on April 22, 2014
I really wanted to like this book. My doctor recently recommended I cut back on sugar for the candida factor, and I'd heard the buzz about IQS and thought I'd give it a try. So I did, and I was really into the idea of a sugar detox -- but as I read more (the actual program portion of the book is VERY short, as it turns out) I grew increasingly frustrated and disappointed. But the truth is, this book is poorly organized and lacks rigor. I expected Wilson to cite a lot more research and deliver more statistics and actual information, but she didn't.
The biggest problem, however, is that it really is not a "program." There's hardly any structure. The weekly breakdowns are just collections of sidebars and offer vague tips. She's also huge on butter, coconut oil, and other foods dense in saturated fat. I'm all for whole, full-fat foods, and I think saturated fat probably has gotten an unfairly bad rap, but the research doesn't quite exist to support the idea of eating plenty of it -- which is why you won't find any backup in the book. Aside from that, I have a lot of smaller (but actually still important) quibbles: Despite reading it multiple times, I still can't tell whether you have to give up stevia at any point. Or cinnamon. Furthermore, the recipe section includes a block of "detox" recipes, but it's not clear whether you're supposed to stick to those recipes exclusively during the "detox" weeks (which I think are weeks 3 through 5) or throughout the whole program.
My problem with this book can be summed up by a single, glaring contradiction that I haven't been able to reconcile despite searching iquitsugar.com extensively and Googling for an answer. I actually did see another reader ask this question in a comments section about the online program, but no one from the customer service team replied to her. Here's the contradiction -- check the book for yourself to confirm (I'm using the paperback U.S. edition):
* On page 26 ("Week 3: Quit!"), Wilson lists items that "must go" starting that day, "with no exceptions." Item #1: Fresh and dried fruit, fruit juice.
* On page 41 ("Week 5: Get Creative, Experiment ... and Detox"), Wilson recommends 3 recipes to try that week. The first one is the Sweet Green Meal-in-a-Tumbler, found on page 110. Flip to page 110 and check the first 3 ingredients of the smoothie: 1/2 grapefruit, 1/2 lemon, 1/2 green apple.
What? Why? Elsewhere in the book she even includes apples on a list of high-fructose fruits that should be avoided altogether.
I'll keep the book around for some sugar-free recipes, but that's about it. I'm just going to cut back on sugar in some smart, basic ways and move on with my life. I'm a little angry that I fell for the marketing, but kudos to the team that put together such a pretty package.
on April 3, 2015
NO, just no, this book is not a good source for eliminating sugar from your diet. Here is why...
If you want to quit sugar, then quit sugar. That means eliminating added sugar from you diet by not eating it any any of its processed forms; sugar, honey, agave, brown rice syrup.
The last part of the book is full of sweet treat recipes made with brown rice syrup! Yuck!!! That's not quitting sugar, thats just replacing it dressed up as a "healthier" version of itself. If you want to quit eating sugar - stop eating desserts. Curb your sweet tooth with whole fruits or healthy smoothies.
Also she cautions about eating certain fruits because they have too much of "bad sugar" in them. I do not suggest taking nutritional advise from anyone who claims that it is better to eat a sweet treat made with brown rice syrup or stevia over eating whole fruits that have tons of nutrients and fiber necessary for a balanced nutritious diet.
on April 29, 2014
The 8 week program is very contradictory and vague. I thought that week by week it would help me cut out different types of sugars and sweets, but one week is just titled "Face The Demons" in which she talks about how others will negatively react to your sugar cut. Yes, that is important to note, but it is not a step in an 8 week plan detailing what I am supposed to eat. I am left with questions like can I eat tomatoes? What is the fructose content of certain veggies and fruits? Can I even eat fruit? She vague references cutting fruit but her recommended recipes for each week often have fruit in them. Fruit is really demonized in this book yet half of the "sugar-free" dessert recipes are full of berries and other fruits. The assertion too that this book helps you plan your pantry and fridge needs is wrong. The recipes call for unique and difficult to find ingredients, and many require a food processor. None of this is outlined in the "Getting Equipped" section.
I like the general idea of this book but would look to another to find out the real science about sugar. Nothing here is cited and she often gives her own opinion ("I believe we were meant to eat the whole food" - referencing animal fat and skin in Week 2). She notes in the same week that sugar messes with our hormones, yes, but how?? Some facts to back that up would be great.
Finally, most recipes in the book can be found on the IQS website. I recommend this book only if you are looking for a beautiful cookbook or want something tangible to help kickstart your sugar detox. For the price, it was worth it for me but do not expect a real step by step guide.
on April 18, 2014
Nice book for those who are really into eliminating sugar altogether. However, a lot of Stevia and brown rice syrup, (which is surrounded by negative controversy) is used in the recipes of which I am not a fan of. I wish I had been able to review some of this book before I purchased it.
on December 20, 2015
DON’T BUY THIS BOOK, IT'S A WASTE OF YOUR TIME AND $
Sarah Wilson is beautiful and it’s tempting to look at her photo on the front cover and think: if I quit sugar like Sarah Wilson, I will look just like her.
