After reading Part 1 and 2 of this article, you have probably noticed that sugar is everywhere. And I mean everywhere. One of my clients who is drastically changing her diet and kicking some serious boo-tay at it, said to me " Sugar is in everything! I could not believe when I started to take it out of my diet how it was showing up everywhere." And this is so true. Once you make the commitment to leave sugar behind, you will see, like any good drug with a masterful dealer like the commercialized food industry, they will not let you go quietly into the night. It will whisper to you in the forms you would not suspect: rice, soup, pasta sauce, peanut butter. I mean does peanut butter really need to be sweeter than it already is?
Let's do a little experiment. Go to your pantry right now and grab three packaged items...I will wait. Ok, do you have them? Now turn them over and read the list of ingredients. My guess is at least 1 out of the 3 have some sort of sugar in it. And more likely it is 2 out of 3. Not sure of the other names sugar hides behind? Here is a list : Aspartame, corn starch, crystalline carbohydrate dextrin, dextrose, disaccharides, galactose, glucose, levulose, malts of any kind, maltitol, maltodextrin, maltose (malt sugar), manitol, mannitol, mono-saccharides, sucrose, Nutrasweet, polydextrose, polysaccharides, ribose, saccharin, sorghum, suamiel, succanant, xylitol.
So here are my top 5 steps to leaving sugar behind:
1. Stop eating out of a box and/or a can
2. Stop eating out of a box and/ or a can
3. Stop eating out of a box and/ or a can
4. Stop eating out of a box and/or a can
5. ...( you get the picture)
I know this seems redundant to say and probably most of you are like "duh" but it is a lot harder than it seems. Most people have very full lives and unfortunately meal planning and cooking from scratch does not a make the cut. But this has got to change. In order for us to live the lives we so desire, feeling the way we want to feel, we have got to take back control of the food that we eat. Period. And the best way to do that is at the grocery store and in the kitchen.
Here really are my steps to leaving sugar behind:
1. Stop eating out of a box and/or a can
2. Make a meal plan (check out my post here for a step by step guide to start this transformative practice) so eating at home is a breeze
3. Eat by the 80/20 rule where 80 % of your food is whole foods free of all sugars (minus fruit)
4. Always eat vegetables with your starches
5. When you do choose sweet treats, make sure they are made with the best possible sugar choices (see below)
Now that you have a good foundation on what sugar really is, how it effects your metabolism and how to reduce it, lets get you up to speed on the best sugars to consume when baking and cooking.
One of the easiest ways to release the sugar from your day or at least reduce it
, is to choose sweet treats that contain only natural sugars like honey,
maple, molasses, coconut sugar, dates, date sugar, fruit and stevia. You may notice agave is not on my approved sugar list.
Yes, I do not believe agave is a healthy sugar. After years of research
around the production of agave, my opinion is it contains more fructose
than even high fructose corn syrup. And fructose is not the kind of of
sugar we want to ingest on the regular, remember why? But if you need more than my word for it, check out this article by Dr. Mercola.
Here is a great recipe for a seasonal pumpkin bread that is delicious and made without refined sugar, gluten and dairy! And you can feel good about eating it and giving it to your kids.
Spiced pumpkin bread
Adapted from Mind Body Green
2 1/2 cup Pamela's gluten free baking mix
2/3 cup date (or coconut) sugar
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
15 ounces of organic pureed pumpkin
1 cup fresh ginger tea, warm not hot
*if you do not know how to make fresh ginger tea, peel fresh ginger and add about an inch to 1 cup of water. Let it come to a boil, turn off heat and cover for 10 minutes. Strain the ginger and use the tea for the recipe.
1/3 cup melted coconut or grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 cup nuts or cacao nibs ( I like a combo of both!)
- Preheat oven to 350º and grease a loaf pan with coconut or grapeseed oil .
- In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together and pass through a sieve. If you do not have a sieve , mix with a hand mixer or whisk.
- In another small bowl, mix all wet ingredients together and add the dry ingredients in thirds to the wet, combining as you go. If you are adding the nuts or cacao, go ahead and add them.
- Pour into your prepared loaf pan and set on the middle rack in your oven. Bake bread for about 50 minutes to an hour. cook until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let rest in pan for 10-15 minutes then enjoy!
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