The Result of My No-Sugar Experiment

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Posted May 27, 2014

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At the end of February, I began a sugar-free diet. I haven’t eaten refined sugar for about six years, but this little experiment took things further and restricted me from ALL sugars including natural sweeteners, fruit (apart from berries and green apples), and carbohydrates like grains and potatoes. This blog will aim to reveal my findings.

My goal, at the instruction of my naturopath and backed up by my doctor was to stay away from sugar for 30 days. I was urged to try out something called a ketogenic diet, which required me to ditch all sugars and carbs and replace them with a tonne of fat and protein. The idea being to have fat as your body’s main energy source, rather than glucose. Some research indicates that cancer feeds off sugar, but not fat. Therefore, starving it of its food supply should lead to a shrinking of the tumours.

I’m not going to go into the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet and treating cancer, but if you’re intrigued I recommend hitting up Google for heaps of information. I will say, however, that I don’t believe there is one diet suitable for all cancer patients, and don’t try this one without supervision from an integrative doctor or trained naturopath.

Now, onto the real point of today’s blog: Is sugar-free right for me? I can’t say if it’s right for you because, to echo my point above, I don’t believe there is one right diet for everyone. But this is what my sugar-free stint did for me. I’m going to break it down into the pros and cons.

The Pros:

+ My brain felt really clear. I have no evidence to back this up, but I think my lack of brain fog was achieved by staying away from grains. I was also reading the book Grain Brain at the same time though, so it may have been all in my head. Geddit? All in my head … Seriously though, this book makes some very valid points about how grains are destroying our brains.

+ I kicked my sugar dependency. This is the main pro for me. I didn’t think I was dependent on sugar, until I could no longer have it. If you ate a date in front of me during that first week, you did so at your own risk.

+ I became more creative in the kitchen. This diet was pretty much the opposite of the Gerson Therapy diet I was on for over two years, so breaking away from my standard menu was tough but kind of liberating.

+ I released attachment to what I thought I should eat. This one carries on from the previous point. On Gerson I ate oats, bananas and potatoes every single day and was told to stay away from fats and protein. My dietary theories were flipped on their head and I had fun releasing attachment.

The Cons:

+ I started giving sugar too much power. We humans LOVE giving our power away to things outside of ourselves, and this happens particularly with food. I did this for a long time, but now I realise that the true power of food lies in how much joy it brings us and how amazing it makes us feel – not in the nitty gritty demonising of its parts.

The verdict:

Is sugar-free for me? The short answer is no. Even though I managed to more than double my goal by extending to over two months without sugar, I decided after that point that I would indulge in some of my old favourite sweet things again – namely bananas, potatoes and a small amount of natural sweeteners. Only now, I indulge in far smaller amounts.

It all started the day Ground Organics added freshly baked muffins to their menu. This is when the whole experiment came apart at the seams. Muffins are my weak point, and while I did my absolute best to resist them (I allowed myself to smell but not taste), my sugar abstinence ended after 2.5 months when I came to the realisation that life is far too short to restrict myself from a certified organic, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, delicious muffin.

My willpower is solid, there’s no question about that. When I was a kid I would have a competition (against myself – I’m an only child) to see how long I could save my Easter eggs for. My record was one whole year. I know I could have continued to stay away from sugar, but I didn’t want to. The thing is, I’m done with restrictive diets.

It’s been six years since I lived without any kind of dietary restriction, and now I say no more. The restrictions served their purpose. They pulled me away from a diet of food that wasn’t actually food and led me to where I am now – a lover of food that loves me back. I eat only real, organic food because this is what my body wants and what it was designed to eat. From now on, that’s the only restriction I’m giving myself. The rest I will leave up to my intuition.


Have you tried to quit sugar? How was/is it for you? Join the conversation in the comments below.

 

Positive affirmation for the day: I am more than what I eat.