Perhaps, if you can actually finish the book.
First of all, she is extremely unapproachable. She begins her story with these words: “I was a sugar addict. (Okay, so am I, we have something in common). I didn’t look like one (Screeching halt. Okay, but, what if I do?) I didn’t drink Coke (Okay, but how many women in the world drink Coke? Especially Diet Coke?) or put sugar in my coffee (well, Sarah, just to inform you, MILLIONS of women do put sugar in their coffee). I’ve never eaten a Krispy Kreme donut (are you trying to make me mad?) and ice cream bores me (should I toss this book to my pit-bull or simply burn it?)
There was immediate distance between the author and the reader (not a smart move when you’re writing a book). Since I’d paid hard cold cash for this book, I kept reading. It sounded like a re-hash of the Paleo Diet, so if you are already converted to this diet, you should digest this book quite nicely. I understood cutting out everything white & bready, along with the sugary cookies & cakes & doughnuts, etc. But when she started to demonize fruit, I put the book down and picked up my computer, hoping to dissuade anyone else from wasting money on such a frustrating purchase.
“To be clear,” Sarah states, “it’s fructose that’s the enemy, not sugar, per se.”
So nature is the enemy, not man.
She goes on: “When I talk about quitting sugar, I’m talking about quitting fructose. And here’s why it’s bad!”
She continues: “Fructose makes us sick.”
Hum, oranges have fructose and a whopping dose of Vitamin C. So do lemons. But she argues that eating such fruit “inhibits our immune system, making it harder to fight off viruses and infections.” (What?) She goes on: “Fructose upsets the mineral balance in our bodies, causing deficiencies as well as interfering with mineral absorbtion.” Oh yeah, like scurvy. (Or wait, do you get scurvy because you LACK the Vitamin C that accompanies many fructose-laden fruits?)(sarcasm heavily intended)
I personally believe we need to take cues from nature. We need to be suspicious of anything man-made, as well as men (or women, in this case) that demonize something as wholesome as fruit.
I did flip to the back and she does give recipes. If you’re okay with eating haloumi, ghee, spinach and fennel smoothies (no fructose though, remember it’s corrupted), you’ll be just fine.
Good luck, and if you choose to purchase this book, I hope you have the superhuman willpower to live on nuts, raw cacao and the East Wind (that’s about all you have to choose from.)
Currently I'm on day 85 of my quest to completely cut out fast food. Since I seem to have kicked one bad habit pretty good, I was hoping to use this book to kick another one... my sugar addiction. The trouble is, I'm so addicted to sugar, I experience serious withdrawal symptons when I give it up or even cut down on it.
I was hoping this book, which advertises a 8-week detox probram would help me detox from sugar. Unfortuantely, it wasn't quite as advertised. It's mostly recipes and 10% Program. The progam portion is not really a structured program, but tips and tricks that helped the author. I would have preferred a scientifically researched program that would help me, not just some generic andecdotes on what helped the author. I'm a no go on recommending this one.
Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was provided by Blogging for Books for review purposes only.
on May 14, 2014
I Quit Sugar is a full color book with lots of pictures and textures, or so it appears on the page. It is very visually appealing to the reader that picks up this book to read. I received this book for review as I often have gone on special times where I cut out sugar for a time period to sort of re-set my blood sugar levels. I found the ideas she presented in this book very interesting.
I was disappointed in the lack of science behind some of her reasoning. She claims that fructose is one of the worst sugars, and although she states that you can add it back in later after the 8 weeks, she claims it is the cause of all the issues. However, since science does not back that up, unless you have a serious blood sugar issue, natural fruit sugar does not react the same in your body and would be healthier for you than Brown rice syrup, which she uses throughout the 8 weeks detox. There are some fruits that are very high in fiber and actually can counteract the sugar content contained in them, if you are consuming them, raising your blood sugar to healthy levels to give you energy. She did not really discuss white flour or other white starches as a cause of any issues, but had recipes that contained brown rice syrup and white flour in the book.
What I did like about the book was the idea that a short time off of all sugars can be a good thing for your body. It can help re-set your body to be able to feel better, have more energy and maybe even lose a little weight. She spoke about how adding good fats, cutting out the sugars in your life, can actually help with weight issues. I really liked that the recipes were photographed beautifully and they looked appealing. She took care in keeping the ingredients very simple, and has a guide in the back of the book for your pantry shelves. It would be easy to stock a pantry with the items she listed, and frugally as well, if you work at it.
