I’m excited about the opening of the film documentary FED UP executive produced by Katie Couric and Laurie David which examines our candy-coated food supply in this country and how it is instrumental in making us fat and sick.
Having been highly addicted to processed sugar most of my life I was the classic yo-yo dieter, binge eater, excessive exerciser and emotional eater. It never occurred to me that my cravings and behaviors had anything to do with the addictive nature of a sugar habit. With a talent for baking and an entrepreneurial streak I was led to open a boutique sweet shop. Now I had complete access to my vice, sugar at wholesale and I became an enabler of other people’s sugar habits. Later, as a confectionary buyer for an Internet giant, I found myself on international flights to Belgium visiting chocolate factories and getting cozy with just-baked cookies overnighted to me from the then reigning chocolate chunk cookie company here in the US. Chronic cravings for the sweet stuff and sugar withdrawal became a way of life for this junkie.
With a desire to head down a healthier path and rid myself of the sugar cloud I was living under, I became a certified holistic nutritionist. In theory, I became quite adept at separating refined sugar from less processed more nutrient dense varieties. A little paleo maple sweetened granola here, a few bites of a gluten-free ice cream sandwich sweetened with natural agave there, a drizzle of enzyme-rich raw honey and a freezer full of fruit juice sweetened muffins kept me in the grip of sugar’s pull. It is a rather slippery slope in Sugar-ville when you are kissing off recipes with added table sugar while courting refined sugar’s close cousins – barley malt, date sugar, brown rice syrup and molasses. Sugar is sugar. And despite the way it sometimes feels, sugar that comes from anywhere other than a fruit bowl or a dried fruit container that indicates ‘absolutely nothing added’ (thank you Trader Joe’s unsweetened unsulfured Dark Sweet Cherries and Go Hunza (www.GoHunza.com) raw, organic dried fruits and trail mixes) is nobody’s friend.
I got FED UP and detoxed from added sugar much like the Fed Up 10 Day Sugar Challenge (www.FedUpMovie.com) advises. My metabolism was reborn. Removing this toxin from the body and becoming completely immersed in the power of eating for nutrient density changed everything for me. I salute all those who have taken the oath to give up added sugar for these ten days. I say carry on challengers with guided support and seek your own truth.
The first days are rarely easy. And as your self-healing body detoxifies you will likely feel worse. On the 3rd, 4th and 5th days of my own sugar detox it felt like I had been literally thrown up against a wall. I was fatigued, sleepy and my head ached. I craved sugar badly but opted instead for delicious whole food, plant-powered alternatives to aid me in getting over the hump. These days I get the gift of assisting others to rediscover their palettes while ridding themselves of sugar toxicity.
Here are some well-tested sugar-free tips, tricks and a few of my favorite no sugar-added treats to inspire your journey wherever this meets you.
RONNA’S NO SUGAR-ADDED TREATS:
- Artisana Raw 100% Organic Cashew Butter or Pecan (Cashew) Butter. I don’t want to say it’s like cupcake icing but … spread over a slice of warm 100% sprouted (fruit-sweetened) bread from Manna Organics (found in the freezer section of most green grocers.)(www.mannaorganicbakery.com). Sprinkle with cinnamon or raw cocoa nibs. This bread gets digested like a piece of fruit
- Ultima Replenisher (www.ultimareplenisher.com) It’s sourced exclusively from plants. Sweet.
- Fresh Medjool Dates and Dried Malatya Apricots stuffed with almonds, pecans or walnuts satisfy a desire for sweet and crunchy. The healthy fat and protein in nuts sustains you and balances blood sugar. A favorite trick is to soak either of these dried fruits in hot water and make a date or apricot paste that you can use in both sweet and savory recipes. Dates sweeten smoothies like a charm. One date goes a long way and you want to cultivate your palette to desire less so start with half a date and go from there.
- Make ‘Nice Cream’ with frozen fruit. Use a high performance blender or check out the Yonanas machine (www.Yonanas.com). I got Yonanas at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Or try plain frozen fruit (mangos, cherries and grapes) that taste like frozen confections.
- Baked Japanese potatoes stuffed with sautéed greens or simply spread with almond butter help to satisfy (and prevent) sugar cravings. This recipe is a keeper. https://ultimateyounow.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/eat-optimally-this-winter.
- Here is a favorite seasonal dessert prepared au natural. Whether you choose to include the nominal addition of honey in this recipe or go without, the fresh dates, berries and dairy-free Cashew Cream featured are a winning combination. Strawberry Oat Bars with Whipped Cashew Cream – Natural
I post additional craving-busting tips, healthy food picks and meal planning ideas on my Pinterest boards.
Come visit me here Ronna Corlin on Pinterest.
Congratulations to those who are up for the challenge of discovering the body’s infinite resiliency when we get real and quiet enough to listen to it.
Tips for challengers:
- GET PAST THE DETOX PHASE Potential for feeling good every day will increase exponentially. Cravings will cease. Pain fades. Longings for old comfort foods get replaced with substitutes that taste even better. You hit your goals eating food you love.
- GET COOKING Get playful experimenting in the kitchen, cook in batches to save time and money and be sure to plan ahead. Preparation is the cornerstone of health. Crowding out old sugar habits with upgraded nutrient-dense recipes is the ticket.
- BE WILLING TO LET GO OF THE GAMES we continually play in our heads that can sabotage our best efforts.
Change is coming. Hold on tight!
Read more: How A Body Can Be Better After 50,
Want to receive my newsletter? Sign up here.