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Jenni says:

I have not given up sugar (although my sugar intake is primarily the naturally occurring sugars that you mentioned as part of your diet), but I’ve liberated myself in a different way recently. I’ve been an on and off vegan for years, and after two months of being back “on” again, I’ve decided to give it up for good. To say the least, it wasn’t serving me physically or emotionally. I still eat mostly plant-based, but I’ve been LOVING eggs lately, as well as minimal amounts of other high-quality animal products. I was equating veganism with health, and my views were definitely distorted. I’m enjoying the freedom of not having restrictions anymore! It’s pretty coincidental that you posted this today, because I can totally resonate. I’m letting my intuition lead me now. I’m glad to see you’re doing the same. :)

Erin says:

Hi Jess — good for you! I haven’t tried to quit sugar because I think fruits are from nature and therefore good for us. However, I do stay away from refined and/or added sugars and use natural sugars if I add a sweetener to anything I am making. I spent many years restricting and being on a “diet,” until I too had a medical condition that sparked some strongly suggested dietary restrictions from my doctors. I still keep to those, but I have also learned that it is okay to be flexible as long as I am still eating in a way that serves my body. I became passionate about eating the foods that nourish my body and will set me up for a lifetime of health and beauty. I am comfortable eating whatever my body needs at any time, without counting or measuring, which in turn allows me to give up the guilt and allows my body to effortlessly be at a healthy weight.

This is extremely inspirational Jess. So many women these days stick to very restrictive diets & don’t realise how much it is dictating their lives.

Krista says:

Thank you so much for this update! I, like you, have had so many restictions for years. I think it is about finding a balance. Life is too short! I admire you so much & am grateful that you have shared your journey with us all!

Sarah says:

Hey Jess – Great article!

My partner and I did the anti-candida diet for 3 months earlier this year and it was quite a challenge. We cut out all forms of sugar (including berries and apples), grains, gluten, dairy, high carb vegetables and some protein groups. Sure, the diet made me think outside of the square when cooking meals (mostly due to lack of ingredients) but it didn’t liberate me. I felt restricted by this all consuming diet. My every waking moment was spent thinking about what we could and could not eat and how to make the next meal nourishing and tasty. My partner lost an incredible amount of weight (he is already slim) and I felt dizzy all the time. Turns out that my constitution requires lots of well cooked foods, bone broths etc in order to function.

I think that we as a society have complicated the art of eating a little too much. Logic and common sense should prevail and highlight that fruits and vegetables are great for us. Eating and cooking for the season is essential and can really assist in supporting our bodies.

I think it is essential that every individual works out the diet that they require. Visit a naturopath, integrative doctor or TCM practitioner and be guided by your body rather than a notion that green juices, no sugar or raw foods are good for everybody.

Kate Allen says:

Great piece Jess. I love your advice of allowing our intuition to guide us. Obviously refined sugar is the exception – it is just a giant no for me too. The joy that comes from allowing us to guide our journey intuitively is liberating. From my experience my body tells me straight away if I have allowed my mind to override my intuition :) In my opinion you are bringing a great deal of freedom, peace and personal power to peoples healing journeys. A giant hug and thank you coming from me xx

Hi Jess,
Great share; thank you. If you would be happy to reveal, I would love to know if you managed to maintain your weight during this sugar abstinence period? Heartfelt appreciation, Romi

Pamela rasey says:

I am month 11 of Gerson Therapy and your post touches so many questions I have about life after Gerson. What I can eat or not with my huge sweet tooth – at the moment the potatoes, oatmeal, bananas and a little honey are my total life preservers! Thanks for writing this and I can only imagine how hard it was to do…..

diana says:

i quit sugar due to candida causing me to become seriously ill..long and short..my immune system was so compromised i was on borrowed time..it wasnt long before i got to sick i couldnt get well..even with drugs and other things i was still getting super ill and each time for longer and more frequently…i switched to a natropath and ditched sugar..very very strict for first 6 months then eventually could have natural sugars..i didnt have my first cacao candybar till about 9 months ago ( 2 yrs aftr i began).. i still only have natural sugars but everything in moderation..theres way more to the story but i still watch my eating..moderation, no preservatives and natural is for me..ive come a long well medically and know i will continue to make progress!
my friend was super sick and since she was older i recomended she see my doc..my dog 9ut her on this “way of life” and shes not been sick once in a year and has lost 70plus lbs she was over 300lbs)..

