How I wrote my 8-Week Program Meal Plans

Posted on April 29th, 2014

The next round of my I Quit Sugar online 8-Week Program starts June 5 and you can sign up now and join the 300,000 other peeps around the world who’ve done it, either via my books or online.

Tandoori Chicken with Indian Rice Salad

The I Quit Sugar Tandoori Chicken with Indian Rice Salad

In this next round you’ll still have the option to choose from two Meal Plans: the standard (meat inclusive) 8-Week Program Meal Plan and the Vegetarian Meal Plan.

If you’re wanting to check it out and ask any questions, or sign up, click here.

One of the questions I get asked constantly, however, is whether the Plans fit with current dietary guidelines. The short answer is: abso-bloody-lutely. The longer one requires that I share how I actually devise my recipes, meals and plans…

1. I prioritise dense nutrition. At every opportunity. I find ways to supply foods with the densest nutrition in every meal. This means:

  • Prioritising (and adding extra) leafy greens and high-quality fat and protein at every meal.
  • Preparing food to preserve (and maximise) enzymes and bacteria for digestion.
  • Minimising toxins (from harmful grains and legumes) and empty calories (from, um, sugar and processed carbs).
Nourishing Breakfast Bowl

The I Quit Sugar Nourishing Breakfast Bowl

How do I do this?

2. I add fat to veggies. At every meal. I replace sugar with healthy fats (which reverses what the processed food companies have been doing for the past 60 years) to satiate, fuel and provide us with fun foods to eat. Fat switches on the right “I’m full” or “off” switch in our brains, so that we do, in fact, get full and stop eating. Also, your body needs fats to be able to absorb the essential vitamins A, E, D and K from the veggies.

Pork and Fennel Meatballs

The I Quit Sugar Pork and Fennel Meatballs

3. I also add fat to protein. Fat is needed for proper protein assimilation. That’s why you won’t see egg white omelettes or skinless chicken dishes in my meal plans!

Peas, Spinach and Feta with Poached Eggs

The I Quit Sugar Peas, Spinach and Feta with Poached Eggs

4. I prioritise veggies. All are good, but my meals prioritise leafy greens (the most nutritious option) over other vegetables (cauliflower, cucumbers) over starchy veggies (peas, sweet potato). There are veggies in almost every meal – 6-7 serves over the course of each day.

Lamb Curry Pie

The I Quit Sugar Lamb Curry Pie

5. I up the amount of enzymes. You’ll find some fermented products in the meal plans – sauerkraut and the like. I include these because they produce a stack of helpful enzymes, which will assist with assimilation of the nutrition in the rest of your meal. There are two types of enzymes that we use to break down food – those in the food itself, and those in our bodies. The more contained in the food, the less we need to use of our body’s enzymes…and enzyme depletion is in fact the aging process! Up the enzymes to look younger!

Middle Eastern Quinoa Stuffed Eggplants

The I Quit Sugar Middle Eastern Quinoa Stuffed Eggplants (from the Vegetarian Menu Plans)

6. My Meal Plans exceed the nutritional guidelines.  And by 500 per cent for some important micro-nutrients. They are also quite low calorie (not that I focus on this at all…), although tmost people find they’re eating more food than they’re used to when doing The Program! I work with dietician Marieke Rodenstein who analyses each Plan in detail to ensure they’re as densely nutritious as possible (she did the same for my recipes and meal plans in I Quit Sugar For Life.) We’ve covered this comprehensively over at IQuitSugar.com. You can read the full post here. But for now, know that Marieke says this, “Both the standard and vegetarian meal plans are nutritionally well-rounded and fit all guidelines for variety, amount and variety of vegetables, protein, healthy fats, omega 3s, red meat, seafood, balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat. The micronutrient profile of both plans gets the thumbs up and tricky nutrients like iodine (which few people get enough of) are adequately included.”

7. I “crowd out”. Which means that I fill you all up on so much of the good stuff that there’s no room for the bad stuff (because we humans are better at doing rather than restricting!). As per above, many participants comment they’re not used to eating so much. Difference is, they are filling up on food that’s healing them, while simultaneously crowding out the crap and cravings!

Sustainable Fish and Chips

The I Quit Sugar Sustainable Fish and Chips

OK. I’ve exhausted myself. Obviously I keep all the above in mind as I formulate the Meal Plans along with the team at I Quit Sugar. But at the end of the day the plans reflect how I personally eat. My whole deal is to share how I personally quit sugar, then to share with others how they can have a crack at it, too. I’m not a fancy eater. I like wholesome, comfort, fun food…

If you’re after more info, click here. We’ve outlined a bunch of FAQs.  Or click on the image below to sign up.

