Each week we are going to add a step toward becoming healthier and feeling great. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to lose weight, just be as healthy as you can be or just feel better. Each of these steps works toward all of those goals!
The first step is going to be hardest for many and so I want to just rip off that band aid off as quick as we can, power through the pain and get started.
Make it Your Year ~ Week 1
STEP ONE: No sugar or artificial sweeteners. Eliminate them from your diet.
Are you still with me? Reeling in shock? I’m sorry but it just had to be done. Now before you panic, while it sounds horrible, it isn’t really as bad as you think it will be. Sugar is just bad for you on just about every level. You may have had someone say, well we need sugar for our bodies to perform. Our bodies turn everything into sugar anyway. That reminds me of a scene from the movie Liar Liar when Jim Carey can’t lie and his son asks him, “Is wrestling real?” and he says, “In the Olympics, yes. On channel 23, no.” It is one of those statements where there is a grain of truth but not really. Yes our bodies convert all carbohydrates into glucose which is classified as a type of sugar, but table sugar is actually sucrose and they are very different. I could go into a long dissertation about sugar but I’ll spare you that and just say they very different. Our bodies can be at optimum health and never have any added sugar. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the why because there is so much information out there on why sugar is bad for you, chances are you’ve already seen it.
So how does this work? It is really quite simple, you are going to avoid white sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, golden syrup, raw sugar, etc. Also included in the avoid are brown rice syrup, molasses, honey, and other forms of ‘natural sugars’.
1. You can have in very small amounts agave and raw unpasteurized honey. The agave is preferable. As for the honey, if you buy it in the grocery store it isn’t okay. From the farm or health food store should be.
2. Bread is something that if you don’t make your own it is almost impossible to find one that doesn’t have a form of sugar in it so as long as you aren’t eating it for every meal and aren’t consuming large amounts of it. Try and find one like Dave’s Killer Bread that uses a small amount of a more natural sugar in it like the organic dried cane syrup and molasses like shown below.
3. One serving, one time a week. You are allowed one ‘reward’ for being good all week. Keep in mind I do mean one serving, an entire box of See’s candy is not a serving, so keep that in mind.
I need to stop and really emphasize something that is super important and that is label reading. When you start this process you have to pick up every single item of food and look at the label. There are two places to look for sugar in your food but I want you to focus on the ingredients like the photo above and not the supplemental food fact box as seen below.
If you look above at the label on the Dave’s Killer bread you can clearly see the ingredients. You are going to be looking those to see if there is a type of sugar (natural or otherwise) that has been added to the food. Those are what you are going to strive to eliminate.
You are not going to be spending time looking at the Sugars listed in the Supplemental Food Facts. The reason is quite simple. There are natural occurring sugars in foods we eat and so there will be sugars in your food. Dairy, fruits and carbohydrates are easy examples. If you look on the back of a can of organic canned tomatoes you might see the ingredients: tomatoes, water, and salt. If you look on the supplemental food fact box you’ll see 3 grams of sugar. That isn’t what we are trying to avoid. Looking at those numbers isn’t a bad thing though, some foods have a ton of natural sugars, like dried fruit as an example which should be really limited.
Supplemental Food Fact Box:
No artificial sweeteners. I think we all know they are really bad for us and do a lot of damage to our body its natural balance. I also know that many people switched to them trying to cut back on sugar and calories, especially before it was known how bad they are for you. A great alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners is Stevia. A note about stevia, all brands aren’t created equal. If you read stevia and you wanted cry, I can relate because I tried about 20 brands before I found one I liked. Basically the ones in the grocery stores around me are awful. I prefer NuNaturals brand. It is available in many health food stores and online if you can’t find any near you. A little stevia goes a long way so be prepared to experiment a little.
But what about when I just need something sweet? Eat a piece of fruit or an organic carrot. A drop of fennel essential on the tongue is so sweet and satisfying. Many people add it to their water. Another option is Market Spice Cinnamon Orange tea. It is naturally sweet and yummy. I like to make my own faux lemonade by taking water, a drop of lemon essential oil and a dropper of liquid stevia. Try to avoid drinking fruit juice or eating dried fruit because it is loaded with sugar.
I can’t give up soda! There are many soft drinks that are flavored with stevia that are really quite yummy. Sobe Zero, Blue Sky Soda and Diet Hansens to name a few. My personal favorite is San Pellegrino just the plain unflavored, sometimes I’ll add a drop of citrus oil to it.
Alcohol? The purpose of this step is to eliminate added sugar so try to avoid the sweet sugar added drinks. Some examples are dacquaris, Pina coladas and anything with simple or flavored syrup. So if you can, stick to beer and wine.
Remember to try and stay hydrated. Drinking water with a drop of lemon or grapefruit oil can really help.
If you start to get detox reactions from withdrawing from sugar start by increasing your water intake. If you have to mix some fruit juice in water and drink that. Remember, go slow and if you are miserable take a step back. I also find that mixing cinnamon oil and Fractionated Coconut Oil on my tummy is soothing.
I’m doing this step by step right along with you, well actually, I’m a week ahead so I can make try and cover as many things that might come up as possible in the weekly instructions. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below or contact me.
PS… I lost 2 lbs 6 oz just dropping sugar this week.
Note: All essential oils aren’t created equally. Especially for internal use check the label to see if it is safe. Why?…Essential Oil Grades
If you’d like to know more about what products I use please send me a message below.
PS: I’m not trying to keep it a secret… the brand doesn’t allow their products named or pictured on non-company websites. I’d tell you if I could!