Operation: Sugar GTFO

About 2 years ago, while delaying with my hobo, I binge watched food documentaries. I learned a lot. Ever since, I watch more of what I eat. We eat way more vegetables. We choose simple lean meats for the majority of our meals. Progress!

I watched quite a few of these. Even some all about the sugar industry. Yikes. I am trying to find Fed Up in a Red Box currently but I think I already know. WE ALL EAT WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR. Unlike some of the other things people find intolerances and allergies too (gluten, dairy, soy, etc), sugar is in freaking everything. It’s not cutting back on the knowns of soda and cake…it’s ketchup…salad dressing…bread. Here is my coworker Kelly to tell you more about Hidden Sugar!

Note Kelly blogs for our company blog about nutrition. There are some great reads on there. I’m not just saying that because I work with the blogging program, promise.  There is even a recipe for homemade ketchup!

10 Day Sugar Challenge

Around the end of last year, the Whole 30(no dairy, no grains, no sugar, no soy, no legumes, etc.) buzz started. We saw people making dramatic changes to their diets and they were feeling amazing. By doing drastic food elimination, people were finding drastic things that they had no idea. This wasn’t fitting into jeans better. This was sleeping better. Chronic pain gone. SO MUCH ENERGY. Skin issues disappeared. Those people are now on the hunt to figure out which food is their trigger but they KNOW.

I watched all this with fascination. A lot of folks writing about it approached it from a “do you constantly feel tired? do you struggle to get out of bed? do you have chronic pain?” informercial type stance. I have to say no to all those things actually. I actually seem to have a lot of energy relative to other mother’s of 2 young children. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need to look at my eating habits. So in December our healthcare center here at work put out a registration for a 10 day sugar free challenge. The basic rules are:

  • No added sugar for 10 days ( no sweeteners*. Real or fake)
  • Only 2 servings of fruit max
  • *You are allowed a small allotment of sugar for honey or maple syrup only

To go along with it, our cafes will be offering more “no sugar added” foods every day for lunch (one entree, soup, sides, etc). So if all else fails I can just get takeout from work for dinner 🙂

So Kevin and I embarked on it this morning for 10 days of less sugar (the kids will get less by proxy). We have already been pregaming, if you will, this month. Eggs and fruit at breakfast. Kevin has cut back on sodas and candy. I’ve steered my snacking to nuts, popcorn and some dried fruit bars. I think we will be alright. I am curious to see how we feel in 10 days but even more excited to see us engrain some new staples in the routine to lower our sugar overall.

So this weekend I went shopping for the week like usual and found I could just skip entire aisles. I am going to live off sweet potatoes, avocados, kale and popcorn.  And with that, I give you week 1 of dinners for sugar free week!

Week1BTW I got a noodler the other weekend at Bed Bath and Beyond (remember those coupons don’t really expire!) and I am LOVING zoodles(zucchini noodles). I really could care less about spaghetti noodles and I can get a giant plate of them for like 80 calories. I also used it to shred sweet potatoes and made myself some great sweet potato hash-browns with just a touch of cinnamon!

P.S. I am really being tested out the gate as I woke up on day one with a scratchy throat and I can’t have cough drops. So whiskey, it is. Sorry, boss lady. JK


7 thoughts on “Operation: Sugar GTFO

  • January 26, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I’m not SUPER strict about this, but, for the most part, you’re describing exactly what I’ve been doing:

    – Where it’s not completely impractical, I’m making my own food from scratch, to ensure what I put in it
    – When I do cook, it’s never with refined sugars or flours
    – Minimal fruit intake

    (as opposed to Whole 30, I have done nothing to eliminate dairy — basically, I enjoy cheese far too much to allow myself to believe that a dairy-free lifestyle would be sustainable, so I won’t even try it, for a small amount of time . . . the rest? I think it’s sustainable)

    I fell off the wagon, hard, over the holidays (Christmas, anniversary, birthday, and New Years all in the same week), but dusted myself off and started right back up. I do NOT make my own ketchup, and I do head to a restaurant a time or two a week (I usually order relatively simple meals: grilled steak or chicken with steamed vegetables — minimal sauces means there can’t be too much hidden sugar). But, when push comes to shove, I’d say that I’m 95% sugar-free, maybe more.

    And the results, well, they’re why I continue. Like you, I could leave pasta — sure, a great bread is difficult to pass up, but it’s just a (relatively) simple matter of telling myself that I’ll eat the bread, feel no less hungry, and still want more . . . so I leave it be.

    Good luck.

    • January 27, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      They had lavash sugar free bread at work today HOORAY!

  • January 26, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Good for you! I would love to get the recipes for those meals. Pinterest or other sources? Are you allowed to have alcohol? I wonder how much sugar is in whiskey… (please say none).

    • January 26, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Meh most are easy things your can buy at the store or seasonings. There is nothing fancy listed. Chili lime burgers, buffalo burgers are both frozen trader joes joints. Grilled tilapia is just tiliapia with seasoning. south african pork is pork chops with TJ’s south aftrican seasoning.

      And yes whiskey is sugar free “Whiskey is made from a fermented grain mash, usually of barley, rye, wheat or corn. Depending on where it’s made or what it’s made from, whiskey can be found under different names. None have carbs or sugar added. Most whiskey has an alcohol content of about 40 percent by volume.” Just not the liquor whiskeys like fireball. Also a few wines are on our approved list as they don’t add sugar…but we are to limit it because it is essentially fruit. SEEEEEEEEE

  • January 26, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Obviously I’m going to chime in on your gluten comment. Gluten is like sugar in that it is in a lot of items that you would not expect. Anything that says “natural flavoring” can in fact be made with wheat without having to be listed as an ingredient. Trader Joe’s mushroom brie… wheat. Chilis in adobo…. wheat. Ketchup!…. wheat used as a stabilizing agent. Ice cream … again a stabilizing agent. Sometimes labeled? Sometimes not.

    And gluten is in many things that make no sense. Why is gluten in bacon if pigs are not eating wheat? The main starch used in most medications is made from wheat but not labeled, because the FDA and USDA have different labeling restrictions. And don’t even me started on certain items that could be gluten free (oats, rice) are not actually gluten free because they are almost always cross contaminated during manufacturing. Oats are grown with wheat in the field, so even plain oats are not safe. And again, NOT LABELED.

    This is my super long way of saying you should taken “gluten” out of your above list because gluten is in everything very much like sugar is. The difference is that sugar is listed as an ingredient and gluten does not have to be listed under it’s many many MANY forms.

    • January 26, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Oh I was just noting different types of allergies…not that they aren’t in things. Sorry about that. You are correct. Gluten is in even more.


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