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Of course, if you have any questions for me, post below and myself and the team will try to answer them all. xx

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  • Maddy

    A question, have you worked out the approximate weekly cost of groceries for the program? I very much want to give it a go, but am on a pretty tight budget so don’t want to spend (on top of the cost) all that much more than I am already. I’m sure for everyone planning to join it would be great to know the cost of the meat and the vegetarian meal plans so we can budget in advance.

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Maddy Reply:

    I mean “on top of the plan cost”

    [Reply]

    IQS_Team Reply:

    Hey Maddy, the first couple of weeks are when you stock up on all of your pantry essentials that you will use over and over again throughout the Program. This means that as the weeks progress the groceries should get cheaper. Pop me an email at contact@iquitsugar.com if you wish to discuss further.

    [Reply]

    Maddy Reply:

    Hmm, I will do but I can’t say I find this answer particularly satisfactory. First of all, because you didn’t actually answer my question about whether the IQS team knows the average cost, and, secondly, because I think any extra information you might give me over email should be provided openly to anyone interested in the Program. It’s clear from the guest votes on my post that at least 13 other people want to know this answer. I think you have an obligation to let everyone know what they should expect to spend before they buy a meal plan. It won’t come as a surprise to regular readers of this blog that the IQS recipes contain some more expensive or hard to find ingredients along with the usual fare. There are however a whole host of people, such as those brought to IQS by all your recent US and UK publicity, who won’t be familiar and have a right to know what the “real cost” of this meal plan is.

    Everyone knows that eating healthily can be prohibitively expensive. That fact is an outrage, as I’m sure we can all agree. That IQS would be unaffordable for many is also obvious – the branding and pitching announces it as such. For border-line cases like me, who can’t tell if they could afford it because of this lack of transparency, and for everyone else who needs to plan how they spend their money (most of us, I would have thought), I think that asking for our money before we get a chance to, say, see a grocery list is pretty sketchy.

    I don’t think you’re peddling snake oil, but all the same this strikes me as being disingenuous. I asked my question in good faith and think your evasive answer is totally insufficient.

    [Reply]

    SB Reply:

    Maddy ,
    It seems as though you are looking for a fight?! If you have read the plan you would realize that the first couple weeks are about slowly changing and cutting back your sugar and refined carbohydrates. That surely will save you the money weekly to purchase slowly the items that may not currently appear in your cupboards. This is not her desperate ploy to take you for all you have and give you nothing in return, she does a fantastic job of sharing the wisdom and knowledge she has learned along the way. As you mentioned regarding her recent US and UK publicity I can imagine that has probably made it difficult to financially forecast across the globe what this meal plan will cost, however it sounds as though her team is willing to communicate with you privately and walk with you on YOUR journey towards a healthier life style, that’s pretty cool if you ask me! Maybe consider you will need to take on some more personal responsibility and do a little investigating work on your own to become a success!!??

  • Sash

    I’ve just finished the last 8 week program and loved it. Will there be new recipes in this next program starting in June? I could be willing to go another round.

    [Reply]

    IQS_Team Reply:

    Hey Sash there are 60% new recipes in the next round.

    [Reply]

  • Andree

    Are some of
    your recipes paleo friendly in your cookbooks?
    I would like to try them or maybe adapt to suit my requirements.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Check out the link…we answer this. Yep, most of the recipes are Paleo, or we provide options. However, I do use a lot of dairy and nuts.

    [Reply]

  • Melissa

    Hi Sarah, thank you so much. Loved your 8 week program and it is good to know we are exceeding the nutrional guidelines BUT….. it would also be good to factor in lifestyle. People on budgets, people with families, single people, people who travel etc. I am also someone who doesn’t like to hear excuses. Don’t have time for this and that, but the cooking is very laboursome. I think it would be good to just include a few meat and veg dishes. Anything under 20 mins to prep and cook would be a challenge but welcomed! Thank you.

    [Reply]

  • Lauren

    I assume US folks can participate in this as well and it will just convert to US dollars when I charge my credit card?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Yep, absolutely

    [Reply]

  • Jennie

    I’m heading into the 3rd week of the program and have cut out almost all sugar for the last 2 weeks. In weeks 3-6, when no sugar is allowed, are the brown rice syrup and stevia allowed? They’re in many of your recipes that I love!

