Ah sugar you sly dog, it sneaks it’s way into just about everything, hiding under so many different aliases, don’t let it fool you. Dietary guidelines for American suggest that added sugars (not the natural good stuff in fruits or milk) should make up only about 10% of your total daily caloric intake, a percentage that many Americans exceed after breakfast alone. Yikes. Many people have no idea how much sugar they are actually consuming, in part because food labels make it tricky. Ever notice that sugar is the only ingredient that does not have a daily percentage next to amount of grams on a nutrition label? Yeah that’s intentional, some food companies don’t want you to know that the 22g of sugar in your granola is actually about 50% of your daily sugar intake. Furthermore, the ingredient list is equally sly. Sure we all recognize the big players; cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup, but sugar is so much more than that including, brown rice sugar, maple syrup, brown sugar, glucose, dextrose, maltose, sucrose, honey, agave nectar, even coconut sugar to name a few added sugars.
So a few days ago a friend asked me to do a 21 day sugar detox with her, it takes 21 days to make or break a habit so in theory after 21 days we should be no longer craving sugar, I was immediately like, YES lets do this! October is sort of the perfect month for a sugar detox, there are no major holidays, excluding halloween at the very end of course and all those tempting pumpkin and apple fall treats have been on the shelves since September so I’m betting you already had a apple cider doughnut and pumpkin spice latte or too. So if you’ve ever wanted to do a sugar detox join me! I started yesterday but I won’t tell if you just jump in now 🙂
Here’s a few things you can do to make it easier:
- Rid your house of sugary snacks so you won’t be tempted. You won’t cave and eat 4 slices of pumpkin chocolate chip bread if its not in your house now will you…
- Familiarize yourself with nutrition labels, you’d be suprised where sugar is lurking that you might not have thought. I’m talking whole wheat bread, lunch meats, Wheat Thins, even some salsas, so make sure to look over food labels for any of those sneaky sugar aliases.
- Realize what you can eat. This is actually really important, quitting sugar should be empowering, not enslaving and disheartening feeling like you can’t eat anything. I stocked up on fruit and made a few batches of date-almond butter-coconut bites and Larabars so I had something to grab when I wanted something sweet.
- Don’t just replace sugar with “sugar free” alternatives like sweeteners like Splenda, a little stevia is okay but the rest are bullshit that reek digestive havoc. Pass those up for berries or a date, all natural baby.
- Don’t give up! Okay so on day four you slipped up and had a bit of apple pie? That’s ok! Sure ideally you go completely sugar free for 21 days but don’t quit and throw it all alway after a slip up or two. Our bodies can process small amounts of sugar so all your hard work it not suddenly gone after a spoonful of this or that, just do your best and believe that you can do it!
So good luck if join me on the sugar detox! Some sugar free recipes will be coming your way soon. Who knows, by the time halloween rolls around you might not even want that halloween candy…