Kicking the sugar habit!…or stopping with the “Sweet Poison” Week #1

Wow! What a full on week we’ve had. If you follow my post you’d know that my little kids have been sick, well that theme has continued this week and sleep is becoming a distant memory! However, on the plus side, Johan and I made the decision to make a major life style change for our family – namely, STOPPING our consumption of sugar! I am amazed at the increase in my energy levels and overall feeling of well-being (although possibly I am just hyperactive from lack of sleep)

“What!” I hear you say, “that’s a little radical.” and yes a month ago I thought the same, but then we got our hands on a copy of Sweet Poison by David Gillespie, and everything changed.  His premise is that sugar (most specifically fructose or fruit sugar) is killing us. Our bodies just don’t handle it.  According to David…

“Sugar makes you fat. It is converted directly to fat by your liver and it destroys your appetite control so that you want to eat more of everything.” from The Sweet Poison Quit Plan  by David Gillespie

Furthermore, he says, it has a whole host of side effects including Type II diabetes, clogging your arteries, and Alzheimer’s disease. For more information check out his website.

That was enough for me, I decided right then that we were going to change our lives, but I didn’t really know how to. Last week Johan brought home the second book – The Sweet Poison Quit Plan  by David Gillespie and so here we are a week into our lives without sugar.

To say the kids were not impressed would be an understatement! They were in shock…no more cakes, no more lollies, no more chocolate…how would they survive? Were we serious?  Not ever?  Yes, we explained, we no longer wanted to expose them to the poison known as sugar.  That was fine, said Kieran (my son from first marriage), “I’ll just ask Dad to buy it for me!” No, we said,  it’s a toxic chemical just like the ones in some shampoos (the kids understand this as we have a small business producing non toxic personal care products)

So the first step was to get rid of all the high sugar breakfast cereals. As each box was finished, we didn’t replace it, same with the sugar, until we had just Weet Bix and rolled oats left.

Step Two was to sell the idea to the kids. I knew that if Caelan (12) was all for it, Kieran would come on board pretty quick because he hero worships Caelan. And as for Conor and Selene, at their age it’s my responsibility and if they aren’t exposed to it, they don’t miss it.  We explained to Caelan (while Kieran was at his Dad’s) why we were making this choice and that we didn’t hate him, want to starve him etc but rather that because we love him we need to make the right food choices for him and help him choose for himself when he is old enough.  I encouraged him to read the intro to the book.

Then, and most importantly I think, I tried to make the no sugar choice as attractive as I could by revamping our breakfast menu.  “Breakfast cereal is not the only choice,” I said, and so this week the kids have had…

  • Monday – amnesty day….last opportunity to eat foods with lots of sugar
  • Tuesday – Scrambled eggs on toast (made by Caelan)
  • Wednesday – French toast
  • Thursday –  Pikelets (using dextrose instead of cane sugar)
  • Friday – Fried egg and toast

The kids have been heard to comment that “the standard of breakfasts has really improved around here” (Mr 12)  With difficulty I restrained myself from clocking him one – lol.

I have also made a huge effort to make the school snacks appealing, exploring the range of savoury options including home-made sausage rolls, vegetable scones and home-made crackers. We also tried the jaffa cookies from the recipe section of The Sweet Poison Quit Plan.

This afternoon Caelan and I cleared the pantry and fridge of all items containing too much sugar. Things we got rid of included tomato sauce, jams, peanut butter (but not before I made a sugar-free version in the Thermomix), golden syrup, honey, dried fruit and imitation vanilla essence).  We had a whole garbage bag full in the end…because that’s the problem, EVERYTHING contains sugar and our bodies can only cope with a small amount, like maybe in 1 or 2 pieces of fruit a day, but with all of our processed foods the cumulative effect of ALL that sugar means we are eating masses of it. AND it is addictive so we just want more.

So far we seem not to have too many withdrawal symptoms and are coping OK, although I did glance longingly at the fruit juices in Coles today, and I know the kids have been cheating…but that’s ok,  it takes time to kick a habit.  Have you tried it?  Please share your comments if you have.

