Yes/No Food List (the no sugar, whole food diet)

Mackeral and Aubergine Salad

Our new diet is pretty specific. As I mentioned previously we are giving up sugar, but there are also a whole host of other foods that we are restricting from our diet at the moment. It’s pretty tough going, but with a change in attitude to how we eat we are managing to make interesting meals, lose weight, gain more energy and overall feel better in ourselves.

At the very start of our diet I made a rather rudimentary Yes/No list of foods we can and cannot eat, then I pinned them to our wall to remind ourselves on a daily basis. This has proved invaluable in moments when we are tired or uninspired and feeling tempted to cheat or fall back into our old patterns.

As you will see on the list below, at first glance it looks pretty obvious and in line with many healthy eating diets. In general, it’s a big no-no to sugar, sweet, fried and processed foods, plus no full fat dairy or fruit juice.

It’s a big yes to fish, poultry, fresh vegetables and soy type products, particularly tofu, whole soybeans and edamame. We can only have starches that are wholegrain or relatively unprocessed but they mustn’t be eaten at every meal.


Sugar Salmon
Honey Herring
Sweetener Mackerel
Soft Drinks Sardines
Sweets Anchovies
Baked Goods Rainbow Trout
White Flour Pacific Oysters
White Bread Eggs
Cereal Ground Flaxseed
Pastries Chia Seeds
Pasta Walnuts
White Rice Seaweed
Fried Food Walnut Oil
Pizza Soybeans
Cream Cheese Chicken
Cream-based sauces Turkey
Sausage Lean Pork
Bacon Fat Free Dairy
Pepperoni Tofu
Ribs Edamame
Whole Milk Soy Milk
Margarine Wholewheat Bread
Fruit Juice Wholewheat Pasta
Dried Fruit Wholegrain/Wild Rice
Alcohol Whole Cereals (no sugar)
Fruit Fresh Vegetables


The first few times we went to the supermarket we found ourselves there for hours as we inspected every single food label to see what we could have. Just the simplest of things has hidden sugar in it. It’s crazy! For instance, the first carton of soy milk I picked up had sugar as it’s third ingredient. Darn it! So I have to make sure we pick up the soy milk that specifically states it is wholebean and unsweetened. And to be honest, the soy milk is sweet enough so I have no idea why they add sugar to their standard version.

Sticking to this list has opened up some really interesting cooking avenues for us and we’ve found some new recipes to cook. My favourite find has been the Thai Black Rice from Sainsburys. And we’ve discovered a love for Rye Bread, our fave supplier is Waitrose.

To avoid eating starches at every meal we load up on loads of vegetables, particularly the green kind. We have found a new love in Kale, Broccoli, Asparagus and Spinach.

For flavour we make use of herbs, spices and occasionally the juice of a lemon or lime.

To be honest, we don’t notice the lack of sugar too often. Whilst the first two weeks were pretty tough going we found our tastebuds totally changed. Things you wouldn’t normally think of as sweet are now super-sweet to me. I can’t believe how sweet my broccoli was at dinner last night.

So yeah… I hardly recognise myself these days; I never thought I would be describing my vegetables as sweet. But I have been determined to stick this new healthy diet and have discovered a whole new way of eating. And so far, I’m loving it.

Have you tried quitting sugar or eating clean? How did you get on? Any recommendations on food to try out?