouden.com/11-ways-to-ditch-sugar/

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  • Carly

    What about maltose, like in malted barley extract?

    [Reply]

    Sylvia Reply:

    Carly, in David Gillespie’s book, Sweet Poison, he lists maltose as good.
    Can’t seem to find a satisfactory answer to the question “Is there any fructose in malted barley extract” Sorry, I spent over an hour looking through Google, and various sites, and re-phrasing the questions etc etc etc……

    I tried hard, Carly, sorry. No conclusive evidence, but at least maltose is ok.

    Silver Angel

    Spread the Love’

    SMILE!!

    [Reply]

  • Bell

    Hi Guys,

    Jut wondering in the first 8 weeks are you allowed to use Natvia?

    [Reply]

  • http://lolomag.com Lauren

    Would LOVE to use this as a guest post for my online magazine: lolomag.com! Shoot me an email if this would be possible :D Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.bettyonabox.com Jo

    Oh sugar! Sarah et al., I have cut back immensely, and the interesting thing is that the moment I had one sugary item, the cravings started again. My biggest struggle is coffee. I know you’ll tell me to cut it altogether, but I really love a few espressos a day. I feel like it defines me, in a way, like a smoker is defined by their smoking. I wonder if I’m actually addicted to the sugar in the coffee rather than the coffee? And no, unfortunately a sugarless espresso is out of the question!

    I’ve also gone semi-paleo after your interview with Nora. I don’t really buy her approach – I think she’s too extreme and doesn’t take into account the cultural importance of food and eating as her approach is purely about food at nutrition. My biggest struggle is finding something sweet to have every so often. I won’t use anything artificial, so it’s proving very difficult so I’m having a piece of fruit. Anyway, thanks for all the wonderful insights!

    j

    [Reply]

    Sylvia Reply:

    Jo, I can identify with you…….I only have one latte per day, (home made in the micro), but have run out of Natvia, can’t afford to buy any more, am very poor at the moment. I have resorted to an old box of Equal, against my natural better instincts, don’t like using them. I’ve been off sugar for 14 months now, but still having a problem with the coffee. I’ve tried lessening the amount of coffee I use, tried giving it up altogether, lasted about 6 days. I agree with you about being addicted to the sweetness in the coffee, not just the coffee. Someone told me that if it was the coffee I really wanted, I would have it black, so I guess it must be the sweetness, do you agree?

    I’m mortified that after all this time, I’m still having a problem with it.

    Silver Angel

    Spread the Love

    SMILE

    [Reply]

  • lotus bee

    Hi Sarah

    I’m curious as to why you espouse butter over (homemade) ghee? Sorry if I’ve missed it elsewhere on your blog.

    Cheers

    [Reply]

  • Danica

    I just made this recipe for lunch with pumpkin instead of sweet potato….. Totally delish!

    [Reply]

  • Buzzword

    So Sarah, you are basically advocating what Dr Atkins said ALMOST 40 YEARS AGO!
    Wow, you must feel like a real revolutionary.

    [Reply]

    Anne-Marie Reply:

    no, Dr. Atkins never mentions Fructose, which is what this is about. Dr. Atkins says: ‘Just to be clear, eating fats doesn’t make you fat as long as you give your body permission to burn them. Place the blame where it belongs: overeating and overreacting to carbs.’
    Fructose is a “carbohydrate that doesn’t trip the appetite control switch. Everything that contains sugar contains fructose. Our bodies do not detect fructose as a food and our livers convert it immediately to fat. Before you finish a glass of apple juice. the fructose in the first mouthful will be circulating in your bloodstream as fat.” (frpm David Gillespie’s book: Sweet Poison.
    If you had really read Sarah’s or David Gillespie’s information you would realise how different Dr. Atkins’ diet is (not that his diet is bad, at all, but it is a diet). This is not a ‘diet’ this is taking fructose out of your eating habits! it works wonders!

