So, if you've been following me lately, you'll know that from December 1st until Christmas Day Wolf and Willow will be hosting what I'm calling The Sexy Sugar Free Vegan Project. That's a recipe a day until the grand finale – some kind of tofu turkey and a pumpkin pie, I imagine – oh yeah!!
What I didn't expect was the overwhelming response to this idea – which really just started out as a simple holiday photography project. Apparently, I'm not the only one who is hungry (pun intended!) for answers! So, here's a few frequently asked questions, answered:
Nancy, why on earth would you want to quit sugar?
Okay, confession time! My name is Nancy and I'm a food-a-holic. I just love food! I hate denying myself of it. I think about it constantly. And that meant, until I gave up sugar, I was a bit of a binge-eater. I'm far too embarassed to admit just how many times, after a mad workout session and a few weeks of religiously 'healthy dieting', I found myself in bed, at midday, surrounded by ice-cream wrappers, empty chip packets and pizza boxes. I'd failed again! On the outside, I looked pretty good... and you probably wouldn't have guessed. But inside, I was guilty, miserable and starving. This rollercoaster eventually took it's toll. And, I'd done some serious damage to my body.
So, at the end of my rope, I started looking into sugar... could something so obvious be the source of all my misery? In short, yes. I soon discovered that it was in everything! I'd been consuming over 6 teaspoons of sugar in my 'healthy' banana protein shake each morning! I had no idea I was setting myself up for failure each and every day, feeding the addiction 'monster' almost as soon as I jumped out of bed.
To cut a long story short, it's been 6 months since a single grain of sugar has passed my lips (give or take a few 'accidents' when eating at restaurants!) and I can honestly say that quitting sugar changed my life.
So what's the deal with becoming a Vegan too?
At first, when all that sugar in my diet had to be replaced with something, I made the mistake of filling the gap with (full fat) meat and dairy – which was yummy, don't get me wrong... at first. But I'm sure you can guess what happened then. I got sick. Very, very sick. I was a bit stressed at this stage, wondering if the no-sugar diet was going to fail too. My old friend 'Diet Despair' was looming, with a big chocolate bar in his hands, but I knew in my heart (no, could feel it in my body!) that cutting out sugar was working so well, that I turned my attention to investigating what all those animal products were doing to my body. I won't go into the nitty gritty now, but that's when I decided to go Vegan. In a word – heaven!
Okay, but exactly how amazing do you feel now?
Well, let's see... have you ever seen the movie Limitless? I'm not kidding. I feel that good. Of course, it's natural to feel a little blah from time to time, I'm only human! But 99% of the time, my whole body just kinda... gets it. There were so many unexpected benefits too! Here's some of them:
- a ridiculous increase in natural energy (no need for coffee anymore)
- a freakish increase in cognitive function and creativity (see, Limitless!)
- radical improvement in immune function (i never get sick anymore)
- gorgeous skin and hair (looking younger)
- better, deeper sleep (sweeter dreams)
- no more food cravings, like, ever
...and the best one of all? A prickly little health issue (let's call it) that I have battled with for over 15 years is completely cured. I can't even begin to describe how good that feels. Mind-blasting, that's all.
What on earth do you eat?
Well, the great news is that I'm no longer starving! It sounds corny, but its a lifestyle, not a diet. Notice that 'losing weight' wasn't in my list above? Because I don't need to worry about that anymore. I eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and however much I want. The thing is... I just don't seem to want the nasty stuff anymore, and for the first time in my life I feel full – for real – so it's automatic.
I love my sugar free vegan foods so much... and now that my tastebuds are enlightened, everything I make tastes so damn good! 've cracked the secret to making delicious sugar-free vegan muffins, chocolate and cheesecakes. I've made mouth-watering scrambles, burgers, curries and even gnocchi. Basically, I've re-created all my favourite junk foods with plant-based versions that make me feel awesome, instead of sick and guilty. Okay, so I've had a few kitchen disasters... but it's all part of the fun, right?
I want to try, but what if I can't do it?
I'll let you in on a little secret... there's no rules to joining The Sexy Sugar Free Vegan Project! Ready to quit sugar? Awesome! Let's try that first! Don't want to go Vegan? That's cool. Already a Vegetarian but can't live without your cheese? No problem! No body is the same, so listen to your body and do what feels good.
I won't lie. Its not easy to quit sugar and animal products (especially all at once!) but it does get easier as you go, so just take one step at a time. Remember, I've been trying for years to find out what's right for my body. So it doesn't happen overnight. And, I'll be here to answer all your questions (if I can!) on where to find ingredients, which foods are sneaky sugar offenders and, of course, offer my sincere support and encouragement.
What have you got to lose? Except the blah feeling, right?
How do I sign up to The Sexy Sugar Free Vegan Project?
To join, simply enter your email address below. I'll send out a started pack next week with a few tips on getting started, some handy references, a shopping list and a few other goodies. Then, simply follow Wolf and Willow each day and try out as many recipes as you can. Easy!
p.s. Please remember that I'm still studying to be a Health Coach – at the world's largest nutrition school, The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, NY – so I'm not an expert on nutrition (yet!). What I do have to offer is my own personal experience, years of experimenting with food and oodles of research material on healthy living. And I just can't wait to share it with you!