Tess says:

Hi Jess, I was on the candida diet for about a month and restricted all sugars (including a number of sugars found in vegetables such as sweet potato and carrot). I felt like during this time my head was also clear (and I too wasn’t eating grains) and the fog lifted. While this diet long term is not for me, as it is too restrictive, it did allow me to become conscious of the amount of fructose I was eating and in my view it was too much. Since then (nearly a year ago) I have continued to be free from refined sugars and only eat small amounts of fruit. I am not a fan on restrictive diets and dieting and seem to be the healthiest I have been in a long time simply eating a wholefood diet. Thank you for your post, Tess x

Brie says:

Hey jess, I am currently on a ketogenic diet in an attempt to shrink a tumour in my thymus gland. Did you have any change to your cancer after the few months you were eating keto? I totally relate to no longer wanting to feel so restricted. It’s such a fine line between looking after yourself and torturing yourself. I think you’re amazing and love everything that I’ve ever read of yours. Such an inspiration xxx

Kylie says:

Jess, I absolutely loved this post and your honesty. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and thoughts. I’ve noticed the same things as you with giving up/cutting down on sugar – when I’m too focused on it I give sugar too much power and then it all becomes too consuming and too stressful.

I went sugar free once! I think I lasted at least 3 hours..

Scan says:

I’d highly recommend you look at raw alkaline (ph miracle is the best in my opinion), I think had Max Gerson been alive today he would have continued in that direction. I also think 80% raw for health maintenance is the way to go too.

xxLisaxx says:

Hi Jess,
I’ve been a big fan of the ketogenic diet, especially after hearing the great things it does for epilepsy and cancer. However, I believe it falls short because it does not provide sustenance for your bio-flora. As you know having a healthy and balanced bio-flora is crucial for health. So I believe resistant starches should be included in this diet.
With love,
xxLisaxx

Midge says:

Amen Sister!

Great post Jess!
I love that your conclusion was to be done with restrictive diets. It’s hard when there’s so much debate around what we should and shouldn’t eat but I’m now the same in that I eat (real) food that makes be feel good and fuels me on, almost always. And on the few occasions I do eat something processed, my body sure knows about it so I just don’t feel it’s worth it.
Have a beautiful day xx

Holly says:

Great to hear Jess – when i did a Candida diet giving up Sugar was super tough haha. Your very inspiring, and always manage to put a smile on my face. :) well done xxx

Jess,
I am totally with you. I love organic real foods and find that my body craves what I need if I really trust it. Listening to our intuition is a fantastic way to give ourselves what we really need. I choose to eat healthfully out of love instead of fear.
Melissa

Michelle says:

Great post Jess. It is refreshing to read someone keeping a real perspective on food. I’m all in favour of following no particular diet, rather enjoying a variety of delicious food from good sources. There is so much hype around the ‘right’ thing to do that I find myself worrying what the sugar (not refined) I do eat ‘could’ do to my body. This fear is more unhelpful than the sugar itself. I’ve recently discovered I’m pregnant and for those you know, your whole body changes. I’m experiencing aversions to food I used to devour (like vegetables) and am craving bread (organic) and high energy foods. It is a work in progress for me to not worry what this food ‘might’ do to my body and to enjoy the experience of growing another little person inside. Thanks Jess.

Kelly says:

Possibly the best blog I have read of yours. As I read your words I can feel you releasing so much of your fear and trustif this amazing thing that is our body. Good for you. Enjoy! X

Kate says:

Great post Jess! With a restrictive diet as well, I have always felt resistance to ‘quitting sugar’ especially when I only each it in its best forms (fruit, dates, honey etc) I think it’s important to not be too rigid, and miss out on things that bring you joy. There’s a lot to be said for going with the flow, and trusting your intuition.
Good on you for trying it out and giving a true opinion based on experience xx

Anne Fish says:

Hi Jess, yes I gave up sugar for 4 months – exactly as you did allowing myself a handful of blueberries or a green apple in my green smoothies. No grains, potato’s, dairy, soy, coffee etc. My appetite reduced over this time and I found eating organic, fresh, lots of greens my body obviously got the nutrition it needed with far less food consumption required. I have lots more energy, sleep better and better still for me at 54 the middle age spread that had quietly happened over the last 10 years completely disappeared! I am not a big build, but alot of women in my age group know the areas that creep up on you but are almost impossible to move regardless of how much or how little you eat. I have eased off the last month, allowing myself some more flexibility and I havent put any weight back on, my appetite has not increased and I feel fantastic. I would recommend anyone to give this a go, even for two months, I think it helped my body release toxins and allowed my body to function more efficiently than it had been for a long time. But I agree with you, we all need to follow what we feel is right for us as we are all different. Just go with what resonates!

