From the Case Kitchen | 28 Day Low Sugar Lifestyle Program

Low Sugar Lifestyle Program| Shopping healthy | Around the outside

The Magical


How do approach meal time in your family? Do you cook from scratch and menu plan? Do you follow a no or low sugar diet?


We are heading into week 3 of the 28 Day Low Sugar Lifestyle Program and while I had hoped to share with you how we are going much sooner, things have been fairly chaotic on the home front with my trip to Melbourne this week and in-laws visiting from interstate.


I’ve been doing my best to share snippets of some of the meals we have been enjoying over on Instagram and I’m really enjoying the supportive Facebook community for the program.


What I wasn’t initially enjoying was trying to convince my foodie and sweet tooth family that this wasn’t the end of the world as we know it. I think they were fearing some extreme diet and a lot of food they wouldn’t be able to stomach.


When I took hubby shopping that first week to stock the pantry for the challenge this was his reply….


Is this for some inner city urbanite that lives near a gourmet deli?


For the most part, you can source all of the ingredients from your local supermarket but finding the ingredients if you are new to the health food side of things, especially when they are not all in the once place/aisle can be a bit of an adventure and have you scratching your head. There are packaged items on your shopping list, they just look a little different and a lot healthier.




Even with the basics there is a lot of variety to choose from these days and knowing how to read a label and look for hidden ingredients especially where sugar is concerned is a huge help.


Take the rather versatile quinoa, I had no idea how to pronounce it just how many types were available or that they came in flakes, let alone just how many recipes you can use quinoa in. Nut butters are the next eye opener but after having tasted a made fresh on the spot almond butter at a local health food store, there’s no going back for me. It’s just too good.


I’m going to be honest here and admit…. for someone who menu planning doesn’t come natural to, like hubby, I was finding the initial process a little overwhelming. Add to that a number of foods that are foreign to my children, like quinoa and several so-called staples that we don’t normally stock, meant our first weekly shop was a lot more than what we normally spend.


Of course once your pantry is stocked it’s more my kind of around the outside shopping with lots of fresh produce.


shopping around the outside | 28 Day Low Sugar Lifestyle Program | Agent Mystery Case | Real Food


Even still, all this had me feeling a touch nervous about just how well this program would actually work for our family as a whole but I kept coming back to this……


No need for Paleo Perfection or Quit Sugar extremes… you need easy, healthy but really tasty ideas and important nutritional knowledge. You need to purchase items at your local Woolworths or local supermarket with affordable pricing. I know you…. you’re busy but want to get yourself and your children healthy…I am that same person!
Michele Chevalley Hedge (28 Day Low Sugar Lifestyle Program)


For me, for what I’ve seen of the program so far, it is all kinds of fantastic. All of the foods I know I enjoy and need to eat but struggle to know where to start, especially when it’s only me eating them. So I tend to just stick to boring salads and basically get bored with things. This program is taking my basic healthy food up a notch and adding the much needed spice factor to help keep things interesting and me inspired. Variety is the spice of life.. right?!


While two out of our three girls don’t have that bad a diet, it’s all the hidden sugars in foods that are alarming and which are making this exercise interesting. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have mentioned the program to our girls in the first place and just made the small adjustments but I was keen after having seen That Sugar Film, to educate them along the way.


Especially my eldest, who has a part-time (after school) job at a take away store and is approaching stressful year 11 exams. I’ve suspected for a little while that her diet outside the home wasn’t as good as it should be. I’ve done all I can to control and change this but in the end as a mother of a teen, who earns their own money, what can you do?!


Perhaps sitting her down and showing her That Sugar Film might help but I doubt it. Can you remember what you were like with your parents at that age (16/17)? I know for a fact, there would have been no telling me.


Low Sugar Lifestyle Program | My Family Wellness


My main concerns going into the program:



My hubby has always liked his whiter than white and now so do my girls, it’s all they’ve known and they won’t come at my gluten free or grain bread, although they are more than a bit partial when it comes to sour dough bread. As they generally eat their greens and have a relatively healthy diet otherwise, I haven’t made an effort over the years to change this.


Looking at the nutritional panel on most breads, I almost want to give up the stuff altogether but so far we have managed to find a soy and linseed that suits everyone but our eldest who has braces and doesn’t do well with seeds. For her, it’s a healthy whole grain which she is still warming too.


28 Day Low Sugar Lifestyle Program | Agent Mystery Case | Real Food



More than a few of the muffin and snack recipes include banana, something I can’t seem to tolerate and probably as a result the majority of my family don’t like bananas.


