We’re excited to have another guest blogger this week! This one comes from our front desk manager, Jordan Yeager. 

Recently, my roommate Jessie wrote a blog about our 8-week sugar-quitting adventure. After reading her post and getting a ton of feedback from friends, I thought I’d join in on the conversation and offer some more little insights.

First of all, can we all agree on the power food holds over our lives? Seriously. Quitting sugar has been hard for Jessie and me, but it has been hard on the people around us too. Questions like, “Why is sugar bad?” “Why is fruit bad?” and “WHAT DO YOU EAT??” ring in our ears. And they are great questions, because food is very important to us physically, emotionally, socially, and psychologically.

The reason I decided to join Jessie in quitting sugar was because I was interested in experimenting. What would happen to my moods, my cravings, my energy level? Would it help my half marathon training? Would it positively affect my hormones, or teach me restraint when in the presence of a gluten-free chocolate cake?? I was interested. And maybe you are too. Obviously, this thing is a great way to reprogram your body if you are caught in a cycle of sugary eating, mood swings, or exhaustion. For Jessie and me, it was an experiment. We wanted to train our bodies not to need or crave sugary treats.

 

What was the process like?

The first two weeks were smooth sailing. I’m already used to reading labels (I’m gluten-free and mostly dairy-free), so I just got all the sugar out of the fridge and ate the other stuff. Of course, giving up my gluten-free cereal, muffins, frozen yogurt, dried fruit, and fruit was pretty difficult, but I love healthy food…so no big deal, right?!

Week three was a whole new animal. I was really tired. I wanted caffeine, water, and a truck load of chocolate. I had headaches every afternoon. The fun was over and I was getting really bored with almonds for dessert. But we stuck it out, using that time to detox. I took vitamins, probiotics, an herbal formula, Ginko Biloba, and Slippery Elm Bark to calm my system. Jessie did a two week detox kit. By week five, things were steady again, and by week six it was time to start adding some fruit back in!

But what do we eat, you ask? Now, on the home stretch of our adventure, my staples are plenty of vegetables, gluten-free whole grains (buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, millet), raw nuts, seeds (chia, flax), rice cakes, corn tortillas, nut butters, hummus, and goat cheese/yogurt. We cook and bake with coconut oil. I buy Gluten-free pasta, bread, and sugar-free baked goods occasionally, when I can find brands without lots of sugar. I eat blueberries some days, or something sweetened with rice syrup if I need a treat. I adore cinnamon, hot tea, coconut water, and sunflower seed butter.

 

What differences do you notice, after eight weeks?

Being rid of sugar has made some pretty cool changes in my body. The coolest thing about this journey has been the ability to recognize how my body responds to the food I eat. Everyone will experience the effects of being sugar-free differently; I know some of my changes are different from Jessie’s. For instance, she said quitting sugar reduced her caffeine tolerance, but mine was increased. (Coffee has saved me the past eight weeks!!) Here are some more changes:

  • I’ve noticed I get sugar-jitters from carrots now, and simple carbs like rice bread. When I eat a little sugar, I feel it like caffeine.
  • Any additional sugar now messes with my training (I’m a runner and some days a cyclist) — makes runs harder and I get cramps.
  • My system feels a lot simpler now, and it doesn’t take much for me to notice changes.
  • I even notice the weather affecting me now; I get headaches when it’s rainy.
  • I have to give in to sleep when I’m tired (I always used to push through the afternoon with sugar!).
  • My skin is incredibly clear.
  • I can’t tell if I’ve lost weight, since it’s training season and I’m gaining muscle. But I feel like my body is where it wants to be, weight-wise.
  • I rarely make food decisions based on uncontrollable cravings anymore. I just eat good food and move on. I can say no to brownies. Freedom!

I hope Jessie and I have inspired you to check out Sarah Wilson’s brilliant book and website on quitting sugar! Or at the very least, we hope it encourages you to remember that what we eat affects how we feel (shameless plug: Pilates does too!)

May you eat well, be well, and steward your body well — it’s a gift.

Check out Sarah’s website and blog here! She has some great recipes for your new sugar-less lifestyle. Buy Sarah’s book here! One of the best parts is, it’s downloadable, so you can take it with you & read it on your iPhone, your iPad, or your laptop.

 

Making better bodies,

Jordan