Patty says:

Loving the emotional revelation that has taken place in this little journey of yours. Awesome work, Jet x

Alex says:

Hi Jess!
Thanks for your update on your sugar-free experiment – I did the IQS 8 Week Program back in Feb/March and it was the best thing I ever did. It kicked me off on a whirlwind journey of nutrition and toxin-free life and I am feeling better than ever.
While I’m now back to eating a few pieces of fruit a week, using rice malt syrup/stevia as sweeteners for the treats and the occasional risotto or sandwich, I have drawn the same conclusion as you. Food restrictions don’t work, aren’t enjoyable and are SO unecessary. I eat what I know my body can handle when I know it needs it – dairy and gluten included from time to time!
Kicking my reliance on a sugary treat or a fresh loaf of bread has changed my life – I hope it was worth it for you too! :) xx

Allan says:

I have cut down on sugar over the years. I have had chronic sinus congestion and there is some mention that excessive yeast fed by sugar may be the cause. I am going to look into it a bit more. I used to go on a low carb diet to lose weight and it was quite effective in doing that. Research shows that people stay on a low carb diet longer than other diets. They always criticize the diets nutritional value. I am now trying to eat more veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, oats, seafood, birds and beef in that order. The development of any species, including ours, is based on a symbiotic relationship with the environment of the species. If you stop and think for a minute, as a species we would have primarily eaten what was most available to us for survival. With no time to waste, it would be easiest to find food in this order: veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, seafood, birds, and meat. Competition and skill required to hunt meat would make it the most difficult to get and so the least consumed. Our immune system would develop in line with what we could consume with the most eaten being the most influential and the least eaten being the least influential. We would also develop an immune system accustomed to water after stopping breast milk. We would have also gotten fluids from fruits and veggies. Generally we would have tried to access fresh clean water and fresh air. For most of our history that is what we consumed and our development and therefore survival depended upon. I don’t think you can go wrong with consuming what essentially made us, in the order that we would have consumed food.

Kristen says:

Beautiful Jess.

I have recently done the same (although I have jumped on the IQS bandwagon after letting the book sit on my shelf for over a year).

I am enjoying the experiment and my skin has cleared and my cycle arrived on time for once which indicates that my hormones are finally balancing (which is the main reason I gave IQS a go).

But quitting fruit and natural sweeteners forevs? No, not for me. However, like you, I will consume much less and use my intuition.

It’s just about being more conscious of how much I am consuming. Lifes just a little sweetener with some Rice Malt syrup in my Chai and hot Cacao and green smoothies just aint the same with Bananas.

xxx

Lauren says:

love love love love love

Elissa says:

could not agree more! Life is too short. I was laughing with my partner the other week that on my death bed I will regret not eating as much ice-cream as I would have liked. I want food to be fun, free and enjoyable. all in what is the right amounts for me, not what someone else tells me is right. And anyway in my lifetime I’ve seen what is ‘right’ to eat go from carbs only – no fat, no protein – to the complete opposite. Who know’s what will happen in the future! Relax, be happy, enjoy. and have more normal people in your wellness friday interviews! They’re always such beautiful winners! I have to instantly delete!

Nigel Coates says:

Sugar free for me made me so aware of everything I did eat. It took it beyond reading labels, and realising how many things have refined sugar added, but also what types of grown foods have what levels of natural sugars. Continual awareness made me a more conscious being, and helped with the candida.

Rebekah says:

I gave up sugars altogether and ate VERY little carbs no potatoes or carrots etc, for 2 months. I lost a lot of weight and loved the way I looked and how much mental clarity I had. I found it really reversed a lot of negative symptoms I had been struggling with for years. At this point I hope to do a month of no sugar/carbs every year or every 6 months. My diet is already much lower in sugars and grains than the “typical” north american diet, however I am eating a small amount of fruits and a small amount of beans/grains. I take raw processed supplements and I find that helps me a lot too (shaklee mostly). I just take one day at a time and try not to stress too much over it. I definitely have a love hate relationship with my food though. I hear what you’re sayin’ about that DATE! lol. I get that.

