Thursday, November 10, 2016
This book by Sarah Wilson is pretty much how it sounds. It's a guide through quitting sugar, providing nutritional knowledge, recipes, and support along the way. While I think that sugar = bad is a pretty well-accepted belief these days, I don't think her high-fat approach is yet the fully accepted medical perspective. However, it makes sense to me (disclaimer: no scientific background here!). Another disclaimer is that I did not attempt this diet!!
Sarah's perspective is that sugar causes many health issues, yet sugar-love is also part of our cultural belief system (and ahem the sugar industry). And that sugar is hiding everywhere, even in "health" foods. Her particular beef with sugar is against fructose. This is the sugar found in all such delicious things as fruits, honey, root vegetables, not to mention the obvious granulated sugar (half fructose, half glucose). Her 8 week program is not a cold-turkey quitting program, but a gradual reduction, then removal of all (even fruit, gosh forbid!), then a gradual addition back of a little sweetness, like low-fructose fruits or brown rice syrup / stevia. I should caution here that I've read that just because a sweetener isn't fructose doesn't mean that is is not going to cause blood sugar spikes, and even fake sugars can have undesirable side effects.
I love Sarah's detailed plan for how to accomplish this, the nutritional background, and especially the recipes. I attempted a sugar free, low carb eating regime (I refuse to say it was a diet) two summers back, and I got many key recipes from this book. Not to mention motivation! Looking through it makes me consider that this is doable, beneficial, and even an adventure. I am almost encouraged to try again!
This book has beautiful photos (a requirement for me), interesting recipes and numerous ideas. Since there aren't many cookbooks that focus on sugar-less recipes without other substitutes, I find that this is a key cookbook resource. The focus is really on flavor while providing that nutritional balance, like proteins and fats. Did I mention she is pro-fat foods? You'd better agree with that if you want to use this cookbook! And there are also a few "sweets" for special occasions, including Crunchy-Nut Cheesecake and My Raspberry Ripple, which looks like chocolate-berry-bark.
Not my photo! I wish. See Sarah Wilson's blog.
On a search for her blog, I found her post about the Sugar Research Advisory Committee citing her has a pseudo-expert. Fascinating video targeting wellness bloggers! She has pissed off the sugar people! I agree that anyone on the Internet can appear they are as "expert"--here I am also, no nutritional qualification from me, true. And I expect we will find nutritional concerns with some of her recommendations (I've seen conflicting recommendations on brown rice syrup) and the advice of many wellness bloggers. But we have to take what we read with a grain of salt (or is that bad, I forget?). If you try something, does it make you feel better? (beyond the placebo effect of course ) I think there is much progress to go as far as nutritional recommendations go--if everything was known, the USDA food recommendations wouldn't change, they would just be. I wouldn't have heard "DON'T EAT EGGS!" To, a couple a week is ok. To, one every day is ok. And "DON"T EAT BUTTER, EAT MARGARINE!" To, oops, stay away from saturated fats. No, just stay away from trans-fats. Or hydrogenated fats. I don't know, but I'm keeping my butter!
Anyways, her mission is admirable. I have trouble to see how anyone could argue that limiting sugar could be bad for you? Or that being a successful blogger or business woman or sharing other interests means that you aren't knowledgeable on nutrition issues.
Anyways! What did I make? This time, two breakfast treats.
Coco-nutty Granola--I have a go to granola recipe, but I wanted to try hers. I love the crunch and quickness! It includes chia seeds, nuts, butter/coconut oil, and a bit of brown rice syrup if you need that sweetener. I enjoyed it with some yogurt!
The ingredients come together quickly! That's everything except for the oil.
Delicious AND nutritious!
My second item was a little farther afield for me. I am pretty sure I have had a package of amaranth waiting in my kitchen for this recipe for probably a year. Why else would I have it? This one is Pumpkin Pie "Oatmeal". I think an original representation of breakfast. I really enjoyed it! Well, initially not so much. I asked my husband to wait to get his usual morning cereal to see if he would want it. At first taste, I said, "Nevermind, have your cereal!" But with the addition of a little honey (a no-no in Wilson's book) and some of the previously made granola, it was a winning combination. I am a bit disappointed it is gone today!
Not everyone is going to like this book, especially if they are in the low-fat camp or the sugar is life camp. However, if you're looking to reduce sugar or even try to quit it, then it is a key resource with inspiration and gotchas to boot.
Not everyone is going to like this book, especially if they are in the low-fat camp or the sugar is life camp. Actually, I do agree that sugar is life. However, if you're looking to reduce sugar or even try to quit it, then it is a key resource with inspiration and gotchas to boot.