Wednesday, 1 October 2014

My sugar diary - how easy is it to give up sugar for a week?

Last week I set myself a mini challenge… could I go a week without sugar?

My interest with sugar started earlier this year when I learnt during my nutritional course that sugar is the enemy of a healthy diet, as well as for developing early wrinkles and erratic moods and it has even been linked to depression and high blood pressure. 

So since then I have been doing my best to eliminate sugar from my diet. All was going well – I was feeling healthier inside, my skin was clearer, I had more energy (even in the mornings and I am NOT a morning person) and I even lost a dress size!

But then the summer hit. 
Ciders in the park, sunny holidays and overall over-indulging meant that sugar has sneakily crept its way back into my diet!

So for the last week, I have started to cut it back out again. 

cocktails - the curse of my low sugar diet! 

The recommended maximum for sugar per day is just 25g. When you look at the labels of your favourite foods you’ll be shocked at how little this is and how much there is in processed foods. It is lurking in your cans of baked beans, granolas and ketchup! 

So here is my food diary for the week, and my honest opinion of how easy it is to cut sugar out...


  • Avocado, spinach, kale and protein smoothie
I did add half a banana for added sweetness and it also makes the smoothie so creamy! The protein powder, although sweet, has a really low sugar content so all in all, pretty good start. My recipe is here.
  • Feta, beetroot, spinach and broccoli salad with calamari at the Durell Arms
I didn’t know what to drink as even diet fizzy drinks are not great for you, so I opted for plain old water.
  • 4 malteasers
I didn’t meant to eat these but I dropped them when I was tidying up so I ate them! Opps.
  • Leftover fajita chicken with coleslaw, sweet potato wedges and a sprouted salad
Although the mayo means that fat content is high, there is only about 2g of sugar per heaped tablespoon. Not bad.

I love an avocado smoothie! 


  • Porridge 
A pretty good breakfast with less than 1g of sugar per bowl!!! A good start for me. Need topping inspo... check my blog post out here.

  • Avocado and feta salad
Cheese is actually very low in sugar. With the high fat and protein content it will also help you keep fuller for longer.

  • Tomato, edamame beans, cucumber and hummus 
As long as you steer clear of caramalized or Moroccan topped types, hummus is actually a decent healthy, low sugar snack.

  • Slice of my raw blueberry ‘cheesecake’ 
Sweet but all natural sugars. Yay. Find my recipe here.

  • 2 veggie sausages ,runner beans, red cabbage, kale and gravy – was a bit worried that as a processed food the veggie sausages would be really high in sugar, they could be better but 4.4g of sugar per sausage isn't too bad. 
  • Buttermint tea 
Curbed sweet craving with this Twinings sweet tea!

my lunch at work


  • Smoothie made with a frozen banana, protein powder and maca powder
  • Quinoa porridge with soya yoghurt, blueberries and cinnamon find my recipe for this easy quinoa porridge here.
If you love yoghurt then try to switch to soya. Even natural yoghurt is chocablock full of sugar, with up to 14g of sugar per 100g wwith some brands!!! Soya yoghurt only has about 2-3g per 100g. 

  • Slice of rye bread, light phily with avocado and prawn salad with two spinach falafels
Also had an extra half a egg may sarnie and some crisps that were left over at a meeting in work! Opps. Rye bread does actually have more sugar than normal sliced white (2g per slice compared to 0.8g) but it has less additives and salt, plus I think it tastes better! 
  • Cucumber, pepper and carrot sticks
  • Salmon, salad, coleslaw and potato wedges
This was the healthiest thing I could get at the evening work event and it was actually pretty tasty, healthy and sugar free.

this lunch cause food envy in the canteen


  • Quinoa porridge, soya yoghurt and blueberries - find my recipe for this easy quinoa porridge here.

  • Mixed selection of sandwiches and crisps 
Don't normally have this kind of food but it was served at a work meeting - can't turn down free food! 
  • 2 biscuits, lots of sweets and chocolate!!! 
We had an all day work meeting where our lovely boss brought in a load of lovely sweeties and chocolates! That 3pm afternoon slump, a long meeting and with them all in arms reach meant disaster for me and my sugar ban. Sad face.
  • Carrot and pepper sticks with hummus
  • Avocado salad, with cucumber and alfalfa sprouts 
homemade quinoa porridge 


  • Chorizo omelette with sliced avocado
I think this is possibly my new favourite brekkie, although chorizo is a processed meat so I prob shouldn't let this creep in to my diet. 
  • Slice of rye bread with phily and sliced cucumber with shop bought chickpea and feta and olive oil salad and a small pot of tuna mayo
I was a bit concerned that this shop bought chickpea salad would be laden with sugar like usual, but was surprised (and happy) to see that the whole tub only had 3g of sugar in it! 
  • Carrot and pepper sticks
  • Homemade chicken and halloumi in parsley and lemon sauce with Mediterranean veg and kale and spinach and roasted sweet potato 
This was so delicious and because it was all homemade, I was 100% sure that this was a seriously low sugar dinner! 
  • whittards vanilla chai latte 
Totally didn't realise that this would be FULL of sugar! grrr. I made it with soya milk too (normal cow's milk is full of hidden sugar and it isn't even sweet). One cup had 11g of sugar in it - aka almost half your daily intake gone in about 7 gulps! 

looks a bit messy but was full of flavour

tasty, but not great for your low sugar diet! 


  • Spring onion, onion and cheese omelette
The thing I love about an omelette in the morning is that you can chuck anything in it - a great way to use up leftover veggies and that
  • small bowl of frosties
This was a sugar disaster if there ever was one! A TINY bowl (just 30g) has a tremendous 11g of sugar in it!!!! WHAT THE ?! 
  • falafel wrap 
I knew I was out to dinner soon but the whole team were taking a trip to Lower Marsh, Waterloo, where they have the best street food. Couldn't resist a falafel wrap. I did refrain from getting the large though! 
  • salmon, tofu and rice bento box, miso soup and tuna sushi at Eat Tokyo 
Regular readers will know my obsession with Japanese cuisine and my ultimate fav is Eat Tokyo
  • low fat hot choc and few yoghurt coated raisins 
I had quite an early dinner with Bec so about 10pm I was feeling nibbly. I had learnt from my chai latte sugar error so opted for a low fat, lower in sugar hot chocolate. Oh and a sneaky few yoghurt raisins that I ha bought for the Boy. 

check out the tiny bowl... 11g of sugar people! yuk 

this wrap is not the large option, honest! 


  • Avocado and spinach smoothie
  • Sweet potato mash, peas, runner beans and gravy
  • Carrot and pepper sticks with beetroot dip 
  • Cocktails!!!
Cocktails are the curse of a low sugar diet especially with all that fruit juice, let alone the booze, but hey you got to live a little! 
  • Whole meal pitta, hummus, dip and salad 


Cutting out sugar from your diet is easier than you think. It is all about making healthy switches so you still get the flavour and satisfy the cravings but don't cause your body undue spikes in blood sugar levels which ultimately lead to a crash and burn. IO learnt that you need to check the label on everything!!! Even if you don';t think you need too - there were some good and bad surprises for me (chickpea salad = good, the chai latte = bad). 

The thing I find the most difficult was saying 'no' to sugary foods when I am in the office. On my own willpower, or in the house, I find I don't really have that many sugar cravings and if I do I have a heap of homemade raw, natural "desserts" to chomp on. However, put my in arms reach of a biscuit tin at a work meeting and I am like Berlusconi around a bunga bunga party....I can't say no! 

Like this? 
Read my review of "I Quit Sugar" by Sarah Wilson 

X x X

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