This is such an interesting article, Jess- thank you for sharing your experience.

I went sugar-free a few weeks ago, mainly as an experiment to see how much sugar I was actually consuming. But, I’ve started to integrate bananas and things back into my diet, mainly because I absolutely love eating them and I feel as though a little piece of joy was taken away from me!

I think experimenting with your diet can be incredibly interesting and rewarding, but it’s the energy that accompanies it that’s the important part- xx

Cassandra says:

I have recently found out I have Candidiasis (yeast overgrowth) and have probably had it for years. A sugar free diet is all I can live on without nasty symptoms returning. I highly recommend Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar and I Quit Sugar for Life! After I complete my candida cleanse diet I will be happily testing her yummy recipes until I feel comfortable with an organically sustained diet of no restrictions. Keep up the good work Jess you’re amazing!

Emma says:

Hey jess, loved this post. I cut processed sugar out awhile ago but replaced it with so much natural sugars, I was eating soooo many bananas and dates…..I am now 6 weeks into the body ecology diet and have had no sugar (natural & processed ) and no grains too for this time. Incorporated a hell of a lot of fermented food and drinks with every meal along with trying to follow the food combining rules of BED. I have experienced times of ‘cleansings’ and times of amazing energy/clarity. So glad I had already got on the coffee enema bandwagon they have saved me!! I sleep sooo much better and think it’s really helped my nervous system. Will be interesting to see if it’s helped my leaky gut when I get tested next. Even though I’m now used to not eating sugar, it will definitely not be forever. but I think I will now be able to keep that intake to a much smaller amount!

Linda dc says:

I stay away from white sugar, I use coconut sugar,maple syrup and stevia. Fodap’s diet I am on for IBS doesn’t allow honey.

Jemma says:

Can so totally resonate Jess! I’ve tried so many things all in the name of health, and I found as soon as I gave myself restrictions I gave power to all the foods I couldn’t have, I actually became sicker when eating healthy because of stress!! My only restriction now is to eat only whole foods, going through a pretty terrible healing crisis at the moment as well, your website helps get me through

Krystal says:

I love this post Jess! As a naturopath and nutritionist I have a lot of people ask me if a no carb / low carb diet is a good idea. My personal opinion is NOOOO. Not long term anyway. We need carbs to fuel our brain and a whole heap of other biological reasons. Keep up the great work and enjoy your muffin :)

Beautiful sharing. Thank you Jess.

Yay to intuition plus wisdom — a great recipe for health + enjoyment.

Yvonne says:

Great post Jess.I have been waiting to see how you faired with giving up sugar. I started but then gave up and have now started again.I am about to start the removal of my 11 amalgam fillings and protocol suggests you give up sugar,coffee,grain dairy and processed foods. I am not sure if the sugar in fruit is acceptable as I love my fruit and smoothies aren’t the same without fruit. Breakfast has been my hardest meal with no sugar.
You have done well.

Kerry Jones says:

I decide to quit my normal morning tea of biscuits, cakes or muffins with a cup of tea & replaced it with a banana & herbal tea for morning tea instead, so I haven’t missed the biscuits & cakes, been doing that for a couple of weeks ……..but now I’m in the process of not having a banana every day which I am finding harder.

Renu Wasal says:

Hi jess. I went on the body ecology diet for 6 months last year. That involved quitting all sugars.. Initially all fruits also. It was challenging to say the least but I too have a very strong will power. The body was detoxing in many ways, which was a challenge especially with 2 little kids. My yoga and meditation were on a different level. The body started to loose excess weight.. I have since started eating fruits but there isn’t any addiction.. I think?? I would recommend this cleanse if you can handle it. Not for everyone.. It can set a few down the other path of crazy cravings.. I will start again for a shorter time in the spring… Well done to you :-)

katerina says:

Hi Jess, good for you! Giving up sugar is extremely hard no one will understand how difficult it is until they try it themselves. You’ve inspired me to kick on with my battle against candida. As you’re probably aware sugar, grains and dairy are the biggest culprits and require to be elimenated from the diet. Thank you for sharing your experience and the good things to look forward to.