    [Reply]

  • Kimberley

    I am a total sugar addict and the thing that helps me the most is Gluco Support tablets, made by Eagle brand. They have chromium in them but are better as they have something else too. Three a day with breaky lunch and dinner, and my cravings are gone. Helps in that first few weeks (of which I’m embarking on now)

    [Reply]

  • MirandaBB

    I have fructose malabsorption and onion is really high in fructose. But celery is a great substitute. Also instead of apple in cooking why not try choko? OK, it’s a wierd looking sucker but it takes on flavours and has a similar apple-like texture.

    [Reply]

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  • Jess

    Hi,
    I just found this coconut yoghurt in my health food store called “Co-Yo” is that okay to eat? it does contain Xylitol, but no sugar/dairy… Has anyone tried it?

    [Reply]

  • sarah

    Hi Sarah,
    I am avoiding dairy and have been buying organic almond, soy, rice or oat milk from the supermarket. I notice there is quite a large amount of sugar in all of them and they are very sugary!
    What would you recommend as an alternative? Whilst tempting, my workload limits my ability to make my own almond milk!

    [Reply]

    MirandaBB Reply:

    Hi Sarah – Making your own nut milk is really simple and quick but is done over a greater time period so you do need to take that into consideration… take nuts & soak in filtered water o/night. Drain & rinse. Blend in water & strain through muslin. Keep ‘pulp’ and enjoy milk. It doesn’t last long so you can freeze portions to use as you need to. Here’s a link… (scroll right down to above shopping list for links to a whole lot of plant milk recipes) http://scandifoodie.blogspot.com.au/search?q=almond+milk

    [Reply]

  • Jodie

    Can anyone recommend a substitute for potato chips? You know when you really want a salty, crunchy snack but would prefer not to eat starchy, fatty chips. And when something like salted nuts aren’t quite the right texture and flavour. Would love some ideas on this one! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Jess Reply:

    Hi Jodie
    I make Sweet potato chips with ground cummin, nutmeg, paprika, thyme. cut into thin slices and bake in oven on 200 for about 35 mins. they are awesome! bake for longer if you really want them crispy.

    [Reply]

    Jodie Reply:

    Thanks Jess – that’s a great idea!

    [Reply]

  • Dale

    After trying this five previous times cold turkey, I finally did a very slow withdrawal the sixth time.

    Over a week. I set my sugar free start day. I ate all the sugared foods I had in the house, to stave off deprivation (which always happened before). I made sugar free snacks, meals and planned my menu, and finally did my shopping list. In fact it was so successful I started 100% sugar free one day early.

    That was three weeks ago and I haven’t looked back. I still have the little movies in my head. You know when you see an add for a chocolate bar, etc. In the first two weeks I would be about to add that to my shopping list, until I realised what I was doing. That seems to have stopped this week.

    I made sure I had plenty of sugar free dessert recipes so I wouldn’t go looking for other foods. I’m a sweet eater, and this seems to be the way not to go into deprivation. The previous attempts have shown me how to do it this time and for life.

    Big thanks for your ebooks.

    [Reply]

  • Aurelia Brown

    we love trader joe’s coconut cookies. I want to make some. I am purchasing
    organic coconut, but I feel it should be sweetened some how. All the recipes I have
    found call for powdered sugar. We have a dehydrater….do you know of any way
    to sweeten coconut without sugar.
    thanks so much.
    People just DO NOT realize what sugar does to them or they would NOT eat it…or at least I would hope they would not eat the stuff.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.stilettosandgreenjuice.com Lyn McFarlane

    Cinnamon!! and if I really need a hit of sweetness raw organic cacao. But also love coconut oil. Love that I can rub it through my hair when I have some on my hands – lol

    [Reply]

  • Shalini

    I started reducing the sugar in my diet in December. Although i had tried leaving it about 3 months ago after seeing Sugar: the Bitter Truth, I got back on it after two weeks. So i took it up again as a new year resolution when I saw the video again.
    I had left sugar completely for a week at 1st Jan, not the carbs and fruits though but i recently took 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar for two days and to my surprise i got a acne on my neck. Since there is not other reason for it as its winters so there’s no sweat and no dirt. I m surprised after leaving all sugar the acne has gone again. I never got it on my neck in my life. This little sugar gave me that. And I don’t get any of that with fruits. :D

    Now I have written down all the ways sugar harms the body so I remember it.

    [Reply]

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