    [Reply]

  • Cara

    I have the I Quit Sugar for Life cookbook. Is it still beneficial to sign up to the program or am I better off just purchasing your other book and going it alone?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Hey Cara, you can do the program through the print book (I Quit Sugar) if you’re happy going alone. Some people prefer that. If you’re after structure and support, and the ease of following Meal Plans, then the online program is the way to go. x

    [Reply]

  • Laura

    Hi, I recently moved to the northern hemisphere and wanted to know if the program starting in June was mostly winter dishes or if it is easily adapted to be summer friendly

    [Reply]

  • Rosy

    Your site mentions the program helps re. “how to cook economically and how to minimise wastage and time in the kitchen.”
    Could you please explain what is meant by this?

    [Reply]

  • Rosy

    And could you advise how much prep work for breakfasts and lunches? (which would need to be fairly speedy for the working week)

    [Reply]

  • Rosy

    And (soz) is the June program/recipes printer friendly? (I don’t use an iPad and a laptop is awkward in the kitchen). TiA :-)

    [Reply]

  • Sugar Free Me

    …hi, I just finished the last round of IQS – Vegatarian Plan…I found that after trying a couple of weeks of the brekkies that I had my favs and made them in batches to last a couple of days. The evening meals are large enough and they are shared for lunch…my hubby also shared my food as the portions were so large for me personally…I must say that I achieved what I wanted to achieve and what Sarah said I would…I am now sugar free

    [Reply]

  • http://www.anastasiac.blogspot.com.au/ anastasiaC

    are you still allowed coffee (skim cappucino is my fav choice!) on the program?

    [Reply]

    Debs Reply:

    yep!

    [Reply]

  • Tamara

    I have been sugar free for about 5 months and have both your books. They have been a fantastic source of information and I definitely have a few favourite recipes from each! I was just wondering though, since making these dietary changes, have you had higher levels of cholesterol? I recently had mine checked and all three indicators (total, good cholesterol and the bad) were all quite over what they should be.

    [Reply]

  • Lucy

    What do you do when you travel? how can you avoid sugar in places like indonesia, india and thailand?

    [Reply]

  • Sarah

    Hi Sarah. Do you have any advice or recommended reading on emotional eating? Many of my close friends, myself included, are in a devastating and all-encompassing restrict-binge-guilt cycle and just can’t seem to break free. I have the worst relationship with food and am constantly restricting or dieting which then leads to bingeing on said restricted food which leaves me feeling guilty and loathing myself :( Which then of course leads to more promises of restriction! I really respect you and what you’ve achieved by quitting sugar and am wondering whether you have come across any great professionals/books/websites that cover this topic? Thank you in advance for any light you may be able to shed.

    [Reply]

  • marg

    Hi I would like to thank and give such appreciation to the lovely Jenn Unger who has answered all my stilly questions with such patience and kindness. Thanks Jenn Looking forward the the June 8 week standard program. Your a treasure and a wonderful asset to the team

    [Reply]

    Rosy Reply:

    You got your questions answered? Great! I hope the non-answers I recieved aren’t a sign of things to come in the program… At $150 I would hope we get the support promised…

    [Reply]

  • Pingback: Sarah Wilson’s 8-weel meal plan

  • Kara

    I would like to do the program but I cannot eat dairy or fructose. I have Crohn’s disease and currently need to cut out dairy and fructose (incl. garlic, onions, artichoke, sugar snap peas etc)…and too many nuts can irritate my inflamed insides!! Does this preclude me?

    [Reply]

  • Tyler Brown

    I know the post from Maddy is two months old, but on reading this just now, her response to the IQS team’s response regarding the cost of the plan boggles my mind! Take some responsibility and maybe get online to Coles or Woolies and have a look yourself! Why should the IQS team give you an average cost? You won’t find that in any recipe book, etc – because every city, state, region – country have different costs! It wouldn’t be very helpful to give a Sydney average cost for those who are doing the plan in New York. Being so irritable, I would say you definitely need to go off the sugar, Maddy! :)

    [Reply]

  • Ailene

    Your program sounds ideal but my concern is that, once enrolled and learning the details, I won’t be able to avail myself of its full benefits (e.g. obtaining specific food and spices) as I currently choose to live in a small Thai village and don’t have access to traditional Western items. Even running up to Bangkok (6.0 hours round trip) may not suffice. Is this concern reasonable?

    [Reply]

  • Sarah N.

    Hi! I have been sugar free for some time now but am interested in broadening my recipe base. Are the majority of your program recipes found in your cookbooks or are they original to the program?

    [Reply]