Michelle says:

incredibly inspiring, I’ve just done the REAL food 30 day challenge, and that was hard enough – however despite having fallen (throwing myself off) the bandwagon, I did feel so amazing afterwards. Next would like to quit sugar… might wait till I’ve recovered my will power a little though :) thanks for the inspiring blog, Michelle

pefa says:

Did it have any effect on your tumors?

Angela Kenny says:

Thanx for sharing Jess. I went to a Chinese Accuputure he suggested a blood group diet for me as I had digestive problems, being a A blood group I decided to cut out all refine sugar and wow what difference it has made in one month, I dropped a whole jean size and energy levels picked up brain a lot clearer. And tummy flatter yaaa

life_she_loves says:

Just have to say it. Thank you. I value your honesty and integrity. You put out energy that’s contagious. Keep going sister!

Jo says:

Thanks Jess, this was really interesting to read as i have recently finished a 4-week strict candida cleanse. I was addicted to dates which was stressing my digestion. The problem is that I had recently set up a whole food sweets company (using lots of dates!) and so all the product testing last year was what sent me over the edge. I still have a sweet tooth i am trying to gain control of and am now writing my own ‘sugar free satisfaction’ 8- week cleanse program for my health coaching clients. In the process i think it will teach me as much about my own body as it will about theirs :-)

Jack says:

Hi Jess
So did this help your tumours at all? Those muffins look great :)
Jack

Wanda says:

Jess, I love what you said about giving up restrictions and eating clean whole foods – taking your power back. Amen! Giving food power is really nonsensical, but we do it everyday. Well, I know I have, and I blame myself for being overweight. I have tried so many food regimens, and I haven’t hit on the one that resonates with my soul. I had been feeling doomed about ever losing weight and being a “normal” size. But, now I’m embracing loving and being in communion with my body and not resisting or giving power to my food, but to my life. Empowering myself to choose from moment to moment what my body wants and requires. Lifting the chains that bounded me for sooooooooooooooo long.

Thanks for your message and thanks that your message always seems right on time. God Bless!

Jeannette says:

I am an RN with over 40 yrs of clinical experience,many of those yrs in Cancer Nursing.I became aware of the role of sugar with cancer later in my career;Now I totally believe that sugar can assist cancer cells to proliferate.I have been working towards a totally sugar-free eating plan for the past yr and a half;I do occasionally have natural sugars in some fruits,but I am pretty much no sugar/no dairy/no wheat.My weight has stabilized for the first time in my life! That is so freeing! I have no sugar-slump periods ever! When I am with friends and family, I see it all around me as they eat sugars/drink fermented beverages, and I am the only one with a clear mind and good energy. But it is a lonely road… that is why I joined your blog!

This was an excellent post! I whole heartily agree that there is no ONE diet that is right for everyone. I applaud you for your ability to go 2.5 months with no sugar, that takes extreme willpower and is something you should be very proud of. I think its wonderful that you are allowing yourself to lead a life free from restriction and consume foods that make you feel amazing, and not based on a diet. What we eat is just one aspect of our lives, how we live those lives is another.

Cornelia says:

I gave up sugar for two months a year back, and to this date I still feel like a failure for introducing sugary foods such as fruits, starchy vegetables and natural sweeteners, simply because I see so many people who have given up for life and I wanted to be just like them. It, therefore, makes me feel far more at ease with myself and my decision to include all those sweet things which I adore in my diet after reading this post about how it just wasn’t for you. Because that’s just how I feel, only now I understand that I have to let go of the guilt. I truly admire you, and I find so much inspiration in everything you do and write. So thank you, again, for reminding me about the beauty of life and how it’s to short to obsess about everything I eat.

Nicole says:

Great post, thank you for sharing your experience. I don’t think I could give up sugar like that, but amazing that you were able to stick to it. I find that when I restrict something from my diet, I want that food even more and I struggle to stick to it. From the posts you did with Jon Gabriel, I decided to buy his book, and I’m still reading it, but so far I love what he has to say. I have completely let go of the idea of diets, and now I’m just on a healthy lifestyle road, where I will not restrict anything, because life is to short for that. So I will continue to make healthy foods in my kitchen, where I can create my own cookies, just a healthier version but taste even better. When making and eating a more clean diet, things do taste a lot better then the processed junk. This past weekend I went to Halifax (Canada) to visit a friend, and she’s a foodie like me, and I had the most amazing foods there. There are so many local places and they sell a lot of homemade foods and it was delicious. She even took me to a vegan restaurant and it was amazing! I will include all things, vegan, vegetarian, paelo, meats… and all the other things that are out there because by adding variety, it makes eating so much more exciting.

