The summer is winding down and we are saying goodbye to lazy nights on the deck or by the pool enjoying ice cream, pies, frozen treats and of course cold beer, wine and cocktails. If you are like me, you are ready to start the school year with a fresh start on everything. It’s time to get off the beach chairs, turn off the late night TV, and focus on getting healthy!
So, Starting September 2nd, I am kicking off a 30 day sugar detox challenge called Table the Sugar. Are you in?
Table the Sugar challenge has very few rules. We are focusing on cutting one ingredient from our diets; Sugar.
Do you know that the maximum teaspoons of sugar we should be consuming in one day is 9 teaspoons. Here is a little breakdown by sex/age:
Adult men: 9 teaspoons (37.5 grams)
Adult women: 6 teaspoons (25 grams)
Teen male: 5-9 teaspoons
Teen Female: 4-6 teaspoons
Children: 4-5 teaspoons (12-16 grams)
A single child’s juice box has 4 teaspoons of sugar. A can of Coke has 10 teaspoons of sugar. Horizon Low Fat Chocolate milk has approx. 5 teaspoons of sugar (22 grams). Let’s think about Cherrios for a second. The box says it has 1 gram of sugar per serving. But lets look deeper. There is 20 grams of Carbohydrates. 1 gram is added sugar and 3 grams are fiber. What is the rest? It is refined, processed carbohydrate. Guess what that 16 grams gets broken down as in the body? Sugar! So something that looks like it is low in sugar really gets broken down in the body as sugar and gets stored as fat. So even if you are trying to go low sugar you need to be looking at how much fiber is in the total carbohydrate count. For this challenge ALL boxed breakfast cereals are off the list of things you can eat.
Most products that contain sugar also contain a long list of chemicals, preservatives and additives that don’t belong in our bodies. So when we cut out sugar we also end up cutting out a lot of processed foods that are wrecking havoc on our bodies; causing inflammation, weight gain and disease.
To do this challenge you have to be willing to do a few things. You have to become a master reader of labels and you have to be willing to get into the kitchen and prepare real food. The good news is if you stick to some basic concepts, you will not have to spend time reading labels.
Here is that simple guideline:
If the food walks, swims, flies, or grows from the ground you can eat it.
If it comes in a package, box or bag you probably should avoid it.
We are a culture of quick and easy though so to be able to use things from packages, boxes and bags you need to get comfortable with labels and learn what products have sugar in them. You will also need to know the many forms sugar takes. I have included a list of the different forms of sugar so you can begin your education.
You are thinking I can not do this for 30 days! Don’t freak out! If 30 days is too much, try 10 days. To really detox your body from sugar you need to cut it out for at least 10-14 days. Once you detox from the sugar you can add back in more natural forms of sugar like honey, maple syrup, etc.
If you are a baker, dates and applesauce are not off limits. No fruit is off limits. Its all about refined, added, and processed sugars. Unlike a classic Paleo way of living you do not need to give up pasta or grains or even dairy but you need to be very diligent at reading labels when you are buying grains, pasta and dairy products.
In my blog and on my Facebook page I will give tips, advice, talk about what I am eating and post articles on the subject. Please follow me to keep yourself on track and motivated!
I will also be having a viewing of the movie Fed Up; a documentary that sheds light on the food industry and how much sugar has affected our health. I will be showing the movie at my house Sunday September 14 at 3pm And Thursday September 18th at 7pm. Space will be limited so please let me know if you are interested.
If going it alone seems like an impossible task, I have a 1:1 health coaching program where I can walk you through the process on a weekly basis with recipes and tips tailored to your lifestyle and family.
Are you ready to detox?