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I thought I had a pretty good diet. Yet, after watching ‘That Sugar Film‘ one night with my adorable hubby (a beer and chicken-wing lover), I looked at food from his point of view…not the nutritionist.
The next morning, he challenged the whole family to start the Sugar Challenge. The kids jumped to the fridge and started reading every nutritional fact panel (even of foods we’d been eating for years). Pulling out the sugar cubes we made stacks in one serving of each food (1 cube = 4 grams of sugar). “Wow, there’s a lot of sugar in this?”, they’d say.
Confession: many times I said “Wow!” too.
But, I Eat Okay…Right?
Nearing 40, chasing two young kids around, crossing the country on book tour, while squeezing in yoga and competing in international ultimate frisbee tournaments, I thought my diet must be pretty good — I was still standing after all.
But, after 6 months on our Sugar Challenge I was astonished by the change in my energy level, the swing in my food cravings, and the drop in my pant size.
I promise this will be painless, easy to do, and the results fantastic. It’s just 3 steps, each 3 days long. Say “Hello!” to a smokin’ hot body, more energy and a better diet…(and healthier kids too).
Challenge the Kids
Oh, kids are so sweet! They get suckers at the hairdresser, candy prizes at birthday parties… get your kids on this challenge too – the potential benefits are exponential from fewer cavities, better behaviour and better longevity.
Step 1: Be A Sugar Detective
For the next 3 days observe how much sugar you eat. Read the nutritional fact panel of everything you eat: 4g = 1 sugar cube = 1 tsp. Most of us eat 18 tsp of sugar/day. But, did you know that we should only eat 6 tsp of sugar a day. Wow!
Sugar is hiding everywhere. It is very sneaky. Plus, sugar is not always labeled as sugar on a food panel. Learn how to find sugar on a food panel, plus the inside scoop on Deceiving Sweet Everyday Foods, here.
Step 2: Get Motivated
Sugar isn’t great for the body. Sure, it provides energy. It tastes delicious. But, it also triggers inflammation…and wrinkles. Take the next 3 days to get motivated on why you should cut back on your sugar intake. You can find a few bits and bites on this website to help…
Step 3: Sweet Switch
It’s impossible to cut out sugar completely. But, consider eating less of foods that contain added sugar. Here are a few examples:
- Whole Wheat Wrap —> Collard Green Leaf
- Flavoured Yogurt —> plain greek yogurt with berries*
- Breakfast Cereal —> homemade granola
- Instant Oatmeal —> quick oats with natural peanut butter *
- Pasta Sauce —> switch to another brand (there are many without added sugar)
*Heck, go ahead and add a drizzle of maple syrup. That is far less sugar than the sugar manufacturer’s add in.
Then, fill the void with proteins and vegetables. Here are some easy ways to do this:
- Fill a bowl with water in your fridge and put in it cut carrot sticks, celery, radishes
- Create your own trail mix buy combining all of your favourite nuts, seeds and dried fruits*
- Avocado, hemp hearts, feta cheese, hummus, roasted nuts, tofu or even old cheese can be great sources of protein to add to any meal you’ve cut out sugar-containing foods from (and good ways to give your tastebuds satisfaction).
*Even if it seems weird…give it a try…I love dried mango, salted pistachios, dried mango, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and walnuts together…odd but sooooooo delicious).
If you’d like to read more, here is the inside scoop on natural sugar alternatives.