Romi says:

Hi Jess, I’ve been on a wholefoods, organic, plant based diet for a year and it has helped me so much with some health issues. Recently though, I’ve been feeling like my migraines and fatigue are coming back and I can’t understand why, my blood levels are perfect, I exercise daily, sleep 8 hours, drink lots of water…etc.
I eat fruits every morning (1 banana, or a cup of diced papaya, blueberries, etc) in my smoothies or with oatmeal etc. I also eat grains (chickpeas, black/canellini beans) about 4 times a week for protein. And quinoa, millet, brown rice, buckwheat (1/2 cup for lunch most days), besides my raw greens/veggies (which I eat with every meal). Am I eating too many grains?
You are very inspiring! Love everything you write!
Thank you :)

Nancy says:

Love your blogs Jess :) My husband has Myloma & over the past 2.5 years we have slowly turned our diet to organic . In the lady 6 months we have started mainly raw & green juicing. My hubby says he has never felt better. I have list weight & find I can eT heaps without gaining weight. We feel great :)

Kylie says:

Great read Jess! I Quit sugar last year for one month and followed Sarah Wilson’s book to do it. It was the month prior to my wedding so I wanted clearer skin and I managed to get through the one month but after that I realised that life is too short to restrict myself from food I love to eat. I did have much clearer skin and I felt great but food had a hold over me and it became a little obsessive. It taught me though to not over indulge, be mindful and I know steer clear of as much refined sugar as possible.

Marcie says:

I went on a keto diet once for 5 and a half weeks (it was meant to be 6 weeks but when you visit Pie in the Sky, an amazing homemade pie shop in the mountains, you cave ok?) because my naturopath put me on it. I found it very difficult as a vegetarian and A blood type to even remain in ketosis but I persevered. I didn’t actually think I had a sugar addiction until I could no longer have it at all, and I was quite a cranky human being during the whole process. It even got to the point that when I was at a friend’s house and they were having dessert I would go home because I couldn’t handle it! It was a good experiment on my body but I don’t intend to do it again, I believe that fruit and some grains actually make my insides feel good and sugar-free is not for me. My naturopath friend though swears by Keto diets and lost a considerable amount of weight and health problems doing one. I agree with you that different diets are for everyone so I’m not anti or for this particular one, it’s just not for me.

So glad you touched on this subject Jess – it seems like the new craze. I whole-heartedly agree that sugar takes on too much power when it becomes the entire focus of a diet. Let’s just eat REAL food that nourishes our body, whatever it’s sugar content.

Kellastra Startwinkle says:

“The idea being to have fat as your body’s main energy source, rather than glucose. Some research indicates that cancer feeds off sugar, but not fat. Therefore, starving it of its food supply should lead to a shrinking of the tumours.
I’m not going to go into the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet and treating cancer, ”

Well then, quite frankly – that being the reason you went on the diet you haven’t actually revealed any results or findings, so puzzling why you would title the blog post as such. There’s an elephant in the room you are not addressing Jess.

Ash says:

Hey Jess! Great post :) Just wondering though what you actually ate during the sugar free challenge? Without grains, legumes and natural sugars I am a little baffled as to what was still sustaining you for the 2.5 months! Thank you in advance x

Marlo says:

I think the place you are in now is fantastic. Eat the right things and enjoy it ☺️

Nadia says:

Love this post Jess and thank you posting the reality of your experience!

x

Kaylin Lydia says:

Very interesting! I am wondering if you energy level improved and what you ate daily? Keep on being awesome, thank you!

Christie says:

I love this post! At first I was a little hesitant because I was thinking it was going to be something you might advocate for the rest of your life! (I’m a little gun shy of extensive restrictions due to previous years of constant dieting….still in my baby phase of “wow, it’s okay to eat!” ;) But I should have known better with you. :O) I love how it was a learning experience and stretched you in ways, and how you learned that you could do with less but you did not have to do without. I think in the end it is like you say, “Does this food love me back?” The right question for any healthy relationship, I s’pose.