We’ve tried a few alternatives like apples and blueberries but as the muffins are gluten free and fairly dry to start with, it has been a bit of trial and error getting the right mix. There are so many other alternatives available though and a gorgeous online community willing to offer substitute suggestions and support.



It wouldn’t matter how you serve this or what variety you choose to use, I’m the only one in the house that actually likes the stuff. I must give my entire family bonus points for at least attempting to try the salad and the chicken nuggets that were coated in the quinoa but sadly introducing this is going to take some time.


28 Day Low Sugar Lifestyle Program | Agent Mystery Case | Real Food



I absolutely love the stuff not just for the taste but the health benefits but for some it’s an acquired taste and it’s just not for everyone. I think the trick here is to introduce coconut in a slow and subtle way starting with the breakfast muffins and switching to coconut oil for a lot of the cooking side of things.



I’m not sure why but as a family, we’ve never been great in this department. My hubby did vow to cook, clean and slave after me (yes I may be a princess) and when he is at home, he does the majority of the cooking. He has never been one for forward planning though and tends to cook how he feels and by what’s in front of him at the time.


He also tends to skim a recipe and make it up as he goes along. He has always been like this. Thankfully most of the time, the food is at least edible but there is a lot of cutting corners and not so healthy convenience food in the mix. While this approach is more cooking from scratch and following recipes while you get a feel for new things.


28 Day Low Sugar Lifestyle Program | Agent Mystery Case | Real Food


If this entire exercise has taught me anything, it’s that I really need to take more control of the menu planning and shopping in the first place and get back to cooking from scratch. I need to stop cutting corners for convenience starting with prepackaged sauces full of hidden sugars. I’m sure there will be less stressing over menu plans and getting recipes right as this new approach to a healthier and low sugar lifestyle continues to get easier over time.


Inspired by how well the program is working and knowing I live in a house full of chocoholics, I attended a raw chocolate workshop over the weekend with Roar Superfoods. You really should head back tomorrow for the mouth watering results.



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Follow Raychael aka Mystery Case on her mystery adventures 'casing' people, products and places to bring you her worth casing favourites.


  1. Now that you are three weeks in, do you miss the bread? That was one of the hardest things for me. But it sounds like you have changed the menu for your whole family, not just you, and that would make it easier. I have tried to stick to a paleo for me diet, while cooking Hubby’s comfort foods and it just doesn’t work. Eventually, I crack and am back to eating white bread and feeling lousy.

    • Just commencing week 3 so at the halfway point. There is still bread and sandwiches on the menu for lunch most days, we’ve just gone with healthier options and cut down on how much we actually consume. Personally, I’ve never been big on bread, I don’t process gluten well and the most gluten free varieties don’t have a great texture or taste, so I just tend to go without.

  2. So interesting! I menu plan like a ninja and try and make most things from scratch so in most cases the only sugar we have is the sugar I add. I love quinoa but the hubster hates it and won’t have a grain of the stuff. Will you continue after the 28 days do you think or will you just adapt the programme to suit your lifestyle?

    • I think by the end of the program we will select our favourite dishes as a family and then rotate them but yes for the most part I will be sticking with the program. It’s more a way of life rather than a diet. We have had in-laws staying who are shocking when it comes to sugar. For starters they don’t drink water, just Coke and juice, both are special occasion drinks in our house. So a couple of the evening meals were our old favourite recipes, like crispy pork belly, instead of making the apple sauce and adding sugar, we just had pureed apples with a hint of spice. I opted for soda water with a slice of lemon for drinks.

      • I personally love all kinds of fruit in soda water – if you have not already, try fresh sliced strawberries and fresh mango. The fruits take on that zappy tang of the soda water, and the soda water takes on some of the fruit flavour. 🙂

  3. Haha my husband is the same with cooking, he loves to cook but isn’t that healthy in his choices. The few times he has made something from the program, he has made his own tweaks without even realising. We have started to make our own bread! Even though the white flour isn’t ideal, we are making a mix of white/wholemeal bread with grains/seeds in it, loving it 🙂 The sugary sweets has been easy to give up because we aren’t really dessert people, but its the hidden sugars that are hard!

  4. Hello there… Michele here from Low Sugar Lifestyle program. Love this post. Please shoot me some questions on our facebook too! Remember you dont have to be perfect. I am a mum and a nutritionist and do not believe in perfection or extremes- I even like wine! Come and join us for our June program.

  5. I’m very interested in this Raychael – doing the $2 living below the line challenge and thinking about what I put on the plate has been enlightening. Though we eat a fairly healthy menu – there is so much room for improvement and I want to reduce my waistline. Thank you for sharing. I’m keen to follow your journey.

