There are a lot of things you could say about Sarah Wilson. Some might call her wildly eccentric, after all, she’s been known to take bones off other people’s dinner plates at restaurants (crazy cavewoman-style) to take home and turn into stock; she rides a bike nearly everywhere and she isn’t afraid to tackle giant, bullying corporates or government lobbyists about the endless evils of refined and processed sugars.
You also wouldn’t be wrong if you called her a global powerhouse. A phenomenon, really. A New York Times Best Selling Author who’s trail blazing a road to less sugar, less waste, and lots of health and happiness. She’s also one of the reasons that I feel like I understand the sugar bigger picture myself. I happen to think she’s a total badass, and so of course I had a flustered fan moment when I stole a few minutes of her time over the phone the other day. We chatted as she negotiated the streets of London, where she’s currently set up camp to officially launch her now famous I Quit Sugar project, as well as her beautiful, witty, inspiring and endlessly clever new book Simplicious (and I have one to give-away, see bottom of post for details!)
Here’s what we discussed, in between Sarah dodging black cabs and lots of London foot traffic:
What does Sarah think about #Banting?
If we’re talking food phenomenon, of course I couldn’t help but ask about our very own South African Dr. Tim Noakes and his Real Meal Revolution.
Actually, Sarah and the good Doc are Chinas. You can read a really interesting interview that Sarah conducted with him here.
They don’t necessarily have exactly the same bullet points in their food philosophies, Sarah says her approach is less restrictive towards clean carbs, but they absolutely agree on our desperate need to eat less sugar and processed foods (particularly refined sugars like the endlessly evil High Fructose Corn Syrup that is steeling its way into everything); they agree (and so do I) that good fats are GOOD; and so is eating REAL whole foods.
What’s New, and What’s Next
As I mentioned, Sarah is currently in London launching her I Quit Sugar programme, as well as promoting her third book, Simplicious. The I Quit Sugar team have invested thousands of hours and dollars into creating a brand new platform that’s super smart and interactive, and makes quitting the white stuff that much simpler.
3 of Sarah’s Favourite Recipes from Simplicious
Cheese Burger Dim Sums
Nomato Sauce (a mix of slow-cooked beetroots and carrots that ends up tasting like pizza (!))
Chocolate Cardamom Ganache Cake (look out for it in my next blog post)
What have been some of the toughest moments along the way?
This whole story started off as a passion project for Sarah, that she documented in her newspaper column where she worked at the time:
“I was short of a topic one week for the column I wrote in a Sunday newspaper magazine at the time. I committed to a fortnight off sugar, to see how it went. As I say, the effects were immediate and I shared my story with my readers in the magazine and on my blog sarahwilson.com. This whole I Quit Sugar journey then dominoed from there.
To be frank, I was addicted to the stuff. I was a covert addict, though, because I’d convinced myself I ate “healthy sugars”: honey in my chai tea, dark chocolate every afternoon and sweet treats after dinner. But as I soon learned, sugar is sugar, whether it comes from a beehive or a sugar cane field.”
But where Sarah has ended up is on the campaign trail, all in the name of quitting sugar (and minimising food waste), and paving the road for others to quit too. It means she’s BUSY, and that means she sometimes feels that she’s lost some of the intimate contact to mentor and engage and connect that she used to have with her readers, which she misses. I’d say she does pretty well under the circumstances though, her social media platforms are all very informal and chatty and interactive. And you may have seen her out to dinner with the rest of the very hip healthy London foodies a couple of weeks ago, the much adored Deliciously Ella included – they’re all friends, all living well, eating well and doing what they can to help the rest of us do the same. Sunshine and rainbows! Truly, there is no sarcasm in that. Let’s be our best selves, and it starts with what’s on our plates.
You can read more about Sarah in her New York Times feature over here.
And of course there are endless helpful, interesting, shocking, terrifying (all in a good way) and inspiring articles on the phenomenal resource that is the I Quit Sugar website.