Let’s be honest, holidays are an easy to time over indulge and I had wayyyy too much candy, chocolate and other treats over Easter. And if we’re really getting real here, Easter coincided with my time of the month and that encouraged me to let Easter indulgences last for about a week and a half. I mean I kept most of my meals on track but candy was a staple and now I’m feeling a bit out of whack.
If candy overload got you on Easter too (or Easter week ?) it’s the perfect time of a nice little sugar detox. I’m starting tomorrow (Friday April 21st) but if you wanna join in, feel free to start whenever works best for you. I know Monday would probably be a little more enticing (and normal – fresh week!) but I’ve gotta kick this habit ASAP!
When I shared my month long sugar detox plan on Instagram a lot of people asked what all it entailed so I’m going to share what I do, a little about why I do it and then some of my favorite recipes that may make it easier if you want to join in!
Sugar is an incredibly addictive thing. Once your body gets used to having it, it craves it. You eat the candy, cake or whatever and your body goes on a little happy sugar high. The issue is, it doesn’t take long at all before it comes crashing down. Since your body knows that the sugar you ate gave it the happy sugar high, that’s what your body signals for. So basically, you get stuck in a loop of sugar, crash, crave, sugar, crash, crave. It can seriously feel like you’re not in control at all.
Skipping processed sugar for a month gives your body a chance to get back to normal. Then you can go back to having sugar in moderation. Now, I’m not saying this is a super easy thing to do. I struggle with it a bit and you most likely will too, at least at first. The first week will be the hardest but don’t give up! It gets easier as you go!
When it starts feeling tough, remember it’s just a month! Having a set amount of time makes it much easier to get through!
Basically, the sugar free month really means a processed sugar free month. This means sugar in fruit is ok! In fact, you want to keep some fruit around for when you’re just dying for some Twizzlers or some other processed candy. Fruit is great, packed with nutrients and fiber, it doesn’t give you the same sugar spike that the processed stuff does!
Anything that has sugar added to it, you want to avoid this month. This is going to include most processed/ packaged foods, most cereals, desserts, etc. You can check the label for all of the hidden sugar names (list below).
So, this is where some decisions can be made on your part. If you want to be really hardcore with it for the month, cut out every little bit of processed sugar. That means check your peanut butter (most have it but not all), your dressings, bacon, yogurt, other savory snacks that may not seem like they would have sugar. Lots of them do!
When you’re checking labels don’t look at the sugars per gram in the label, look at the ingredients. Plain yogurt will have naturally occurring sugar but you just want to see if more is added!
If you want to go a little less hardcore, you can relax on the things like peanut butter or dressing and just make sure that your snacks and meals are not full of processed sugar. So cereals, desserts etc.
This month is the perfect opportunity to focus on getting lots of nutrient dense food in. I know it may seem like a lot of things you can’t have but it makes it a whole lot easier if you focus on what you can have. So really trying to pack in the veggies, eating a variety of fruits and getting enough protein and healthy fats from quality sources rather than thinking only about avoiding sugar, makes it more doable!
It’s really easy to fall into being easy on yourself with other not so nutritious foods while doing this sugar detox. It’s normal, we feel really good about reducing our sugar intake so we reward ourselves with pizza or chips or fries a few more days than normal throughout the month. This happened to me the first time I went sugar free! So instead of feeling amazing I felt puffy from allowing myself to overindulge on those things. So, learn from my mistake! Fill up with nourishing foods during this month and you’ll feel amazing! 🙂
Your only sugar should come from fruit, if you want to sweeten something try dates (or date paste), or a banana!
Try to make sure you’re not getting hidden sugar in any packaged food you eat!
Try focusing on eating more veggies, fruits, healthy fats and lean meats/fish/protein a try!
Check out my blog post about What I Eat in A Day! Obviously the almonds are dark chocolate chips would be replaced! Probably with power bites, fruit and nuts or veggies in tangy avocado dressing. Anything without added sugar!
Fajita Chicken Soup (this can also be made with less liquid for a non soup chicken:))
Check your label for any of these!
|Barley malt||Dehydrated cane juice||Golden sugar||Molasses|
|Barbados sugar||Demerara sugar||Golden syrup||Muscovado|
|Beet sugar||Dextran||Grape sugar||Panocha|
|Brown sugar||Dextrose||High fructose corn syrup||Powdered sugar|
|Buttered syrup||Diastatic malt||Honey||Raw sugar|
|Cane juice||Diatase||Icing sugar||Refiner’s syrup|
|Cane sugar||Ethyl maltol||Invert sugar||Rice syrup|
|Caramel||Free flowing brown sugars||Lactose||Sorbitol|
|Corn syrup||Fructose||Malt||Sorghum syrup|
|Corn syrup solids||Fruit juice||Maltodextrin||Sucrose|
|Confectioner’s sugar||Fruit juice concentrate||Maltose||Sugar (granulated)|
|Carob syrup||Galactose||Malt syrup||Treacle|
|Castor sugar||Glucose||Mannitol||Turbinado sugar|
|Date sugar||Glucose solids||Maple syrup||Yellow sugar|
Let me know if you have any questions, you’re joining in or doing your own processed sugar free month!
Sweat, Smile, Repeat!