Sugar is everywhere.
Once you start reading food labels, you’ll realize it is hidden in the most unsuspecting places (salsa, dried fruits and almond butter, to name a few). It is often challenging to find foods in their raw, natural form without unnecessary sugars added. Earlier today I read an article on a recent petition to the Food & Drug Administration to allow aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to be added to dairy products without a label. Immediately, I started to wonder what else is hiding beneath the deceptive labeling in the aisles of our grocery stores. This is a frightening thought to say the least.
Starting this week, I’m implementing a new series within the blog to work toward achieving my own optimal health. I’m undertaking at least one new challenge each month, which I’ll document here, to detox my body of unnecessary artificial products, improve my fitness, and clear my mind. I hope you will find the journey interesting and share your thoughts here.
For the first challenge, I’ve decided to begin the 21-Day Sugar Detox program (found here at Balanced Bites). The eBook contains an overview of getting started, FAQs, and plenty of meal and snack ideas. I’ve tailored the plan to fit my rigorous workout schedule (which is typically 4-6 times per week) and made sure to stock my pantry and fridge full of approved foods in preparation. I even spent a couple of hours yesterday cooking for the week to help keep my meals on track. While I eat a Paleo diet approximately 80% of the time, my main motivation for completing the program is to eliminate my daily sugar cravings for dark chocolate and to see what effect it has on my energy levels. For the 21 day program, I’ve decided to stick to a Paleo diet while also significantly reduce my intake of fruit (allowing only bananas, oranges and blueberries, but no dried fruits at all), remove all products containing added sugars, and eliminate dairy products, with the exception of organic plain Greek yogurt.
I’ve included an outline below of day one of my sugar detox meals to provide a sneak peak at how I am approaching the program. I highly recommend purchasing the eBook (or the hard copy) for anyone who is interested in learning more. I’m a huge fan of Diane Sanfilippo who does an excellent job of outlining nutrition in an easy to understand manner (see her blog, podcast, and books for resources on Paleo and achieving balanced health).
Have you tried eliminating or reducing sugar in your own diet? Did it make a noticeable difference? Share your thoughts here.
1 sweet potato with cinnamon and sea salt
2 slices of bacon
1 cup of tea
Carrots with Trader Joe’s almond butter
1 slice of Applegate organic roast beef
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1 cup of decaf green tea
1 hard boiled egg
1/2 avocado with lime
Salad with olive oil
1 cup decaf tea