Why you CAN quit sugar as a vegetarian (and never feel deprived)

By Rachel O'Regan |

Keys2words - Vegan Bolognese
Photo by: .com/missmarzipancom/

If you’re vegetarian, you might think that quitting sugar would just be another restriction on your diet. We hear ya – there are fewer recipes available as a vego, it’s harder to eat out and don’t even mention those awkward family barbeques.

But not so! Done properly, a healthy vegetarian diet should be vibrant, abundant and full of so much delicious plant-based food you’ll never go hungry. And one of the easiest ways to get that is to quit sugar (a vegetarian diet of chocolate and two-minute noodles isn’t exactly healthy!).

, , and would know this better than most. They’ve all quit sugar on our with our vegetarian Keys2words: Meal Plans, and they all say quitting sugar changed their diets for the better.

(In fact they love it so much, they’re now our Program ambassadors, and judging by their amazing Instagram feeds, they don’t look restricted at all!)

What were your favourite recipes on the Program?

Jenny: Breakfast is nearly always my favourite meal of the day and so easy to do vegetarian obviously, the ultimate green zmoothie bowl was a favourite. Another meal that was a favourite was the root vege rostis.”

Marisa: Where do I start? I have so many favourites! The Veggie Burger with satay sauce is outstanding, and still ranks in my top five IQS recipes ever. It also makes the top five of ALL the veggie burgers I have eaten (I have seen a LOT of veggie burger action in my time!).


Have you managed to convince any of your meat-eating, sugar-hooked friends with our recipes?

Marisa: My husband, who was raised on a typically Swedish diet of meatballs, white potatoes and lingonberry jam, started to eat the IQS veggie meals with me and somewhere along the line, he pulled a 180 and became vegan! True story. He is pleasantly surprised to discover that certain dishes turned out to be utterly delicious.

Kim: I have managed to get my husband on board with some of the recipes. Admittedly it’s a work in progress, as he is quite fussy. It’s just about making small, more informed changes over a period of time.


What has it been like eating out as a sugar-free vegetarian?

Alice: I was shocked at how sugar-dense aeroplane food is. On a short flight (1 hour from Dublin to London) early morning, I was given a small tray with 3 items: processed orange juice from concentrate, a snail pastry and an oat-based muesli with lots of cane sugar! I now opt for nuts as a snack.

Kim: To be honest I found it pretty easy. It’s so much easier now to make healthier choices. If in doubt I just load up on the vegetable side dishes and avoid all the rich sugar-laden sauces that are not as healthy as they appear to be.

Has it increased your creativity as a vegetarian? Do you feel more equipped in the kitchen?

Jenny: One of the highlights is the confidence I have gained in the kitchen with having more plant-based meals. I have a good base for making delicious vegetarian meals that are healthy, tasty and sugar-free! It has also introduced me to vegetables I would never have used before and found I liked, and also to using different vegetables in different ways (making rice from cauliflower, which I had never thought to do before).

Marisa: Food preparation is key, especially when you have two toddlers, a career and a baby on the way! I’d be lost without it. IQS doesn’t just provide you with a recipe book and send you on your way. During the you’ll learn certain “life skills” that can carry over far beyond the Program’s completion.

Alice: I feel that I have become more creative in the kitchen – for example I would never have tried curry with quinoa; it also made me be way more prepared which I enjoyed. I did the Program gluten-free and dairy-free, just every so often substituting in seafood.


What’s one thing you’d like to tell people about doing the Program as a vegetarian? Any myths to bust?

Marisa: I think that some people might feel like it’s adding yet another dietary “restriction” to their life. I can promise them, however, that if they are like me they will find the exact opposite to be true. It’s about freedom, abundance, new inspiration and maximising the potential of what you eat (getting the most nutrients, benefits and enjoyment out of each meal!). And you will NOT go hungry.

It’s about freedom, abundance, new inspiration and maximising the potential of what you eat.

Kim: I have a newfound love for different vegetables that I really didn’t like before as my tastebuds have totally changed. Honestly hand on heart I cannot recommend the highly enough. A total game changer that will give you a brand new outlook on a healthier way of eating.


Please be respectful of other participants in the conversation. We'd love you to keep your comments respectful, friendly and relevant. Differences of opinion are welcome, but trolling and abuse of other commentators and the IQS editorial team is not and will result in blacklisting.

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