Overall, I felt this book was something that I will likely try some of the recipes and reference it a few times in my journey to cutting out sugar, but I will likely turn to other books for guidance as far as a long term lifestyle change.
This book was provided for me by Blogging for Books. The opinions contained therein are solely my own!
on October 1, 2014
After reading some of the reviews posted by others, I thought I'd add my own thoughts on this book.
What this book is not:
- A diet book, with weekly food plans or shopping lists.
- A scientific treatise on why sugar doesn't work for human bodies.
- Answers for sustitutions your body might need if you have food sensitivity issues. (Some substitution ideas might be helpful, in my opinion. But maybe that's another book.) For instance, the author writes about coconut sensitivity, which is fairly common, but doesn't make recommendations for substitutions, and many of the recipes have coconut ingredients listed.
- A cookbook for those who need details about exact amounts of foods to combine. (Some of the recipes lack these details, which would be annoying to precise cooks, or people who may not be truly comfortable with cooking yet. It can come across as sloppy editing, in my opinion.)
If this is what you want, then this is not the book for you. I think you'll be frustrated and annoyed.
However, I have found this book very useful because it includes:
- An easy-to-understand overview of how to think about eating without sugar as a focus.
- Good recipes that are basic, with few ingredients. I've tried about 8 of the recipes so far, and all of them have been good. (Foolproof Fennel Soup, Cheesy Biscuits, two of the pesto recipes, Broccoli Pesto Quinoa, Pesto/Ham Sandwich, Egg Cups, her method for poaching eggs, which turned out to be better than the way I had been doing it). The fennel soup is our family favorite so far.
- An "all things in moderation" approach that resonates for me.
- A focus on using similar ingredients over and over again.
- A list of pantry-stocking items that I found useful.
- Resources for finding out-of-the-ordinary ingredients.
- Ideas on making batches of things that can be used in different ways during a busy work week. This is invaluable in my family.
I personally cannot use coconut ingredients, but a simple search on the web allowed me to find a good alternative. For instance, I used a good quality gluten-free flour for the cheesy biscuit recipe, instead of coconut flour. There are several foods I can't eat, so I have become fairly adept at figuring out alternatives. It may be that I'm so used to doing this that I tend to overlook these issues in cookbooks.
I think this book might be disappointing for people who do not live in major metropolitan areas, as some of the ingredients are not "mainstream" yet and may be difficult to find in smaller, local grocery stores. However, all of the ingredients listed in the pantry stocking list (spices, flours, etc.) are available through Amazon. I actually looked them all up, and promptly added some of the spices to my Christmas wish list shared with family members. They'd make great stocking stuffers!
About being on the plan: I've been on it for one week. So far, I've found it easy to follow and my sugar cravings have actually vanished, which I did not expect. I work full-time and it's been easy to create sugar free meals for lunch. My energy and mood are significantly improved, digestive symptoms have improved, and I've lost 3 pounds without thinking about it. (Weight loss was not my primary motivation for doing this plan, but it's a nice side benefit.) End result: This works for me.
I am recommending this book to my friends and family for its accessible writing style that encourages healthy eating, beautiful pictures and recipes that result in good food.
on June 13, 2014
From a graphic and artistic standpoint, it's a pretty book. The content and substance is very lacking. Not a real program here so the subtitle is very misleading. And frankly a lot of the recipes need work. It makes me wonder how much (if at all) they were tested. I've made nearly every major recipe and none were good. As a decent cook myself, I was very surprised at the general lack of balance. I spent a fair amount of money on food supplies to make these recipes and then spent even more time trying to make them taste good. I would suggest you take a look at this book in a bookstore before ordering it. You may even want to try a few recipes. I'm sorry to say it was so disappointing.
on August 6, 2014
Let's start with this book is gorgeously produced. The pictures are incredible and the recipes, for the most part, are clear and fairly easy to follow. As I was recently advised to lose weight and reduce my sugar intake, I was very interested in this book I was extremely disappointed. The problem I have with the book is with her message, which based on my research and discussion with several doctors and dietitians, is dangerously wrong. There is nothing wrong with all sugar. Whole fruit is a very good thing and people live long, healthy productive lives with a plant and whole fruit diet. Highly processed fructose is another story but then highly processed food of any type is problematic. Ms. Wilson fails to back up her assertions with any scientific data and I know she is not a medical professional and I made the same mistake above. But I'm not writing a book nor is this review going to be 200+ pages.
I don't want it to sound like there is nothing of value in the book. I"m sure some of the recipes produce food that tastes great - I haven't made any of them - but for me the extreme position and the wrong opinion on fructose made her lose all credibility.
I was given a copy of the book for review.