Eating sugar free doesn’t have to be a sacrifice. In fact, in addition to all the health benefits, being sugar free can wake up your taste buds to the delicious flavors of real food!
an article by Aimee Anderson
Last week I realized I hit a pretty big number being sugar free – 555 days, in fact! I was brave enough to post a before and after pic of myself on social media.
After perusing the comments from friends and loved ones, I realized that more important than the number on the scale or the size of my jeans was the inner work that was going on in my heart, mind, and soul about food – sugar in particular.
It’s easy to measure success by the physical body or the scale. However, most of the time I’m the one who sees the internal changes, like not being tempted to buy and eat the candy bars that used to call my name in the grocery line. And just because we’ve had record temps here in San Diego these past few weeks, I don’t want to quench my thirst with a huge Slurpee from 7/11 (btw, cherry coke was my fave).
Instead, I open my Farm Box from Daily Harvest Express, and I lovingly reach for the heavenly-scented citrus. A slice of this perfect orange in my ice water does the trick for me. It’s just enough sweetness for this once insatiable sweet tooth of mine.
I’m satisfied with the organic carrots and sweet red peppers from my box. I actually taste the natural sugars found in these veggies – yes, it’s true! Once you’ve been away from the onslaught of processed and refined sugar for even a few weeks, the real flavors of fresh food come alive! My taste buds are doing the Pharrell Williams’ Happy dance!
As head coach of www.30DaysSugarFree.com, people tell me all the time, “Oh, I could NEVER stop eating sugar,” especially when they hear I’ve been off the stuff for over 1 ½ years. My response is this: “Maybe you can’t, but I’m pretty sure you could CUT DOWN on your sugar consumption…if you really wanted to.” I see their mental wheels spinning.
So here is one life hack that can set you on the right trajectory of clean eating: omit all sugar and sugar substitutes in your beverages. How?
- Begin to drink your coffee or tea WITHOUT added sugar.
- Try ordering an unsweetened iced tea with a lemon wedge at a restaurant.
- Fall in love with fresh cold water – with or without fruit and veggie slices.
I guarantee this will make a huge impact on your health. Your palate will adjust.
My favorite salad dressing in the summer is a splash of olive oil, tangerine balsamic vinegar from Baker and Olive, orange zest, and a squeeze of half an orange over my salad. It’s truly refreshing.
Who wants to turn on your oven when your house feels like a furnace? Not me! I’ve been marinating chicken (or try tofu if your vegetarian) in a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, then grilling it (chop the peppers before marinating). Make a beautiful simple salad with the head of lettuce in your CSA box, grill the peppers with an onion, and you’ve got a delicious meal with no added sugar. Top the meal off with grilled peaches and pineapple.
Follow these simple ideas of beverages, marinades, and fruit as dessert, and you’ll be well on your way to health and freedom from the sugar monster. Happy summer!
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