I loved this post! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, experience and insights. You are quite a strong woman and very inspirational. I really appreciate your comments on this important and often complex topic!

Karen says:

Love this. So true that we all need to learn what foods work best for us with where we’re at. Restrictive diets that create a feeling of deprivation are joyless and contracting, rather than healing. Re-calibrating with eating well (without dogma) is so much kinder and more expansive, allowing our cellular intelligence to kick in.

Life is for having fun, as well as caring for ourselves well. It’s so liberating to let go of all the beliefs we pick up about food, which are all nothing more than theories when it comes down to it.

Getting in the vibe of self-love allows everything to flow and our intuition to guide us to exactly what we individually need.

Erica says:

Hi Jess, loved this post! I also read Grain Brain recently as a part of my school research project into the link between gluten and chronic disease – it was compelling is all I can say! I also don’t eat refined sugar, but I used to eat a lot of dried fruit, high sugar fruits and gluten-free grains which lead to quite bad skin and insulin resistance. Since reading your post and Grain Brain I have been adding good fats and protein into my diet and I find that it keeps me really full for a long time, which fruit never seems to. I love that you are so open to new ideas and concepts, especially as you say Gerson was almost the opposite of a ketogenic diet. It was a wonderful read, thank you again for always inspiring and motivating me. Erica xx

slimbirdy says:

Great post. I love how you try things and see how they feel. I do this too. I have removed quite a few things from my diet and am really happy to do so because it makes me feel amazing, healthy and the weight I want to be without any effort. It doesn’t feel like restriction or missing out at all. My main issue was addiction to certain foods and once I removed them, I haven’t had a problem since. Luckily the raw cacao treats can stay in!

Madeline says:

Off sugar right now, the only sweetener is rice syrup, as I am on a diet to manage hypogycemia. I have had it all my life I think but have only just come across the proper diagnosis and drug-free solution – diet. Takes about 8 weeks to recover from the symptoms of hypoglycemia but I will never be able to eat sugar and not bear the consequences, that includes very ripe or dried fruits. Obviously I will not be eating white flour or sugar cane ever! I guess I’ve got to remember… I’m sweet enough :-)

Hi all, I have struggled with sugar addiction all my life. Whilst with all the natural options around now like maple, agave, coconut sugar / nectar, xylitol, stevia it is much easier. Recently I found a natural product, Deepak Chopra’s Endorphinate that balances the endorphins and receptors in the brain and stops the compulsion to stimulate the reward centre of the brain. The formulas also help with anxiety, depression, pain, fatigue, etc. It is well researched and he has teamed up with top neuro docs to develop the formula. It is really worth checking out and I receive orders in 9 days. I also think it is well priced. Hope this helps some people. ponderapharma.com

Anna V says:

Currently on Day 33 without refined sugar and it’s going really well! (coming from the girl that ate a chocolate bar a day + multiple biscuits from the cookie jar!)

I’ve tried going completely sugar free before but it was a little too much at once so going slow this time. One less sugar at a time :)

I really enjoyed following you on this journey as I can totally relate to it.
I also have not had refined sugars in over 4 years.
But 1.5 years ago I went on an experiment to even eliminate natural sugars found in fruit and raw honey and sweet potatoes etc.
It was only going to be 2 weeks and its soon to be a year. Only now have I started to allow a berry here and there.
It sure opens up your eyes to the fact that sugar is in every thing and we truly are a nation addicted to it.
Your right life is too short to not enjoy that beautiful organic muffin. And I bet it tasted damn good.

Rachel says:

I was very sick and lost a heap of weight and it turned out that I have fructose malabsorption (Although because I enjoy eating healthfully, which is known as orthorexia in the medical profession) I got told I gad an eating disorder. After months of fighting the system and reclaiming my health through extensive personal research I can only say that giving up sugar has healed my gut and made me a happier person. Sure I miss my beloved dates and figs but at the end of the day I’ve finally learned what works for me and what doesn’t. After the initial sugar detox I am slowly introducing small amounts of natural sugars into my diet and finding that I can actually tolerate the occasional bowl of coyo ice cream or a banana muggin. I have also reintroduced your blog into my life and have to say that I am so happy that you too have found your happy place with food (less restriction, more variation, more fun) really enjoyed this post, thanks Jess xxx