Blessings

Larissa

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11 Comments

  1. Wilma

    Good for you. Should be more of it!!. x

  2. Karen White

    Larissa good on you!! My husband and I have been sugar free for the last 10 weeks or so. We have a 13 year old daughter and a 9 year old son. Our daughter started the program but unfortunately stopped due to being ill and we found it difficult to find sugar free medications. She is well now and will started again next week when school resumes. Our challenge will be our sugar addicted son. The biggest thing we have changed in our children’s diets is the biscuits and snacks we put in their lunch boxes. No more tiny teddies or nutri grain bars etc. We have changed to using small packets of chips or savory biscuits eg shape biscuits.

    So far my husband and I have lost 8 kilos each which has been a huge benefit from going sugar free.

    I look forward to reading how your family goes on this new path!

    Karen

    • Thank you Karen…it’s great to hear you have had success so far. Hopefully we will too

  3. Sandra N

    Congrats on a great decision. I’ve been off sugar for 9 months and talk up the lifestyle to any who’ll listen! The hardest part for me has been in restricting my kids (I have 3 aged 3,7,10yr) from foods they know their friends get. I’ve taken to making my own icecream, thickshakes and baked treats to make up for this. My 7yr daughter is the hardest to please as she’s got a real sweet tooth and isn’t always pleased with my creations. I just keep at it because I really believe I’m doing something very good for their health.

    • Hi Sandra. It is DEFINITELY hard with the kids, but I am really hoping I can get them stick with it and eventually choose no sugar for themselves, because as you say it is really good for their health.

  4. Rebecca

    My family has been Fructose Free since April, and the key I find is to create tempting alternatives. After a little home baking you do get a feel for substituting dextrose for sucrose. My children have not missed anything, although now tomato sauce is hardly ever used as it tastes different to the store bought stuff. We eat plenty of healthy crackers, fresh veg and I have found it, thanks to David’s book, reasonably easy to stick to. We even make our own chocolate now too (though I am still tweaking that recipe.

    • Hi Rebecca, it’s interesting to hear your comments about taste as my son(12) is already noticing a difference after just over a week. We also found a fantastic peanut butter recipe which contains peanuts only-delicious. I would be really interested in your chocolate recipe if you would like to send to me

  5. michael mansell

    hi
    i am a father of 6 and have been fructose free for nearly 16 weeks and all the comments you have made about more energy,happier healthy and just feeling energised. the book is the one thing i have ever read that has compeletely changed my life.. after 40 years of yo-yo weight i now know that i will not have any problem maintaining a healthy weight for the rest of my life.. my kids love having a dad with lots of energy and a better out look on all things. the best side effect of no fructose is the weight loss i have now lost 20kg (was 125.5 now 105kg). i have lowered the amount of fructose used in our house but with a wife not totally on board with no fructose it is a work in progress . but any reduction in the kids diet is a help, and they are now very well educated ( although it has caused them some interesting debates at there schools– teachers find it too far out there). i wish you well in your life with “sweet poison” now identified….. michael

    • Thanks Michael. The energy is one of the amazing things for me…for the first time in years I got on the trampoline yesterday & just jumped – I felt that good

  6. Amez

    Good on you!, i love reading these comments as they inspire me to keep going ;). I am day 3 no seed oils or fructose and apart from feeling a bit down and headaches im coping ok!.
    My two 7 year olds don’t seem to be missing sauce ( like me!) and happily ate my homemade crumbed chicken and vege’s tonight. I have them down to an ok lunch box but do need to try and find some sav bis that are seed oil and fructose free, at the moment they are having shapes and cheese and fruit as their snacks. They had a red apple chopped into thin slices with thin cheese slices for arvo tea yesterday, and asked for it again this arvo!, which i thought was great considering they are use to coming home to coc jam slice or some other fructose filled snack. I did find one olive oil and fructose free sav snack in woolies, Brand is – Always Fresh, they’re called Crustini (italian bruschetta toasts, olive oil and sea salt), sugar = 3.5 per 100g, they are so yummy and crunchy and even better with brie cheese for a sometimes snack :).

    • Hi Amez, Thank you for your comment. I agree that it is really inspiring to read about everyone’s successes. I have added vege pikelets recipe for you to my Week #2 blog

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