Recently I read more and more about the negative effects of sugar. I mean the surplus we get through food that we don’t need. Even a dietary specialist was convinced that some of my health related issues (minor though) are related to the large amounts and widespread use of sugar in everyday food we consume. I decided to come up with an action plan to quit some bad habits and reducing the amount of sugar. Just read further and try it yourself. It’s easier than you think.
The main reason for me is the deterioration of my teeth. Although I’ve been limiting sugar intake for quiet some years, in Australia everything got still worse. I blame this mainly to fluoridated water (a reason not to live in Perth) and lots of sugar in anything you buy. And it’s so bad for your health. We seem to be addicted to it. I even get cranky when sugar levels drop.
So, now I’m phasing out sugar completely from my diet! Some friends of mine have done this successfully and I want to follow. I came up with a 4 week plan to stop eating sugar.
Fortunately I already changed my diet significantly by eating fresh salad every day. Adding quinoa, brown rice, and chia seeds in the list of staple food. For over a month I’ve been making smoothies with chia, LSA (linseed, sunflower, almond mix), fresh fruit, and almond milk. You would assume that this is a healthy diet. But I love cakes, cookies, and crisps. Food that you don’t need. This is well explained.
In fact, I can remember that I did not use to eat crisps and cookies before coming to Australia. I’m going to reverse this. Part of the problem is that I use to buy cans of vegetables, pasta sauce, yogurt or even crackers where sugars are added too. For me it was a secret rise in the amount of sugar which my body got used to. At the same time I really like quinoa salads and extra seed mix to my breakfast. Delicious and filling. These days I can eat breakfast at 6.30 without getting hungry until 12.30 lunchtime. That leaves less opportunity to grab that bag of crisps or that extra cookie in between. But there’e more to the story. The side-effects and crankiness are just there for 1 to 2 weeks which only a short time. Believe me, you won’t even miss it.
Now we have to get to how I got rid of sugar in my life. What was my action plan?
Week 1: Stop sugar
- Finish all cookies, candy, or other sugar containing products.
- Stop buying new products with added sugar such as yogurt, canned vegetables, muffins, cakes, etc.
- Refuse cakes, muffins, etc. from people that offer t to you. Also leave the biscuit in the cafe to someone else.
- No sugar in thee, coffee which I stopped doing many years ago.
- At the end of the week: give away all the remaining products and empty your shelves, so that you won’t get tempted.
Week 2: Changing nutrition values
- Breakfast: home made muesli with raisins, coconut flakes, and cinnamon, seed mix, LSA (linseed, sunflower, almond) mix and fresh fruit. Wholemeal bread with organic pure peanut butter, olive oil spread and banana slices/honey
- Smoothies with extra: two pieces of fruit with almond milk, chia seeds, and LSA
- Snacks: limited, but fruit, wholemeal crackers with humus, nuts
- Lunch with extra: seed mix and nuts in salads; quinoa; wholemeal couscous/pasta/bulgur or brown rice
- Other meals: add extra seed mix and nuts; wholemeal products
- Desserts: dried fruit; dark (95%) chocolate; wholemeal biscuit with honey; chia seed dessert (chia seeds+honey+almond milk+cinnamon+coconut flakes)
- When things get difficult: dried fruit; grated dark chocolate on wholemeal toast.
Week 3: Change buying patterns
- Stop buying non-wholemeal pasta, couscous, bulgur, or white rice
- Instead buy brown rice, wholemeal products, chickpeas, lentils, chia seeds, and quinoa
- Buy all fruit and vegetables fresh
- Avoid the alleys in the supermarket that have “bad food”, such as chocolate or crisps
- Go to the shop after a meal
- Stick to your shopping list
Week 4: Making own stuff
- Make your own pasta sauce, desserts, wraps, and other sauces
- Stop baking sweets and give away all yeast, (white) flower, and baking powder
- Vary fruits and vegetables
- Buy local/organic
There are some extra advantageous for myself by refraining from eating sugar ih43ice. I have no need for processed foods which usually contain refined products (flower, sugar, oils, etc.). All my staple foods are non refined brown/wheat staples. The other advantage was almost zero intake of egg or products that contain egg which supported my vegan diet. I replaced yogurt for oats or almond milk and that was maybe the hardest thing to do to change to my vegan/sugar free diet. Why not try it yourself?