Life is sweet. We are born with our perfect bodies, some may be predetermined towards health challenges more than others, some hitting those challenges with the first breath. But for the most part, yay us!
There’s a joy when parents give their kids their “first sugar” but it’s not really true. There is so much added sugar – even savory items – that they have likely already developed almost an addiction to it, just like their parents! American adults are shoving sugar in their faces even when it’s not their intention! Besides being one of the most overweight cultures (which is ironic considering we seem to be the most body and image conscious too), we are not very healthy despite the options we have.
Regardless of my love of food and all things delicious, there is an excess that is not necessary and should be reigned in. And I have a plan… it’s a 2-step concept. No really… you can do it… at least hear me out… HA!
For one week, record every single thing you eat and the quantity. Write it in a little notebook you take with you, make an audio or video clip of yourself saying the foods out loud to yourself, use the myriad of free apps with your smartphone, or any other way that is a simple. Read ingredients and note the added sugar. Become acquainted with what you are literally eating. If you’re eating out, note the glazes and sauces, and feel free to ask the cook or chef if there is any sugar in the dishes you choose. Even some simple tomato sauces can have a touch of sugar.
Now comes the more difficult part. STOP THE SUGAR! It’s far from easy AT FIRST but it will be worth it. For the next week, make choices that do NOT include added sugar – not in coffee, not in any desserts, nor in any savory options. That doesn’t mean buy “sugar-free” because for the most part, that is becoming “chemically dependent” for your sweet shot. Processed foods have so many names for sugar or added sweetness… read every ingredient. If you don’t recognize the ingredient as a food you know, don’t buy it. Even look at “plain” bread. The additions are shocking! Now there is a lot of natural occurring sugar so if it’s not added but shows a sugar content, that’s OK – that keeps wine on the list! Haha! See? Not really so bad.
After your body screams at you the first 2-3 days, It will level out… trust me. Here are some suggestions to get through it! Besides the obvious… fruit… try frozen bananas rolled in cinnamon or unsweetened cocoa powder. Make a smoothie and freeze it into yummy pops, How about a nut butter (check the ingredients – should only be the nut and maybe salt) on a piece of bread with apple or berry slices… nothing wrong with that! Allergic to nuts? Try sliced avocados! Add spices or pure vanilla extract (or any other pure extract) to your coffee or tea, to your milk or your oatmeal! Improvise!
Spend a bit more for a better product BUT have less of it and really enjoy and savor flavors. If you can go 2 weeks, that will really be a big deal. You’ll likely feel much better and look better. Take a before and after picture and see if it’s not so!
NEVER FEAR! I’m not going to leave you on a sugarless ledge! After you have lived an added-sugar-free life for at least a week, your moods have stabilized, and you have made other choices, but don’t like not indulging in the latest ice cream flavor or any other sugary sweetness, pick a day of the week and let that be the sugar day. Your palate might change so just a little will be satisfying or you will find old favorites too sweet or “fake” tasting.
Every day is a sweet celebration but should not be rewarded only with a typical dessert or dietary additions – save it for a special occasion! Use your words – hug your family and friends, thank them for a day where they helped you or had a positive impact. Run around the block! Put on your favorite song and dance it out in a fun silly way!
I’ll give you solutions, recipes, or encouragement as you go! I’m in it and on it! YEAH! Use #SugarFreeChallenge to get in the conversation! Twitter: @KitchAnnette – Instagram: @KitchAnnette – Facebook page: KitchAnnette
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