  6. Wow! It sounds like you’ve certainly embraced the program – good for you (and the family of course). Really interesting post – thanks for sharing your health journey here. x

  7. Great post, Raych x
    That Sugar Film was the clincher my husband and I needed to try the (refined) sugar free life for 2 months. We’re about 3 weeks in and the differences already are very noticeable. I should point out that we already ate a very healthy wholefood diet … but the night time choc-attack was our downfall. We’ve now eliminated that altogether … and replaced it with low sugar homemade treats, sweetened minimally with fruit, rice malt syrup, maple syrup, raw honey etc. My husband no longer gets a mid-afternoon slump in energy and mood. He’s power napped most of his adult life every single afternoon. The need to do that has stopped altogether. As for me … Wow! I’ve never been a morning person … but getting out of bed these last few weeks has been so much more … dare I say it … pleasant! I don’t feel as groggy or sluggish as I’ve always done. I’ve also suffered with nightly indigestion since I had my daughter nearly 5 years ago. I’d chew on a Quik-Eze every night before bed to alleviate it. Since eliminating sugar, I haven’t needed to do that at all. I honestly doubt we’ll ever look back from this now. I’ll never be obsessive about it (no way will I be an anti-sugar bore!) … and there will be times we’ll have a sugar fix, I’m sure. But it will be very few and far between, I’m guessing.
    Oh … and how good is Roar Superfoods? I did their chocolate class a few years ago. It’s amazing. One thing I don’t do though, that they recommend (or they did back then) is use agave syrup. There’s much better sweetener options available xx

  8. Ditto to just about everything you said Raychael!
    I’ve been enjoying lots of salads (living without sandwiches/bread for now) and fruit salads – up until the weather turned cold the past couple of days! Cold foods somewhat lose their appeal in cold weather.
    Fortunately my family don’t have a problem with quinoa, so that’s been a new addition to our diets.
    We’ve still to see That Sugar Film. I’m hoping it’s our on DVD soon.
    You seem to be doing well at eating low sugar, I hope it’s having a noticeable positive effect on your health.

    • It hasn’t been much of change for me but I’ve been on a fairly restrictive diet with health issues for almost 2 years now. It will be interesting and probably a little harder to gauge the effect it is having on our girls.

  9. I haven’t heard of this program, but I’m really interested to learn more. About two years ago we made changes to a few things. We cut cordial from our diet, and now it’s only water, or one glass of juice per day. I try not to buy prepackaged snacks and prefer to make my own lunchbox fillers. They aren’t all sugar or gluten free, but they are low and I know exactly what goes into them. We aren’t huge bread eaters, and usually eat fresh veggies at dinner time. I think could further tweak our lifestyle. I’m off to check it out.

    • We are much the same Jodi. Continually tweaking. I’ve been on a fairly restrictive diet with health issues so it’s been nice for the family to meet me half way. Not that they have a bad diet. Not one cavity/filling in their teeth and all relatively healthy.

  10. Good on you for trying with the family!
    My eldest saw That Sugar Film today, and had lots to say about it. She doesn’t seem to feel the need to change her whole diet though.

  11. This program sounds great, Raych. I followed Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar program for a bit over a year I think it was. I am off the bandwagon now, but don’t eat anywhere as near as much sugar as I used to. A year off was enough to make me not even like the taste of it anymore. I’m going to check out this 28 day program and see how it compares to what I’m doing now. Thanks 🙂

    • Due to health issues I’ve been on a fairly restrictive diet, so this has been a good way to ease back into real eating with the family meeting me half way. I’m definitely more mindful of just how much sugar especially the hidden stuff my family is eating.

  12. Great post and kudos for making such a change! To be honest, I had the same thought, ” is this for an inner city urbanite”, when my friend Jess introduced it to me. I absolutely agree with the philosophy though and try to apply it in my own way. I think making food from scratch really is the key because you have full control of what goes into the food. My husband is exactly the same in the kitchen! Very handy and happy to cook, but cuts corners and uses packet mixes (which i let slide sometimes…).

    In our house we have a few meals ‘on a weekly rotation’ which makes it easy to plan and shop for. Then I just try and mix it up on the weekends and change up the rotation every other month. It is a struggle though, and we’re only feeding 2 mouths! I think my husbands FIFO roster also makes it easier to eat well.

    • We have a few meals on rotation as well, it just makes things easier. I struggle when hubby is at sea mainly because up until recently I was on a fairly restrictive diet due to health issues, so it meant preparing a meal for myself and then cooking all the stuff I couldn’t eat for our girls. This program kind of has us meeting half way.

  13. I love using coconut oil for cooking. Now, just to conquer quinoa. I’ll eat it when someone serves it to me but I just don’t know what dishes to make…

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