Wednesday, February 23, 2011

we quit sugar! talking with Jo Foster

THIS is the lovely Jo Foster positively glowing sans sugar!

I would be kidding if I didn't say it's been a huge month for me. Inspired by the lovely Sarah Wilson, I made the decision to quit sugar at the beginning of Febuary. I also started Feb fast. At the time I wasn't sure how I was going manage without dark chocolate, but now I couldn't be laughing at myself more. The month has been nothing short of wonderful! For me, the big shift was in my state of mental clarity – it has been amazing. My brain feels like it is working at a new level. In addition - my skin is really clear and I have lost a few kilo's along the way.

I asked Jo – who works with Sarah Wilson to share how she has been going since she gave sugar the boot. Here is our conversation:

Why quit sugar? I can tell you are a leader not a follower so what was your motivation?

I actually spent a lot of last year refining and tweaking my eating habits, and had been feeling for a few months that I needed to step it up another notch. Giving up sugar was "THE NOTCH", but I was really hesitant to take that leap.... Then the lovely Sarah Wilson declared that she was going to do the no sugar as well, and, well, I'm a girl, we like to do things with friends, so I figured if I was ever going to actually do it, I might as well do it with Sarah. Also, she forced me... ha :) I think I was about 85% convinced when I read David Gillespie's "Sweet Poison", and then that was it. I was on board. And I'm not one for doing anything half heartedly - once I'm in, I'M IN!

What changes have you noticed - are you hotter already? No seriously have you noticed changes in your body? Mind? Tastebuds?

Ha, yeah, I'm super hot now! No, I wish! I have noticed my taste buds changing, and my sense of smell! Our vanilla fridge wipe(which I used to love) smells sickly sweet to me now, as do some sauces that my friend's cook with. I am finding I am loving the taste of my natural yoghurt - which was really 'tart' a few weeks ago. I'm finding it quite sweet now that I'm not eating anything really sugary. I thought I was pretty sharp mentally(don't laugh!) but I feel really alert. There's a much brighter sense of clarity - I feel like all of my senses are heightened. I've been off sugar for three weeks(started Friday 28th Jan) and I've lost a kilo as well - which is a miracle, as I've been eating LOTS of cheese to curb my sugary cravings!

Will you go back? No! I feel really good. And I'm really aware of how bad sugar(fructose) is for me, so I couldn't possibly justify ranting on about it, only to embrace it all over again... I'm of the persuasion that once you know something, you're responsible for what you know(yeah, ouch!), and even if I don't like what I know about sugar, I know too much to let myself go sugar crazy again. Sigh, the responsibility of being a grown up hey.... Having said that, I'm sure there'll be days down the track where I take a slice of cake(ahhhh, CAKE!) offered at a birthday party, but I'm ever hopeful that I will only have a bite or two, and not want any more. (is that even possible!?) As I said, ever hopeful!

Advice to others thinking about quitting sugar - even if for a short period of time? Try it! What have you got to lose! Other than a crazy addiction you don't need! My advice - you've got to do it cold turkey. When we interviewed Gillespie, he said this, and it really impacted me. He said that a smoker doesn't make the effort to quit, and then just allow themselves a cigarette a day. That's not helpful to the process at all. I think the same applies here. If I'd been allowing myself a 'little' sugar every day, I'm never truly free of that addiction am I? And cold turkey will be quicker. And more intense, YES, but, it will be quicker!

Favorite food replacing sugar - At the moment I'm addicted to haloumi! And avocado. I keep driving to my favourite bookshop/cafe in Bondi, and ordering their smoked chicken salad, with EXTRA HALOUMI. It's delicious. And it completely satisfies. I have no sugary cravings if I have a bit of haloumi! Haloumi is the new Cadburys!

Last one - I think you're on feb fast? How did you feel combining the two? I am doing FebFast! I'm not actually a big drinker - maybe a couple of glasses of wine in a week... so it wasn't too bad. Although, once I stopped the sugar, there have been a few nights I've stared longingly at the bottles of wine in our kitchen! In hindsight, doing both at the same time has been really good. The no alcohol is probably also helping with the mental clarity!

Quitting sugar might not be at the top of your list of things to do for 2011 - but I hope you feel encouraged by seeing how wonderful both Jo and I feel without it. We have unfortunately become so 'addicted' to sugar, refined foods, caffeine and alcohol many of us panic at the idea of going without it – just like I did a month ago. For me the bottom line is that these things are ok in moderation - but they really aren't doing our body any favours. When we eat sugar, we want more. The cycle continues and we continue to attempt to fill up on sugar when really we would be better to fill up on whole foods.

Sugar fueled foods don't supply us with adequate nutrients - our body tells us we are dissatisfied, as it's nutritional needs haven't been met and so we eat more - more sugar. Swapping sugary foods for wholesome alternatives means that your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it wants . In turn, you aren't left looking for more food because you feel satisfied.

Saying no to sugar has really shown me how strongly sugar impacts my well being – as a fertility expert, this has given me new insights. Your fertility relies strongly on good nutrition and choices so be encouraged to choose wisely.


  1. Thanks for this post Nat. I have cut right back on the sugar for the past few weeks (with the exception of fruit this week, as part of the cleanse). I am reading David's book and I must say it's like a lightbulb went off! Being a big chocolate-over-chips girl, I thought I would struggle but I agree that cheeses have so far been my saviour!

  2. I actually am attempting my 1st week of no sugar. I am taking it a week at a time. It's giong to be really hard for me. I'm a bigtime cook and baker at home. Sugar is ALWAYS being used in my kitchen.


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