Just what do Diana and Charlotte mean by ‘sugar free’? Coming out of December, when we had advent calendars on our desks all month and ate more mince pies than Brussels sprouts, these two little words are pretty daunting. “People immediately presume that if you give up eating sugar then you really restrict what you can and can’t eat, which is so not the case. We eat anything and everything that’s REAL!” says Diana cheerfully. “In short, we avoid all processed/preserved goods, and any ‘food’ that has a shelf life or comes in a plastic wrapper.”
The sisters defeated their own sugar demons a year ago when they were given a copy of sugar free recipe bible I Quit Sugar. This came after multiple attempts at trying to heal themselves “from the inside out; one of us suffered from severe allergies and the other was desperate to come off IBS prescribed meds after seven years”. Quitting sugar was the first thing that had a positive effect. “We became more and more intrigued by the detrimental consequences of sugar, and how it affected everything from the brain to the gut and liver. We then got so excited about creating new sugar free recipes!” And so Sugar Free Siblings was born.
Their credentials? Charlotte’s a holistic health coach, trained in spirituality, exercise, relationships and career (“our primary nutrition”), plus food, of course. Diana qualified as a nutritional therapist after a three-year diploma. Plus they’ve “always been mega foodies, cooking all over the world as private chefs” (as you do). However, is it easy to practice what they preach, especially when ANY kind of sugar (whether from “honey, agave, table sugar, maple syrup, dried fruit, coconut sugar, palm sugar etc”) has the same blood sugar spiking effect when consumed?
It all comes down to cooking at home, from scratch, says Diana – because if you know what goes into your food, “that knowledge is the most powerful key when it comes to nourishment”. As a starter for ten, avoid dried fruit (“very high concentrations of fructose”), jams (“we know, a big hit – but fresh berry and chia jam is amazeballs”), cheap bread, sauces, mueslis and granolas (“even no added sugar varieties are packed with dried fruit”).
They don’t cheat either. Diana does confess to “a couple of espresso martinis throughout the year and a spoonful of Granny’s infamous Brandy Butter on Christmas Day” (reassuring us she’s a normal human being) – but “other than that I can wholeheartedly say I’m not a cheater!” Charlotte explains that, “when you stop eating sugar, your taste buds change (over a matter of weeks – normally 3 to 8), so things taste very different, therefore what you want and crave also changes.” Try it for yourself.
Head to their Instagram to get inspired by the latest SFS recipes.