Living without sugar is still a daily challenge for me. I've covered this topic often because going sugar free helps me so much, but it SO isn't easy, so I hope these posts help you, too. Especially around Valentine's Day. But let's face it, every month of the year has at least one holiday that's infused with sugar.
A February free of... - 2/1/17
Raw, vegan lifestyle isn't just for crazies anymore - 3/11/1630 days of "no" sugar - successes and challenges, and moving forward - 2/9/1630 days of sugar free: Kicking the Addiction - 1/28/1630 days Sugar Free: Switching date sugar - 1/11/16Committing to 30 days without sugar - YOU will hold me to it - 1/10/16Partying with a restrictive diet - yes, it can be done! - 3/24/12Healthy Living 2: Healthy Eating - 8/5/10Healthy Living 1 - Read the Label - 7/28/10
Bottom line, I know I feel exponentially better without it – sugar gives me headaches, tummy aches, joint aches, throat aches, and fatigue.
DID YOU KNOW THAT 1 TBS OF SUGAR SUPPRESSES THE IMMUNE SYSTEM FOR UP TO 8 HOURS?
And I know that if I go without it, I no longer crave it. And now that I've done this many times I definitely don't crave it even when I'm "off the wagon" like I used to – donuts, gummy bears, coffee with cream and sugar, sodas. But still the occasional sugar sneaks into my diet if I'm not vigilant - and it's mostly when I forget to read the label or go back to something I know I don't need. Or walk by the chocolate aisle when my hormones are spiked (which is rare, but it happens).
Once I go 3 days without it, I lose the habit of needing a chocolate treat after dinner (which keeps me from sleeping soundly anyway, so why bother). Once I go a week, I've practically forgotten all about it. And once I go 21 days, my taste buds have all regenerated and any small amount of sugar makes one bite feel like an entire funnel cake flooding to my brain.
Honestly, if you haven't tried it, do. It'll change the way you look at life. 21 days without sugar – GO!
But we're human. I mean, come on. When I commit to a month of sugar free, I have to set myself up for success and pull out all the stops to help me block something that might derail me.
Here are 10 tips to removing sugar from your bloodstream, one date at a time:
1. Tell everyone, especially your family. This will act as an accountability system first and foremost, but also I find that telling my husband what I'm doing is paramount. "Don't bring any of that junk home!" Yeah, surprise chocolate bars aren't good.
2. Stock up! Stock the fridge with berries, fruit, healthy snacks, and especially dates and date sugar – it's not real sugar, it's just called that because we Americans are addicted to the stuff. It's finely ground date powder, and it works in recipes just like sugar. I only use it when I'm making something for a party – because I don't want to feel left out of the dessert course.
3. Read every label. As stated above, it's hiding. In your ketchup, granola, yogurt. And learn the aliases – high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, invert sugar, molasses, sucrose (or any word ending in "-ose"), brown rice syrup, honey, and maple syrup are all sugars that will affect your body poorly.
4. Try unsweetened. If you drink tea, non dairy milk.